Henry Ian Cusick Interview: Chimera


The provocative new science fiction horror story, Chimera, tells the story of a mad scientist who crosses moral boundaries and enters right into a world the place science turns into unholy black magic. Henry Ian Cusick (The Passage, The 100, Inhumans) stars as Quint, a scientist who research the real-life Turritopsis jellyfish in an effort to avoid wasting his youngsters from their terminal situation.

Directed by first-time filmmaker Maurice Haeems, Chimera resembles a mixture of traditional “mad scientist” science fiction, horrific physique horror tales of the 1980s and past, and the visually beautiful color-coded sterility of contemporary day auteurs like Shane Carruth and Nicolas Winding Refn.

Associated: Henry Ian Cusick Inhumans Interview

Whereas selling the discharge of Chimera, Henry Ian Cusick spoke to us in regards to the fascinating pedigree of director Maurice Haeems, starring in a science fiction movie with a small funds however huge concepts, and what it is prefer to shoot a film and being pressured to attend, probably for years, earlier than it will definitely will get launched to the general public. He additionally shares some perception into his standing as a Latino actor who typically does not get forged in roles which permit him to talk Spanish on display screen.

Display screen Rant: Let’s speak about Chimera. This can be a main position in a film from a primary time director, Maurice Haeems. Inform me somewhat bit about his method, in comparison with different science fiction that you have been concerned in, and you have been concerned in some very excessive profile sci-fi.

Henry Ian Cusick: The movie got here to me from my supervisor. I learn it, and it was a extremely large script, tough to learn. I met Maurice on Skype. He’s from Mumbai, and he is roughly my age, and he was extremely clever. When he began speaking in regards to the science behind it, and the way he obtained into finding out biology as a result of he had a good friend or relative who was dying of a illness and he was experimenting with the Turritopsis jellyfish… This stuff really do exist. They develop, they regress, and so they develop once more. They’re really immortal, they’ll reside perpetually. I believed, this man really is aware of what he is speaking about, and I simply actually favored him. So, you all the time take an opportunity with these things, you by no means know the way it’ll find yourself. So I took an opportunity. And he surrounded himself with a extremely good crew who shot it and did an excellent job. He managed to get a facility in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, the place we shot each single scene. In that one location. It is nice for a low-budget movie to shoot in a single location. You do not have to go anyplace. Every part was shot there. That was genius. And it was an excellent location. It was actually a personality within the movie. And he obtained Kathleen Quinlan and Erika Ervin, and he obtained Jenna Harrison to star in it. Yeah, his studying curve was large, however he was getting issues in a short time, he is so clever. And the entire modifying of it was… After I lastly noticed the movie, it was not the movie that I learn. It was modified lots within the modifying course of. The best way he edited it, including the voices and the music and the lights, he actually did an incredible job.

Display screen Rant: I think about all these motion pictures are low-budget affairs, however Chimera has such a robust visible fashion and verisimilitude; it feels so believable, even when it will get fairly psychedelic.

Henry Ian Cusick: The set was nice. It was tough and prepared. It is all darkish and dingy and run down… You by no means see the high-tech lab with all these issues, you by no means actually get to see what nation you are in. My character has an American accent, however my spouse’s accent, Jenna is English. You consider it, however you do not know precisely the place you’re on this planet.

Display screen Rant: How onerous is it to study dialogue and improvise traces whilst you’re enjoying a high-level scientist?

Henry Ian Cusick: With the scientific jargon, Maurice was on prime of that. He would give us the proper pronunciation, the proper terminology. We trusted him. With the remainder of it, we adopted the script, however we got the liberty to make all the pieces our personal, and we modified issues up within the capturing. It is regular in indie filmmaking, the place you make the scene work for the situation, otherwise you make the scene work for the actors, otherwise you make the scene work for no matter is occurring within the second. You all the time need to cope with that. I have been doing this for some time now, so I am all the time open and prepared to go, “Let’s change this,” or “Can we do that?” Maurice was such an excellent chief that he would take heed to, not simply me, however David Kruta, who was our nice DP… It was in the end his resolution, however he would take recommendation from lots of people after which decide. I actually favored the way in which he ran it. He was all the time open to ideas, and but very sturdy and calm on the helm. I realized lots from him, simply watching how he handled conditions.

Display screen Rant: He looks as if an actual professional although Chimera is his first film!

Henry Ian Cusick: This isn’t his first profession. He ran an organization earlier than shifting into the movie world. He ran a really profitable software program firm. He is aware of what he is doing. I utterly trusted him as a director.

Display screen Rant: I would not anticipate you to talk for him, however do you will have any perception as to why he selected to modify careers?

