Interview: Adam Gurfinkel (Actor, “Ben”)
The following interview was conducted by Kevin Scott (Exclaim, Torontoist) for the purposes of this press kit. Please free to re-publish excerpts from this interview, but we ask that the entire text not be re-published elsewhere, please.
Kevin Scott (KS):
So how did you become involved in the film this time around?
Adam Gurfinkel (AG):
Well I’m good friends with Brian and Pavan. They initially offered me the role of Jason, the fellow that Leah brings in with a knife into her apartment to have dinner, they wanted me to play that role – and then I found out that that role had no anger in it, and there was no opportunity to go red in the face – I looked at the script and said “you know what, you have this other role that hasn’t been cast yet – for the ex-boyfriend, can I do that instead?” And that’s it.
So you cast yourself.
I guess that would have been the short way of saying it, yeah. I said I want a different role than what you’re offering me. Even though I’m not an actor.
What attracted you to the project, but also that particular role? Why did you feel like that role was better for you?
I was attracted to the project mostly to do with the fact that I believe in working with Pavan and Brian and I believe they have a way of turning something into something better. But to specifically to that role, it was just because it seems a better opportunity to mope more, to have fun with something. It’s going to be more fun if you get to get mad at someone, and specifically if you get to get spit on in the face, several times. You only see it once but it happened a lot.
Yeah I talked to Leah about that.
What did she have to say?
She couldn’t remember how many takes but she told me to ask you because you would remember better.
I said ten, Peter said five. So we’ll say seven.
I guess we could tie that into this next question: what were the more memorable moments in the film?
The best part about shooting besides getting spit in the face, and having lint picked off my sweater by Sarah, is trying to shoot a scene on Dundas and Ossington at like, twelve-thirty on a Friday or Saturday, where it’s essentially impossible, drunk people passing by and launching themselves into like, garbage right beside where we’re shooting and hearing Pavan trying to incorporate that into the overall project, “just use it, just use, just use it, it works, that’s what would be happening here” you would hear him say. You won’t hear him say it though, they didn’t include that part. That was the most fun, is being able to try to see people fumble their way into trying to incorporate things they weren’t planning.
Did you do a lot of improv, or were your lines mostly scripted?
No it was tightly scripted. They didn’t want to use a lot of improv for my scenes, because I think they were only really using me as a plot device, for the lines in a big way, for Leah’s character. To get out whatever my character was saying was what you’re supposed to know about her and her previous relationship and how she conducted herself, so there wasn’t a lot of space to improvise. There wasn’t a lot of space for comedy necessarily in any of those scenes, so you could improv dramatic stuff but all of a sudden “oh now you have to write in like, apparently they lived in Portugal for a while, while they were going out”, so that’s, you know, Portugal.