Michael Eklund is growing out his beard for his new role in the upcoming feature about early 20th century photographer and filmmaking pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge.
Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , PNG
Hollywood North: Michael Eklund pioneers a new look
for Vancouver-shot feature Eadweard
By Mark Leiren-Young, Special to The Vancouver Sun June 27, 2013
If there was a Leo Award for “best beard,” actor Michael Eklund would have won by acclamation.
Instead, Eklund got to show off his old-style face bush when he recently accepted an award for Best Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama for his role in Errors of the Human Body at B.C.’s annual film and television prize party earlier in June.
Eklund was already riding high on the success of The Call — Oscar winner Halle Barry’s surprise box office smash — where he played a serial killer who kidnaps Abigail Breslin (an Oscar nominee for Little Miss Sunshine).
Said Eklund, “Yes, they are both as beautiful and cool in real life.”
Both movies — along with a third film, Ferocious — debuted in theatres in the last three months.
Talking to The Sun in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore during the awards ceremonies, Eklund explained that his current facial fur is meant for his new role in the upcoming feature about early 20th century photographer and filmmaking pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge, which goes to camera in and around Vancouver on Canada Day.
The movie is directed by Kyle Rideout and produced by Josh Epstein, who co-wrote the script. Eklund said the low budget project was love at first read.
“When they first sent me the script I had no idea who they were or who this Eadweard Muybridge character was. After I turned the last page of the script I felt I needed to know everything about this mysterious sweaty-toothed madman, as well as the talented artists who wrote it and sent it to me.
“You do not read too many scripts like this. Every actor knows that feeling when they find it. For me, it was beautiful yet dangerous, soiled and yet whitened. All these words also describe the man who was Eadweard Muybridge. I was ready to sink my own sweaty teeth upon the goal to find out more.”
Currently known as Eadweard, the film will feature over 150 extras, 40 actors, 50 locations, period costumes, animals, children and “a stage coach squished with passion,” Eklund said. “The word ‘collaborative’ sums it up perfectly as the whole community seems to be involved.”
Epstein said that not only did the local film community embrace the making of the movie, the theatre community did as well.
“We’re making a $3 million dollar movie on a very, very low budget so we’ve been getting amazing resources from a lot of the theatre companies in town: The now defunct Playhouse, the Electric Company, the Arts Club, Studio 58, Playhouse Theatre, Chemainus the Renegade Arts Society, and also theatre lighting people and costume people,” Epstein said when interviewed last weekend at the Jessie Awards, where the popular stage actor (last seen in the Arts Club’s remount of The Craigslist Cantata) performed a song-and-dance number celebrating the Vancouver theatre scene.
“It’s sort of a mesh of film and theatre people helping us out. It’s a highly ambitious, epic indie film. Very epic.”
A native of Saskatoon, Eklund recalled falling in love with the movies as a five-year-old when his mom took him to a Sunday matinee, “planting the seed of magic inside of me.”
Determined to perform like his matinee idols Eklund spent the next decade auditioning for school plays — and not getting cast.
Unable to convince the world he was an actor, Eklund enrolled in art school to study painting. It didn’t take long before he was dropping out, packing his stuff and his dreams in a U-Haul and heading West to Vancouver to take a shot at stardom.
Eklund credited persistence and “the power of being so naive” for landing a top agent despite a complete lack of acting experience.”
The agent wasn’t the only one who saw potential — practically every casting agent in B.C. did.
Over the last few years Eklund has been featured on almost every major series shot here including Smallville, Supernatural, Intelligence and Alcatraz.
Eklund saw his latest role as a chance to explore the origins of his passion for moviemaking.
“I discovered that Eadweard Muybridge was a man who could stop time, a man obsessed with freezing motion. His work unknowingly was creating and inspiring the basis for moving pictures. He was the pioneer of film. And without him and his work the actual film we are making based on him could not have been made.”
Posted here by Stephen Herbert