Eddie Alcazar’s debut full-length narrative film “Perfect” premiered on May 17th at Village East Cinema. Executive producer Steven Soderbergh, Alcazar himself, and “Perfect” stars Garrett Wareing and Maurice Compte were in attendance.
“Perfect” centers on a young man, dubbed Vessel 13 (Garrett Wareing), who is plagued by disturbing visions and blackouts. After he kills his girlfriend, his mother sends him to a clinic for treatment. Vessel 13 begins down a twisted path, literally removing parts of his body and replacing them with sterile new pieces to achieve perfection. It’s an intense and disorienting sensory experience that’s sure to elicit a range of reactions from audience members.
Garrett Wareing hosted a Q&A in the theater after the movie ended, answering questions from an Indiewire reporter before opening it up to the audience. At just age 17, the charismatic Wareing has already starred in “Boychoir” opposite Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates. He’s currently on TV in the recurring role of Zach Fordson in “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.” Perhaps most shocking of all, he filmed all his scenes as Vessel 13 (who’s either in his underwear or cutting flesh out of his face for 80% of the movie) at age 15.
Wareing met Alcazar at the gym of all places. Alcazar approached him with the role, shying away at first when he realized Wareing was 14 at the time. But Wareing was intrigued and excited to come on board.
“This is the kind of work that I want to do…Sure it’s weird, sure it’s not for everybody, but that’s the sort of work I want to be doing.” He paused. “My mom hates it. My mom hates this movie.” he added, smiling.
One of the movie’s most interesting challenges was adapting Alcazar’s vision. The process began with a comprehensive book of concept art and shot ideas that the production team added to over the course of filming.
“[Alcazar] had this magic binder of sorts with every single shot and every single scene in this whole thing,” Wareing said. “I saw this book and I believed in his vision so much, I was like yeah I want to do this.”
He recounts one particularly intense filming day for the movie’s climactic final scene.
“Maybe it was the nine hours of makeup that we did or the chaos that was our set,” Wareing chuckles. “But to see that on film was cool because I have no recollection of what we did that day.”
Wareing also addressed the ambiguous nature of the film and its lack of explanation or exposition. As an audience member, he dislikes being “spoon-fed” and is excited by the idea of being left to determine our own conclusions.
“I think everyone gets something different out of it. As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s a social commentary on inner beauty versus outward beauty…it’s about how far you’re willing to go to get what you want in a weird twisted way.”
If you want to formulate your own hot take on “Perfect,” you can find tickets here.