By JOSHUA “Prometheus” SCAFIDI
BLACKSTOCK BONEYARD tells the tale of two Black brothers who, after their land is stolen and they’re put to death, return in spectral form a century later to exact revenge. Loosely based on true events, the film was written by Stephen George, directed by Andre Alpha, and stars Laura Flannery, Richie Stephens, Ashley Whelan, and Bryan McClure. You may remember Brian from Hawaii Five-O, or the show Mindhunter. We recently had the chance to chat with Bryan about his role in BLACKSTOCK BONEYARD, and his other upcoming projects!
What can you tell us about BLACKSTOCK BONEYARD?
It’s loosely based on a true story where in the early 1900s, some black landowners were forced to sell their land, and then they were murdered shortly thereafter. It’s kind of about the ancestors of these people, and what’s rightfully theirs.
You play the character, Corey Ramage, in the film. Tell us a little about him.
Corey is just a…stuck-up brat. His dad is the judge of this small town, so he’s basically untouchable. No one can hold him accountable for anything because they’d have his dad to face. Therefore, he kind of does whatever he wants.
What first attracted you to the role?
I kind of joke with some people when I get that question, like, when you’re actually offered a role as an actor, you take it. You’re going to pay me to do what I love? Yeah! Barring it be against my religious beliefs. With certain things, I do draw the line, of course. But I was like, “Oh wow, this is a fun story.” I don’t always get a chance to play such ornery characters.
Are you religious?
I’m Christian. My whole journey as an actor was very much led by God. I never planned to be an actor. The way things started happening, to me, was very orchestrated by a higher power.
Being a devout Christian, how do you end up in horror films?
[Laughs] Yeah, horror is not actually my favorite genre. I don’t watch a lot of it. Surprising, well maybe not so surprisingly, there are a lot of Christian elements in horror films. A lot of casting out demons, and so forth. In every story, there’s usually some protagonist and some antagonist, and if there is some sort of good message that the film ends up with, I have no problem being in the antagonist role for the greater good of the story being told. Does that make sense?
Do you find it tough to get into character for a horror role?
No matter what the role is, my goal is always to try and be as truthful as I can to what’s been written, and the character. I just tend to not watch horror films. I don’t like feeling like I have to look over my shoulder everywhere I go. [Laughs] I try to fill my mind with positive things. I do enjoy a good scare from time to time, I would just rather watch a comedy. I do love acting, period, though. I love to step into any kind of role.
For the right role, you step out of your comfort zone…
Yeah, and I think that’s just the artistry of it. As an artist, you like to be challenged.
The film was written by Stephen George and directed by Andre Alpha. What was it like working with them?
Yeah, those guys were great! They were so easy to get along with. Good guys that I hope to get the opportunity to work with again.
The story is pretty heavy. What did you guys do to keep things light on the set and not take it home with you?
Personally, I’m just a huge goofball, so [I’ll take] any chance to be lighthearted or crack jokes. I like having a good time, whether it’s hanging out and getting to know the people you’re with because you really become kind of a family when you spend so much together on set. Getting to know them, what their interests are. Between takes is often not as heavy as the scenes can be.
If you had to sell me the film in one sentence, what would it be?
I think it’s going to be a fun one and people will like the traditional horror elements, the scares, monsters, and the storyline.
Where did you guys shoot?
It was shot in a small town outside of Louisiana, called Douglasville. It was a very small town. Sometimes on my day off, I would literally jog around the town and could probably do it more than once. It was not a big town, but it served its purpose really well.
You and Laura Flannery play siblings in the film. Did you enjoy that dynamic?
It was so great. She’s awesome! She’s actually become one of my closest friends from the set. We still stay in touch quite a bit, and when I go down to New Orleans for stuff, we try and get together. She’s been so kind. She and her boyfriend let me stay with them sometimes when I go down there. We’ve become good friends. It’s been nice. Last time I was down there we actually got to celebrate with a bunch of her friends.
You mentioned your father in the film, played by Terry Milam. What was working with him like for you?
He was awesome. We didn’t have a ton of scenes together. It’s kind of funny when the storyline says I have all this life experience with this individual, but then on set we really don’t have that many scenes together. He’s actually represented by my agent down in Louisiana, so we had that common bond.
I also wanted to ask about your time on the show Mindhunter.
That was a cool experience. I don’t know if you have watched the second season yet. A lot of the second season takes place in Atlanta, but it was shot in Pittsburgh. So, I had to drive from Atlanta to Pittsburgh, to film stuff that took place in Atlanta. Holt McCallany, awesome dude. Jonathan Groff, both of them are just super cool dudes. That’s very serious material. Those guys between takes – Holt’s cracking jokes, he’s got a joke of the day. Jonathan is like, the nicest dude.
What are you working on next?
Right now, I had the privilege of having a feature that I was the lead in, coming out on HBOMAX. You can also see it on Amazon Prime and various other places. It’s called In Other Words. It’s a romantic comedy. I got to act with Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live, Edy Ganem from Devious Maids, and Natasha Esca from the last season of Narcos. Really talented cast. It was an amazing time. I also started production on a film that should go through June. I don’t know that I can say too much about it, it’s a comedy. If people want to, they can check my Instagram for updates.
BLACKSTOCK BONEYARD is available now on VOD and DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment!