Sam Upton stars alongside Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Carpenter in “Gone”, a new suspense thriller about a young woman (Seyfried) who comes home from a night shift to discover that her sister ‘Molly’ has been abducted. Having escaped from a kidnapping the year before, she is convinced that the same serial killer has come back and taken ‘Molly.’ The town’s police unit comprised of Sam Upton, Jennifer Carpenter and Daniel Sunjata think that ‘Jill’ is out of her mind and are unwilling to use their resources to help her. Clint Morris caught up with Upon to talk about his role in the film.
When you’re playing a cop what extra lengths do you have to go to solidify the authenticity – research? read some cop manuals? hang with Reginald VelJohnson for a day?
You know, it’s funny… sometimes it’s all just right there.
What do you mean?
I hate to sound like acting is that simple, but I gotta say, as soon as I put on that totally legitimate cop uniform, it’s not really rocket science. The world really just came to life instantaneously for me. I try not to over complicate things. After that, my mantra was like… “see what you say, and say what you see.”
So what would cops do in such a situation as the one in the movie? Would they really refuse to help Jill?
I actually had some experience playing a police officer before, in the film The Lincoln Lawyer. I was able to spend a few long days with the “tech” who had been a LAPD for over 20 years. He was a huge help in answering a ton of questions for me. But you know, the truth is… none of this stuff really matters. You can spend 7 months as a volunteer police officer, but if you can’t act, it ain’t gonna do jack squat for you. It’s about what needs to be said through the SCRIPT. I love the quote “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage”
Good thinking. You’re playing a cop, surely this role required working out?
Workout? What’s that? [Laughs]
You should know! You’re into fitness! Let’s talk about, what’s your daily routine like? And does it change when you’re working and not-working?
My goal is to try to break a sweat a day, regardless of what the rest of my life requires. I see fitness as a way of life… it’s like brushing my teeth every day. It’s a must.
Did the catering on the set of “Gone” cater for the health conscious like yourself?
In order to maintain a true level of fitness, you must be able to adapt no matter what the circumstance… so when it comes to catering, you just need to be discerning in terms of your choices. It’s not that hard to ask the guy in the catering truck, “Yo my man, can you just give me plain grilled chicken breast with some steamed broccoli?” He’ll laugh at you and say something like “Yeah bro, I was gonna say you look fat as F***!”
And the big question, did you meet Franco from “Rescue Me” on the shoot! Love Daniel Sunjata!
I wish I had a chance to work with him on this shoot, but we did not have any scenes together… He’s a wuss. I could take him easy [Laughs].
Speaking of easy, “Jersey Shore Shark Attack” is next for you. How hard it is to play it serious doing a film that’s so obviously very tongue-in-cheek and popcorn fun?
uh… you try being tongue-and-cheek in 30 degree water at 9pm at night in the middle of the pacific ocean in December!
Is that a dare? So after the Shark Attack flick, do you want to pursue producing and filmmaking more? I notice you’ve done a few things in those areas..
My goal is to wake up tomorrow and write/direct/produce/and act in films on the level that George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg do it. What a dream man. Wow.
I assume your kids are your proudest achievement, as they should be, but in terms of your career, where does “Gone” rank? Is it the ‘big one’ for you?
Gone is a big one. I’m so thrilled to have gotten the opportunity. It’s my second film for Lakeshore, and I hope what looks to be a lasting relationship!