|RUE MORGUE 1/9/19
January 9, 2019
Pledge Producer Keaton Heinrichs Talks Monstrous Beginnings and Production Horrors (Exclusive Interview)
How did the casting come together?
Casting was one of the biggest challenges we had, because we didn’t have enough money to afford SAG wages and we had to go non-union. That’s a process in and of itself. I had three weeks to prep the film, and I’m LA-based, so right when I got to New York, one of the first things I did was start the casting process. Fortunately, New York is full of hungry actors who are looking for their first feature. Aaron Dalla Villa, who plays Max, was the first one we hired, and he kind of set the tone for everyone who was cast after him. Some of the characters were actually different actors until about five days prior to production, until we had the last set of people audition for the film. One of them was Zachery Byrd, who plays Justin, along with Phillip Botello, who plays Ethan, Jesse Pimentel, who plays Brett, and Cameron Cowperthwaite, who plays Ricky. Phillip and Cameron were the only actors from Los Angeles who we flew out for the production. I think one of the best parts of the film is the cast, the family we built and the chemistry they all had. To this day, they’re good friends.
I understand that Dalla Villa stayed in character the whole time
Yeah, Aaron is quite a character, on and off screen. He’s a Method actor, and he had an idea of who Max was before we even started shooting, and then as soon as production started, he was Max. I wasn’t allowed to call him Aaron; he wouldn’t respond to that. I still call him Max today because that’s how I know him; I never called him Aaron on set. Daniel and some of the producers had their parents visit the set, and Aaron would be in character around them—which, if you’ve seen the movie, you can imagine was quite an uncomfortable experience.