Interview: Munro Chambers on the Deranged Horror Comedy HARPOON, Doing His Own Stunts, and Albatrosses
Lies and betrayal can ruin a friendship. When a trio of friends, one who is wildly unhinged, turn on each other, there is more at stake than friendship. Directed by Rob Grant, who co-wrote the story with Mike Kovac, Harpoon is a wicked dark comedy that tells the tale of three friends who end up stranded on a boat in the middle of the ocean under outrageous circumstances.
Munro Chambers (Turbo Kid, Riot Girls) stars as Jonah, who has been best friends with Richard, played by Christopher Grey (The Mist), for years. Richard suspects his on and off again girlfriend Sasha, played by Emily Tyra (Code Black), has been cheating on him with Jonah. When Sasha and Jonah give Richard a highly unusual birthday gift, he confronts the pair. They tell him they’re just friends. Richard has an anger problem and flies into a rage because he doesn’t believe them and then convinces them to go out on his boat with him.
The three friends head out into the ocean and have some very heated, but cleverly amusing conversations about their relationships and soon someone is bleeding. What follows is a frenzied descent into madness as the three turn on each other and brutally fight for their lives. Harpoon features a witty narration from comedian Brett Gelman (Flea Bag, Stranger Things).
Dread Central had the pleasure of speaking with Munro Chambers about playing Jonah in the insanely intense Harpoon, doing his own stunts, albatrosses, and a lot more! Read on to find out what we talked about.
Harpoon is being released by Epic Pictures and Dread and will be in select theaters October 4th and on Blu-ray and VOD October 8th.
Dread Central: Harpoon is a very twisted story and the characters, especially the character you play, Jonah, have to endure a lot. What appealed to you most about the script and the role of Jonah?
Munro Chambers: Specifically, the way that Producer Mike Peterson sold it to me. We did Knuckleball together, and then when he got Rob Grant’s script, he really thought I’d be good for it. I was very flattered that he thought that, because when I read the script, Jonah, to me, was the character that stood out, just because of the range that he has. He starts off as this wounded, frail little creature and then he actually becomes the predator. He makes this really interesting switch throughout the story, so I thought it was a very interesting role. Whenever I get the opportunity to pick and choose, I always want to go for something that’s going to challenge me, something that I’ve never really done before and it checked all the boxes for me. And also, just the opportunity to collaborate with Mike Peterson again is always something I want to do.
DC: Jonah has quite a difficult time in this movie and it looks like it was intense to shoot. How physical was the role for you and did you do any of your own stunts?
MC: Yeah, I did all the stunts. We weren’t doing anything crazy, stunt wise, but when I did Turbo Kid, and even in Knuckleball I did most of my own stunts, but for this one I did it all basically myself. It was physically demanding, just because Jonah is going through so much pain and torture throughout the entire script and his body is seizing up and he’s lost blood and he’s hallucinating. Just forcing your body to do that and hopefully come across the right way, it’s quite physically demanding, just because it’s an unnatural way for your body to seize up and flexing in weird ways. So, in that sense it’s pretty physically demanding, but it was a lot of fun, too.
DC: Harpoon tells an insane story that revolves around three characters played by you, Emily Tyra, and Christopher Gray. What was it like working with such a small cast, isolated on a boat, and do you have any favorite behind-the-scenes moments?
MC: It was wonderful working with Emily and Chris. Emily is from Los Angeles and Chris is from New York and I’m the Toronto kid. Thankfully, we got three or four days of rehearsals, because it really is a play within a movie. So, we really got a chance during those three days to break down each other’s emotional history and what we mean to each other and certain intentions, because we’ve known each other for so long. So, to be able to create in such an intimate setting was really, really awesome. I feel like we really meshed together right off the get go and I think that was important. And we became really good friends outside of it and that doesn’t happen that often. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some stuff that has big ensembles and something a little smaller, but I’ve never had something this small and it was really, really interesting. You can’t hide from anything. It’s just us all the time on the forefront and it’s kind of like hockey, you want the puck, but you get to share it between the three of you. It’s really, really special.
As far as behind-the-scenes, I think the funniest thing was when we are standing in the circle about to eat the albatross. I think it was an albatross. There’s a specific kind of bird that it can’t be on a boat, because the list of the curses for the boat is a real thing. Whatever that bird was [laughs], and we were standing in the circle drinking the fake blood, that was pretty fun [laughs]. And also, just being covered in blood the whole time. It’s kind of fun to not be the only person covered in blood [laughs].
DC: Harpoon is a deranged, but fun story and I thought you were fantastic as Jonah. I also recently saw Riot Girls and I thought you were a great villain. Can you tell me what you’re working on next?
MC: Thank you! It’s really cool that you enjoyed how deranged it is and how strange it is. One of the things we’re really proud of is that it’s unique. The last few years, I’ve noticed that when you get a script and you’re with people, and you’re making something that is really unique, I think that’s really cool and important. Hopefully, people pick up what we were putting down, like you did, and enjoy it.
Riot Girls is just making its release on iTunes and VOD platforms. I’m really, really proud of that film. It was just so incredible to be a part of that, especially with Jovanka Vuckovic and Paloma Kwiatkowski and Madison Iseman. Speaking of Paloma, she and I did a film together last year called Entangled, which will be making its Canadian Premiere at The Whistler Film Festival. We’re in competition for all categories. It’s about four Quantum Physicists, and they’re trying to break through the wall of parallel universes, and they do, and it has consequences. It’s a pretty wild script and we’re really proud of what came from it.
DC: I really appreciate you taking time to talk to me today!
MC: Thanks so much for having me, Dread Central!