Indie Horror Month - Exclusive: Jo D. Jonz Talks the Dark World of Midnight Son
In writer/director Scott Leberecht’s Midnight Son, actor Jo D. Jonz portrays Marcus, a hospital worker who meets the film’s protagonist, Jacob (Zak Kilberg), one fateful night when the young man’s desperate hunger drove him to start scavenging in medical waste dumpsters in order to satiate his need for blood. From that one meeting, both Marcus and Jacob become entangled in a twisted dark world that leaves casualties in its wake. It was that kind of gritty, unapologetic storytelling that caught the actor’s attention from the start.
“What immediately caught my attention about Midnight Son (review here) was that there was this anti-hero story going on, and most of the time you see that life glamorized on film,” explained Jonz. “There’s nothing glamorous about the world our characters were living in, and I loved that Scott trusted in himself enough as a storyteller to stay true to his vision the entire process. Collaborating with him on Midnight Son has been one of the best experiences of my career so far.”
“What’s funny, though, is that I still have no idea how or why I got the audition because I was in the processing of switching to a new agent around the time of the Midnight Son auditions so I must have just responded to a posting or something. So I think there had to be some kind of fate or something. I mean, I don’t know what it was exactly, but whatever the reason was, I just know I am so glad I did because as soon as I saw the script, I knew I needed to be a part of this film,” Jonz added.
Even though it may seem to audiences like Marcus is a guy motivated by greed and manipulates the world around him for his own selfish motives, Jonz said he felt like there was a lot more to the guy than just what people will see on the big screen.
Jonz said, “I recognized Marcus as a guy who was used to playing the hand he was dealt throughout his entire life, that nothing ever came easy to him. He started off with good intentions by wanting to work at a hospital, but then he began to realize there was no fixing the broken world around him so he decided it was time to make it worth his own while, making him the perfect opportunist.”
“He feeds on the weaknesses of guys like Jacob to the point where he almost becomes this Angel of Death kind of character, which I thought was pretty deep of Scott to create. Marcus’ downfall is that he gets taken over by his own truth, so to speak, and I found that fascinating to play,” added the actor.
Jonz knew that making Midnight Son would be challenging, but he had no idea the kind of toll the night shoot schedule would take on him. It turned out, though, that for the actor it was just what he needed to really tap into Marcus’ psyche. “When you’ve got your days flip-flopped like we did, it can be very disorienting. I am a morning person by nature so it took me a while to adjust to the night schedule. The weird thing is, once you start living on a vampire’s clock, you begin to feel a sort of darkness in yourself, and I think that really helped me get attuned to what made Marcus tick.”
“What I will say, though, is that I was just as happy when we were done and I got to get back to my morning routine. I definitely need the daylight even if Marcus didn’t,” the actor joked.
Now with Midnight Son ’s world premiere just a few days away, Jonz is confident that Leberecht’s story will connect with the right audiences.
“It feels so good that this movie is finally coming out because I think audiences will connect with Scott’s story and all the amazing performances in the movie. When Midnight Son finds its audience, it will be the true audience for the film - it’s not about appealing to the masses on this one. This isn’t a ‘hype’ kind of movie. Scott’s vision will speak for itself, and I really feel like the fans will be listening,” Jonz said.
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