A young couple’s troubled marriage hits another bump on the night of New Year’s Eve, quite literally, when they slam into a man on their drive home from a party. They take him and head to the nearest hospital but the bloodied man quickly dies from his injuries. An already difficult situation gets more and more nerve-wracking as the subsequent events snowball into one mystery after another.
One thing Midnighters excels at is keeping the audience on its toes. The film is full of suspense and tension: shocking revelations of the characters’ dark secrets, and their fickle loyalty shifts. Peeling off the layers of this murderous storm and getting to the core of the discourse, what it comes down to is a failing marriage. The husband, Jeff, is a former baseball star and currently an unemployed grump, and Lindsey, the wife, has to put in extra hours at work to keep their lives afloat in a never-ending home renovation.
The dialogue is brilliant: raw, sharp and funny. The intense, verbal exchange between the couple cuts into the open wound of their marriage. And the more they argue, the more resentment and ugliness they reveal.
We had the chance to interview Dylan McTee, who plays Jeff, to get some insight on his character.
HalloweenEveryNight: How would you describe your character, Jeff?
Dylan McTee: Jeff on the first glance, is obviously a very crazy character. In my opinion, he is overwhelmed by a sense of insignificance, and his acts of madness are his way of compensating for the insecurity. He’s this stereotypical East Coast ex-footballer who had his 15 minutes of fame, and now he is unemployed and has to depend on his wife. It is a frustrating, crushing situation for him to be in. And his frenzy stems from there.
HEN: How did you prepare yourself for your character? Any techniques you used to draw yourself closer to Jeff?
DM: First off, when I got the script, I just took it upon myself immediately. And I think meditating on the character, finding him within myself really helped me. In real life, I don’t have a lot of things in common with Jeff. I graduated from acting school, and am very much an art kind of guy. I don’t know much about sports, whereas Jeff is a former athlete. So I immersed myself in things Jeff would be interested in. Essentially finding the character in the garden was the most important thing, because I believe we already have the characters in us, all we have to do is to find them.
HEN: How did the casting process go?
DM: Casting was fun and horrible at the same time. You know you get in the car, sit in the traffic for an hour and when you get there, you have to pretend to be a completely different person in front of a roomful of people. It was nerve-wracking of course. But when you look at someone who does succeed in this industry, you need to get over your fear and terror and maybe even embarrassment, and focus on what you are fighting for.
HEN: Who’s your favorite actor?
DM: My favorite actor is myself! Just kidding, it’s definitely Daniel Day-Lewis. He is really someone I look up to, and just an overall amazing artist. In this business, a lot of people are attracted by the attention, but not him. He is not here for himself or the fame, but for the art and the people. His spirits truly inspire me.
HEN: What was it like working with the Ramsay brothers (Director Julius Ramsay and Writer Alston Ramsay)on set?
DM: It was an independent yet collaborative experience. They have their own studios, and they are both very talented individuals. Working with them was such a fun and loving experience.
HEN: Is Midnighters your first thriller/horror film? Do you see yourself in more horror films in the future?
DM: Yes! In fact, it was my first complete project since I graduated acting school. It has been a great learning experience, and I look forward to more opportunities in the future. And of course, I’m open to more similar films. I am a huge horror fan myself. I grew up watching so many classics such as The Witch and Mama. I’m going to explore the horror genre. And really, what attracts me to a film is not the genre, but the character.