Before this website was created, I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life playing Evelyn Chappellett in Further Back Slightly.
A character study film, Further Back Slightly explores Evelyn's journey back home to Milwaukee after a difficult three years in Los Angeles. I loved working on this film because, not only do I really jive with it stylistically -- it breaks a lot of rules and has a great cinematic intelligence about it -- but I discovered how I work best as an actor. One of the rules of the film is that Evelyn needs to be in every single shot -- that's every frame. So I worked very long days for three weeks in a row with no days off. And. I. LOVED. Working this way.
When my goddess Jessica Lange speaks of her experience working with Ryan Murphy, she always says how much she loves how little time she has to prepare. She's forced to jump right in, and she has no time to think. That's what this film was like for me. I was really forced into the reality of each moment. I had no time to prepare because I was literally always working. I couldn't prepare for a scene the day before, because we were shooting. My preparation before those three weeks began consisted of heavy script analysis and improvisations. I really knew the character and her relationships with her family and friends so well before we started shooting. She was so engrained in me and I really trusted the work I did prior, which allowed my imagination to really take over. I didn't get in my own head. It was SUCH an amazing experience. Working this way takes away the pretension of an actor playing a human and results in a human playing a human. I wish more acting schools shared this philosophy. But never mind my issues with elitism in academia. : )
The photo above is a still of the portion of shooting that occurred after the three weeks of initial shooting we did in Milwaukee. A few weeks later, I flew out to Los Angeles to film Evelyn's drive from Los Angeles to Milwaukee. So, yes. I got to take that drive myself. It was amazing because I saw so many parts of this country that I had never seen before. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Salt Flats, the middle of nowhere...
I think the picture from above was somewhere in Utah.
Anyway, I can't wait to see what Brian does with this film. He is a true artist, and I know he has really exciting plans for the film visually. I feel like I am a part of very unique storytelling. I can't wait to see this film, and I can't wait to share it with everyone.