In most films, the biggest names on the marquee are the stars of that movie with supporting cast rounded out with lesser known actors. This is not the case with Indie film ‘Three Holes, Two Brads, and a Smoking Gun‘ shot in New York City and directed by Hilarion Banks.
The supporting cast for this $750,000 estimated budget film carried the weight of experience beginning with the character of Bobby Blue Day played by James Wilder (Melrose Place), and kept getting bigger and better beyond with international actors Rudolf Martin (NCIS, 24, Swordfish), Joaquim de Almeida (Clear and Present Danger, Desperado), Howard McNair (Dead of Night), and Richard Edson (Stranger than Paradise, Platoon).
The script, written by veteran writer Scott Fivelson, takes viewers to the dark side of human nature as a student and his screenwriting instructor play a deadly game of verbal chess trying to gain exclusive rights to a script submitted by the student – arguably the best script ever written. The plot thickens as clues reveal he may not be the actual author, and as the drama unfolds, the body count climbs. In between, Hollywood heavyweights lend their talents to helping the storyline evolve. It’s these cameo appearances that add flavor to the film.
Rudolf Martin is no stranger to unusual characters and adds his own cache to the role of a hemophiliac ‘Junkie’ that’s a bit of a smart-Alec. “I didn’t want to play a stereotype. I always like casting against type, it brings a whole new dimension to the supporting characters. Scott and I tweaked the dialog of the scene together over the phone. He had it originally written as a real New York character and we mainly wanted to change the wording, per my request. But it’s still all his writing, zingers and all.”
Handsome bad guy extraordinaire, Joaquim de Almeida, stood out in his supporting role as Joey the Junkman. As is expected from de Almeida, we perceive two messages in his acting; the spoken words, and the deadly message in his eyes. “”After I played dangerous guys in Desperado and Clear and Present Danger, I have since been perceived as one that plays them well. The secret to making them likable is to understand that they are human and therefore vulnerable. Showing their vulnerability adds complexity to the character.”
De Almeida shares that he has known Fivelson for quite a while and likes the complex characters that he creates adding that his dialogue is “clever and well written.”
The instant connection between the character of Jack Ariamehr played by newcomer Zuher Khan, and Joey is one of recognition between one killer and another. “Joey the junkman lives in his world and he tries to give this young fellow some advice telling him at the same time “don’t mess with me.”
De Almeida just finished working on Atlas Shrugged – Who’s John Galt, and will be working on an Indie in Canada, “A date with Miss Fortune”, before going on to France for another project.
Bringing some quirk and dark comedy to the otherwise somber mood, veteran actor (and musician) Richard Edson offers true New York casting to the role of a California Assistant District Attorney; Sam Dunkim. As with all Edson’s characters, much can be seen going on inside his head even when the words he’s speaking seem to contradict his expressions.
“I think more than anything, I just like to bring parts of myself to whatever role. I like to pick certain parts of myself and then eliminate other parts of myself” says Edson. He says that helps define a character in a usable way. When asked how he manages to add visible internal dialogue to his characters, Edson says “You know, I think it partly has a lot to do with being raised by a narcissistic mother so that you’re always in your own little world conspiring with yourself to navigate your way through the world. …I’m only half kidding.”
Being able to seem both in the moment and yet distant provides “a kind of tension, a good tension” to his roles. “It works!” Such was the quirky nature of Sam in Three Holes as he presented himself in a serious capacity as Assistant District Attorney while carefully working an ulterior motive to divest Bobby Blue Day of his rights to the script after Day was arrested for suspicion of murder.
As Edson points out, the ability of a seasoned character actor to portray such inner thoughts and inner dialogue is the ability to allow the audience to “watch somebody’s intelligence at work. It’s not necessarily a big intelligence or a huge intelligence, it’s just that you’re allowing that process to be seen.”
Between Martin, de Almeida, Edson, Wilder, and McNair, there’s a veritable buffet of talent to gorge upon as the audience is taken from one scene to the next. By twists and turns, Three Holes… is dramatic, suspenseful, and darkly comedic thanks to excellent writing, great direction, and amazing supporting cast.