RC EVERBECK as David Wellman
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, RC is a USC graduate who now resides in Santa Monica, California. He played the starring role of Billy in the film “Billy the Kid” and has had roles in “Spiderman,” “Sneakers” and “Pretty Woman.”
He was Executive Producer on "Monty" (a Montgomery Clift biographical film), a Newman/Tooley Films production, and "12 Bucks," which he financed. He also secured the star-studded cast for "12 Bucks" that included Jonathan Silverman and Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine. Acquired by BlockBuster, which gave it a national release, the film went on to become Official Selections at the 1998 AFI International, Atlanta, and Chicago Film Festivals.
RC also produced the short film "The Translator," starring Molly Ringwald, which was shot by 5-time Academy Award cinematographer nominee Alan Daviau (“E.T.,” “The Color Purple,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Avalon,” “Bugsy”). In addition, RC has produced numerous short films, commercials, public service announcements and music videos. He was interviewed during post-production.
Interviewer: How were you cast in the film?
RC: I was living in Los Angeles and heard there was a film in Portland called "Lie Detector." They had their cast and crew but not the lead. Scott Forslund, the director, got in touch with me and sent the script, which I really responded to. I worked on a few scenes and sent those as videos, then we discussed the role at length. Eventually he asked me to fly up for a meeting and do a couple scenes with other cast members.
Interviewer: How did your first meeting with the director go?
RC: It was a little funny because I was doing a scene with Richard Topping and Karla Mason, and halfway through the audition process Scott pulled me aside and in a solemn tone said "We want you for the part, dot, dot, dot…" He just left me hanging there. "And?!" I asked. And he said, "No, we want you for the part." So it was a big sigh of relief, but we got along famously right out of the gate. I could tell it would be a great collaboration.
Interviewer: What was your approach in taking on the character of David Wellman?
RC: I had a real connection with the character's backstory. My family has a long history in the military, back to the beginning of this country, so that was easy. At one time I even considered becoming a fighter pilot like my grandfather was in the Navy. So I've spent a lot of time thinking about that sort of lifestyle. The FBI and clandestine services have always intrigued me too. So it came down to the family aspect because I'm not married and don't have kids.
Interviewer: You play an aphasia patient in the film, can you explain how that affected your work?
RC: My approach to the aphasia was quite different. I didn't know anything about it at the time. Most of my research revolved around playing it accurately, being true to the role. Scott turned me on to some sites I could research and I did more on my own. Plus I read two books on it. There are different kinds of aphasia, and ours was specific to where there's a full recovery, with side effects that make this movie such a unique piece.
Interviewer: What was it like working with Richard Topping?
RC: Richard was amazing. He and I hit it off immediately, which was great because I didn't know anybody in Portland, so he became my new best friend. Because it's a physical movie, we spent a lot of time at the gym where we broke down scenes and worked on them till they felt realistic; each with our own approach. His style is more off the cuff, instinctual, where I use a deeper thought process until it feels right. So his first takes were perfect, where mine sort of came along on subsequent takes. But it was a really great partnership. I couldn't have asked for a better co-star.
Interviewer: And Karla Mason?
RC: Karla's wonderful; she comes from a theater background. You never walked on set without her having down exactly the way it's supposed to be. That was good because our scenes were a lot more intense. She made such great choices it was easy for me to just react. Working with her made difficult scenes so much easier than they could have been.
Interviewer: Your scenes with Nick Hughes who plays your son in the film were very authentic. How did you approach working with a 12-year-old?
RC: That part's easy; I have three brothers and three sisters. In fact, one of my brothers is Nick's age, so working with him felt really natural. And I have like 30 cousins and my Mom runs a day care. So when it comes to working with kids it's pretty much second nature. It was easy to connect with Nick; just a couple of guys on set. He sort of looked to me like a father for advice on stuff. But he was his own person too, and made his own choices, because he really has natural talent and could do just about anything Scott asked him to.
Interviewer: Michelle Hasson played your daughter. What was it like working with her?
RC: Like a lot of teenage girls she had her own thing going on, but that felt even more like a father-daughter relationship to me. We didn't talk too much about the scenes, but because we came from such different backgrounds it brought something interesting to our interactions. In fact, our friendship on set completely shut off when we got into scenes. But we goofed around too, she was a lot of fun.
Interviewer: You're from Los Angeles, what was it like shooting a movie in Portland?
RC: I'm from Boston actually, go Sox, but I do live in Los Angeles now. It's great getting out of town when you're shooting with a quality cast and crew. I've been on plenty of out of town shoots, smaller budget films that just didn't have the level of professionalism that the "Lie Detector" cast and crew did. When you're on a big studio film you maybe don't have as much freedom, but Scott cultivated an atmosphere of openness to new ideas, and I think that allowed everyone to make the best picture we could on a relatively small budget.
Interviewer: You shot some scenes in a real F-15. What was that like?
RC: It was a dream come true. If I could choose five different lives, or career choices, being a fighter pilot would have been one of them. Sitting in a real F-15 with real pilots around me, supporting us with their knowledge and experience; it was a thrill of a lifetime.
Interviewer: Did you have to do any special preparation for the role? Particularly for the climbing scenes?
RC: The two major things I had to prepare for, as I mentioned before, was the aphasia aspect of the film, which was a mental game, but the physical aspect was almost more challenging. After I was cast in the film I flew back to LA and contacted my friend Ascanio Pignatelli, a professional rock climber. Every day for three months we went rock climbing. He started me at a gym with the basics. By the end we were climbing some impressive rock walls. There was also the element of not only climbing well, but making it look good for camera. To me it was very important to look authentic, to respect climbing and the guys who do it for real.
Interviewer: Were you ever in any danger shooting the climbing scenes?
RC: There were a few instances where I was very appreciative of the technical advisor, Erik Sloan, and his climbing crew who rigged the scenes. When an actor does his own stunts, the risk is acceptable and appreciated. I enjoy doing my own stunts because I'm a physical guy, although I did have stunt doubles for the more dangerous stuff. I was fortunate to have a director that would let me do these things, but also have a safety crew around to make sure I didn't go beyond my capabilities.
Interviewer: Didn't the director ask you to climb up a 30-foot chimney without any safety lines on the very first day of the shoot?
RC: You know, he did. It's funny; our first day of shooting there involved little dialog. They basically took me to Yosemite and put me on rocks. Like, go climb. I figured they did that in case I couldn't climb, then they could recast the movie before they got too far in (laughter). It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. But after we got into it, the chimney didn't scare me because I was trained so well.