The new thriller Sweet Virginia from director Jamie M. Dagg premieres this week, and stars The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal as an ex rodeo rider and his shady new friendship with a new man in town.
The Knockturnal was on hand at the premiere screening last Tuesday to talk to Bernthal about his dark new role.
When you first got involved in this project what about the script stuck out to you?
The script was really stylized and really theatrical! After saw Jamie’s film [River, 2015] and I saw how critically raw it was and how authentic it was, I thought that would be a really interesting of filmmaker and script, and I think that’s why I did it. I love the script but I also love Jamie’s work, and when I saw that Chris [Abbott] was involved it was something I really wanted to do.
What steps did you take to understand your character more?
The character was written to be a guy in his 60s, he was supposed be sort of frail and broken down, and I normally play much more muscular parts and physical parts so to dive into that and figure it out was the challenge. But I think often times when you locate the biggest challenge in playing something, everything else falls into place after that.
Obviously this film has a lot of dark tones, on set how did you guys keep a positive mindset?
We really dug each other and really believed in Jamie. Everybody in this movie was in it for the right reasons, and this was a fun one. This is one I loved and I loved the people involved in it. It was a fun set, it was a dark movie, but you didn’t have to drum too much up, it was all right there.
Sweet Virginia reaches theaters this Friday Nov 17