Acting great Danny Trejo is joined by a stellar cast for the new action thriller Darkness Descends, starring alongside Danny are True Blood’s Darren Darnborough and NCIS; Los Angeles’ Kinga Philipps. Actor and producer Frank Krueger created this exciting film that also features multiple EMMY winner Kristoff St. John, Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Peter Dobson (Party of Five) and WWE superstar John Hennigan.
Last week we had a quick catch up with the leading actress in this exciting film Kinga Philipps and today we are catching up with True Blood Star Darren Darnbrorough.
Hi Darren, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Firstly, could you start by telling us a bit about the film Darkness Descends?
Darkness Descends is an action thriller that explores the plight of the homeless and an urban legend named Angel, set in the underground subway tunnels of NYC, when a student filmmaker explores for a documentary, putting herself at risk in a mob uprising.
Can you tell us a bit about your character?
My character Ajax is one of Angel’s cohorts, and he’s a fairly slimy, sleazy aggressive individual, who preys on the already weak – and cowers in the shadow of Danny Trejo’s Angel when he falls out of favour, losing the unit that protects him.
What interested you in involving yourself with Darkness Descends, both in the acting and production side?
I’d been part of the process for a while – back when it was a web series I assisted the creator Frank in some production elements. When the film came to fruition, it existed as such a collaborative environment, and being in Hollywood as an expat, you can only think to support that ambition, can‐do attitude and drive to tell a story, as that’s what attracted me to live here. Frank (the creator and star) is a go‐getter, and I loved that the story had a socially‐responsive context too, allowing us to bring local charity help into the plan.
What challenges did you face on set?
Mainly the overnight shoots. We filmed during dark hours in an LA warehouse, but I had several other projects on the go at the time, so it really did mean very little sleep during shooting – which helped get me into character anyway!
Very little sleep during shooting helped get me into character!
Do you have any funny stories?
Nothing crazy (it’s hard to be funny at 4am!) but the make‐up artist Tara Hiljus and I used to have conversations to each other in purely rhyming rap lyrics to pass the time. We’d switch between Eminem style and Frank Ocean to mix it up. Which given my character’s look and outfit was probably quite bizarre.
What was it like working with the well‐known and loved Danny Trejo?
He was great – he’s a true supporter of emerging filmmakers, and has such great stories about motivation and working hard. His energy and excitement at his age and experience is extremely infectious and admirable – when we were being interviewed at Comic‐Con in 2013, he was privately telling me about a film he shot in London and how much fun he had at the changing of the guard, and I just kept thinking “I hope I stay that excited about my work when I have the credits and hours that he has.”
Prior to Darkness Descends you’ve done a lot of TV work, such as 2 Broke Girls, True Blood and Eastenders, what are the main differences between TV and Film?
Funnily enough, there are less differences between US TV and US Film – they both have extremely high production values and attention to detail here, much more than regular TV in the UK which feels rushed, although I think that’s starting to change with the success of some big UK shows. 2 Broke Girls was a completely different experience though – it’s a 3 camera sitcom, which is shot in front of a live audience, so it’s very much like doing a play. You rehearse for a week, and then the show goes up, for one night only. Except in this play, the writers and team often change your lines / action right before the camera rolls, so you’ve gotta be on your toes. It’s a great creative environment to work in though and I have a new respect for sitcom actors.
I hope I stay that excited about my work when I have the credits and hours that Danny Trejo has!
Which do you prefer to work in TV or Film? And why?
Honestly, both as they are all about the characters you play. But with shows like Breaking Bad trailblazing a new era in TV, working on the box is becoming very respected and attractive. To be part of an iconic series like that, or The Walking Dead would be amazing.
What would you tell aspiring actors and producers about the industry?
If you truly want to do it, do it. But don’t just think about doing it, actually do it. Work hard, get involved, hunt out opportunities, look for ways to help others. Aspiring doesn’t just mean you want the end result, it means you are actively looking and doing every single day towards that continuing result. If you’re not waking up and doing that, it may still happen for you – luck plays a role – but if it doesn’t, you’ve got no‐one to blame but yourself.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
I’ve just finished my directorial debut, a beautiful short film called Stefano Formaggio starring Alice Greczyn and Pasquale Cassalia which we are hitting the film festival circuit with. I’m in development on a couple of new films too, which we are currently raising funds and finding investors for. I’m also very excited about a new business I am launching too with one of the first YouTube stars Jessica Rose called WeRehearse – it’ll change the way those aspiring actors go from aspiring to professional…. Watch this space!
Work hard, get involved, hunt out opportunities, look for ways to help others.
This exciting film is about to be released into the UK market and will be available on iTunes, as well as Asda, Sainsbury’s and HMV.
Frank Krueger’s interview soon to come, so keep an eye out!