Based on Matthew Jones’s 1996 novel of the same name, A Single Shot stars Sam Rockwell as a down and out hunter who accidentally kills a young woman. Having found money in her camp, he decides to hide what he’s done and use it to try and put his life back together leading to an escalating cat-and-mouse game with the owners of the money. Having made its debut at the Berlin International Festival, the film held it’s US premiere at Tribeca on Friday April 26th.
Actress Heather Lind plays Mincy in the film whom she describes as a “free spirit, impulsive woman that tries to befriend Sam’s character and bring him out of his funk”. Lind is a familiar New York face coming from Boardwalk Empire as well as a long list of Broadway credits, I asked her what it meant to have the Film Fest in the city:
Heather Lind: “It’s a great question, I’ve been in New York for about twelve years, I grew up up in Albany but I’ve been in the city for twelve years. I just love this city, I think anything that happens, that appears in the city is a good thing. Working on this film was kind of surreal enough and then getting to come to the premiere here in New York was, you know great.”
The atmospheric film, though set in West Virginia, was shot in Vancouver, Canada. Director David M Rosenthal discussed this choice:
David M Rosenthal: “I was looking for a place to shoot that had, you know this kind of gray weather and that provided this fog layer and this mist layer. And there’s not that many places where you can find that and Vancouver has it in spades and also has great crews and great secondary actors. It seemed to make a lot of sense.
Rosenthal went on to praise his ensemble cast: “It was so wonderful for me to get all of these people together because you know, there’s so many actors in this movie that I got to work with who I absolutely revere. I’m not even talking shit, I really revere these actors like Sam Rockwell and Jeffrey Wright and Bill Macy and Jason Isaacs and Kelly Reilly. Really I just walk around feeling just blessed about the fact that I got to work with them.”
The director was particularly excited to see Sam Rockwell take on the part of John Moon: “Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile actors in America. He’s maybe one of the very best actors of his generation. I don’t think many people could argue with that. So the list gets short when you’re thinking of someone of a specific age, it’s like ‘okay, maybe we could get x, maybe we could even get this guy, maybe we can get this guy, maybe we can get Sam Rockwell. Let’s get Sam Rockwell.’ ‘Sam Rockwell read it, he likes the script.’ ‘Really?’ Fantastic!”
British actress Kelly Reilly plays Rockwell’s wife in the film and added to Rosenthal’s enthusiasm for their lead: “I had probably six days on this movie, all-in-all and I just remember working, just having a blast with Sam. He’s such a fun down-to-Earth man. So I really enjoyed working with him.”
Considering the film begins with John Moon carrying out a murder, I asked writer Matthew F. Jones if he could see John Moon in a sympathetic light:
Matthew F Jones: “I always look to John as a very noble, upright guy in a very tough situation and part of the, I think part of the interesting of this movie…was that anyone of us could put ourselves in John situation. The life he was living and then what happens to him in a single shot and the decisions that he had to make and so…I don’t look at him as a shady character, I look at him as a noble guy in a tough situation.”
Sam Rockwell was in agreement with Jones regarding his character: “I do sympathize with him, but you know, that’s–I hope that everybody does. I think he’s really isolated and a lonely guy, he’s trying to reconnect with his family and stuff.”
Lauren Damon: Are you drawn to isolated characters like John?
Rockwell: Well, I don’t know, maybe. I’m drawn to those guys for some reason but I like them all.
LD: A lot of this movie is physically grueling, how was that?
Rockwell: Yeah, a lot of cramps! Waking up in the middle of the night with a lot of cramps and stuff.
Rockwell was also on the red carpet at TFF this year supporting other films he was in, Trust Me and A Case of You.
LD: Was it by accident you wound up with three films premiering at Tribeca?
Rockwell: Well, that was a fluke. That was a fluke.
You can read our review of A Single Shot here!