Darien Sills-Evans ‘One Bedroom’ is a comedic tale which focuses on a couple’s breakup. From the arguments to the making up and the lovely trips down memory lane, it gives insight on what specific things cause a break-up and how the man sees the relationship compared to the woman. We were honoured to have the opportunity to talk to the director about his film, asking him why he made ‘One Bedroom’, why New York was the best location for his film and when he first realised he wanted to be part of the Film and Television Industry.
Hi Darien, how are you doing today?
I’m doing well, thank you. A little jet lagged. My daughter goes back to school this week, so I’m a bit sad summer vacation is over.
Of course, we’re here to talk about your comedy feature One Bedroom about two people who are on the verge of ending their relationship due to cheating. Where did the idea for this story come from?
I’ve heard a lot of break-up stories over the years, and have also lived through quite a few, so it started there. I also just really wanted to make a comedy, because my previous films were dramas.
Apart from being the director of the movie, you’re also starring in it. How is it to be an actor and director at the same time? Must be very challenging.
It is challenging, but it’s also rewarding. I’ve done it in every film and for me, it’s the best way to immerse myself in the work. It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, so I thoroughly enjoy it – and try to appreciate the opportunity that I even get to do it! However, it wouldn’t work without a great cast and a crew I can trust. I’ve been fortunate to have both.
You star as Nate, a guy who’s still clearly in love with his girlfriend Melissa, portrayed by the wonderful Devin Nelson. How did you come across her?
Devin auditioned through a common casting call. I’m not embarrassed to say that I had to fight a bit with my team for her to get a second audition. Many of them just didn’t see her in the role. When she returned for her second audition, she blew everyone away.
You grew up in New York, the city in which the movie takes place. How did your background influence One Bedroom?
Brooklyn is the only place I’ve ever lived in New York. I was born there and I’ve lived in many different neighbourhoods. I’ve watched the borough change dramatically over the past forty years and my characters can’t help but share those sensibilities as well. One Bedroom is a film as much about gentrification as it is about the end of a romance.
The film was already screened at different films and also won some well-deserved awards. What is it like to see that the movie has become such a success?
As a comedian, I first and most importantly measure success in laughter and I’m always thrilled just to hear audiences laughing. That we’ve won awards is just the icing on the cake. That said, I’m really proud that we’ve won some Best Film and Audience awards as a comedy. That doesn’t often happen on the festival circuit.
Are there any more films festivals you’re taking this movie to?
We have a pretty full slate through the end of the year: Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago, Chain Film Festival in New York, DC Black Film Festival, I See You Awards, Long Beach, Louisville, Baltimore, it’ll be on all of our social media @onebedroommovie.
You’ve already done a lot of acting, producing and directing. From feature films like this to shorts movies as television series. When did you first know that you wanted to become part of the film and television industry?
My grandparents gave me a typewriter when I was six, so I’ve been into storytelling from a very young age, but I don’t think it occurred to me to be an actor or a filmmaker until I was about fourteen.
Just one last question: Do you already have upcoming projects in the pipeline?
Yes. My producer and I are developing two films right now. I suppose everything is based on how much financing will be available to use, but I can say one is a comedy and the other is a new challenge for me, but I’m not ready to reveal it.
Liselotte Vanophem, Just Celebrity Magazine’s Film and Celebrity Reporter