Ferocious, a psychological thriller directed by Robert Cuffley, is due to hit the big screen in the Fall 2012. After meeting Dustin Milligan who plays one of the leading roles in the movie, we cannot wait to take a seat in the front row for this highly talked about psychological thriller. Dustin plays the part of “Callum” in the film; a somewhat self-obsessed, ruthlessly ambitious friend and manager to “Leigh”.
The pair have their lives and careers turned upside down when a sex tape finds its way onto the web and an attempted extortion begins.
Here’s what Dustin had to say about the movie when we met with the actor recently…
1) What drew you to a film like Ferocious?
Of all the character-types I’ve been able to play, I’ve always felt disappointingly lacking in those of the “fast-talking asshole” variation. So when my friend Michael Eklund called me and talked to me about the script, about Robert, and this role where I got to play an asshole agent with a heart of gold, I knew immediately I would want to do it. Plus Michael and I had worked together before and have since always tried to find opportunities to do so again. Same goes with Amanda Crew, who I’d worked with twice before Ferocious. Anyway, I read the script and loved how dark and genuinely suspenseful it was, while at the same time having these wonderful moments scattered throughout that are really funny in an twisted way. I spoke with Robert over the phone a couple times (he thought he was checking me out, but really I was checking him out) and got the strong impression that this was a director who really loves all the little things that an actor brings to a role — the details — and when you run into people like that you have to take advantage. A couple weeks later I was hobbling along the icy roof-tops of downtown Saskatoon.
2) Can you describe the process of making the film in one word?
3) As an actor who has done large and small projects, how does this fit in terms of how much you were challenged as an actor?
I went into the film feeling I was definitely on the younger-side of the spectrum of believable ages one can imagine a Hollywood agent would be, but rather than actually face that insecurity in a normal, healthy way, I instead just carried it over and made it one of Callum’s (few) insecurities. It sort of became a part of what he was trying to prove to the world. Ultimately, this manifested itself most visibly as an almost-complete-goatee that I grew on the front of my face, which took a couple weeks of work to produce. There were also some stunts that I got to do (way harder than Katie Boland’s) that added to the normal processes of the shoot-day, but I found those are often the best days!
4) What personal elements of your character appealed to you and what were you able to draw upon to help create your character?
The physicality of Callum was something that I wanted to nail right away. Living in LA, you see these slick agents everywhere and they have a very specific presence, very confident and needy all at the same time. So I felt the way he would stand, walk, drive, talk on the phone, all would serve directly how he would actually speak and behave, therefore would be crucial to completing him as a character. It was something I tried to be very aware of throughout the shoot. Luckily I know a few younger agent-types whom I was able to draw from for material and use to help guide me, though ultimately he became a much larger amalgamation of just about every “slickster” (real word) I’ve ever known and wanted to punch.
5) Was the low budget aspect of Ferocious frustrating at all?
No. The quality of the story itself and the people involved really make you forget about any conveniences that you may have with a larger budget. As an actor all you usually care about is the final product being as good as possible and when the budget is lower you generally have a larger percentage of it going toward that final product, instead of things like big fancy trailers or personalized Ferocious track-suits for Amanda Crew and her 11-person entourage.
6) Give us three mental images that come to mind when you think of the making of Ferocious?
1. Being a low-budge shoot, and in lieu of trailers, we all changed and studied and hung out in one giant room divided into separate sections by nothing but curtains. Which meant we had to save our after-lunch farts for the quick run from the door to the transportation van when heading to set.
2. Speaking of, LOVED the tacos they had for lunch on a few of the days. Easily ate about 8-11 each time, plus sauces. Loved it. Never forget those tacos.
3. And, without spoiling too much, there’s one moment in the film where Kim’s character does this little dance…well, more of a wiggle, really, and it’s creepy and hilarious all at the same time.
Bonus: Also, my stunt double was young Chinese-Canadian man.
7) Can you tell us about new roles coming your way in the near future? What you’re working on/excited about?
I’ve got my first 3D animated feature, “Sarila”, (It’s also Canada’s first) which should be released sometime in 2013. I’m particularly excited about it as it is a story that takes place in Canada’s north, where I was born and raised. Also I just shot a teeny-tiny bit for the new Jay Roach-directed comedy “The Campaign” starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakas —- my part might not even make the cut but I was just stoked to be on set and watch those guys work!
In the movie Ferocious, Milligans’ character “Callum” became Leigh’s manager after convincing her that her then manager wasn’t paying her enough attention. After talking with the actor about the movie recently, we’re confident this is one role where Dustin Milligan is certain to get a lot more of our time and attention.