Hacked in the Head: Hi Andrew! Great to talk with you! First off tell me how you actually became involved with Abolition? I bet are you are made up with the positive response it has been receiving?
Andrew Roth: I became involved with Abolition because I already worked with Skeleton Key Films on their 1st feature called "48 Hours In Purgatory" which I played Brody Hawkins, a controversial Documentary film Director. It was written & Directed by Jason Armstrong & Mike Klassen was the 1st Assistant Director. Mike really liked my work on it & asked me to take on the role of Joshua in his film.
HitH: Now you played quite the tormented soul in the movie. Was this a tough role to play?
AR: Joshua wasn't a tough role for me to play as I highly identify with all of his struggles. I prefer roles that deal with individuals who are fighting deep internal conflicts within themselves because I too have a a background that dealt with heavy issues just like many of the characters I play. So for me it's a cathartic process when I'm offered the chance to take on heavy characters like Joshua, it gives me the chance to release my own demons so to speak & allows me to share with the audience & hopefully I can reach someone out there that might also relate with the same experience.
HitH: Also tell me a bit about the shoot itself? How long did it take to film?
AR: The shoot was a tumultuous 2 week roller coaster ride. We had very little time to squeeze in a tremendous amount of emotionally charged scenes with some great talent that also deserves mention & that would be: Miss Caroline Williams, Reggie Bannister & Colin Paradine. As you know in the indie film world you usually have limited funds to work with so every actor needs to come to set prepared, ready to shoot & also be flexible to shoot scenes that might not have been planned for that day just in case there's a location issue or if you get ahead. It's always wise to continue to hammer out more scenes not on the schedule so you never lose time which is also Money.
HitH: I thought both you and Elissa Dowling had amazing chemistry in the movie and really carried it with ease together. How did you find working with one of indie horrors top new scream queens?
AR: Elissa was fantastic to work with & her role was executed to perfection. I believe it gave her a chance to grow to another level with her acting as well because her character was also being pulled in many directions from forces outside of herself.
HitH: You also got to work with horror greats Reggie Bannister and Caroline Williams! How was that? Your scenes with Caroline were particularly brilliant and included some images I still cannot forget!
AR: Reggie & Caroline were great to work with! They really brought my game up to the next level & I went into the shoot with that attitude. Reggie has some really soft scenes in Abolition, scenes which I've not seen him do before & he nailed them (Me too on The Cross) wink, wink! Miss Caroline was a dream to work with & I'm happy to say I remain in close contact with her to this day. As both an Artist & as my Mom in the film she was kind, nurturing & very giving. I'm fortunate to have her as a Friend.
HitH: Mike Klassen, director of Abolition seems like a great guy with a lot of passion for this project. How did you find working with him?
AR: Mike is super professional, very efficient & deeply passionate about films & basically anything that he can get his hands on. Like myself, Mike grabs onto something & doesn't let go until he's finished extracting every piece of information out of whatever he's working on. I know he has some new projects in the works so Fans should be keeping their eyes & ears open to what he has next up his sleeve!
HitH: Abolition aside, tell me more about your new and upcoming projects. I know there is one film you are particularly excited about.....
AR: Brother I wouldn't know where to begin! I've been really blessed in 2011 to have worked on some outstanding films that will be released this year. At the top of the list is "Squid-Man" I play a down & out super hero that is an Alcoholic, can't really fight, doesn't wish to help out anyone unless it serves his own needs & basically his sense of Apathy & himself are his own worst enemies. It was Written & Directed by the brilliant mind of Charlie Cline, Produced by Bill Ellis.
"Crimson Winter" is a Vampire film I shot in Montana last year that was Written, Directed, & Stars the fiercely talented Bryan Ferriter & offers an entirely new take from the Vampire's perspective. Bryan's vision was to give the Vampires more of a humanistic approach that I've not seen done before & he works to make the audience empathize with the plight of the Vampires hiding in the Mountains of Helena, Montana. I play Paul, Leader of the Hunters, & hardened Killer that will stop at nothing to eradicate their population.
"Backwater" Written & Directed by my great friend Christopher Schrak will also be released this year & it stars Liana Werner-Gray, Justin Tully,Thomas Daniel & yours truly. It tells the story of 2 young lovers (Werner-Gray,Tully) on a weekend getaway in the lush woods of Maryland that come become entangled in some dark & terrible events in the woods. It's Schrak's 2nd film that I've worked on with him, his 1st was ''Elysium'', a psychological thriller also shot in Maryland.
