30th Jan2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: Ryan Wichert on ‘The Redeeming’

by Philip Rogers

The Redeeming is new psychological thriller which was selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival on Sunday 28th January. I got chance to ask actor Ryan Wichert a few questions about how he first got involved in the film, filming during one of the worst storms to hit the UK in two decades and his most memorable moments during filming.

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What can we expect from the film?

The Redeeming is a gripping psychological thriller for fans of films like Don’t Breathe, Blue Ruin and Get Out. It’s made in the style of classics, such as Shutter Island, Misery and Psycho. It’s the story of how disturbed single mother Joyce (Tracey Ann Wood) must confront mysterious stranger John (Ryan Wichert) to protect her home, but her struggle to hold onto her sanity could doom them both.

How did you first get involved in The Redeeming and what attracted you to the project?

Brian approached me while we were filming a different project together. We instantly “clicked” as an actor/director duo and spoke about shared cinematic inspirations and heroes. Brian started telling me about The Redeeming and the more he mentioned, the more interesting and gripping it sounded. Brian really understands how to tell a story within the genre and as an actor those are the people you want to work with: strong story tellers! Another thing that made me want to collaborate was Brian’s experience within the genre. Once I’d read the script, I was sold.

Can you tell me a little bit about your character?

I play John Simons, who stumbles upon Joyce’s house in the middle of the night unprepared for what awaits him. What I found most gripping about the part was that throughout the beginning it’s not entirely clear if he’s posing a threat towards Joyce or whether she is a concern for John. It’s such an interesting dynamic between their statuses and the power shift between them was a great acting element, as Roger Thomas has written a really layered character and understands the complex relationship between the two main parts. So, it’s a really ‘meaty’ part! Something that lets you surprise the audience. It was also incredibly rewarding to portray someone who is both vulnerable and mysterious at the same time. As the story unfolds we learn more and more about John and I remember that shooting those scenes was thrilling…being able to reveal more and more and seeing how it affects Joyce in the scenes.

The script was written by Roger Thomas after you were cast for the film, so the character could be written based on the actors/actresses. How much input did you have into the script process and how much of your personality has been incorporated into the script?

I’d say that I had a huge input and Brian is very good in allowing that outside creativity to be part of the process. He’s experienced enough to guide his actors towards the results he needs, but understands their instincts and tendencies when on screen. Something that I’ve always encountered as an actor is that duality of being extremely vulnerable and also being threatening. It’s an area that I enjoy very much, as it allows me to show different sides of my personality.

You had a short amount of time to complete filming and during filming you were hit by one of the worst storms in the UK for two decades. How did you find the filming process for The Redeeming?

To be honest: it was the most exciting and thrilling experience I’ve ever had. The cast and crew lived in house that was used as a location and I really connected to the indie spirit. After each day’s filming we would sit and discuss and next scenes and the day’s schedule. In the morning I’d come downstairs and literally be “on set”. The storms were quite something, but helped create such a strong atmosphere for the film. We felt very trapped in the house and I like to think that the external circumstances translated into cinematic moments.

Do you have any memorable moments from filming?

There was a specific shot we had to get of the house. It was from the top of a nearby hill and I accompanied the crew, although I wasn’t “in frame”. We stood up there and for the first time I realised just how isolated our house was. In that moment it became clear to me how lonely filmmaking can be at times, but at the same time it was enormously exhilarating. Standing on a hill with a group of passionate filmmakers!

What was one of your favourite scenes to film?

Too many! Ha! Well, John’s arrival at the house was certainly a highlight for me. Tracey and I found this incredible freshness in the scene of “seeing each other” for the first time. It’s a real testament to her talent and making the scenes so believable. It’s wonderful when you work with another actor who understands the importance of being in the moment and treating every moment like the first time it’s occurred.

Do you have any new projects which you are working on?

I’ve wrapped on a US / Czech Sci-Fi comedy that we filmed in Prague, have shot a TV lead in Germany and played a great support role on a new UK / German feature called Trautmann (out 2018). I’ve been lucky to appear on stage both in the UK and Germany in a few projects since The Redeeming and have a thrilling short film to look forward to in January 2018 – just in time for the world premiere of The Redeeming.

If someone is looking to get into acting, what advice would you give them?

Work hard. Don’t compare yourself to others – ever. Hustle, don’t hassle. Think outside the box. Create your own work – always! Never wait for the phone to ring. Bring nuts and snacks onto set, as the catering might be lousy, and you need energy. Look after yourself, eat clean, exercise a lot and take care of your mental health. Know what you bring to the table…what only YOU can deliver. Then deliver that to the best of your abilities. Be so good they can’t ignore you.

The Redeeming screened at the Horror-on-Sea Festival on Sunday 28th January at 2:30pm.
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For more information on the event and to purchase tickets for the Horror-on-Sea please see the website for details: https://www.horror-on-sea.com

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