I recently had a chance to chat with Anthony Michael Hall (FOXCATCHER, THE BREAKFAST CLUB) about his upcoming film AFTERMATH, a thriller that opened in New York on November 28, 2014. The film will open in Los Angeles on December 5, 2014 and will be available on Video On demand as well. Chris Penn, Tony Danza, Elisabeth Rohm, Lily Rabe, Jamie Harrold, Frank Whaley, Leo Burmester star alongside Hall in this dark comedy about one mans giant overreaction after two of his workers begin competing to be top dog which ends in a physical altercation.
Hall has been a busy man since his days starring in 80’s cult classics. He is a series regular on “Psych” and can be seen in the upcoming drama FOXCATCHER alongside Channing Tatum and Steve Carrell. AFTERMATH was not only a passion project for Hall but quickly became a family affair, and we had to ask how it all came about.
AMH – “I was contacted by Tom (Director, Thomas Farone) and I watched his first film, which is really what it came down to. I really liked what he was doing as a camera man to be honest and as a filmmaker, but particularly as a camera man. I think it was interesting to see this guy who was really passionate and to really attack the filmmaking from that standpoint as a director and as the DP (Director of Photography) of the film. I liked that a lot. The other interesting thing was that it was the first film that I produced so we had a great partnership. We had Sylvia Caminer (CHECKMATE, KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER) who worked with Tom (Farone) and I brought Thomas Chestaro in who is actually my stepfather. Tom (Chestaro) was a manager in Hollywood for many years he discovered Sandra Bullock, John Leguizamo, Mike Epps and a bunch of people. My stepfather is great. So I pulled my stepfather in and my business manager named Jonathan Brandstein, Jon also repped Chris (Penn). We all went after a great cast. We were thrilled that Chris was on board he really liked the script. Frank Whaley who I think is just such a great actor he has done so many great turns in a lot of films, just great performances. Elizabeth Rohm I thought was great I was always a fan of hers from “Law and Order” and other things that she has done. We were really proud of the crew and the cast. Tony Danza did this great turn as you saw, playing this gangster but he has this sense of humor, it’s a really funny performance. We were stoked as producers to get all of these people invested and really into it. It was also really cool to see Tom finding his voice as a filmmaker as well he really just didn’t miss a beat.”
We completely agree that Thomas Farone is most certainly finding his voice and it is fun to watch. One thing that we loved about AFTERMATH was its tone.
AMH – “We had all these people showing up and getting to work. I think the fact that its reminiscent of that tone (Tarantino) is great, that’s a great compliment. I really like the film I think it has a sense of urgency and an edginess to it, I think its cool.”
TMC – It definitely sounds like this was not only a passion project, but a labor of love. It had to be great having not only such talented people involved but working with friends and family has to make it fun to go work.
AMH – “That is the fun of it, all that creativity and having family and friends kick in and help and produce it as well. Getting Jon and Tom, it was great. When I look at the individual performances like Chris, he is great Chris Penn, I’m really sorry he is gone he is such a great actor he was really down to earth and a fun dude. He was great with the crew on set and he told us great stories. We were all up in Saratoga in upstate New York, it was the dead of winter and there was a lot of snow on the ground. It was just a great experience that had all these good things going for it and like I said, these actors I was working with, I’m really proud of. I think Frank Whaley is great he had these great scenes in the film. The crew was a young crew from NY they were all sort of no union lower Manhattan filmmakers themselves. It was just a really cool collection of people and we were excited. It was really fun to make.”
TMC – I loved the look of the film. It had this really interesting feel to it. You don’t see a lot of films cut like this and it was as fun to see as the film itself.
AMH – “The cut is impressive, I even love all the transitions with the comic book theme and the cutting style. Again I’m also so impressed with his (Thomas Farone) cinematography, I love his composition. There is a lot of negative space in his shots and he uses interesting angles. He is really a cool young filmmaker and I’m just happy it turned out well.”
TMC – You wore two hats in this film both actor and producer which is a lot of work. Once you saw the finished product, the result of all your hard work, did you have a favorite moment or scene in the film?
AMH – “There is this brutality, this kind of Scorsese feel to a lot of it and I love the 70’s tone of it it’s just really dirty and in your face. At the end, the final scene, the last act and the payoff, to me that was good. I also love editorially at that point what was done too with multiple images on the screen at the same time. That aspect of the third act was my favorite part of the film.
TMC – I loved this film because it totally messed with your head. There was nothing formulaic about it. With thrillers you can usually see the payoff coming from a mile away but with this film every time I thought I knew where it was going it went somewhere I couldn’t have dreamed. It was so exciting to watch.
AMH – ‘That’s cool, I’m glad you felt that way Krisily that’s awesome! That is what you want a movie to do and it doesn’t always happen so that’s great.”
TMC – With so many thrillers that come out each year what do you think makes AFTERMATH different from the rest?
AMH – “As a film I think it is very edgy and different and has a cool feel to it. It has really great performances. I think the basic things are there it’s not a complicated story. It’s a very simple kind of story but I think the execution is really good. He is a very interesting filmmaker that is finding his own voice. As a producer I am really proud of everyone that we got and everyone showed up. It has a cool 70’s feel to it as a film and that I’m proud of. All those elements, plus the team that we got and how it turned out is great.
We agree that the film turned out great and is definitely something Hall should be proud of! You can watch the trailer here and make sure you check out AFTERMATH in theatres or on Video On Demand you will not be disappointed.