In Xavier Gens’ The Divide actor Courtney B. Vance ends up being one of the ‘lucky’ ones who manage to escape a catastrophic explosion in New York City by hiding out in the basement of his apartment building along with a handful of other survivors.
But as the days pass and their hope begins to wane, that’s when both the tension and violence begins to escalate amongst the survivors, demonstrating that perhaps it’s best not to survive the end of the world as those remaining are pushed to deeply depraved and selfish acts as they spend more time trapped together in the basement.
This week, The Divide is heading to DVD and Blu-ray shelves everywhere courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment and in honor of its upcoming release, Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with one of the film’s co-stars, Courtney B. Vance, who discussed his thoughts on the project and gave us more insight as to what happened on the set of The Divide as well.
Read on for our interview with Vance below and make sure to check out The Divide when it’s released everywhere later this week.
Dread Central: Can you talk about what attracted you to The Divide and what your thoughts were about the script when you first read it?
Courtney B. Vance: This movie is just death and destruction and then even more destruction. It was so powerful the first time I read it but I knew when I did, I wanted to be a part of it. I will say though that a big part of that was Xavier himself; I was enthralled by him and I knew this was going to be one of the biggest challenges I was ever going to face as an actor, so how could I not do it?
The thing about Xavier is that when we were making this, his English still wasn’t that strong so we had to communicate with him through this story a lot of the time and that’s the beauty of someone like him- he’s such a brilliant storyteller that it was on all of us in this movie to tell this story for him in a way. But Xavier did some masterful work on The Divide and I’d work with him again in a heartbeat.
Dread Central: We’ve heard that you guys faced some real-life horror while making this movie. How much of that did you see while working on set?
Courtney B. Vance: I won’t lie; it was incredibly difficult being stuck in that basement for the entire shoot; being cooped up like that really does play with your mind. There was nowhere for us to escape to either; we were locked in this one location and you just had to ‘deal’ with everything and everyone while the tension began to rise on set.
I don’t necessarily feel like this is giving too much away because this isn’t one of those happy movies where everyone rise off into the sunset at the end but since I was one of the earlier characters to go in The Divide, I think I got off pretty lucky compared to some of the cast since they still had a few weeks of shooting after I was wrapped. I mean, I felt a little stir crazy while I was on set so I couldn’t imagine what a few more weeks would have felt like. I guess I got off lucky- not that any of our characters were really lucky if you think about (laughs).
Dread Central: What resonated most with me on The Divide is that generally post-apocalyptic stories these days have an element of hope to them and yet this movie doesn’t have that at all; was that something you recognized as well- that this story was definitely outside of the box?
Courtney B. Vance: I loved that this wasn’t your typical apocalypse movie; there’s this great moment very early on where these guys in Hazmat suits show up and you think that the cavalry have shown up to save the day but that’s not the case at all. And that moment is where everything in The Divide changes- we all realize that we’re alone in the world and that no one is coming to save us. There is no salvation to be had in this world and that’s when the worst in all of our characters begins to come out. We sort of joked that even though we were all adults that our characters were really acting like a bunch of selfish three-year-olds who have that “me, mine” mentality.
The truth is that in the real world, our society is starting to slip deeper and deeper into that mentality which is pretty scary if you think about it. Everyone seems to forget about that ‘Golden Rule’ we all learned as kids- treat others as you want to be treated and as we continue to live life ignoring this rule, that’s the beginning of the decline of our world as a whole.
Dread Central: After this and Final Destination 5, I love that you keep popping up in the genre world lately; any plans on doing more horror projects in the future? What’s coming up for you?
Courtney B. Vance: I’m not 100 percent sure what will be the very next thing I do really; I’ve got a few pilots out there right now I’m just waiting to hear about as well as a project in development that will have me working behind the camera for a change. Hopefully we’ll get to shoot that by the end of this summer. But I do love doing these kinds of movies and would definitely want to do more if given the opportunity.
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