Date of publishing: 5th
Ethan stars in the indie tech sci-fi thriller Dragon
Day, which is set to have a limited theatrical release
and straight to VOD on November 1st 2013. Ethan, plays
the lead role of Duke Evans, a laid off NSA specialist
who is trying to give his family a simpler life; their
own version of the American Dream. However, their
dream is cut short as a devastating Chinese cyber-attack
destroys U.S. civilization: planes fall from the sky,
all power, communication and transportation comes
to a halt. Duke and his family must use all their
wits to survive this frightening scenario where food,
water and freedom become as scarce as they try to
cross the border into Mexico with the help of an unlikely
Gilles Nuytens: Hello
and nice to meet you! So, let us know what's behind
your love for acting. How did the passion start?
Ethan Flower: Hi, Nice to meet you
as well, thanks for meeting with me.
Well I started acting when I was very young. Growing
up in Stockbridge, Massachusetts a town populated
and formed by great artists and great writers such
as Norman Rockwell, Norman Mailer, Arthur Penn, James
Taylor, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, great
Music and theatre institutions such as Tanglewood,
Williamstown Theatre Festival, Shakespeare and Company,
The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Jacobs Pillow, art
was inevitably in my step. I tried out for fun and
got offered a part with well-known theatre Director
Josephine Abady at The Berkshire Theatre Festival
in The Rose Tattoo with the great Hector Elizondo
and Cicely Tyson at the age of 11 years old. I was
then offered a role in another play at age 12 about
FDR called Sunrise at Campobello, and I got into the
research and the history of the role. The following
summer again I was offered a lead role as a child
in my first musical called “Fanny” with
a great singer named Spiro Malas. Karen Allen and
Kate Burton did plays alongside in rep there as well
those summers. I was smitten with both of them. Karen
had just shot Raiders of the Lost Arc. Hector Elizondo
would play guitar and sing to me in his dressing room.
I got on stage and it felt like magic to have all
these people look at me and wonder what I was going
to do next. I enjoyed the camaraderie of all the cast
and crew down stairs below the stage and backstage
and then the idea of being able to play again with
them on stage in front of an audience was irresistible.
These great actors were like father figures to me
when I was lacking one at home. To me the theatre
held my brothers and sisters that thought the same
way about life as I did.
Nuytens: What do
you like the most when you're on the sets in front
of the camera?
Ethan Flower: I love being in the
heart of a character, in the moment of a situation
and looking into another actors eyes and seeing how
something I say or do changes them inside. It’s
an emotional rollercoaster and a drug to perform.
I get high off of acting.
Gilles Nuytens: What
are the most difficult parts for you in acting? And
Ethan Flower: The Most difficult
parts are ones that draw on high emotion. Having to
break down in a scene and lose control of my emotions.
The easiest are when I get to be off the wall crazy
in a comedy and just be plain silly.
Gilles Nuytens: Which
is the role you preferred to play at this point, the
best one, the one that most marked you, and why?
Ethan Flower: I would have to say
that I really loved playing Duke in Dragon Day the
most so far in my career. I love playing heroes and
the character of Duke Evans that I played in Dragon
Day is the ultimate hero. It’s an amazing task
to be given the role of someone who everyone in the
entire movie relies on to survive. If I don’t
get it right then everyone I love will die. That takes
a superhuman effort to pull off and make real as an
actor. I love playing anti heroes as well. Ones who
have really tragic pasts or have jaded personalities
but you are drawn to them because essentially they
want to do what is best. Another role I recently shot
was a real zany one where I played opposite Tobey
Maguire in a new Will Ferrell Comedy that is coming
out on IFC in 2014. I would have to say that in a
way that role marked me strongly. We were encouraged
to do a lot of improvisation on set. It is so much
fun to really let my imagination go as an actor and
just let it rip. Whatever goes. I really enjoy that
I get the opportunity to do comedy as well as drama
in my career.
Gilles Nuytens: How
do you work your character usually, do you have a
Ethan Flower: It’s a really
different approach for each character that I play
but generally it’s the “ESO method”.
Eat, Sleep, Obsess. I spend all my time thinking,
researching and dreaming about what my character would
do in every situation. I love the way the human mind
works and I love to justify why a character or person
would do something in any given situation. There are
always reasons why everyone does everything they do.
I just have to figure out why or come up with a good
enough reason that makes sense to the story line.
