For the Blu-ray release of the supernatural thriller WE GO ON, which centers around a man who's looking for indisputable proof of life after death, we spoke with actor Clark Freeman about his latest role, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and if he really thinks there is life after death.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Clark, thanks so much for speaking with us today! To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about your character Miles in WE GO ON?
Clark Freeman: Absolutely! The movie centers around this guy named Miles Grissom who is terribly afraid of most everything, but mostly dying. He lives his life with all these phobias and he tries to hole himself up as much as possible, while also working as a video editor. He ends up having some inheritance money and decides to put out an add offering $30,000 to the first person who can definitively show him proof of life after death. He wants to see if life goes on so that maybe he won't be so afraid of dying. His mother finds out about his plan and ends up teaming up with him and it kind of becomes a mother/son roadtrip jaunt about if there is indeed life after death.
NC: You've worked with directors Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland in the past for their film YELLOWBRICKROAD. What was it about the script for WE GO ON that initially interested you in wanting to work with the duo again?
CF: I think I'll always be working with Andy and Jesse in one form or another. We've known each other since college, and go even further back than YELLOWBRICKROAD. Andy and I actually used to run a non-profit theater company in Santa Monica for almost 10 years. YELLOWBRICKROAD was kind of the first movie that we went all in, we used to do shorts and even horror theater prior to that.
I believe that the idea of the movie was they wanted to do a short where a ghost led a man to his own dead body. That was the initial nugget of the movie and then they expanded it from there. I know they kind of wrote it with me in mind because when we shot the film it was actually about a year and a half after I had lost my own mother. The premise of the film was me kind of going on a road trip with my mom to see if there was life after death so the whole movie means a lot more to all of us than what you actually see on screen. Andy and Jesse knew that was kind of the journey I was going on anyways, dealing with my own mother's death. I was my own skeptic and believer in the afterlife, trying to figure out what made the most sense to me as a person. Annette O'Toole joined on board and she's amazing and what makes it even better is she's from a similar place in Texas, like my mom. My mom was actually a lot like Annette - that kind of no nonsense, no bullshit, strong woman, so the movie felt like I was actually going on a real road trip with my mom and seeing how she was doing.
NC: Do you feel like since you've done this film it has helped in bringing you peace by working through your grief?
CF: Oh my God, absolutely. Each process we go through with this film; the rehearsals, the pre-productions, the actual shooting, watching some of the rough cuts, then going into the festival circuits and talking about this movie with fans and audiences and jurors, it makes me realize how much more the movie means to me as a person. I'm always going to miss my mom, but I think this really helped me find my own closure. The movie helped in more ways that I can count right now.
Everyone thinks about life and death or what happens after we die. It just depend on where you are in your life and what you will get out of the film. If you see this movie at 24 years old you are going to think it's a cool think piece, but if you watch it again when you are 40 years old it could completely change your perspective going forward.
NC: Since doing YELLOWBRICKROAD and now WE GO ON, which are both horror films, what do you think interests you most about the horror genre?
CF: Not going to lie, it's really funny, with films I tend to either act in horror movies or children's movies, and I don't understand it (laughs). I was in BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 2, I've done voice-over for DADDY DAYCARE, and then I go on and do these horror movies so I don't know what that connection is there (laughs). I don't do a lot of horror films, I mean I do horror movies with Andy and Jesse because I love them and because they do, what I consider to be, heightened horror movies. However, I would love to do a slasher film or some whacked out crazy psychological movie.
NC: Having had your own experience with loss, what are your thoughts on life after death?
CF: Honestly, going into this film, I was still so angry with my own grief that I was not a believer, I was strictly against it. I will give Andy credit though, he's such a universal optimist and he is a believer because of how open and amazing he is. He gave me the time with this movie to just see if there was another option after death and I will say that now I'm right in the middle. I don't know if there is and I don't know if there isn't, but at least I am now open to it. With my mom gone, I was upset knowing I would never see her again but now that I have a son and a new daughter, I see my mom in them everyday. I can't have a conversation with my mom ever again and that's sad, but I get to see her come out through my children.
NC: Last but not least, what can fans of yours expect from you in the future?
CF: That is a good question! My sister and I have been developing a TV show that is based on our family about siblings and art smuggling (laughs). Since WE GO ON, I've done some stuff on NCIS New Orleans as well as some other television shows. My newest project is this smaller indie film centered around the Third Reich and a man who was a confidant of Hitler's. This confidant was a member of the occult and kind of a psychic and what we find out is that he was actually an undercover Jew whose family had been murdered in the concentration camps so he was saddling up to Hitler to take down the Third Reich from the inside. So yeah, very interesting project to say the least!
WE GO ON is now available to own on Blu-ray & DVD from Lightyear Entertainment