When you work on a movie, it’s months — sometimes years — before you get to see it, and you never know how it’s going to turn out. Usually, you’ve seen only the parts of the script you worked on, so you really have no idea what the finished movie will be like. So going to the premiere is a bit nerve-wracking. You’re excited, but I am always a bit uncertain of how I will look on the big screen, too.
But the Beyond the Bridge premiere was the biggest surprise of any TV show or film I’ve been in. For one thing, I was surprised at how many people turned out for the premiere — it was a sold out showing in a huge theater, and 20 of the friends and family members I invited turned up. Both my parents, my grandparents, cousins, friends from circus and acting class, my acting coach, and my best friend and his dad all came out. I hope they weren’t disappointed — I wasn’t!
The other surprise is that there were actually two parts to the film: the fictional drama I acted in, and real-life stories from the people who inspired the movie, who told their own personal stories of depression, suicide attempts, and the damage suicide caused to those left behind. If you didn’t see Beyond the Bridge at the premiere, it will be showing soon at various film festivals, and a DVD release is planned later this year.
But you don’t have to wait: it’s available to stream online anytime at www.freelanefilms.com — you can “rent” it (one viewing) for $1.99, or purchase unlimited streaming for just $3.99.
I had a great time at the premiere, and afterwards many of us had dinner together at a Mexican restaurant. It was nice to spend time with everyone after such an intense film about a serious subject. I learned a lot about suicide and depression during the filming, and even more seeing the whole film. Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control (2016 WISQUARS) suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for kids, teens, and young adults ages 10-24? Or that more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED?
A reporter asked me the other day if it was hard to play the character of Jacob in this movie, and the answer is yes. To say some of the lines — especially one section where he talks about suicide — I had to put myself in some places I had never gone before. Several people in my family said they cried during the movie because they couldn’t imagine me saying or doing those things in real life, but it looked real on the screen. That’s what I liked most about this movie: it isn’t a big blockbuster with tons of special effects, and I can always spot things that could have been done better. But the story is compelling, and it was all so real.
This is an important topic, and I hope lots of people see the film In the meantime, here are a few photos from the premiere. I’m glad I got to be a part of it!