Henry Ian Cusick: I feel he is all the time been an enormous movie fan. We talked about motion pictures and sci-fi lots. Upstream Coloration was a film we talked about lots. That was a low-budget movie, Shane Carruth… He shot low-budget, on handheld, it is terrific. I actually love that film, and we talked about it lots, how the viewers is all the time barely behind what is going on on. We’re related in that respect, the viewers is barely behind the film, however they know they’re getting solutions in the event that they hold in there and concentrate. I feel he thought, I really like movie and I wish to make one. I feel that is why all of us get into it. All of us love movie and wish to be concerned. He determined to put in writing, produce, direct, and edit his personal.

Henry Ian Cusick in The Passage

Display screen Rant: Between Chimera and The Passage, you’re the smartest particular person on the display screen. You’re an skilled in all of the sciences, or not less than you play it on TV. What was the timeline like on these initiatives?

Henry Ian Cusick: We began Chimera a very long time in the past. We began capturing in 2015. We have been supposed to start out in February, however the climate was so unhealthy we ended up pushing to March or April of 2015. It was a nasty winter that yr. This film has been a very long time coming. You recognize, after we shot, Maurice took somewhat break, after which he began modifying. And the script could be very completely different from the movie. That occurs lots, however they made some fairly huge adjustments. However I feel they’ve completed an excellent job. The Passage, that is the polar reverse. We shot that in August, and the present aired in January. TV is simply so quick. It is a machine. It goes so shortly. When you shoot it, somebody edits it, you ADR it, and shade it, and growth, it is out. It is a very completely different course of.

Display screen Rant: What’s it like if you shoot a film like Chimera, and also you’re completed with it, and also you’re so excited for individuals to see it, however then it does not come out for 4 years? Do you concentrate on it on a regular basis, or do you attempt to ignore it and transfer on to the following factor?

Henry Ian Cusick: That is an fascinating query. I am grateful. I am so happy that Maurice obtained it out. I feel it is a film that deserves to be seen. I’ve shot different motion pictures which are equally pretty much as good. Simply Let Go, a film I shot in Utah, nobody’s seen it. It is on the market someplace, on a really small platform, nevertheless it’s onerous to get it on the market. I type of thought Chimera may by no means get launched correctly, it would simply pop up at just a few movie festivals and be lifeless and buried, however then Vertical Leisure got here in and so they’re actually pushing it, and I feel it is a actually good movie. I feel followers of good, clever sci-fi will actually take pleasure in it. I am so delighted that Maurice obtained it on the market, as a result of he did an excellent job and it actually deserves an viewers. Fingers crossed that it does nicely.

Display screen Rant: Lastly, I wish to ask you one thing somewhat extra private. You’re a Latino actor, however you are very mild skinned and haven’t got a hispanic surname, very similar to myself, really. My dad is Polish/Irish, so my final identify is Wojnar.

Henry Ian Cusick: Proper, you will have the identical factor I’ve. My final identify is Cusick, which is Irish/Scottish. My mom’s identify is Esperanza Chávez. My mom’s Peruvian. The place’s your mom from?

Display screen Rant: She’s Honduran. Her identify is Carlota Alvarado, now Wojnar.

Henry Ian Cusick: I used to be born in Peru, my mom’s Peruvian. We each converse Spanish. Spanish was my first language. However individuals who do not know that I’m Latino are stunned as a result of my identify is Henry Ian Cusick. You recognize. My mother simply liked the identify Ian, and my dad’s identify was Henry. I might have been named Enrique Chávez, and that might have been very completely different for me. Additionally, once I converse Spanish, I converse in a quite Scottish accent, which is a bit bizarre, as nicely.

Display screen Rant: Are individuals stunned after they study your background?

Henry Ian Cusick: When Latinos have a look at me, they’re stunned. They all the time say, “You do not look it!” However then after they see me standing subsequent to me mother, or they hear me talking, they go, “Oooooh.” As soon as they get their head round it, after some time, they’ll see it. Often, my nostril provides it away. It is a quite kind of hook nostril. As soon as they know that I’m and so they have a look at me once more, they go, “Aye, si, podo ver, podo ver.” In my household, I am most likely the whitest.

Henry Ian Cusick The 100

Display screen Rant: Do you are feeling prefer it’s affected you as an actor?

Henry Ian Cusick: I’ve by no means been given a Hispanic position. Ever. No, that is a lie, I performed a hispanic terrorist in a single episode of Hawaii 5-0. However that was it.

Display screen Rant: Would you prefer to play extra Hispanic roles?

Henry Ian Cusick: I might like to. I might love to have the ability to converse Spanish on movie. That will be nice. That is on my bucket checklist, for certain. I type of secretly wish to be in a telenovela. I feel that might be type of enjoyable!

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Chimera hits theaters and VOD on March 15.

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