Jacob Latimore stars in ‘Sleight,’ a light sci-fi film about a street magician who turns to crime in order to support himself and his little sister. ‘Sleight’ hits theaters April 28th.
Can you tell me a little bit about the character you play?
JL: I play a kid name Bo. We see his obsession with street magic and how he has been inspired by it at such a young age. But he’s trying to make ends meet after the loss of his parents; it’s just him and his younger sister, so he has to bring income home. He also works for a drug dealer, which turns into a tricky situation for Bo. He sees how dark that world can be, and he has to use his obsession with magic to deal with those problems. We see how far Bo goes with his magic to deal with those problems.
Do you relate to Bo?
JL: I think I relate to Bo in the way that he seems like a family person where his younger sister is the only thing he has. He’s clinging onto that string in his family, and I can definitely relate to that.
How did you prepare for the role? Did you learn any magic?
JL: I tried to learn as much as I could; at first a lot of stuff was just beyond my comprehension. But as far as the magic and the cardistry, I tried to be as comfortable as possible with the cards. I had a stack of cards in my pocket all the time, and I was always around magicians. People just tried to teach me little things—little small tricks and eye contact, stuff like that. The performance of it—that’s what I tried to capture the most, but as far as the actual tricks, I never really got anything down because these guys have been working for ten years, and I got maybe three weeks to get myself together.
Did you see anything cool?
JL: Oh yeah, man. We had a bunch of guys from the Magic Castle in L.A. come to set and show us different things and perform for us. Magic is a fascinating performance to watch. It’s always mind blowing.
What attracted you to the project?
JL: I think what attracted me to the project was that it had a great balance of everything; it had a great balance of sort of this super hero world, but it also stayed very human and relatable. And Bo—that’s what I loved about it most. Bo stayed a relatable kid. But we also venture off into a world that may never exist in the real world. I love that balance on screen, and they almost made it feel real—that Bo is a real kid, which, I mean—it could never really happen with the things he actually does, but it feels real. That’s what I love about the movie.
What was it like working with director J.D. Dillard? If I’m not mistaken, this is his first feature length film.
JL: Yeah, I think it’s in his blood; it’s what he is made of. This film was just incredible to work on. It’s rare when you can get sort of intimate and personal with the director, when we’re having dinner all the time and spending a lot of time together. And he really made sure that we were delivering because we had a small time to shoot, so we really wanted to get everything that we could in, and make sure that we were all on our toes. So it was incredible to work with J.D.; he is an incredible director, and he has a super bright future in the directing world. He’s staying busy right now.
What do you think sets ‘Sleight’ apart from other films?
JL: I think what sets ‘Sleight’ apart—it kind of goes back to what we were saying about the balance of fantasy; you either get a really superhero movie, or you get a normal movie. But with this, it’s a really great balance of reality and fantasy. It makes you feel real—but I hope it doesn’t make you feel so real that they try something that Bo’s doing, you know what I mean? But it feels like a real thing. I love how it just sort of turned into a superhero origin.
Do you think there’s room for this project to grow and span other films?
JL: We talk about it all the time. I mean, we never really know—I think it’s going to be up to the fans. But we don’t know. Sometimes we just leave it how it is and kind of let it be, but we never know.
Can you tell me about a favorite moment on set?
JL: I think my favorite moment was actually doing this scene in the trunk where I’m getting handcuffs off. The way we shot it was actually not a trunk; I was in this sort of container thing. They were filming, and they had the cameras inside just to see how that came out. It was pretty fun just to feel like I could actually break out of handcuffs.
What’s your dream role or film to star in or be a part of?
JL: You know, I never really thought about my dream films. When I was younger, and still now—I love watching military based movies—CIA, like Jason Bourne. I always loved those type of action movies, so maybe that can be something for me in the future. Maybe ‘Sleight’ will kind of open me up to that realm. But as an actor, I love to just investigate different worlds. And that’s the beauty of it—you get to live someone else’s life; it’s awesome.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
JL: I can’t really talk about what I am doing right now, but in a couple of months I will be filming in Chicago, working on a T.V series with Showtime called, ‘The Shy.’ It’s my first TV series booking, so I’m really excited about that. Later on in the year, in August, I have film coming out with director Kathryn Bigelow that we finished up this past year. The film is based around the 1967 Detroit riot, so period film. I’m really excited about Kathryn Bigelow; she is incredible to work with, and I fell in love with filming on a whole new level last year—you know, from working with Will Smith to William H. Macy, then Kathryn Bigelow. So I got all this knowledge in one year, and now I’m bringing it into the new year. I’m looking forward to learning whatever I learn this year.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.