I got a chance to ask Ben a few questions about his Outlaws and Angels Sundance experience and here is what he said :
1) What was the most unexpected thing about the Sundance Film Festival?
How young everyone was… I suppose I should have expected that, Hollywood being a youth driven industry, and realizing that as folks age they seem to recede into the background like background radiation from the big bang. Sundance is a great big celebration of Indie film, in which “celebrate” could infer party. Its not a party geared toward your 50th wedding anniversary. More a party like “paaaarteh!!!” By 3 AM I’m usually ready for bed, Sundance goes until dawn.
2) The schedule sounds very hectic —- did you get a chance to see any other films?
Nope. We were busy with Outlaws.
3) You said in an interview you had been afraid to take the role. How much did it challenge your comfort zone and what was your first reaction when you realized what it would entail?
I knew what the role would entail when I was fighting to get the part. Fear is not a bad thing. How fear affects you can be good or bad. Pushing the bounds of comfort, or pushing the envelope (to quote The Right Stuff) can be awesome.
4) Many years ago at a Farscape con you mentioned Jeremiah Johnson as a favorite film. Did you have an opportunity to meet Robert Redford?
Still waiting to meet him.
5) How was it watching your work in a theatre full of people when you are playing a character like George?
6) Your physical transformation was amazing, how much, if any, input did you have on George’s appearance?
Quite a bit, but certainly not entirely, the transformation required input and guidance from others… George needed to not look like Ben, or anyone who looks like Ben. JT (the director) and I were on the same page about this. Hair. make up, lights, script and direction all contributed.
7) Now that you are a director has it changed anything about your approach on set?
I would like to think that I’m more respectful of the entire process than before… But who am I to say? I like to be fully involved as I can be. But, I’m not overly objective about my “approach” to anything. Ultimately, my job is to help tell a good story. At certain times, that means shut up and let others get busy while you hold the spear in the background. At other times, it requires that you take the bull by the horns. Hopefully, having directed, I have a clearer sense in which “time” I am operating.
Outlaws and Angels has it’s U.S. premiere May 25, 2016