For the UK release of See No Evil 2 on DVD and Blu Ray, here is the first of a couple of articles which will highlight the film and those who make it. First up is a lovely fun interview that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks.
There are a few ways that I ‘do’ interviews. Sometimes they are face-to-face conversations, sometimes they are online conversations and sometimes they are done by email. The email format is a fun one to do and generally starts off with a single question, and depending on the answers, thats where the next question comes from. Here for you to read and share is a conversation I had with Actor Lee Majdoub who I was fortunate enough to be put in touch with recently. Whilst this was in the run up to his latest film See No Evil 2 (where he plays the role of Carter), During the conversation I did want to touch upon various other projects and of course learn more about Lee himself but made sure we spoke a little about See No Evil 2.
See No Evil 2 is available NOW
Directed by Jen & Sylvia Soska (American Mary, Dead Hooker In A Trunk)
Starring Danielle Harris, Glen ‘Kane’ Jacobs, Kah-Erik Eriksen, Chelan Simmons, Katherine Isabelle and Lee Majdoub.
I hope you enjoy this article. I loved chatting with Lee. and do please follow him on Twitter @leemajdoub
You can view his IMDB page by clicking HERE. Without any further delay, Lets head over to the chat between myself and the wonderful Lee Majdoub
FP2S: Is there a film or a moment where you realised ‘Acting is for me, I want to do this’
Lee: I don’t know if there was a moment in particular that I realized it. I always had a wild imagination. When I was younger I wanted to be everything when I grew up. Firefighter? Yes. Professional Athlete? Sounds cool! Super Hero? Definitely. I watched a lot of anime and wanted to be those characters too. I think the moment I realized acting was a possibility, you know, as a career path, was in my first few acting classes. I had potential, and it was the first time I found true joy in doing something. A film that definitely played a part was “The Usual Suspects”. Benicio Del Toro’s performance was hilarious, and Kevin Spacey was masterful. His performance resonated with me for some time. I still remember my reaction to the big reveal in the film. I was watching the film alone… BOOM, the reveal happened… and I started laughing! It blew me away.
FP2S: 28 acting credits in 7 years, but lets ask about that first credits project, Writer, Producer, Actor in the short film Pokemon:Apokelpyse.
Lee:Pokemon: Apokelypse was a project my friend, Kial Natale and I had come up with. I was acting in a short film that he was the Director of Photography on, and we started shooting ideas back and forth. The idea was born out of discussing the game “Grand Theft Auto”, the movie “The Dark Knight”, and obviously “Pokemon”. Kial wrote the first draft, and then we went back and forth for a while with re-writes. Finally it came time to shoot and I think it took a few months on and off. The editing and CG process was tiresome. That was all Kial. Poor guy.
Heres the trailer for Pokemon Apokalypse
Fp2S: Having just finished watching your latest film release, See No Evil 2 where you play the role of Carter (you wear one of the coolest hats since Indys fedora by the way) What was it like working with the wonderfully crazy Jen and Sylvia Soska.Had you seen any of their work (Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary) before hand or did you check out any of their films once See No Evil 2 appeared on your radar?
Lee:Thank you! That hat was awesome, wasn’t it? I miss him. He and I formed a strong connection on set. :). Jen and Sylvia are wonderful. Their excitement and joy on set was contagious. We developed a great professional relationship. What was amazing about them was that they were very trusting and trustworthy. We were able to have open dialogue about scenes, story, and character development that can sometimes be rare. As soon as I knew they were directing the project I looked them up and watched “Dead Hooker in a Trunk”, and “American Mary.”
FP2S: Did watching ‘American Mary’ put any pressure on yourself, before going into See No Evil 2 or do you find watching director’s previous work a help. What was your process, if you are okay to talk a little bit about that. Heading into See No Evil 2?
