Interview: Midnight Son star Zak Kilberg Emily Stockham January 26, 2013 Features, Interviews 4325 We’re going to stick our neck out here (pun very much intended) and bet that, come the end of 2013, vampire flick Midnight Son will still feature highly in our favourite films of the year poll. A horror flick with a difference, you can check our review out below. Well, the good news for those that missed its cinema run is that Scott Leberecht’s thoughtful film makes its way onto DVD on February 11. Even better, we were able to grab a chat with the film’s star, Zak Kilberg, and he turned out to be both a charming and interesting interviewee. MR: What stood out for me in Midnight Son is the idea that the protagonist is unaware that he is a vampire for much of the film, instead he thinks he is ill. Was it this unusual take that drew you to the role? ZK: Yes, I have always been drawn to genre films that contain more realistic elements. My primary filmmaking influences are definitely more based in docu-drama and indie realism. I am a huge fan of Cassavetes – specifically the performances in A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE. Fleck’s HALF NELSON and Akin’s HEAD ON are two other films that inspire me deeply as a filmmaker and actor. My primary intention was to paint a picture of Jacob that felt real. I knew that realness was what separated this story from so many other vampire stories out there. If I could make the character real and relatable (and the million other filmmaking pieces came together as well) then the film would work. MR: Have you always been a fan of the vampire genre? ZK: I have always been drawn to horror/thriller genre films in general (not necessarily Vampire films) because they always seem to be in greater supply/demand. MR: Were you wary of becoming involved in the cinematic world of vampires as they have so recently become synonymous with teen-romance [without the blood and gore] rather than horror? ZK: It’s funny you mention Twilight! I actually had an audition for the lead role of Edward in Twilight several months before I auditioned for Jacob in MS. When we initially started filming MS, Twilight had not even been released yet, so there was not much consideration for the film at the time. Looking back I feel that MS stands well enough alone as not to be negatively compared to TW and other similarly cheesy “campire” films! MR: Mary suffers from her own secret addiction. Vampirism is in some ways portrayed as an addiction too in Midnight Son- do you think this adds a modern and darker element to the genre? ZK: When describing MS, I always say “It’s a film about a vampire who falls in love with a coke-head and it has some serious sex in it”. That is the kind of movie I’d want to see! MR: Would you argue it’s a film that is more about addiction than vampirism? ZK: Absolutely – Scott used vampirism as a clear metaphor for not only addiction but also loneliness and isolation. MR: The transition from human to vampire is very different to that seen in other films and TV series. Midnight Son does not glamorize the situation- Jacob doesn’t really appear to be super human- instead we see Jacob’s human-side and vulnerabilities- he’s losing control. Do you think this makes the genre more relatable to a wider audience perhaps? ZK: I’m not sure that it will help the film reach a wider audience, as the wider audience are conditioned now for Twilight and True Blood etc. However I believe that the quality of audience and fans this film will attract will be in a slightly older, potentially more intellectual / artistic demographic. In general, I’d love to be involved with more films that reach that audience. MR: Midnight Son is a really original take on the vampire genre- it flits between horror, drama and romance- how did you approach the classic role of a “monster” with all of these modern twists? ZK: It was really important to Scott that I come at the role as authentically as possible. This was perfect for me because as an actor that is the most important aspect of what I do. I never looked as Jacob as a “monster” but as a wounded hero who was trying to be a healthy, happy and an authentic person. MR: In my review of Midnight Son I said; “We often find fear when we recognise ourselves in the monster- and the vampire is the perfect mix of human and monster- meaning it can delve into so many different realms of emotions that surpass fear”- Do you think your character has encapsulated this take on vampires? ZK: Absolutely! MR: Why should movie-goers check out Midnight Son? ZK: I think film buffs who enjoy elevated genre films that are character driven and not necessarily gore driven (although there is certainly that aspect as well). It’s a dark, realistic new take on the vampire genre with relatable characters and situations. MR: If you have one, what would you say is the best horror/vampire film to date? ZK: My current favourite horror movie is V/H/S which is being released in the UK by Momentum Pictures. The succubus / vampire chick in David Bruckner’s vignette “Amateur Night” is pretty bad ass – highly recommended!