Up-and-coming actor Sam Upton stars alongside Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, and Wes Bentley in Gone, and we had an opportunity to chat with him about his experiences making the film and what we can expect from the thriller, which hits theaters today.
In Gone Seyfried plays 20-something Jill Parrish, who comes home from her night shift at work to discover that her sister Molly has been abducted. Jill, having escaped from a kidnapping the year before, is sure that the same serial killer has come back and taken Molly. Unable to convince local police officials of her suspicions, Jill sets out alone on a heart-pounding chase to find the killer, expose his secrets and save her sister, all while the police, particularly Officer McKay, played by Upton, are hot on her trail so they can find her before she hurts herself or anyone else during her quest to get her sister back.
Dread Central: Can you tell us how you became involved with Gone and landed the part of Officer McKay?
Sam Upton: “I had worked with Brad Furman on a movie called The Take – he’s such a great up-and-coming director – and we had talked about working together again after that. A few years later he worked on The Lincoln Lawyer so he called me up and asked me to be a part of it, which was great. But I guess as he was editing everything together, suddenly my storyline went by the wayside and I got a call from Brad saying, ‘Hey, man, I am so sorry, but we had to cut you.’ That was pretty surreal.”
“But because of The Lincoln Lawyer, I met producer Tom Rosenberg, who really enjoyed what I did on the film, despite it all ending up on the cutting room floor. He said he wanted to work with me again, and then Gone came up. So it certainly wasn’t a great feeling necessarily being cut out of one movie, but it has led to a lot of other great stuff, including this movie, so you always have to look at these things positively.”
DC: What can you tell us about your character without giving away too much on Gone?
Sam Upton: “Well, Officer McKay is the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ kind of cop; he’s an alpha male, and he’s got arrogance to spare, which is pretty much the opposite of me – or so I hope (laughs). But I think that’s why I liked playing him so much because as an actor I enjoy losing myself inside a character. Those are the most fun to me because it makes me push myself and see just how far I can go as a performer.”
DC: You had a great ensemble to collaborate with on Gone; can you talk about your experiences working on the movie in Portland?
Sam Upton: “Working on Gone was a truly great filmmaking experience. Our director Heitor (Dhalia) captured Portland so wonderfully in the film, and he’s done such a fantastic job with Allison’s (writer Burnett) story that I think fans are going to really enjoy it because it’s not your average thriller, by any means. I think the cast all gave wonderful performances, and I loved seeing how Amanda’s work turned out; she was incredible to work with, too.”
DC: With Gone hitting theaters on February 24th, what’s up next for you?
Sam Upton: “I have some big things I wish I could talk about right now but I can’t – not yet. The news will be out soon, though, and I’m really grateful to be doing this and, well, having news at all (laughs). I do enjoy working on thrillers, but I know I’d love to branch out in some other movie genres, too. Who knows? I’m just glad to have a job that I truly love.”
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