Lee: Are kidding me? Watching “American Mary” actually alleviated some of the pressure. The Soskas knocked it out of the park and I knew I wanted to be involved with anything they did. I think the pressure was to kick absolute ass in the audition to guarantee working with them 🙂
I find watching previous works extremely important. I like doing the research and I think it’s just as important as the research I do for my characters. The more I know the better. As far as my process is concerned, I guess it changes. A lot of it depends on whether a character has a physical impediment or an accent, what their obstacles are, etc. With Carter, I tried to lean out as much as possible. Hope it shows.
FP2S: Whilst we are talking See No Evil 2, The film did something that I find very rare in horror films and even rarer in slasher type films. I actually cared about the characters. They weren’t just targets for Jacob Goodnight to try and hunt down. This added to the tension in many scenes. Some of the most entertaining scenes weren’t the action oriented scenes But scenes such as your awkward scene in the mortuary with Tamara (played by Katherine Isabelle). Without going into spoiler territory on that one.How much of that was improsived or was it all on the page? (written by Bobby Lee Darby and Nathan Brookes)
Lee: I know, right?! I remember we all worked really hard on getting the relationships between characters to pop. We wanted to make them as three dimensional as possible. I think there are definite moments in the film with heart.
The awkward scene in the morgue was a ton of fun to do. A lot of the foundation for the scene was on the page, but we were also given some freedom to delve deeper and play around. It was great! Katharine took that and ran with it, and joined the ride.
We were also given a lot of freedom during the rehearsal of the scene and they worked around us to figure out where they wanted to place the cameras.
FP2S: With the release of See No Evil 2, this role will show you to a whole new audience (the horror fans), so this is a great time to talk about some of the other projects coming up for yourself Lee. Whats is your involvement in Michael Edmonson film Gallaghers Hurricane. It is indeed a long way from the world of Jacob Goodnight.
Lee:You have no idea how far a ways it is… in more ways than one. “Gallagher’s Hurricane” was actually shot almost 10 years ago. It was a very low budget feature film and Michael Edmonson wrote it, funded it, shot it, edited, pretty much did everything. He’s been working on it since the beginning. I give him a ton of credit for sticking to it. However, I don’t know if I would recommend focusing on my performance… unless you want a lesson in what not to do as an actor. It was one of the very first things I did.
FP2S: Looking from your first credited role in the TV series Bionic Woman (as Student) in 2007, to See No Evil 2 in 2014. What have been the biggest lessons you as an actor have learned?
Lee:Wow… I haven’t really taken the time to sit back and reflect on that, so it’s nice to a look at the growth. I remember when I first started I was extremely hard on myself, and obsessed a lot about acting. Everything in life had to do with it and it got very unhealthy. Sometimes I’m still quite hard on myself, but I’ve learned to work more efficiently. I used to spend hours upon hours working on my acting, but my growth didn’t seem to coincide as much. Later in life, I realized that it wasn’t necessarily how many hours I spent on it, but how efficiently I worked at it. I would say I trust myself a lot more, and I have also allowed myself to enjoy life. I think living life is one of the most important things an actor (or any artist for that matter) can do, if not the most important. You can’t breathe life into your work without experiencing it first… at least in my opinion.
FP2S:And as we round up this online ‘chat’ I wonder how you do indeed relax, what do you do on your downtime, how does Lee live life away from the film set.
Lee: I try to get to the gym anywhere from 4 to 6 times a week. I also love cooking, and I try to learn something new every now and then. Just last week I taught myself how to cook roti. It’s an Indian bread. So good! I’m a big football fan, so I follow the NFL quite a bit. I tend to get a bit fired up when watching games though… maybe I should try to pace myself.
FP2S:As an added ‘thing’ I chased down Jen & Sylvia on Twitter @twistedtwins for a quote about what it was like working with Lee. Sylvia was online and very kindly sent me these tweets..
Special Thanks To Lee Majdoub (for taking the time out to chat with me, I really enjoyed and look forward to keeping in touch), Sarah Davis (for arranging it all in the first place, you are a star!) and to Jen and of course Sylvia Soska for the quotes and taking the time to check out this article.
The review for See No Evil 2 will also be up this week.