31st Mar2016

Interview: Daniel O’Meara talks ‘Deadly Famous’

by Phil Wheat

The pitfalls of Hollywood creates an American Psycho in the unnerving Deadly Famous, out this month on DVD from Indican Pictures. Hiding under a mask of collected sanity, Alan is an aging actor with a serious serial killing hobby. His dark, reclusive world is blown open when a young, bubbly blonde moves in as a roommate. Her presence soon begins to further shake Alan’s already twisted psyche… Daniel O’Meara talked to us about playing Alan in the movie.

daniel1

You’re based here in the UK, is that right?

That’s right . I live in London

Do you travel back and forwards for work?

I haven’t been back to the States for work since Deadly Famous. Yep , it’d be hunky dory to do some more back and forths. Been working in Europe .

At any time did you consider plonking yourself in Hollywood permanently?

There was a thought… I like to move around  I’m based in London for now. I’ve lived all over the world. I could get the itch to live in Paris. I like to change it up, I’ll go where the work is. I travel light. I’m a suitcase away!  Having said that, when I first lived in Hollywood I was mightily seduced. I found it wildly seductive. LA has got many facets to it; I love going back there. I’m a fan of the East Side, Silver Lake. Now we’re on it, I may plonk  myself there for a  stretch. It’s all possible .

How does the British film industry work differently to Hollywood. What have you observed?

The mechanics are not hugely different. Hollywood is of course on a bigger scale for the most part. Still a film set is a film set, the rhythm is a little different. You have to acclimatise…

You’ve done both TV and film. Prefer one more than the other?

My experiences on film have personally been more fulfilling, it all comes down again to script/role and production. There are some amazing TV shows out there and [these days] film and TV are much of the same. If it’s good, its good. I’m happy in both mediums.

Where and how did you get involved in Deadly Famous?

Let’s start at the beginning… I met Eric through a good friend of mine, we all went for a curry on Sunset and Highland – we all appreciated a good Curry house. I had no idea what Eric did. We were talking about everything but work. Anyway I got high spirited at one point and burst into a Shakespeare soliloquy, as you do. He said “I got a script, You may be right for this Alan Miller character”. I didn’t take it too seriously. You hear this all the time in Hollywood. You take it all with a pinch of salt. Still, I warmed to Eric. Anyway lo behold Eric contacted me and sent me over the script. ‘Headshot’ as it was known then. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Anyway I loved it. I read it in one sitting. I was chuckling at some of it. Found some dark humour in it. [I was] very drawn to playing Alan Miller.

The next step was I had to self-tape/audition. I shot one of the scenes on the now defunct flip camera. Eric was encouraged. Then a few weeks later I had to self-tape another scene. I now know, Eric and Jim were seeing a fair few actors for Alan. I can’t blame them. They wanted to get the right guy. You can see a lot of actors licking their chops at playing Alan. Anyway they plumped for me. I was in.

Was it a fun character?

Yes, a lot of fun. Alan is just your regular kind guy. Right? Seriously I could really roll my sleeves up and go to work with Alan Miller

How did you go working with Jim and Eric?

Eric and Jim were a dream to work with. They captained a smooth ship, they were very prepared, both in sync with each other. They have known each other since the beginning of time.  Both are bright as buttons. They complement each other. They are their own men. They bring different strengths to the table

Eric and Jim let the actors do their thing. They would tweak choices if they felt it was going awry. The best directors for my palate let the actors do the work. Not stifle. They gave me my head. They trusted. It was a happy set. No dramas. Only in front of the camera. The shoot was a quick one, there was nice momentum. A good production starts from the head, the top. If that’s good, it filters down. If it’s not good from the head, it bleeds down to the rest. That’s where you can get into the madness and drama.

So, yes i had a great working experience with Troop and Lane .

Do you think the film has a message?

Beware of false prophets. There are Alan Miller types loitering around in all the nooks and crannies in Hollywood. Not just Hollywood. We’re living in a world that is heaving with narcissists. Look at me! Please look at me! If these Alan Miller types or female Alan Miller types don’t get the attention they desire, they could turn into a MONSTER.
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Deadly Famous is out now. Check out our review here

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