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Q&A with Patrick Merveille
What went through your mind when you’ve read the script for the first time?
Reading the script for the first time felt like reading one of the plays they make you study in acting school. It was so well written- and felt like it could stand the test of time. It is the most impressive script I’ve read as it told a full story. It had a message unlike anything I’ve read before. It was far from a copy or reiteration of the typical stories that exist. It was the most competent and thought provoking work I had ever read.
What set “Breadcrumbs” apart for you from other projects?
What set it apart was the confidence it had within itself. It did not rely on looking like or sounding like anything we’ve seen before. It was delivered for whoever could get it, whoever could keep up with it. It did not force feed you information or simplify a thought for the sake of digestion. It was what it was because it only needed to rely on this message- on this thought exercise of what drives us as individuals, and why.
What do you think about the character you’ve played, did you find anything in common with him?
What I greatly found in common with my character was his devotion to making a difference in the world around him. I am a believer that agency is real- and to do anything in life it can only come from us first. The world doesn’t happen to us, we happen to the world.
At some point in his life my character realized that and realized his duty as an agent of free will was to exercise is no matter the cause, and no matter the bleakness or discomfort of said pursuit.
The monologues your character gives are quite unique and unconventional in the context of the setting, was it challenging to deconstruct what he means, and prepare for the part?
I truly connected with the driving motivators behind my character so it was not challenging to understand his words. In fact it was like an epiphany to read these complex perspectives put into words I could have otherwise probably not been able to say. And when it was challenging, the spirit of the character inspired me to go deeper and face these uncomfortable truths.
What was difficult, was keeping a positive outlook on humanity and society when confronted with these truths. C did not seem depressed by what he had concluded of the world. Balancing the stoicism it takes to deal with this viewpoint, as well as an ambition to pursue a change was the real challenge.
Many viewers have noted your incredible on-screen chemistry with Mike Ossedryver, how was your experience working together and performing your dialogues?
Mike was great to work with and exactly the kind of personality I needed. Coming into such a new environment, have never been to LA, never meeting any of my co-workers prior, and being how I naturally am. I could’ve been very quiet, reserved and thus probably not have brought my full energy into the role. But from the moment we meant his energy was penetrating and positive, so polite and forthcoming – he truly made me feel comfortable.
Mike’s an incredible soul with a clearly beautiful heart and I needed him to be that extrovert that would grab my hand and tell me we’re going to go through this. All the way through it.
The ending for your character is pretty dark, what did you think about the film’s resolution?
I believe that this was the most realistic outcome. The nature of the universe is that energy begets more of the same energy- it’s the exact reason why no one ever goes out on the limb to help someone, because they run the risk of having to deal with those consequences. People are quiet so certain energy can dispel itself. For example, majority of people let a tyrant have its way as to not produce further violence –
a violence that could largely end up at their front door.
Majority of people do not combat certain energy by standing up for others because they run the risk of putting themselves in harms way. However good C’s intentions were - he would not quit, he would not appease, he would not go silent. This energy can only bounce back to you twice as hard as you throw it.
After the film was edited and done, were you pleased with how your takes were cut and presented? Sometimes actors do not watch their own movies, how was the experience of seeing the finished film for you?
Much like my experience reading the script, watching the film felt like seeing something that was incredibly well executed, truly competent and truly creative. It was the proudest I have been in lending my likeness to someone. As an actor, I really did feel as though my best performances were not only captured in the way I attempted to deliver it but was used in the moments I believe they were the most powerful. It’s rare to be so succinct from idea, to script, to performance to edit.
I’m grateful to work with such a talented team, and to be on the same wavelength with people from the other side of the globe whom I had never dealt with prior. The universe is both deep and expansive- sometimes in the pit of your mind you can feel like the only person who sees the world or thinks like you do. Thankful we share these meta physical intricacies.
You flew to Los Angeles from NYC to work on “Breadcrumbs", have you noticed any differences in how sets work on the East Coast vs West Coast?
My experience in NYC has been very guerrilla style, on location. It was a great experience working in LA on film sets and seeing a world constructed in front of me from imagination. In NYC, you often must use the environments around you to tell the story. In LA, you can truly be fully imaginative.
The nice weather was a big plus too! (laughs)
What kinds of roles do you want to play?
I want to play roles that reveal who I am to myself. Playing C I realize that I fit the character because parts of me naturally exist in him. I think most people might say something that’s challenging or is the antithesis of who they are as a person so they can expand themselves.
I believe I am already a polygon with many many sides, and it is my job, blessed as I am to be on this Earth and given these pre-set characteristics, to identify all these sides and see how deep they go, how stable or unstable my vertices are. C was one angle, I knew it existed but to the degree of that angle- I did not know. I want to play roles that help me see who I am, all of who I am.
Thank you for the interview, Patrick. What would your message to anyone who has watched the movie, be?
My message would be this: if you are conscious of it, you have the ability to do something about it. Do not take this existence in vain, exercise the free will God has given you to impact this world for the better,
for yourself and for those that cannot.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Interview with Patrick Merveille: Text
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