“Norman Reedus Discusses Hello Herman Director Michelle Danner”
“Michelle and I started doing these Skype sessions, and I liked what she was saying about it and I liked her takes on stuff. The fact that she’s an acting coach to the stars; I was like, I’ve never been to an acting class so I was like maybe I need that. So, it may be a good idea before I go back and shoot zombies.” – Norman Reedus
1. Playing Herman in Hello Herman was a career-changing role for me. It was both a rewarding and demanding experience to work on this film because there were so many emotions that were brought out in Herman’s character. The film itself has so much depth and controversy that a lot of films don’t have. Hello Herman is a very thought- provoking and stirring movie. My character, Herman, had such emotional diversity throughout the movie that it made it very challenging and pushed my acting to a new level, which I loved.
Andy McPhee (Sean Gall)
Christine Dunford (Senator Joan Cox)
1. It was intense. There’s a lot of brutality in this story. Herman’s horrific brutality, of course, but also emotional brutality, political brutality, racist brutality…And I think we all felt a profound sense of responsibility to acknowledge that the acts themselves are only one part of the story. The other part of the story is the context in which these acts occur: a brutal, alienated culture. And playing those parts, creating that world in the film, you begin of course to reflect on your own life and ask yourself: “How engaged with the real world am I? How am I standing up for what’s right and good and decent and humane?” Brutality thrives when we accept it as the norm, desensitize ourselves to it, distract ourselves from it, or seek to sensationalize it. And it’s not enough to claim righteousness as a sentiment: we have to act. And working on this film I think infused us all with a kind of urgency and a sense that we have to stand up and demand better from the world – and for the world. And that was intense.
2. I’ve worked with Michelle on a number of projects, both plays and films, and I’ll work with her anytime I can. I never feel more freedom to take risks than I do when I work with Michelle. She greets you with faith in your ability and a sense of excitement about what you’ll bring to the process. There’s just no fear of making the “wrong” choice: there’s only process and discovering what’s best for the work. There’s never any question for me: Michelle calls, I’m there.
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