Interview with Richard de Klerk

Richard de Klerk stars in the film “Repeaters” which is a gritty mind-bending thriller about three twenty-somethings living in a mandatory rehab who find themselves waking up to the same day over and over. The film will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 13th. Richard was last seen in the award winning film “Cole” and received a 2010 Leo Award nomination for “Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama” for his portrayal of the title role. The film is being distributed by IFC Films and will be available on September 15th via their Sundance Selects label which is currently available in over 50 million homes across the United States. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Richard while he was attending the Toronto Film Festival to talk about his films and his love for movies.

Mike Gencarelli: You are in the “Repeaters”, opposite Dustin Milligan and Amanda Crew, tell me about the film and your role?
RK: “Repeaters” is a story about choice. It is framed in a rehab institute. Myself, Dustin Milligan and Amanda Crew are in a rehab facility and we are about try our step nine, which is about the people that we hurt. The day goes horribly and we are all in a horrible place.  That night we all get a shock of electricity. We wake up the next morning in bed, no memory of how we got there. We realize the day has started to repeat. The film takes a turn since we were unable to get away with things in the past, maybe we can get away with things now. I take kinda that a little too far at one point in the film. It becomes more about if you slate is wiped clean, do the consequences even matter? It is a thriller but it has that nice little drama element too. I think it will play really well.

Mike Gencarelli: You also server as producer on the film?
RK: I did yes, my sister and I took the reign on it. We actually have a production company that we formed a few years ago. The first film that we did together as a whole family, my mom, dad, sister and I was “Cole”. We did “Cole” with Carl (Bessai) as well. Carl and I were talking and we really enjoyed working together on that film and we said why don’t we do it again. He had a script optioned and we decided to do “Repeaters”. It was a really good experience producing. It was really cool playing the actor as well because it was something so different. “Cole” was such a heartfelt beautiful film and “Repeaters” is a great and dark but also beautiful film. So my producing role on both of them kind of took charge more so when the film was wrapped. For example finding deals in Vancouver for special effects or finding composers. It is really cool and I think it also makes you a better actor.

Mike Gencarelli: Are you exciting about the premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next week?
RK: I am very very excited and a little nervous. I do not think that is every going to go away. I was nervous last year when “Cole” premiered too. I think that is a natural reaction. I am very at ease now but I think that once the film starts I will be very nervous.

MG: Tell us about your film “Cole”, in which you play the lead?
RK: I play Cole in “Cole”. “Cole” takes place in Lytton, British Columbia, Canada. It is about three hours north east of Vancouver. He is a small town guy, a really good guy who has aspirations of becoming a writer. He drives three hours to the city every day and takes a writing course, under the objection of his sister who wants him to run the family gas station. Cole also helps his sister take care of their mother.  While following his ambition and taking the class he falls in love with an African American girl played by Kandyse McClure. It really becomes about balancing your life with your obligations, your family, your ambitions and your love.

MG: Has the film been released worldwide yet?
RK: “Cole” has played all over the world now. People in Moscow really responded to it. That is the power of film to me.  That is why I am in this business because if you can make a film that is so blatantly set in one location and it speaks to people on the other side of the world, that is really cool. Even though it was subtitled, all the laughs and emotions came through at the right time. Everywhere in the world, you have people who have ambition and who move to the big city against their family wishes who want them to stay in the small town. It is all about balance. Some people came up to me and said I went through that exact same thing. Hopefully people will say the same thing about “Repeaters”, I do not know about the day repeating but it would be kind of cool. It comes out on Sundance Select video on demand on September 15th.

MG: Do you plan on doing any more producing or perhaps directing?
RK: Yeah, I working right now on a documentary that I started shooting last year. It is about a charity based out of Holland, they are called Miles 4 Justice. They are a sailing team and every mile that they sail they raise money from pledges. I was just there recently and I had the kids filming interviews of each other. I am going to go through that footage pretty soon. It will be kind of an on going project. I am really excited.

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