Horror-on-Sea Interview actor Samuel Furman – Triggered
Director: Chris Moore
Writer: Chris Moore
Stars: Meredith Mohler, Jesse Dalton, Sam Furman, Keni Bounds, Arian Thigpen, Amanda Wyss
Two teenagers fake an attack by a legendary serial killer for a little attention, but the plan backfires when this triggers the real killer to resurface and go after them.
Date & Venue: Sunday 13th January 12:30hrs
Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-, Church Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AL, UK
Triggered is a clever new horror-comedy film from writer-director Chris Moore, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival. I got a chance to ask actor Sam Furman a few questions about his character and what we can expect from the film.
Q. You play Zac Cox in the upcoming horror-comedy Triggered. Can you tell us what we can expect from the film?
I mean the best thing I can tell people is to be prepared for Triggered. It’s very funny and takes a satirical approach on today’s PC culture. The funniest thing though is people watch the trailer and assume it’s some sort of conservative propaganda film, but almost all of the cast and crew are very liberal. If you watch the movie you realise that it’s mainly just saying that extremism on both sides can be harmful.
Q. What originally attracted you to the role of Zac Cox?
I’ve been friends with Chris for a few years, and when he said he was working on a movie similar to Scream (1996) and Heathers (1988), I was sold. I actually auditioned for both Ian and Zac, but something about Zac really appealed to me. I can’t give much detail about his character due to spoilers, but he’s got this pretty big secret he’s keeping, but he’s very casual about it. His very calm demeanour during all of the craziness was so intriguing to me, and hopefully, I sold it well.
Q. Are there any elements of your character which you feel reflect your own personality?
As I said, Zac is just a pretty chill guy all around but enjoys being social. I very much related to that aspect because while I love going to parties, I usually end up sitting in a quiet room with friends just talking. He also struggles with body image issues from growing up fat. This is something that really hits home for me, and I’m happy to be able to portray a character who openly talks about their body issues because there is not enough representation in media for that, especially for men.
Q. What preparation did you do for the role?
Workout as much as possible and eat as healthy as possible. I gave up almost anything sweet, except for my coffee. I didn’t get into the gym as much as I wanted to because, in the middle of shooting, I was in the middle of my first semester of college which is why I couldn’t afford to give up my coffee. Trying to find the time to study, go to the gym, and develop my character was definitely an experience, but I have no regrets other than that one night before shooting when I ate a whole pizza.
Q. Did you make any changes to the character from how it was written in the original script?
I wouldn’t say I made any changes, maybe some added improv. Chris is a very open-minded guy and up for any ideas from actors, but I really did love the script, so I didn’t feel the need to change much. I did add in a few more “fucks” and gestures than there was originally. I grew up in a household where cursing was the norm, so they kind of just slipped out.
Q. What do you think makes Triggered stand out in the horror genre?
There is a lot about this movie that stands out, but the biggest for me was the representation. This is the first horror film I’ve seen with not just one, but two queer leads. Chris is very much about showing all kinds of people in his movies, which is one the reasons I loved working with him. Yes, this movie is quite offensive, but good satire is supposed to be controversial and make you think. I think Triggered is going to do for this generation, what Scream and Heathers did for theirs. Make people think, and hopefully get a little scared and laugh too.
Q. Your character adds a bit of a twist to the typical Jock character and has some surprising results, including an unexpected sex scene. How did you feel about doing this in the film and how did you prepare for the scene?
I’ll be honest, it was nerve-wracking. I’ve struggled with body image since childhood, so the idea of being completely exposed on film for everyone to see was definitely something I never thought I’d do. The physical prep was mostly what I said earlier, which was go to the gym and eat healthily. The mental preparation was a little harder, but everyone working on the film I knew already or got know and they helped make me feel as comfortable as possible. One of them even gave me a sock to keep certain parts covered. They did not ask for that sock back.
Q. What was one of your favourite moments during filming?
There was a lot of really fun nights and days, but the day I shot my scene with Amanda Wyss was one that stands out. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is one of my favourite movies, so getting to work with one of the stars was a literal dream come true. There was some downtime during that scene because it was so hot outside and we kept sweating, but in that downtime, I got to talk and hang out with Amanda and she is such a sweetheart. They say to never meet your heroes, but in this case, I would disagree with that saying.
Q. Do you have any other projects which you are currently working on?
I’m just wrapping up working as an Assistant Director for a production of The Man from Earth, and I just played Rocky (a dream role of mine) in a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’m still in college, so time is a very scarce thing for me right now. At this current moment, I’m just enjoying my brief break and waiting for the right project to find me.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into acting?
Audition for everything you can. Every audition is a learning experience and a chance to practice, and if you get the part that’s just the cherry on top. And if you’re not already doing it, get into theatre. Even if you’re only planning on doing films, theatre teaches you so much and gets you comfortable acting in front of people which even the greats still struggle with. The simple fact is, more you act, the better you get.
For more details regarding the films playing at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival and details of tickets on the website.
You can find out more about Samuel Furman by following him on social media