*A year ago I was fortunate enough to watch a horror-thriller called Jake’s Road before it received a wide release. I can remember being blown away by the professional quality of the movie, the grade A performances from the actors, and the way it hooked me from start to finish. Jake’s Road was officially released on DVD this week, on September 23, and you can find it in stores nationwide and on Amazon.com. I was thrilled that you all would be able to see such a great film. Obviously, some time had passed since my viewing, but I could still remember much of the film’s material featuring the four leads, particularly Patrick Dennis Flanagan and his role as Chris. His emotional and mental journey throughout Jake’s Road was one of the things that really reeled me in. Now that the movie is available on DVD, I figured it would be a great time to introduce you to Patrick Dennis Flanagan and give him some time to talk about his time on set. You can read my interview with Patrick below where we discuss his life before fame, his reflections looking back on filming Jake’s Road, and what’s in store for him in the future. Check it out!
H: Can you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us something about yourself that makes you unique.
P: I come from an extremely loving, supportive, diverse and talented family. We are all each others’ biggest fans. My father is of Irish heritage (obviously haha) and my mom was actually born in Cuba. My mom was quite the actress herself. She was in various productions when I was a kid at the community theater. She loved all types of films. but definitely got a kick out of thrillers and scary movies. I definitely got my love for films and performing from her. She passed away earlier this year and wouldn’t you know it that Jake’s Road was released on her birthday. I do not believe in coincidences. She would’ve loved this flick.
H: Do you have any formal acting/theatrical training or did all of your techniques come from experience?
P: My career in performing began in Orlando in the theme park world playing multiple characters throughout the years. Jonathan Davenport and Kenny Beaumont gave me my start in film acting in the short film “The Connection,” which can be seen on FunnyorDie.com. It was such a joy working with them, I immediately knew I wanted to continue to pursue the dream after that. I took formal classes at Art’s Sake Acting Studio in Orlando and various other classes and workshops throughout the years.
H: How do you think your roles in Guilt, Minghangs, The Novelist, and Crockdale have prepared you to work in other genres besides horror?
P: Every role I have played has taught me a little more about myself and the whole process of film making. It’s all about living in the moment. If you can do that, then it doesn’t matter what genre of film you’re in.
H: What’s this I see about a movie called The Unbroken?
P: The Unbroken was the first movie I had a major role in that gained distribution.
H: I’ve never actually seen it. What can you tell me about this movie and your role in it?
P: Aurelia Riley stars as Sarah, a new divorcee who moves to a new apartment and is haunted by a ghost of a child. I play Tommy who is the handyman on the complex. He’s definitely attracted to Sarah, but she is a bit out of his league. Tommy is a fan of films, comic books and video games much like myself so it wasn’t much of a stretch for me. Daniel Baldwin plays Mr. Middlebrooks who we suspected to be the murderer of the child and Warwick Davis is a local psychic who tries to help Sarah with her ghost problem. It’s more of a mystery than a slasher or anything of that nature. Working on set with Daniel and Warwick was a huge learning experience for me. They are fantastic and true professionals.
H: This brings us to your latest flick, Jake’s Road. How did you become a part of the movie? What was the audition process like?
P: Initially I read sides for about three characters in the film. At the callback Mike Mayhall (Writer/director) and Sam Sullivan (producer) had me read for ‘Chris’ with Leticia Jimenez (costar/producer). I had such a blast reading with them. I absolutely knew I had to be a part of the project. You could really tell how much they love the whole film making process and made it so comfortable to audition for them. I already felt like I was playing with old friends and am so blessed to call them friends now.
H: Was there something about reading for ‘Chris’ that spoke to you more than the other three?
P: After reading for multiple characters it was such an awesome moment when I got the call they had cast me as ‘Chris’. There may have been a tear or two shed when my agent called. I would’ve played any role had they asked, but I was very intrigued by everything ‘Chris’ goes through in Jake’s Road. His part in the journey to find out who is committing the heinous acts in the film was unlike anything I have ever had to take on to date.
H: So you arrive on the actual set for the first day of filming. You’re feeling…how?
P: First day on set I felt great. Miles Doleac was the first cast member I met at breakfast and as we all rolled in we were just ready to get to work. It was such a great experience working with the entire cast and crew. It really felt like we were all camping and hanging out and getting to make a movie at the same time.
H: How did you feel about jumping into character as principal photography progressed? How was the atmosphere then?
P: As far as getting into character is concerned it’s really all about trust. Trusting yourself, your fellow cast and crew and your director. It’s easy to do when you feel like your “working” with your friends. Mike [Mayhall] is an actor and all around good dude to boot, so it’s easy to put your trust in him on set. The crew was extremely respectful whenever we had to shoot scenes that were pretty intense as well. Again I can’t say enough about everybody that put time and love into the flick and I’m so blessed to have been a part of it. The relationships that have been forged because of it is truly the greatest blessing I have received.
H: What is your favorite behind-the-scenes memory?
P: We’re still making behind-the-scenes memories because a lot of us are still in touch. It’s great. I will say during filming at the end of a shoot day sometimes a group of us would go outside, lay on our backs, look at the stars and chat. It was a beautiful way to wind down.
H: On the flip side, what was the hardest obstacle you had to tackle while on set?
P: There’s some very emotional scenes in the film that were pretty challenging, but again Mike [Mayhall] was so good at bringing us all together and making it happen. He was very helpful in getting us all where we needed to be. The whole cast was so trusting of each other and we just dove in.
H: If you were in charge of marketing, who do you think would get the most enjoyment out of Jake’s Road and why?
P: Horror fans are really going to enjoy Jake’s Road, but it’s more than just your typical slasher. Mike [Mayhall] wrote a story that is full of suspense and thrills and has characters that are very relatable. It’s a film that can be enjoyed by a very broad audience. The ending is really going to sneak up on folks too!
H: What’s in store for you career-wise for the rest of 2014 and beyond?
P: I’ll be working on the comedy pilot, “The Rub,” with Jonathan Davenport and Kenny Beaumont soon in 2014. It’s a documentary style show filmed much like “The Office” and is about the only legitimate massage parlor in Tampa Florida. It has plenty of quick witted jokes and really full of heart. The pilot will leave folks wanting more.
*Thank you for taking the time to chat with me, Patrick. I appreciate your articulate and heartfelt answers. You being so forthcoming made me feel like part of the Jake’s Road team, too! Can’t wait to see more from you in the future!
For more on Patrick Dennis Flanagan, please click the links below:
Also, don’t forget to buy a copy of Jake’s Road in stores nationwide or on Amazon.com!