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An Interview with Joseph Bishop, Star of When a Stranger Knocks

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2024

Joseph Bishop on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie When a Stranger Knocks - in a few words, what's it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

It's about regrets and how they can fester over time, instead of healing. Gray is a guy who was forced to scrub his wounds, but never let them heal. He never truly left his father or the cabin they grew up in.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Joseph Bishop can we find in Gray?

 

I brought a lot of animosity towards Sky, their father and absent mother when portraying Gray. To capture a version of ourselves that blames the life/circumstances we are born into. I like to think that a piece of myself is in Gray. An unhealthy version, though. My shadow, per se.

 

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

 

Javan Garza [Javan Garza interview - click here] and Dawn Hamil were looking to make another film together. We had worked on a fair amount of short films since our first first feature together at that point. There was a first draft where I played Sky's husband. I remember telling Javan that it didn't feel like it fit for this story, though.

 

To what degree could you identify with When a Stranger Knocks' approach to horror?

 

I enjoy the expression of dread and no escape that the film highlights. The horror genre often comes across as slasher gore fests with little depth. Our film feels a little more like Ari Aster's Hereditary to me.

 


Do talk about When a Stranger Knocks' director Javan Garza, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Javan is always a blast to collaborate with. We're comfortable in our work. This allows us to explore the story and trust each other. He helps me get to the places I need for the character to be alive.

 

When a Stranger Knocks wasn't the first time you've worked with Javan Garza - so what can you tell us about previous collaborations, and how did the two of you first meet even?

 

Javan and I met while going to school at Northwest Florida State College, in the theatre department. We worked load-ins for the shows that came to the college during the season. If I recall correctly, he was taking photos on the stage one evening and I was wandering around. I made the mistake of asking what he was doing and the rest is history, hahaha.

 

Back to When a Stranger Knocks: What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Javan and Dawn put in a lot of work setting everything up for this project. The moment I got on-set it was clear that they were fostering a great environment for us to create. They let me focus on Gray and kept me comfortable to express him. The whole crew meshed well and helped each other. Chris Vargas and Eric Bossard busted their butts, rigging and lighting everything. The crew as a whole were professional and amazing to work with.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

There are a few scripts of Javan's that I hope get some traction with producers. I stay fairly busy working on projects in the South East market, but I can't really comment on any at the moment.

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

When I moved to Florida in 2003 my neighbor had a camera that we had to film as the edit. We didn't have any post work we could do outside of the camera. I had done some music/dance productions in school growing up, but never really had fun like with my friend at that point. My senior year of high-school I finally popped into an acting class during a free period. It didn't take long and I had the last three classes of my day full of acting. I received training over the years since and have blended them into my own approach.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to When a Stranger Knocks?

 

I spend a lot of my time working in the South East film industry which includes: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. I've been working on "Hollywood" films since 2011 when I worked background on an MTV show, which happened to be directed by Taika Waititi for the episode. Now if I'm not auditioning I'm working as a stand-in on sets. It's taught me a lot about the industry and helped me grow as an actor.

 

How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?

 

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I would say that some might perceive me as method, but I don't carry the character around at all times. My belief is that you find the similarities you can with the character and then make choices based off the reality that character lives. My philosophy studies also inspire my perspective in character development.

 

Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?

 

Denzel Washington, Tom Hiddleston and Kristen Stewart to name a few.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Interstellar, Thin Red Line, The Matrix and Enter the Void are a few that come to mind.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

I give everything it's chance to shine, typically. If I have to choose, I'd say "gore porn" flicks on the scale of Hostel are normally at the bottom of my list.

 

Your website, social media, whatever else?

 

I'd appreciate some traffic to my IMDb page, hahaha.

 

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

 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our story with you. I appreciate your time and this interview.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Amazon UK

Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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