Another that comes out this year by the very talented team of Clark Birchmeier & Jason Whittier is: ''Waterfront Nightmare'' which was written by them both & Directed by Clark. It's a thriller set on a beautiful lake location where a bunch of college friends look to spend a fun weekend together until people start dying. I was really fortunate to work with & make great friends with actor Kef Lee & our chemistry inspired Clark to write a film about our characters on a road trip across the U.S.. Clark & Jason also have their 2nd feature that's now heavily into pre-production which both Kef & I are attached to called "Crazed". Keep your eyes on these Guys!
Finally; "Inspiration" will also be released this year which is the brainchild of my great friend Jason Armstrong of Skeleton Key Films. It stars Emily Alatalo, Colin Paradine, Chris Carnel, & also myself. Alatalo plays a writer whose cult classic books "Grinning Charlie" which have launched her into fame status becomes the bane of her existence. No longer wanting to write them anymore she retires to a secluded vacation getaway in the back country of Ontario, Canada but is asked by her publisher to write 1 more which she does & all Hell breaks loose.
"Lucifer's Unholy Desire" written & Directed by Cody Knotts also will be released this year & I play Jacob Wilcox a Detective/Priest that helps prove or disprove Exorcisms for the church & also start 1st Emily Cordes & Raymond Wade. Cody also has his 2nd feature which I'm acting in & also helping Produce called "Wrestlers VS. Zombies" an action comedy that is similar in nature to the feature "Zombieland".
Raymond Wade also has a series of films that will under the Umbrella title of "The Breed" which h I'm featured in 2 of the films & I'm also assisting in Producing. Some films I'm really excited about shooting this year are: Concrete Jungle" which will be Directed by & stars James Russo, William Forsythe, Armand Assante, Myself & Kevin Gage. It's about the corrupt 77th Police precinct in NYC during the late 70's. '
'The Infected Life'', Written & also being Produced by David Leiter which I'm both acting in & Producing which is about a Zombie like virus that breaks out. I play Andy Lanford, head of the CDC & I help come up with the anti-virus allowing the Infected to suppress the virus so long as the "Rewakes" as we call those who take it, continue to using it. Of course many don't & the virus spreads.
A film I'm also very excited about is called "Dakota" Written & will be Directed by Martin Bentsen, another I'm both Acting & Producing & is about a damaged man I play named Kurt Lawson that is eventually saved from his destructive tendencies by a beautiful Husky that speaks to him in order to save his Life.
HitH: On a personal level, did you grow up wanting to be an actor or is it just something that kind of happened? Would you like to turn your hand to anything else such as writing or directing? I see you have produced/associate produced on a number of films (Abolition included) which is fantastic.
I grew up always wanting to work in the medium of the Arts but it took me a long time to figure out just where I was going to fit in. I dabbled in many different areas of cooking, music, writing & eventually when I went to College the Theatre & Acting kind of found me. I remember the 1st time I walked into an empty "Black Box" theatre & it was like; WOW, I just walked into my Church, I never looked back. I've been recently picking up the pen these days & have started writing a treatment I came up with many years ago. It's a collaborative process I'm taking on along with the talents of Brian Taylor & Eric Burres, I should also mention that I'm playing the Detective in their next feature later this year called "Search" which is written by Eric & will be Directed by Brian. As a Producer I've about 17 films on IMDB to date & a number that have yet to post so keep your eyes out for more.
HitH: Finally is there anything else you would like to add/tell fans out there?
AR: On a whole I've been BLESSED to have been given the opportunities presented to me in my Life. I did work hard to cultivate the relationships & jobs that have come my way as I have no agency affiliation & no Formal Manager. I believe in making my own circumstances for myself rather than sitting back & waiting for them to come to me. However I did not do this on my own, I have a great amount of friends that have constantly referred me to others & I in turn always look to connect the talents of those that I've worked with others that I know in order for our "Family" to grow bigger & better. I wouldn't be here if not for those people, my Fans & most importantly my Family; Mom, Dad, Grandma & Grandpa, they are my Heart & Soul. I just want to close by thanking everyone out for taking time to read this & share with their friends & say thank you for putting me where I am today. You can stay up to date with my current & upcoming projects on my Facebook Fan Page: "Officially Andrew Roth" as well as my website's & IMDB page (Links Below).
Keep your dreams alive!!
HitH: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me Andrew and all the best for your future projects! Stay in touch!