LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Brand New Exclusive Interview With Actor Zak Kilberg
By James Whittington, Thursday 8th September 2011
Midnight Son is a gem of a vampire move that I was lucky enough to see at this year's FrightFest event. The lead character of Jacob is played by Zak Kilberg, a talented actor who gives a stunning performance of a young man who is desperately trying to come to terms with the fact that he's a little bit different to everyone else. We spoke to Zak about this and his plans for the future.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actor?
ZK: Oh yes! Took my first acting class at 7 years old and fell in love with it.
HC: Where did you get your first big break?
ZK: Still waiting on that. Maybe Midnight Son! I've acted in 12 Indie films over the past 6 years but Midnight Son is by far my favourite. The truth is I haven't been pursuing much acting since we wrapped Midnight Son and have since gotten heavily involved in producing my own films.
HC: How did you get the part of Jacob in Midnight Son?
ZK: My good friend and talented actor David Fine referred me to writer/director Scott Leberecht's initial website for the film and I immediately felt a strong connection to the main role of Jacob. I reached out to Scott directly by sending him the short film Nameless in which I had recently produced, directed and starred in. He connected to the material and in fact we were both pretty excited by the fact that I actually resembled Scott's early drawings and sketches of Jacob before even meeting each other. Scott then sent me the script, which I connected to even further. As he was San Francisco based at the time and I was in LA, I sent him an audition DVD by mail. He liked it and invited me to read with him in person when I was traveling up to SF for the San Francisco International Film Festival later that spring. He called and offered me the role the day after we met in person.
HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it?
ZK: I thought the script was intense, personal and beautifully written. The script hooked me from page one of my first read. There were a few elements that needed further development and Scott made it clear he was eager to collaborate in that capacity. We worked extremely well together and within a month or two of development had something we were both even more pleased with and excited to shoot.
HC: How do you prepare for such a role?
ZK: The first thing I decided to do was a 10 day fast to make myself more physically emaciated for the role as Jacob is really suffering from a form of starvation when the film begins. As there was no personal trainer or doctor to help guide the process I wasn't able to go as extreme as Christian Bale in The Machinist, however I was able to shed close to 20lbs for the role and I'm pretty scrawny to begin with. I maintained a meagre diet for the entire run of filming. Scott really pushed me in that capacity and I'm grateful he did. I also worked through each scene of the script extensively getting deeper into the role and in the understanding of who Jacob was and what he wanted and needed for each scene and strived to find the thread and truth of his character throughout the entire story.
HC: Were you given the chance to improvise at all?
ZK: The script was so strong there wasn't much need for improvisation, at least with the dialogue. Scott definitely allowed for being in the moment though so there are a few exciting improvised moments in the film.
HC: You spend a lot of the screen time with co-star Maya Parish who plays Mary, what were your first impressions of her?
ZK: First impression: Maya Parish is a beautiful and dedicated actress with the talent and passion of any academy award winner. Second impression: THE SAME
HC: The end scene (without giving anything away) is beautiful in a really chilling way, would you agree?
ZK: Strongly agree. I love the way the ending turned out. Scott and I talked a lot about potential endings for the film while developing the script and in the 1-month before production we came up with at least 3 variations together. The final decision we went with that made it into the film was actually one of my ideas that we developed together. I'm really proud of that and very grateful to Scott's creative openness. It is one of the qualities that makes him a truly exceptional director and an absolute pleasure to work with.
HC: It’' a very real "vampire"movie are you a fan of the genre?
ZK: I'm not necessarily a fan of the "vampire" genre but I am a devoted fan to realistic and gritty indie films. Scott did an incredible job at merging the two genre’s so in that capacity yes, HUGE FAN!
HC: So what's next for you?
ZK: Since wrapping Midnight Son nearly 3 years ago, I've since started my own film production company called Social Construct. We currently have 2 feature films in post-production: Alyce with Sundance alumni director Jay Lee (New World Order, Zombie Strippers) and Would You Rather with Periscope Entertainment (Terri, August) and director David Guy Levy.
HC: Zak Kilberg, thank you very much.
ZK: Thank YOU, Sir!
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