Jeremy Sumpter is an actor who is well and truly on the rise, and he is back on the big screen this week with Into The Storm.
Into The Storm sees him team up with Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies and director Steven Quale and is just one of the projects that he has on the horizon.
We caught up with the actor to chat about the film, working with Quale and the cast, and what lies ahead.
- What was the draw for you to be a part of Into the Storm?
Well I’m a huge fan of catastrophic movies. When I was a small kid, Twister was my favourite movie, I loved tornados. I watched storm chasers; so, when this came about I was so pumped for it, to be a part of it.
The character I play has some up and downs, you know, how he transforms from being kinda naive about this whole thing when he grew up being excited to see a tornado to when he sees it he doesn’t realise he will be right up next to it. It just completely changes his outlook on this whole situation and he just freaks and he’s nervous and scared.
I mean it was a lot of fun to be able to do that, just to be part of this movie and to work with Steven Quale, you know, he’s a heck of a director. And this movie is mine and my Mum’s completely; this is our type of film. And it’s just cool to be in one like this.
- Brilliant, so would you say that your Mum is one of the reasons you took it as well?
You know, I’m just happy for my Mum that she gets to go and she gets to see one of these natural disaster movies that we watched all the time, we watched so many of them and now she gets to see one with me in it.
- Can you talk about working with Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies?
It was great to work with them, you know. Richard is an amazing actor, as you all know from The Hobbit. And I’m actually looking forward to the next Hobbit, I’ve been seeing some cool clips from that, so I’m really pumped up from that because I’m a huge Wolverine/Hobbit fan.
And working with Sarah Wayne Callies was great, because I loved her on The Walking Dead, her death scene you know, it was pretty shocking when that happened. But you know, I got to work with her right after that.
It was really cool to work with some people who are in your favourite shows or favourite films, they were great and they were fantastic in the movie and I’m thankful I got to work with them too.
- Great, so speaking about people that are already established in various bits and pieces, how about Matt Walsh, what was it like working with him?
Well, a lot of my stuff was working with Matt, he barks a lot of orders at me in the film, character wise and I’m kinda a bit of a hard case for him.
He really pulled it off too, you know, he plays a comedic guy in everything he does and there are some comedic moments in the film, but he’s playing a serious guy and he’s a man on a mission.
He’s fallen short and he has to come up with something fast, so the way he is in the movie, he played it beautifully. Working with Matt was great, he’s a fun guy off set, cracking jokes and stuff, and it was great to work with him.
- You mentioned about working with Steven Quail the director, how did he communicate his vision to bring all of the naturalism of the characters, how did he explain that to you?
The way Steve works on set, he’s making a $75million dollar movie, it’s a huge budget movie he’s doing about tornados and the tornados aren’t there but you can see where they’ll be at all times.
You really want the characters to come across as real characters and have a love for the characters, even more so then the tornados because this is what the movie is about. It’s not just a tornado movie, it’s about these characters and what they are going through, and as you see in the movie, you root for them and you love them.
So, in a movie like this its sometimes really hard to get that because sometimes the visual effects can take away from this. He really pulled it off on this one you know.
When you go watch Transformers and all this stuff is going on and you think how did one mind put this together and fit it all into a two-hour film. Steve does exactly that, he’s definitely in that category, I mean, he’s a genius, so it was a pleasure to work with him.
- Speaking about the special effects. Am I correct in thinking that the rain and wind machines were only used for about half of the shoot, is that right?
They were used pretty much all the way through. It’s a storm film, so, you know there are a lot of scenes where they were blasting wind machines. They would blast out winds of 40MPH.
They were throwing debris at us and we had rain machines and you know, fire going off around us. So, it was pretty cool, it was pretty cool to have all that in the movie because it really gave us the feel of a tornado being there. To have all that stuff around us at all times made things really simple.
- Great, so, it’s obviously it’s quite a stunt heavy film. Did you do the stunts yourself? How did it compare with your stunt work in Peter Pan?
Yes maam, I did all my own stunts in this and there was quite a lot of spectacular stuff I had to do. You know, In Peter Pan, I did a lot of wire work when I was a kid on that, I have been at it for years.
So, when you’re young and you do a little of wire work, it will stay with you forever. So, when I did this there was just a simple movement and I would fly across the ground at 25ft and into the air at about 40ft. Nothing to it, you know? (laughs)
- Nothing to it? You make it sound so easy! (laughs)
- So, looking back at working on Into the Storm do you have any experience that was particularly memorable for you?
Erm, yeah, one scene in particular, where I got my action hero moment. I have always wanted a moment like that, where I’m diving away whilst explosion goes off behind me.
I’m like ooo, bad ass moment. There’s nothing really bad ass about it, it’s just, you know, it’s always in the last scene, turning away and walking away and there’s a big giant explosion
- In this film, cameras are positioned everywhere, and there is a lot of handheld camerawork. What was that like for you as an actor, and did having so many cameras around affect your performance?
Well, you know, it was the role I’m playing. I’m playing a cameraman; I was playing the storm chaser, who was the cameraman. He was kinda scared and for me having the camera there added to the effect of who I was playing.
So I found it, you know, trying to act without it would have been a lot harder, then having it. It helped me to be who I was and so, having that was awesome.
And I love that... on everything he shot. Whether they are using one camera or not... I had my camera...moment in the film it was filmed on my camera.
- What projects are you working on now Jeremy?
I just finished a film called Take Down, which was filmed in the UK. Actually, Max Deacon and I worked together again.
Into The Storm is released 22nd August.