We’ve been having an interesting time interviewing the actors and directors involved in the new LGBT short film collection, Boys On Film 9: Youth In Trouble. We’ve chatted to Prora actors Tom Gramenz, The Wilding director Grant Scicluna and It’s Not A Cowboy Helmer Benjamin Parent.
Now we get to out final interview, with Together actor Lucas Hansen. He’s recognisable to horror fans from his role in The Human Centipede II and has also been seen on Psoro and the recent TV documentary, Murder on the Victorian Railway.
In Together, Hansen plays one half of a gay couple who’ve just moved in a new flat. When his partner goes missing, he thinks he’s just wandered off for a while, but the truth is far more disturbing.
We talks to Lucas about the film and whether he thinks we’re seeing a new breed of LGBT-themed movies.
How did you get involved in Together?
James the Director contacted me and I auditioned and that was it really
What particularly attracted you to the role?
James’ view on the story and script, and the script itself obviously. It was moving away from the cliché that a lot of gay themed films unfortunately have. It’s a story about a person and his relationship, the stalker he has and so on. Being gay is a part of him but doesn’t define him or the story.
Getting the audience invested in the relationship between the two men is important in Together, but in a short you only gave a limited time to do that. Does that put extra pressure on you as an actor?
A lot of pressure really, cause as you say you only have those 20 minutes to tell this whole story and make the audience aware of their relationship and personalities. I find it harder than if it was a feature film.
Did you create a larger backstory for your character and how he’d got to the position we see him in the movie?
Yes, sure did. You have to do that otherwise nothing will make sense either to you or the audience. You gotta do your work! You owe that to the people who watch you on screen and yourself.
You’ve made quite a few short films. What do you think they offer an actor?
It’s work and they keep you busy and hopefully you manage to keep a lot of people engaged in the story you are telling. You can always squeeze a short film in here and there in-between feature films, because they normally only take from a few days to 10 days to film, so that’s great.
How long did it take to make Together?
Four days if I remember right. So that was pretty impressive but you gotta give most credit to crew, director and producer for that. They did an amazing job. Great teamwork on that film!
I found it interesting that in the film it didn’t have to be a gay couple – the film could still have worked if they were straight – do you feel we’re moving towards a situation where we’ll be able to have more diverse and interesting gay characters, who aren’t stuck in ‘traditional’ roles?
I would really love to think so, but there’s still a long way to go. I must say there have been some amazing gay themed films in the last few years, and more and more gay characters are popping up on TV in really cool shows. But often there’s a lot of cliché and cheap laughs involved when gay themed films are produced. I would love to be a part of changing that more. It’s way more interesting and exciting to see heavy dramas or thriller and horror, for example, where it’s more about the character and his journey than it is about him being gay. It is, after all, 2013 now and it’s a very exciting time in terms of what is happening all over the world with gay rights. I think the whole coming out issue and finding your sexuality has been covered to death now.
Would you like to get a gay fan base?
I already have one LOL … Joke. Gay, straight, women, men I don’t have a preference. I’m just grateful when people appreciate what you do and have enjoyed your performance.
Horror is often quite a technical discipline, is that even more true in a short film?
Not really, it always depends on the script really and what way the director chooses to go.
You have quite a lot of experience in horror/thrillers. Is it a genre you like yourself?
I didn’t use to but I do now. It used to freak me out too much but I watch it from time to time now definitely. My problem is I’m very animate when I watch my movies and get to drawn into it while watching it, so it’s kinda embarrassing at the cinema.
Did appearing in The Human Centipede II help your career?
I didn’t really look at it that way. Again it was work and I’m an actor not a model, and yes my job was to get people scared and grossed out, so hopefully I did my job well! I kinda kept in the background when it came to the premiere and promotion of it, but that was by choice. I worked with a really great producer and director Ilona and Tom Six, and we were treated really well on set so absolutely no regrets on that movie.
When can we see you next?
I was just in a TV movie/documentary for BBC2 that aired some weeks ago, which can still be found on iPlayer. I’m currently filming a thriller/horror film in The Lake district called ‘Soldiers Of the Damned’. I’m filming up here until May 19th.
Thank you Lucas.