VOD Spotlight on Joseph Morgan (ARMISTICE)January 26, 2014
In the role of Royal Marine, A.J. Budd, Joseph Morgan (IMMORTALS, “The Originals”) stars in this brutal psychological and supernatural thriller, in which he finds himself trapped in the Warhouse. Imprisoned, he is forced to fight for his life against grotesque, inhuman opponents. He must kill every day or die himself. His one glimmer of hope comes in the form of a diary, left by a former occupant of the house, WWI Lieutenant Edward Sterling, played by Matt Ryan (FLYPAPER, “Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior”). ARMISTICE is currently available on iTunes.
On Demand Weekly’s Sabrina Luppi spoke with Joseph Morgan about ARMISTICE, his previous roles and VOD.
On Demand Weekly (ODW): Are you doing so many horror/thriller movies & TV shows by choice or is it more coincidental?
Joseph Morgan (JM): It’s choice really. The more I do the more I get offered. But I’m quite happy to be working predominantly in genre just because that’s always what I’ve watched and read growing up that’s what I’ve been primarily interested in. I read graphic novels and watch a lot of film and TV and most of it is genre stuff so I am a huge fan.
ODW: On Twitter you’ve talked about how proud you are of ARMISTICE, is there a moment when you’re watching that you feel most proud of?
JM: I’m really proud of the sequence where I tear down the wallpaper and find the marks that Edward Sterling had left and it cuts between that scene and the scene of me sort of drinking in the cellar and kind of vocalizing all the loneliness and the inner torment. It’s a film with very little dialogue and that’s one point where the director allowed me to be vocal as the character.
It was a lot of improvised stuff that Luke [Massey] guided but allowed me freedom within those boundaries. I also felt like he and I were learning to work together and we really hit our stride by that point and I felt like it was a really positive relationship, so I’m proud of that. I also think, trying to be objective about the film, I think it’s the proudest I am of a performance in the film.
ODW: You also said, “After all this time it’s here.” Were there a lot of obstacles it had to go through to get to this point?
JM: Oh man you have no idea. There were a lot of obstacles just editorially; it took a long time in post and a long time to finish. It was quite a different film when Luke and Ben [Read] conceived it and it really went through the ringer in post. There were a few characters that were cut from it to make the story a lot cleaner and more simple and it’s really become a very simple, clean, engaging story but it was quite convoluted initially.
I’m proud of Luke and his determination and commitment to the film and how he stuck with it and wasn’t satisfied until it became something that we could all be proud of. So it was a long time in the making and to have his first film get some sort of cinematic release I think is a huge achievement and he’s one of my best friends as well as the director so I’m hugely proud of him and happy that this film didn’t disappear into the ether and became something that people can enjoy.
ODW: What is the most unique, funny or interesting experience you had while filming ARMISTICE?
JM: There were a few things. It all got a little crazy because it was such long hours and it was essentially mostly me and Luke and a few guys of the crew in the house, never changing locations just shooting these scenes of this guy kind of slowly going crazy. So it inevitably got a little nuts.
One of the great things was one of the producers, and our military advisor who was a Royal Marine, Billy Budd. I knew him from ALEXANDER and we reconnected during the TV version of “Ben Hur” and he came on to ARMISTICE first as a favor but became a huge part of it and ended up producing. He just kept everybody kind of in stitches. We were supposed to do a shot where I come around the corner in this armor I’ve made from books and cans and Billy decided to pull me back just as I was gonna go around the corner and appeared around the corner on camera (I think Luke’s got this on camera somewhere) in his full Alexander uniform with full leather garb & his sword and spear, so that was him.
So although it was really taxing we were always up for a laugh and there was a lot of fun stuff that happened while we were shooting. And I wouldn’t have done another film with Luke if it hadn’t been such a wonderfully rewarding experience.
ODW: Do you think that the goal of the film to scare people or does it have a deeper meaning/message?
JM: I think that the film we started out trying to make was more of a sort of (Robert) Rodriguez type action movie and I think that in the end we hope that people will relate to it on a deeper level, that there will be some sort of psychological toll that will keep people thinking about it after they’ve watched it. The idea of a guy fighting his demons both literally and metaphorically, I hope that it will be something that people will come back for a second, third and fourth watch.
ODW: As far as your experience with VOD, do you watch more movies in theaters or on demand?
JM: Much more On Demand to be honest, because of my schedule. I don’t get to the theater that often but I do actually watch quite a lot on demand.
I’ve been known to flick through for about an hour and then not choose anything at the end of it. But a lot of the time I’ll go through and pick something out quite quickly and I like the layout and I like that it’s readily available.
ODW: 2014 seems to be off to a great start for you, is there anything you’re especially looking frward to working on this year?
JM: I’m looking forward to having a break (laughs) to be entirely honest. I’ve done about 2-3 years non-stop. In between doing the show I’ve managed to do a film each break, which has been great because I had periods out of work before I got to this point, but right now what I’m looking forward to doing when it comes to my next break is lying on the beach with my girlfriend not doing anything. That’s what I’m looking forward to in 2014, relaxation.
Sabrina Luppi is a new contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. She is currently a film and marketing student at San Francisco State University, and recently completed a content programming internship at Intel. Sabrina is an aspiring actress, writer and filmmaker and her favorite genre is horror. Follow her on Twitter @sabzy_
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