Eklund

Icons of Fright Interview With POKER NIGHT/SEE NO EVIL 2’s Michael Eklund!!

poker-night-ron-perlman-artMichael Eklund has done a hell of a job making a name for himself by playing characters that aren’t easy to forget. His role in the 2011 Xavier Gens’ directed film THE DIVIDE was pure insanity, and he stole the show in 2013’s THE CALL. Not allowing himself to slow down, in between appearing in AMC’s BATES MOTEL, Eklund appeared recently in not only the Jen and Sylvia Soska slasher sequel, SEE NO EVIL 2, but also in POKER NIGHT (now in theaters, VOD and iTunes), a horror mystery that gives viewers yet another memorable Eklund performance. We were able to chat with Michael for a few minutes and he talked about POKER NIGHT, the upcoming Soska prison film VENDETTA, and various other things. Read on!


You’ve done a hell of a job choosing roles that are very different from each other, what attracted you to POKER NIGHT and your role in it?

Truthfully it was the script. Greg Francis who also directed wrote a very smart and uniquely driven story that is told in a new way I hadn’t seen before. The script and the character he created on paper was the initial attraction. Then after meeting Greg over lunch I knew I was in. His passion and excitement sealed the deal for me. I knew working together we were both in good hands with each other.

Some actors get offended when the term “character actor” is mentioned. Your knack for choosing such different roles really helps you step into that (in a good way), is that something that you try to avoid, or embrace?

I try not to avoid anything. I embrace it all and what comes and to what inspires me. I always feel it is the roles that choose the actor…and in many ways that is true. The work chooses you. and the character you play find the right actor to give it life. The term “character actor” doesn’t offend me at all. It is a compliment. That is the job. To take on and breathe life into characters created on a page that are not yourself and to tell the story that is not your own. I look for and embrace all my roles whether they are considered “character work’ or not. Each role is a small piece of myself like a branch of who I would be under those same conditions of life, experiences and story lines. We all have many characters in all of us..I just get to let mine out for others to see.

There’s a good mystery vibe to POKER NIGHT, everybody has something to hide and they’re not completely who they say they are, how did you approach or prepare for a role within that world?

Honestly all the homework was already done. The script was so interesting and fleshed out it made the homework process that much easier. I just had to play. Secrets of guilt and the guilt of secrets was the homework. Figure that out and your homework is done…then all i had to do was hide those guilty secrets.

You worked with Jen and Sylvia Soska first on SEE NO EVIL 2 and the upcoming VENDETTA, what can you tell us about that one?

VENDETTA is going to be a lock down C-Block all out riot of action and mayhem. I always have the best time working with Jen and Sylvia. They are a force. And the combination of both of them is what is going to make VENDETTA rock. I play the warden in this one. And this branch of myself is quite the “character”. Watch your back for VENDETTA.