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Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
By James Whittington, Friday 30th August 2019

In the bizarre and gruesome comedy/horror Porno, Abe, played by Evan Daves is a burgeoning pervert with a guilty conscience who works in a cinema and ends up battling a demon! Here, Evan tells all about this gory story. (Headshot - Matthew Murphy)

HC: How did the role of Abe in Porno come about?

ED: I had the audition come in through my agent. Adrienne Stern, the casting director, is great; she actually cast me in my first movie when I was 13, a comedy called "Harold" starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Since then she's always been kind enough to bring me in for projects that I'm right for. When I saw her name in the breakdown I knew it would be a wacky, cool project - she has a great eye for that stuff.

HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it?

ED: I was excited but slightly hesitant, to be honest. My agents made a point of asking me repeatedly if I was really sure I wanted to say yes to this. On the page a lot of the stuff that is happening throughout is like, "How on earth are they going to pull this off?" But from the start I really loved the dialogue, especially the stuff between me and Todd, my best friend in the movie (and real friend in real life) played by Larry Sapperstein. We talked about our first experiences with the script while we were on set and I think Glenn (Glenn Stott, who plays Ricky) put it best that this was an instance where Keola, Matt, and Laurence had a strong vision and whether or not you could see it right away didn't matter because you could trust that this was an instance where someone had a vision greater than your own. And it turned out f*****g great.

HC: How do you approach a role when you're acting in such a wild, fantastical movie?

ED: I was definitely nervous about approaching some of these scenes, even simple stuff like these sort of horror movie scream moments, I'd never had to do anything like that and every time you'd feel like "what was that? Is that what I sound like when I scream bloody murder?" It felt almost phony. But keeping in mind the stakes throughout was definitely helpful - these kids are sort of shot out of a cannon in terms of what they're tasked with from the very beginning, so it really was just about throwing myself into these situations as fully as possible. I think it also demanded a lot in terms of imagination - barricading doors from demons and jumping into portals, etc. we really got to play together every day on set and the more freely everyone played the more we were all able to see our versions of these imaginary moments.

HC: Is there any of Abe in you at all?

ED: Abe is described as a "burgeoning perv" which I would say sums me up pretty well? Really I think the characters in Porno are all representative of the same fear or curiosity or shame we all feel growing up. For these kids those fears are compounded by their strict religious upbringing (which was not the case for me growing up in New York City, nor was peeping on my neighbors) but I think I can definitely relate to that squirmy hormonal high school feeling. I also think Abe is a good friend, he and Todd care a lot about each other and even though he can be self-centered at times, he stands up for his friend, which is something I definitely make a priority in my own life.

HC: Was it shot in a working cinema?

ED: We shot on location in a movie theater in Greenport, Long Island, which is a beach town on the North Fork, about 2 hours Outside NYC. Since it's a seasonal town, the movie theater is only operational in the summer, so it's closed for most of the Fall/Winter, so we were able to have the whole theater to ourselves! However, it being only operational in the summer meant there was no heat in the theater, so for us in Oct/Nov. It did get pretty cold in there.

HC: What was the atmosphere like on set?

ED: It was such a great time. Since we shot on location, we really got to spend a lot of time together so we all connected quickly. So many of these scenes are really hilarious and we had quite a bit of trouble getting through without breaking. Keola would sometimes yell out alt lines from the monitor for us to say which often times made it more difficult to keep a straight face. The fact that we were in this off season beach town made it extra spooky, as well. It could be pretty desolate at night - just like ships blowing around in the harbor and one dude standing in a gas station parking lot looking at you.

HC: There are some cool effects, which sequence is your favourite?

ED: Oof it's hard to say without spoiling. The special effects makeup is amazing throughout, Brett Schmidt and Greg Pikulski did such an awesome job. Kaitlyn (who plays Lillith) looks terrifying in this crazy demon getup; scales, horns, yellow eyes. There is a pretty gnarly scene involving "exploded nuts" which is frighteningly real looking. I also get a nice blood vomit bath which was a pretty cool effect on the day (involving a fire extinguisher) and looks awesome in the cut.

HC: Are you a horror fan?

ED: I wasn't a horror fan to begin with but in the last few years have definitely gotten into it. My girlfriend is a HUGE horror fan, so I watch a lot of stuff with her. I'm catching up on some older stuff, but have really enjoyed a lot of new horror over the past few years and seeing filmmakers innovations in the genre.

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

ED: In the Fall I start a new job at Roundabout Theater Company here in NYC doing a premier of a new musical that will run through the winter. But leading up to that I have a couple directing projects lined up - a trio of dark comedy shorts, as well as a music video!

HC: Evan Daves, thank you very much.

ED: Thank YOU!


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