Richard de Klerk Talks "Repeaters"
Mon, 01 Nov 2010 17:32:09
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Repeaters is a pulse-pounding and often pummeling cinematic head trip.
The film follows three main characters who must relive a horrifying day of making amends as part of their respective stints in rehab. One of this unholy trinity, Richard de Klerk's Michael Weeks, proves particularly edgy given the circumstances, and his actions definitely will burn in viewers' minds for a long time to come. That's the beauty of his performance though; he takes it right to the brink of madness itself, while causing the audience to still feel sympathy for him. There's also a certain rhythm that de Clerk nails, having served as both producer and star. It's an intriguing modern noir, and with its Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival all eyes will be on de Klerk.
Richard de Klerk sat down for an exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about Repeaters, getting inside Michael Weeks' head, some favorite bands and so much more.
Do you feel like Repeaters blends noir and modern sci-fi sensibilities?
Absolutely! We set out to make a thriller but bring the dramatic elements to it as well. You want to care about these characters. You want to care about what Weeks, Sonia [Amanda Crew] and Kyle [Dustin Milligan] are going through. Thriller is my favorite genre. My favorite director is David Fincher. He's just unbelievable, but I think Carl [Bessai, director] really brought his A-game. The energy on-set was incredible. If he wasn't so energetic, the three of us wouldn't have been as energetic as we were.
What initially resonated with you about Michael Weeks?
There were a few things that made me want to play Weeks. First of all, I never really played somebody that I had to make excuses for in the past. The thing that I really like is he truly sees the light at the end in a horrible way. When you read the script, you're like, "Okay, Kyle is the good guy. He's got his head down and he's trying to figure it out." Then what does he do? He forces somebody to eat shit. He's the first guy to cross the line. You get into this whole argument about what's right and what's wrong. That's why I thought that Weeks was such an interesting character. He's just following Kyle's lead. When Kyle stops, the whole story becomes about proving Kyle and Sonia wrong. Weeks has that vulnerability, but he's right in some ways. I'm not saying if the day was repeating, I'd do any of the things he did. The question is, "What would people do without any consequences?" It's like a metaphor for addiction. A lot of times, people who are addicted to a substance think that there's going to be no consequence when they take it. Weeks is the demonstration that there are consequences, no matter what you think is going to happen. That's what really attracted me to him. Also, the ability to go crazy on-set is fun too [Laughs].
How did you get inside of his head?
I try to do as much homework as I can. Weeks had to be good with guns so I took a course here in Canada before we started shooting. I can get my license to own a gun now. I don't want to because I don't like guns, but it was important to do that. It was also important to learn about addiction. Carl and I actually had taken in a narcotics anonymous meeting. It's such an honor because people don't usually let outsiders come into these meetings. Sitting there listening to these stories was unbelievable. It was unbelievable to see the power of the human spirit there because these guys had been beaten down. They had just rebounded. It was unbelievable. At the end of the film, I hope Weeks takes the same route.
Does Repeaters remind you of any songs?
That's a good question! Dustin, Amanda and I are all very musically inclined. Every day, we had this routine. We'd go to work. We'd go to the gym. Then we'd go to Subway. I had my car out there with me, and we'd drive in my car and listen to music. Right from the first day, we listened to The Antlers song "Kettering." It's that montage song at the beginning of the film. In post, I took on my producer role, and I was really pushing for that song because it just summed up that part of the film for the three of us unbelievably. It's a truly powerful song. I think the soundtrack adds a lot to this film, for sure. The score is unbelievable too. Also, The Kills' "Tape Song"—that's on when Sonia's dancing, and Kyle takes the taser. That song was put in right from the first rough cut. My favorite part of that song comes in when Kyle's knocking on the door at the drug dealer's. The song is pumping you out for this, what turns out to be, horrible act. I love music in film.
Who's on your playlist at the moment?
Right now, it's Mutemath. I love them. They're drummer is unbelievable. I've got a real eclectic taste in music. I like Cuban and Dutch rap. I lived in Holland for four years so I can speak a little bit of Dutch. I love old school hip hop. A Tribe Called Quest has always been a favorite of mine, but I grew up with classical like Johannes Strauss. There's a wide variety of music I like.
Does producing allow you to add even more of a personal imprint on the project?
In the end, it did. I'd work as a producer at the beginning. Then when I got to work, if Carl wanted to kick me in the ass he could do it because he was my boss. When post rolls around, it's really cool because it's essentially a family production company. My whole family runs it together. The dinner conversations between myself, my sister, mom and dad consist of talking about a film now. It's a really cool thing. Being a producer makes you a better actor in some ways.
What's next for you?
I just finished doing nights on Sanctuary. I played a WWII soldier. Other than that, there's an on-going documentary I'm doing on a charity in Holland called Miles for Justice. It's got two Dutch human rights lawyers and six Dutch marines sailing to different cities around the world. For every mile they sail, they donate this money to a charitable cause in the city they're sailing to. In terms of acting, I want to find another challenge.
Will you be seeing Repeaters?