I had the opportunity to speak with actor Glen Matthews who portrays Jim or “Huggs” in the film. He is currently in Toronto acting in THE NUNS VACATION, a new play from Tom Walmsley. He is appearing alongside his CORRIDOR co-star Stephen Chambers (Tyler) and actress Sandy Duarte (THE CORRIDOR’s biggest fan – she was the one with all the facebook updates). While busy with rehearsals and their big opening this past weekend, both Glen and Stephen were still able to take the time to answer a few questions for me about their experience on THE CORRIDOR which I am extremely grateful for.
BT: There are some very interesting make-up effects in this film, one in particular involving you Glen, can you tell me a bit about shooting these scenes?
GM: Most of the film was done using practical effects, including the scene you’re referring to, and I really love that, as a viewer, and as an actor. Practical effects just can’t be beat.
The first take we did, I knew that the blade was dulled and safe, but my brain was still sending me danger signals. It was such a weird sensation. Every impulse in my body was telling me to scream “Cut!” and start weeping, haha.
SC: Luckily, I didn’t have to undergo any of the make-up stuff aside from a tiny scar they gave me under my eye. My big deal was simply reacting to these effects. I liked that the majority of effects on THE CORRIDOR were practical and not CGI which meant I didn’t have to react to nothing but rather something I could actually look at. The day they did Glen’s big effect, I refused to see how any of it was applied. I didn’t want to know the technical stuff behind it. I wanted to see it “live” while they shot and have a genuine reaction to something that actually looked quite real. Glen’s effect (and others) truly did affect me and what you see on camera is pretty legit. The effects were really happening and so were the reactions to it. I recall being pretty damned shocked when I saw the scene involving Glen. I can’t remember but they probably did it like 3 times which involved quite a clean up each time.
BT: What was your most enjoyable scene to shoot?
GM: I honestly can’t single one scene out. The cast was so wonderfully stacked with likeminded performers; every day was an absolute pleasure.
SC: Most enjoyable scene to shoot…depends. I always got the most amped up any time I got to charge through on the snow mobile. I suppose anything to do with that thing was my favorite as I’d never ridden one before and got pretty good at it.
On another level though, I think the first day of shooting was my favorite. The first day we had a blizzard and were almost shut down. We shot pretty much in sequence and I was really keyed up on day 1. I remember just doing a bunch of walking through this beautiful canvas of snow that was so surreal. We were shooting all the stuff of Tyler’s arrival back at the cabin and it simply entailed me just trudging through the white snow. That was purely magical for me; probably my favorite moment of shooting the film.
BT: The film centers around male bonding, having a predominantly male cast did you find that bonding occurring off-screen as well?
GM: We all knew that the chemistry was going to be a big part of this film going into it, so I think there was a bit of a concerted effort to “bond” in the first week of rehearsals, but after that, it didn’t need to be forced, whatsoever. All of them are great performers who I hope to work with again someday (well, me and Stephen are doing a play together now, actually).
SC: I’ve said this before and it still remains true to me. Whether it was art imitating life or vice versa, I found myself quite separate from the other fellows. I got along fine with all of them but preferred to sort of do my own thing in a separate place. Maybe being the only Torontonian in a group of Haligonians had something to do with it. I felt that I bonded just the way Tyler would have. I loved them all but also felt quite alienated and that truly made my job on screen that much easier. Hell, it wasn’t till like a year later that I actually stopped being afraid of these guys….especially Glen! I’m working with Glen and he still scares me!
BT: From auditions to festival appearances what has been your fondest memory of this project?
GM: Receiving the call from my agent, telling me that I had been cast in the film was unbelievable. In this case, I read the script, and really fell in love with it. If I hadn’t been cast in the film, it still would haunt me to this day, I know it, especially after seeing what Evan (Kelly, the director) was able to accomplish. I’m incredibly proud of this film and feel so fortunate every time we get a chance to share it with an audience.
SC: Fondest memory? First week in Halifax, no doubt. I got the role while doing a play in Toronto. Finished the play and was flown out to Halifax, a city I’d been to about 10 years before and always loved. Week one entailed a breezy rehearsal schedule, so for me, I just got to wander the city most of the time and do my own thing and take in the fact that I was about to embark in a pretty big deal of a film. I just felt weird that whole time but in a good way. Just being in a new town on a new project was a Twilight Zone-ish feeling that I enjoyed. Same with the first day up in Wolfville where we stayed at the Old Orchard Inn. It was like THE SHINING. A big ol’ empty hotel in the middle of the desolate snow. I loved the surreality of it all. Once the actual work started, it all went to hell. Kidding. Maybe.
BT: Other than THE CORRIDOR, what is your favorite scary movie?
SC: THE EXORCIST, hands down. Best film ever and not just for horror. Watch it, watch it again. There’s a lot of stuff happening in that film. It inspires everything I write in one way or another. I also have to say POLTERGEIST and ROSEMARY’S BABY. Best horror films and you can’t argue with that. I won’t let you. I swear, if Glen says something like Saw, I’ll scalp him.
GM: I really hate being scared. I sit through scary movies holding my breath. For me, I love THE THING, it’s the perfect mix of scares and strong characters. Oh, and gotta love those practical effects.
BT: Rock, Paper or Scissors?
SC: Paper, all the way.
GM: I’ll never divulge my secrets.
We would like to thank Stephen and Glen for a great interview and send a big thank you to their stage co-star Sandy Duarte for putting us all in touch. We wish you all the best with your current show!
Check out our official GUIDE TO GORE review for the film!