Interview de Garret Dillahunt sur les Genies Awards par le site Bay Today
You may recognize him as the well meaning and goofy young grandfather on "Raising Hope" but Fox TV's Garret Dillahunt has an extensive and versatile career that has been acknowledged with the nomination of his recent portrayal in "Oliver Sherman".
Nominated for a Genie in the Best Lead Male Performance, Dillahunt delivers a gritty, realistic and dramatic performance of Sherman Oliver, a war veteran that can't settle into regular life back home.
Filmed in the North Bay and Chisholm areas, the movie represents a sequence of events that could be playing out anywhere in rural America (or Canada) when soldiers, haunted by heroics and their calls to duty, meet up again.
The American born Dillahunt (No Country for Old Men, Deadwood) is supported in his lead role with veteran Canadian actors, Donal Logue (Sneakers, Terriers) and Molly Parker (Men with Brooms, The Road).
The story is one of friends from an oversees deployment that begins to experience an escalating level of disorder and awkwardness.
While never strictly pointing to the possibility of mental illness or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, this story reveals just how quickly little things can turn to big things that 'just aren't right'.
It's a thrill ride, keeping the viewer on edge as to what the next tipping point or trap might be that could set this trio into chaos as the story unfolds.
Up and coming Canadian Director Ryan Redford adapted the film from a short story (Veterans" by Rachel Ingalls), making it ready for the big screen and capturing the essence and characters of the story.
It's the characters that carry this plot and Dillahunt, a master at his craft, brooding and dark, delivers the script in this Genie Nominated performance.
Redford, nominated for best Adaptation, captures both the sentimentality of the character's friendships and the atmosphere of small town family life, creating a story that is engrossing and watchable while delving into quite worrisome subject matter.
The idea that soldiers carry a burden from the front lines to their homes is one that has only recently been not brushed aside.
The unpredictable and all too often dismissed consequences of stress from war on individuals is only now beginning understood and it's ramifications known.
Dillahunt, tasked with an evolving role, had a daunting character with many facets to play.
While likable and stable at first on the outside, he takes the viewer on a journey where his character is thrown out of sorts by minor daily stresses and slowly becomes 'that strange and unpredictable old friend'.
The role depended on a large amount of skillful physical acting as the script does not give the character much in the way of describing how or why he's feeling.
From a mere cold glance, the viewer is quickly able to get into the mindset of the troubled character while still not knowing what comes next to the once likable and normal soul.
Sympathetic to the life he saved, Logue is ironically confronted by the friendship that is dying away in the mind of the exceedingly sick Dillahunt.
Parker's character as Logue's intuitive wife, first picks up the haunted, off flavor of Oliver's social awkwardness, and is caught between her husband and his disbelief that an invisible enemy is slowly taking control of his friend from the inside.
Before the 32nd Annual Genie Awards where held in Toronto this past week, BayToday reporter Jamie Lyle had the good fortune to talk with the good natured Dillahunt about Oliver Sherman.
Lyle: As a master at portraying a character who descends into mental illness, in this case as a soldier, how did you blend the lines of Sherman Oliver between likable and downright spooky?
Dillahunt: I don't know about the master thing, but I don't really think about making a character likeable or not. I just try and tell the story. In this case, I think there existed a heartbreaking innocence in the character. Maintaining that innocence was key, in my mind.
Lyle: Brooding and evolving characters seem to be one of your signature skills. This one seems subtle. Do you think that a non-veteran could pull of such a complicated character profile?
Dillahunt: Don't know. Just not the way I think, I guess. I hope I pulled this off, but I'm sure another actor could put a cool spin of his own on it.
Lyle: What was your impression of Northern Ontario and the people that you worked with in the film industry on OLIVER SHERMAN?
Dillahunt: I loved northern Ontario. Beautiful autumn up there, eh? I'd shoot there any time. And the people were helpful, eager, and downright sexy. I don't know how North Bay isn't totally stuck up.
Lyle: Ryan is a new and rising talent. How did you know to take a chance with such an unknown director and have it turn into such a marvellous production?
Dillahunt: We all start somewhere. Molly Parker brought me the script cause she thought it was special. I agreed. After that it was easy. I liked Ryan immediately and knew he would work hard. Antonio Calvache as DP (Director of Photography) didn't hurt, either.
Lyle: This movie has nominated for 2 Genie awards. Obviously, this is something that all actors and directors aspire to. In your opinion, what is it that got this movie nominated for Genie's when so many others are overlooked?
Dillahunt: No clue about chasing awards. In fact, I think if you do, your project won't be that good. I am pleased and honoured, particularly for Ryan, that SHERMAN has been recognized, but I have no doubt that plenty of other films are just as deserving.
Although Sherman did not pick up any hardware, there is no argument that both Redford and Dillahunt have great careers ahead of them