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An Interview with Timothy J. Cox, Star of Protanopia

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2024

Films starring Timothy J. Cox on (re)Search my Trash

 

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

 

A friend of mine watched the film a few days ago, and I think he had the best description. He said if David Lynch made a William Castle/Vincent Price-esque haunted house film [Vincent Price bio - click here], it would be Protanopia. I think that describes it perfectly. I love it and I love the film.

 

I play Alan Roscoe jr, whose father has recently died and it’s up to him to carry on with the running of the house. He is also the new head of the local homeowners association, but he is not respected like his father was. Actually, people tend to look through him. He's definitely a bit of a doormat who has put up with a lot from people over the years, which contributes to his problems with alcohol. He is obviously saddened about his father‘s death, but I think he is far more saddened about the fact that he was in no way the son that his father wanted him to be, and that knowledge cripples him. So with everything that happens in the film, everything that Alan does and how all of the events change him, I feel that his reasons for why he does what he does are that it's to finally make his father proud of him. He wants to important, to be loved.

 

What did you draw on to bring your character to life, and how much Timothy J. Cox can we find in him?

 

Like Alan, I certainly have those moments where I feel small, useless and unheard, so I just tapped into those moments, those experiences from my own life to help in crafting Alan. I also trusted writer/director Matt Mahler's script [Matthew Mahler interview - click here] and his vision for the film. I put myself in his hands.

 

It would be easy to label Alan as a loser, but the reality is that Alan has never been given a chance to shine. No one has ever listened to him before. No one has ever believed in him. Knowing all of that made me care very deeply for Alan.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place, and what drew you to it?

 

Any time Matt contacts me with an idea for a film, it is an automatic yes, because I know that it’s going to be something extraordinary, something that I have never done before.

 

In the summer of 2021, he contacted me with the idea and script for Protanopia, and I was immediately hooked. I loved all of the characters, the mystery of it all, and I also loved that it was an ambitious project. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I knew that Matt was up for it, so I was all in.

 

To what extent can you identify with Protanopia's approach to horror?

 

I appreciate the fact that the film does not rely on gore and jump scares. There is a story here and there are real life characters and real life stakes and motivations. To me, the film reminds me of The Twilight Zone and The Night Gallery. There's a lesson here. I don't know what it is to be honest (and that's okay) except to say that in many ways, the film is a cautionary tale... a morality play of sorts.

 

I think the film takes repeated viewings. I've watched it three times and I walk away with something different every time.

 

What can you tell us about Protanopia's director Matthew Mahler, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Matt is a fantastic director to work with. I love his energy and his enthusiasm. His energy and excitement becomes my energy and excitement. It's great to feed off of that. I think it helps elevate the work. In many ways, it doesn't feel like work when I'm on a set with Matt. We're playing and we always have a good time.

 

Protanopia hasn't been the first time you've worked with Matthew Mahler - so what can you tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did you first meet even?

 

The first time we worked together was in 2013 on the film Dark Romance. It was a 48 Hour Film Project and I think he was 13 or 14. I just remember being blown away by his maturity and his incredible wealth of film knowledge. He was quoting Kubrick to me and talking about specific shots from David Lynch films, and I just knew that I was in good hands. I just trust him. He always has a very specific vision for his films, but within that, he allows his actors to play, to find the character and build it honestly and truthfully. We've also collaborated on What Jack Built and To Be Alone, both of which I am very proud of. I appreciate how Matt's films have challenged me as an actor, given me something different to play, and I will always be appreciative of Matt for entrusting me with these characters. I can't wait for the next adventure with him.

 

Back to Protanopia: Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!

 

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It really was a family affair on set. Matt's entire family made creative contributions to the film and they're wonderfully kind people, so it was very relaxed, very warm. I especially loved working with Matt's mom, Paula, who I think gives a fantastic performance in the film as Janice. Matt's father Ross is also someone that I thoroughly enjoy working with. They're just good people.

 

I was on set for only 3 days, so we had a lot do, but everyone worked hard, made it fun. They were long days, but it was always exciting. I just loved the experience of making this film.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I just wrapped two films, the comedy Men of Hunger and the thriller Creatures of Habit. Later this month, I will be working on the drama Without Her. This summer, I will be working on the comedy/drama Sundays With Dad, which I wrote. I also wrote another script, the comedy/drama Hall of Famer, which I hope to be working on in late 2024/early 2025.

 

Your website, social media, whatever else?

 

IMDb: www.imdb.me/timothyjcox

Facebook: www.facebook.com/officialtimothyjcox/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timothyjcox/

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you, Mike. Always a pleasure chatting with you.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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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
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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

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