Thursday, November 17, 2011

'Dark' Matter

My second interview with Thomas Jane!

(The first one never got published because I misplaced the cassette with my interview after a screening of Stander in 2009. D'oh! I found it later, but here's the new one).

Taking a break from his role as a male hustler on the HBO series Hung, Thomas Jane will be at the Castro Theatre this Friday for a rare screening of his 2009 directorial debut, Dark Country, a noir-horror 3D thriller in which he also stars.

Jane shared his lifelong appreciation of the noir and horror film genres in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter.

"As a first film, I wanted to explore some of the things that inspired me to get into movies in the first place," said Jane in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "I used to watch The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits on TV as a kid; Saturday matinee movies, EC comic books with the twist ending; they heavily influenced me as a young man. So I wanted to tackle something that would pay homage to that. Dark Country also merges horror with noir, another genre I love. As a teenager, my other friends were listening to Wham and Prince while I was reading Dashiel Hammett."

It was at that time that the young high school student and aspiring actor was swooped up from his Bethesda, Maryland upbringing by a roving Indian film crew. At 16, Jane starred as the non-Indian male romantic lead in the odd 1987 film Padamati Sandhya Ragam that is viewable on YouTube.

"I played myself at 16 and 40," said Jane. "They put a wig and mustache on me and I phonetically learned Telegu (yes, that's Jane speaking his own lines, although they're often dubbed)."

Living in India for half a year, Jane traveled around the United States with the film crew in vans and RVs on a guerrilla filmmaking trek. He recalls the difficulties, wonderful meals and camaraderie of the project, calling it "one of the most formative experiences of my career."


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