Gilles Nuytens: How
far would you go to get a role you're really excited
about, a role you really want to get?
Ethan Flower: Well, I don’t
really think like that. I of course will contact people
I know on a project if I like it and want to be considered
for it. But, I have worked all my life to be an actor
and I’m a pretty loyal guy so I don’t
really believe in competition. I believe that the
right roles come my way and as long as I do my best
and keep working and doing what I love and putting
the right energy into my craft that what is mine will
find me. There are many things I have to be passionate
about in this life.
Nuytens: If you
had the opportunity to choose the role you really
want to play in the movie of your choice, what would
Ethan Flower: Well let me put it
this way. I wish there was a firestorm about whether
or not I was right for the role of Batman! Ha! I would
kill in that role! I might have to give Ben a call.
We worked together on Mallrats and it’s time
we had a talk. ?
Gilles Nuytens: Each
experience is a whole new opportunity to learn things.
So what's the most important thing you've learned
Ethan Flower: So many things. Meditation
is key. I try to meditate at least once a day. I also
try to just close my eyes and shut my mind down for
at least 5 minutes before I audition for a role or
shoot. Acting is a constant learning process. I have
been really working on taking my time, listening to
what my fellow actors are saying to me and to not
try to do anything, just let it come. It will all
just happen authentically if my mind is in the right
Gilles Nuytens: What
was the most challenging role you had so far?
Ethan Flower: I originated a role
of David in London back in the 90’s for a new
play called The War Boys. We got rave reviews and
a British director and friend at the time, Ron Daniels
liked it so much that he later ended up directing
it into a movie that came out a few years ago. It
was a terrifically written play by Naomi Wallace about
a group of guys patrolling the US boarder near Mexico.
It was a great mix of political theatre and the addition
of the everyday barrage of advertising that we get
presented in our lives. We did the play in a well-known
London fringe theatre called The Finborough Theatre.
It was very small in there and that lead to a very
intimate performance. I worked with the writer and
director for weeks on end getting the specifics of
that performance just right. It demanded an enormous
amount and combination of physical and mental specificity
to detail that really taught me a lot as a young actor.
Attention to details that I use today.
Gilles Nuytens: What's
your greatest achievement so far, acting related?
Ethan Flower: I would say that still
actually in the business is my greatest achievement
to date. Seriously. I got into acting because I loved
the people. There can be an enormous amount of rejection
in our business. So when you do get a job it can be
a huge relief. Then sometimes when you work on that
job and people treat it as if it’s just the
same as cleaning cars at the car wash then I wonder,
well why are you being like that? I love doing this.
This is fun. When people don’t enjoy the joy
of doing what we do it can take a little bit of you
away if you are not careful. I never let it do that.
I always love what I do. So in the face of all the
difficulties of our career in entertainment, I think
that staying an actor and my persistence is really
my greatest of all my achievements.
Nuytens: When you
first read the script of Dragon Day, what did you
Ethan Flower: Yeah, I loved it. I
am kind of a computer nerd anyway; I mean I was using
old telephones and old phone modems with an Apple
II back when it first came out. I used to log into
major main frames and see what was there on their
bulletin boards before security was even a word that
people used for the Internet. So over the years as
technology changed I always knew that our infrastructure
was vulnerable. I always knew that our every digital
move was being tracked. I mean are people really surprised
with what Edward Snowden has awakened the general
public to? It’s the nature of progression in
the digital world. I’m just surprised me that
more people were not aware of this. So when I picked
up and read Dragon Day and it described how China
was going to take over The USA through a Cyber attack,
I was like, OK this film is MADE for me. I want to
tell this story. I always have. And now I get to.
How cool is that?
Gilles Nuytens: China
invading USA, I bet Chinese government won't like
it... what's your opinion?
Ethan Flower: Wow, well there is
certainly a lot there to talk about. I mean, honestly,
do I care if China is upset about it? No way. In fact,
bring it on! I mean stay out of my laptop but bring
it on. Ha! Cyber warfare is a two way street. They
do it to us and we sure as heck do it to them. The
only difference up until recently is that they were
much better at it than we were. Now I think we are
getting sort of up to speed but China nails us on
a daily basis. They are everywhere inside our machines
and we just don’t even realize it. They hack
into our government mainframes constantly. They steal
our military secrets right from under our noses. They
hack into major corporations daily and steal info
on users and technology. China really has their shit
together on that front and we are getting blasted,
so that makes me worry. It’s only a matter of
time ‘till we get a major strike. Forget Earthquake
preparedness. The new phrase should be Cyber Attack
Preparedness. CAP. Ok, I just coined it. Are you CAP
Gilles Nuytens: How
was the whole experience on Dragon Day?
