Septic Man, the latest cult horror film from director Jesse Thomas Cook and Pontypool scribe Tony Burgess, won leading man Jason David Brown the best actor honors at the 2013 Fantastic Fest. Now the film is getting a VOD release from Starz Digital Media and a theatrical release shortly after. Nerdist caught up with star Jason David Brown, who plays Septic Man Jack, to discuss his duel role of leading man and production designer and the film being the perfect culmination of all the things he’s really nerdy about.
Earlier in the week, I spoke with director Jesse Thomas Cook and he revealed that not only did Septic Man star Jason David Brown act in the movie, he was the films production designer! Of course I asked Brown how he was physically capable of wearing those two hats. Brown, very humble, explained, “It’s kind of weird, it is a lot of work but they kind of help take the stress out of each other. Having that huge set full of water and having to worry about other actors going into it and the crew and all the lights alone is enough for any one person to worry about but then its kind of like a little holiday to have a role to escape to.”
Brown continued, “I love make up, the water and the sludge is definitely a whole other beast unto itself, but I love putting make up on and having the role kind of takes the stress away from being the production designer and building all the time. Because I’m on set all the time, whether I’m a production designer or not, so when I get to be an actor, it’s automatically taken away from that. Again, it’s a lot of work, but being an actor and a production designer at the same time it kind of helps the stress off of being a production designer.”
Jack plays an everyman caught in a very disgusting and difficult situation. How did Brown prepare himself to take on the part? “Every time we make a movie, I have a role. Obviously the role is written by someone else, but I always have my own input because I’m constantly developing things on my own. My little sketch book is full of pages of Jack doing things before we even get to set and, to be honest, the build and everything was so much work that, I don’t know, other than doing the accent – Jesse [David Cook the director] was adamant that I have a New York or New Jersey accent – but other than that I was just kind of working. Just taking each day like a work day and that’s just what Jack became. Just a regular blue collar guy just the guy that I am when I’m building on the time in a tank full of s**t.”
As an actor or production designer, it takes a lot to commit to an extreme kind of project like Septic Man. Is Brown a fan of this cult-horror feeling film in general? He enthusiastically replied, “The whole acting thing to me is just a byproduct of being a nerd. I’ve always been a nerd, we used to reenact movies in kindergarten on the playground. I’ve always been an artist, I’ve always been into comic books, I’ve always loved horror movies and sci-fi and I’m into everything. I find interest in a lot different things but Septic Man is a lot of what I like combined into one story. It was a fun movie and I was really interested in the concept of it. When Cook first brought it up he just mentioned a guy in septic tank and he was thinking of a smaller septic tank and from there my mind was going crazy with the kind of movie you could make.”
Septic Man, starring Jason David Brown, Molly Dunsworth and Robert Maillet, written by Tony Burgess and directed by Jesse Thomas Cook, is on VOD now and hits theaters August 15 from Starz Digital Media.