Thursday, June 25, 2009

Adam Lefevre on “Tadpole”

How did you get involved in Tadpole?

ADAM LEFEVRE: I worked on Tadpole for two days.

This was not one that you do for the paycheck. I think I got paid for Tadpole about what I got paid for Secaucus Seven. But I was very drawn to the script; I liked Gary Winick very much when we met. And with that cast, it was hard to say no, and I didn't want to say no.

The scenes that I was in were shot in Gary's mother's apartment in the city -- and I guess it's safe to say this now, because they can't come after here -- the day before my first day of shooting I got a call from an AD saying, 'Don't come to the apartment. There's a Starbucks across the street, and someone will come meet you, because you have to be snuck up the service elevator,' because the Condo board would not give them permission to shoot in her apartment.

It was sort of like a CIA operation; I waited at the Starbucks and an AD came over and said, 'Are you Adam?" I said, 'Yeah.' He said, "Then come with me,' and we went up to the room.

How was the experience, shooting this as a digital movie?

ADAM LEFEVRE: This was the first digital movie I'd worked on, and it had very much the same kind of feeling as working Secaucus Seven. The budget was very limited and the script was tightly written. And it was great fun.

There were no trailers to go into between shot. When I was waiting, I sat on the couch in Gary's mother's apartment and chatted with Bebe Neuwirth. There were no frills; hair and make-up were done in one of the bathrooms.

When everyone is doing that, it's clear that they're there for some reason other than the paycheck, and sometimes that can be very helpful. There's less of a hierarchy that you feel on a big-budget movie with big stars.

In this case, everybody is basically working for peanuts and suffering the same kinds of lack of frills. You're doing it because you believe in the project, and, quite frankly, because it's fun.

What are the advantages of working in the digital realm?

ADAM LEFEVRE: One of the advantages of digital is that you don't have to wait for it to be developed. You look at it and see what you've got, right then.

The pressure that you have to get it right the first time is a terrible, paralyzing thing to foist on oneself or have anyone else foist on you. As an actor, what we learn to do -- both on stage and screen -- is to be as prepared as you can be, in terms of knowing who this person is that you're playing. I don't exactly know what 'getting it right' means. You don't want to fuck up your lines, but if you are honestly in the moment and just go with that, trust your own instincts as an actor and be just as authentic and present in the moment, you can't really fuck up.

Even if you're working on a film where you may get only one take, if you are playing it honestly and comfortably in the moment, that's maybe all you need.

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