Exclusive: Connor Paolo Talks Stake Land
There’s no doubt that the heart and soul of Stake Land is the relationship between Mister and Martin. Paolo discussed what drove the relationship between the two men.
“Throughout Stake Land Martin’s character really evolves and comes to have such a love and respect for Mister,” explained Paolo. “I think a lot of that comes from the idea that once you save someone, they become your responsibility. At the start of the film, Mister made a promise to Martin’s father that he’d keep him safe, and from there a bond begins growing between Nick and my character that becomes very familial- he’s a father figure to Martin but also much more than that. You don’t see those kinds of relationships in horror movies very often these days.”
Even though Paolo was excited about coming on board his first horror film, it wasn’t necessarily the vampires that lured him onto the project. “Vampires weren’t quite everywhere like they are now when we made Stake Land, but I’ve always thought the movie is so much more than just about fighting vampires. There are cannibals, religious zealots, closed borders and a failed government, which all sort of came together to make a statement on the state of our country these days.”
“If you take away the vampires, there’s still a very powerful film at the core of Stake Land, which was all Nick and Jim’s approach to the script. They did something amazing and created a movie that would still be interesting to audiences if there weren’t any vampires in it. There’s so much going on in Stake Land that even though the vampire aspect is what will attract people’s interest, I think what will keep them watching are the relationships between the characters and what they must endure overall in order to survive,” Paolo added.
Another aspect of the story that Paolo appreciated was the realistic take on modern vampires- there are no suave vampires in Stake Land trying to seduce the ladies or planning for world domination. These vampires are visceral, brutal killers, and the young actor found that refreshing.
Paolo said, “Jim and Nick went with the genetic approach to vampires so these aren’t supernatural vampires by any means, which is why they have sort of a zombie-like quality to them. They’re essentially brain-dead creatures so they don’t have the ability to reason or be suave or even articulate like a lot of vamps these days. They only know one thing, and that’s feeding, and I think that makes the Stake Land vampires truly terrifying. You can’t reason with them.”
Our thanks to Connor for taking the time to speak with us. For more visit the Stake Land viral site On to New Eden. When you're done there, be sure to visit the new official Stake Land page on Facebook.