Ethan Flower: It was a great experience.
The set was professional, the people were kind hearted
and generous and the actors were top notch. My biggest
problem was wanting to hang out and chat with everyone
more but I was in almost every scene and the level
of concentration that took did not allow me to hang
out between takes at all. I was prepping too much.
I did get some time to do that though.
Nuytens: A follow
up: What did you enjoy the most being on that movie?
Ethan Flower: I loved where we shot.
What a great place. We shot in a small town in the
middle of the woods called Wrightwood, CA. I had never
been there before. It’s beautiful and so secluded.
I reminded me of my small town that I grew up in.
Gilles Nuytens: What
are you the most proud of about that movie?
Ethan Flower: There is a scene where
we are running out of water and I try to suck what
is left out of the water tanks below the house. I
loved how we captured the desperation that my character
was going though to try to save his family. It’s
Gilles Nuytens: How
close (or far...) is Duke Evans from you?
Ethan Flower: He is right inside
of me. Real close. I didn’t have to search for
him at all.
Gilles Nuytens: What
did you bring to him? Which part of your personality
did you give to Duke Evans that wasn't especially
visible on the script?
Ethan Flower: I am a man who will
do anything to save what is dear to me. I will fight
tooth and nail for those people that I love. I am
very protective. I make mistakes sometimes and I do
whatever I can to make things right. Duke and I are
alike in that and many other ways.
Gilles Nuytens: We
love hearing funny stories, anything funny to say
about Dragon Day, anecdotes on the sets or anything
related to the movie?
Ethan Flower: Yeah, sure. Next to
the house where I lived was a local man named Laurence.
He invited me to the local bar where we solidified
our friendship. He is a great eccentric French musician
that played harmonica at the bar on certain nights
and was always of a jolly spirit. We got to know each
other quite well. He had a crazy messed up hair and
mustache or beard I can’t remember. He sometimes
looked like a homeless person. He would always bring
me a bottle of wine to my house at night to have but
the only problem is that I don’t drink before
I have big shoot days and only have a few hours to
sleep, so he would stand there chatting with me on
my front for sometime when I would have to ask him
politely to leave so I could go to sleep. And so,
there was a scene in the film of devastation that
occurs in the town and a lot of the locals were used
in shot. I asked Jeffrey the director if we could
use him playing the harmonica in some of those shots
in the town. He jumped on it and so in the film we
have Laurence playing beautiful and haunting harmonica
music and looking so perfect in the shot.
Nuytens: Any future
goals, challenges you want to do?
Ethan Flower: I want to travel more
of the world. I love the different cultures that the
world has to offer. I challenge myself to see as much
of the world before I die.
Gilles Nuytens: A
free question to you. Ask "yourself" a question
as if you were the interviewer (something that you'd
like someone would ask you), and answer it :)
Ethan Flower: What is one of the
strangest things that you have ever done?
Ok! Here we go. When I was about 6 to 10 years old,
I was a hoarder. I used to go into the post office
and dig through the garbage cans for mail that people
didn’t want. You could find me head first diving
into mail trash after school every day at my local
small post office. I didn’t care that people
saw me do it. I would then hoard the junk mail at
home in huge garbage bags in my closet. Everything
from perfume trials to church pamphlets. Along with
about 5,000 matchbooks from all over the world, Hundreds
of bottle caps from around the world, comic books,
T-shirts, old coins and Baseball cards that I won
at school. One day I threw it all away. I think it
was after someone I had invited over had stolen my
comic books. I burnt all the matchbooks at once in
a big pyromaniac blaze of fire. I threw all the mail
and bottle caps away. I gave the coins to my brother.
Can’t remember what happened to the T-shirts.
The baseball cards I later sold to help me pay for
Gilles Nuytens: Thank
you for this interview! Anything else you'd like to
Ethan Flower: I appreciate your time.
Check out our trailer at www.DragonDayMovie.com
and it was great sharing with you. I hope you like
Dragon Day as much as I do.