Indie Horror Month Exclusive: Zak Kilberg Talks Midnight Son and Alyce
This week those involved with making the indie horror film Midnight Son have reason to celebrate. Their hard work some three years in the making is finally paying off as the project is making its world premiere this Friday, March 4th, in San Jose at the prestigious Cinequest Film Festival.
In honor of their perseverance in independent filmmaking, Dread Central is putting the spotlight on those involved with Midnight Son (review here) over the next several days to kick off our Indie Horror Month celebration.
For his role as the lead character Jacob in Midnight Son , it was almost like fate knocked on Zak Kilberg’s door one day. The up-and-coming actor was referred by a friend to writer/director Scott Leberecht’s website to check out a possibility of being part of a brand new independent horror film. To Kilberg’s surprise, Leberecht’s artwork had some haunting similarities to his own presence, and the two had never even met.
“When I saw that the lead character looked a lot like me actually, that’s when my interest was piqued for Midnight Son,” explained Kilberg. “I couldn’t believe it - I never met the guy, and yet, his vision of Jacob was me to a ‘T.’ And I can honestly say that I have never wanted a role more than I wanted the role of Jacob at that very moment; it was just so uncanny. I got in contact with Scott, and from there I knew we were going to do something special. He has such a great vision for storytelling so I knew this wasn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill horror movie.”
Different take, indeed. Midnight Son is anything but your standard vampire tale these days - there are no sparkly vampires, no sexy vampires, no vampire hierarchies in Jacob’s world. Played with an almost meticulous restraint by Kilberg, Jacob is just as confused about his condition as the audience is. He’s been allergic to sunlight since he was a kid, and as the years pass, he has an appetite that can never be satiated no matter what he eats until he discovers the power of consuming blood.
Kilberg said, “I’ve always gravitated towards darker roles, which is probably due a lot to the way I look. So when I read this script, I immediately felt a connection to Jacob - I loved that there was an intensity to him but also a vulnerability as well, and I thought it was the juiciest role I’d ever had the opportunity to read, and ironically enough, I actually read for the part of Edward Cullen when they were casting Twilight way back so that will tell you something.”
“There are times when I read for roles and they don’t even feel within my grasp, but everything about Midnight Son felt so right. Jacob resonated with me especially because he has so much going on which is deeper than you see in a lot of horror movies these days,” added Kilberg.
The actor said much of the power behind Midnight Son was due to Leberecht’s passion for wanting to give audiences an almost voyeuristic look into this world that Jacob gets involved in once he starts to put the puzzle pieces together about his ailment and has to try and cope with what he is becoming. Kilberg said most of the magic behind the project came from their collaborations together while in the early stages of production that helped shape the story into what it is now.
“The first version of the script was much broader (and even included my character becoming a bat at one point), but what’s so great about Scott’s genius is that he realized that this story was more about these characters than actual vampires so we worked together to mellow those things out,” explained Kilberg. “Midnight Son wasn’t about answering questions or taking audiences from Point A to Point B and that was it. It was more about the ambiguity of Jacob’s condition and how it affected his life and the lives of those around him and the uncertainty that everyone was facing because of him.”