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An Interview with Wynn Reichert, Star of Tennessee Gothic

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2019

Films starring Wynn Reichert on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Tennessee Gothic - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character?

 

Basically, a father and son’s lives are turned upside down when the father brings home a young lady who’s been attacked and left for dead on the side of the road. My character, Reverend Simms, is the local Preacher. His wife has asked him to retrieve the young lady (who is underage) from the farm where the father and son live and return her to the orphanage.

 

Since you're playing a sleazy priest - how did you prepare for this particular role?

 

For the record, I am not playing a sleazy Priest. I’m playing a sleazy Preacher. And that’s just how the character’s been referred to in a couple reviews. No, I wouldn’t say the Preacher is sleazy. No, I would say I’m playing a Preacher whose scruples are scrambled when he encounters the young lady and falls prey to her powers. Now, as for how I prepared for the role, well, I’ve probably played more clergy members than any other type of character over the years. Granted most of the pastors, ministers, priests and preachers I’ve played have been more devout and true to the cloth than Reverend Simms. And most actors relish the opportunity to play “bad” guys. There is just so much more to play with. That being said, Reverend Simms isn’t really a “bad” guy. He’s just a guy whose training wheels have been blown out from under him. All sense of what’s right and wrong and proper go out the door the minute he meets Sylvia and tries to take her back to the orphanage.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and honestly, how much Wynn Reichert can we find in Reverend Simms?

 

Most of my “actor” preparation comes from the text, from the script. And then fully embracing and being that guy. As every actor who’s ever stood on a stage, or in front of a camera, there’s a part of that actor that’s in every role he or she does. And every role requires something different. And everything I’ve done up to this point as an actor, as a stand-up comedian, as a writer, as a human being--every life experience I’ve had--all that goes into the actor’s toolbox. I just reach in and pull out the tools I need for the role. And when you have a role that’s so well written, it’s just a lot of fun to throw on the clothes and play.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

Like most acting roles I’ve been fortunate to get, it all starts with the audition. They send you a scene from the script, you tape the audition, and then you wait… and wait… and wait. And most of the time you never hear back. But I was lucky enough to not only hear back, but was asked to come in for a second audition with the director (Jeff Wedding), producer (Katie Groshong), and the actors being considered for the other roles. They ultimate liked what I did and I got the role.

 

To what extent can you identify with Tennessee Gothic's particular brand of "Southern horror"?

 

One reviewer has described the movie as an “R” rated Hee-Haw mixed with a vampire movie. That’s a great attention getter, but those descriptions aren‘t fair. Sure, the film is set in the rural south, on a farm, with characters that are caricatures, and a female that wears short shorts and cleavage revealing blouses, but that doesn’t mean--No, wait, it is like an “R” rated Hee-Haw. Oh, yes, and the vampire part, there aren’t any vampires in the movie, but there’s something even better and scarier.

 

Do talk about your director Jeff Wedding, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Jeff was a dream to work with. He was totally open to me making the character my own. We’d talk about the scenes, rehearse them, and then he’d just let me go. It’s always fun and freeing when a director not only believes in you and your work, but roots for you, and loves it when you bring something to the character that wasn’t on the script or something he hadn‘t thought of. Jeff is truly a nice guy, and a true auteur. He loves film, loves shooting on film, and loves making movies.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Fun. Flat out fun. We laughed so much on that set. Jeff set a table for us that was safe, nurturing, and allowed us all to do our best work.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I was very fortunate to work with Academy Award nominated artists director Todd Haynes and actor Mark Ruffalo, on the feature film Dark Waters, which opens November 22nd in a limited release, and opens wide on November 29th - check the trainer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvAOuhyunhY. I also have roles in several films that are either on the film festival circuit, in post-production, or awaiting distribution. Miles Underwater, directed by Jen Prince and filmed in San Antonio, Texas. Long Gone By, filmed in Warsaw, Indiana and directed by Andrew Morgan will be out sometime in 2020 - trailer: https://vimeo.com/349481543 -, as will No Time To Run directed by Eric Williams. I also have a role on an upcoming episode of Tyler Perry’s new TV series Sistas. For those with NetFlix, I play the “Engagement Photographer” in the very funny comedy Masterminds with Zach Galifianakis and Kate McKinnon. Also on NetFlix, for horse racing fans, I have a role as a Priest in the drama Secretariat.

 

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Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

I’m on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I love acting. It’s fun. It’s what I like to do. I’d do it every day if they let me.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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