John Behlmann, who has starred in series such as “Riverdale”, “The Good Wife” and in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and lent his voice to the World of Warcraft franchise, sat down with me to talk about one of his latest projects, the thriller Dead Sound.
Based on true events, Dead Sound is from director Tony Glazer, and writers Jon Adler and Ted Weihman. It also stars genre icon Jeff Kober (The Walking Dead, Buffy), Terminator: Dark Fate’s Brett Azar, and Stranger Things’ Matty Cardarople, along with Behlmann.
In the film, “four best friends from boarding school decide to attend a massive blow-out High School graduation party on Block Island. After missing the last ferry they decide to hire a fishing boat to take them on what should be a simple journey. What they get is the trip from hell, with a captain and his first mate that have no intention of taking the kids to Block Island, putting them into a fight to survive and to simply make it back to land… any land.”
Horror Fuel: “You play a pretty twisted role in Dead Sound.”
John Behlmann: “It was fun, for me. To do something so far opposite of the way one should behave. It wasn’t totally out of left field, what we were doing. We tried to include some of the layering to why someone would be like this and to feel the way they feel. I don’t get asked very often to play parts like that.”
Horror Fuel: “It was pretty physical too, there was a lot of fighting.”
John Behlmann: “Yeah, On a shoot like that, when you don’t have a huge budget, you’re moving at a pretty quick pace. We really did tackle a lot of physicalities in a short period of time. Hats off to our stunt coordinator Justice Hedenberg. He did a great job. We filmed it a little quicker than maybe we should have, but I think it came out great.”
Horror Fuel: “I really enjoyed the movie.”
John Behlmann: “I’m glad. I think pretty early on, it established itself as a film where you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Early on when you meet my character you kind of realize that any character could get killed off at any point which I think is valuable for this kind of film. Tony did a great job of making it feel suspenseful. We weren’t always stable, we were on a boat most of the time.”
Horror Fuel: How hard was it to film on the ship? There’s not a ton of room and with all the fighting it has to be a bit difficult.
John Behlmann: “Most of the time – thank god – we were docked. We filmed and stayed on Block island. It was never really choppy for the most part. There was one day in particular where our poor crew went out to film on the open water. We left the bay, and we had an experienced captain, but we got out there and it was just awful. People were puking. Thankfully were acting from a distance via drone shots, but there was puke everywhere. There was another boat following us and those guys got it the worst. They were getting battered by the waves. We were docked after that.”
Horror Fuel: “I imagine a sick crew isn’t very fun.”
John Behlmann: “Right. Thankfully we weren’t far from where we were staying. It was a resort on the offseason. We had the run of the place. It was a large boat, but things get small real fast when you spend twelve hours a day on it. We were up working at night, at strange times. We were all living together and it felt kind of claustrophobic at times. I thought I did alright on boats, but it turns I don’t. You go from bed to boat to bed to the boat and after about day three you’re lost in the world. It was a little brutal.”
Horror Fuel: “I imagine. Speaking of brutal, what is it that is really driving your character, Bobby? Is it jealousy, is it greed, or is it that he’s just a bad man?”
John Behlmann: ” I think that there is a lot of anger there. He’s had a tough go of it. He doesn’t have some of the stuff that other people have just handed to them. I think there’s a real tension there between the have and have nots. I think that’s a big driving force for him. It’s not a coincidence that this happens to a bunch of spoiled kids. These kids have it all in the movie and here these guys who have to scratch out a living. The powerlessness of that feeling of not having anything handed to you and having to fight to get everything and worrying where you’re going to have to get your next to bite to eat. There is an anger and resentment at them not knowing how good they have it. I think that’s a lot of it. Once you let that genie out of the bottle you can’t get it back in. I gave myself permission to drop that social veneer. With a character like that you have to let your anger run free. That’s what happens towards the end of the movie.”
Horror Fuel: “You really feel that with the movie, that anger. And it’s based on a true story, right?”
John Behlmann: “Yeah, it is. We heard the story from Jon, who wrote the movie. A similar thing happened to him when he was a kid. He got a ride with these local guys – none died as far as I know. But they got shook down and robbed with a gun and that sort of thing. There were liberties taken with the story but his experience inspired him to write this.”
Horror Fuel: “Even if things are a little exaggerated, movies based on true stories or experience are often more interesting. You can feel it when someone has really gone through something.”
John Behlmann: Yeah, he really had a good idea because of that. There were certain things that were important to have in the film because they were details of his story. They could have been small weird things or big plot points. You could feel the emotion in it.”
Horror Fuel: “Right.
What was your experience like working on “Riverdale?”
John Behlmann: “At the beginning of the show (season 2) I entered as an upstanding F.B.I. agent who was trying to test Archie’s loyalties. I try to get him to rat on his girlfriend’s father, played by Mark Consuelos. Eventually, it becomes clear that I’m a mob plant. Archie doesn’t though, he passes the test.
It’s similar in a way that in both roles when I first appear that I’m not who I say I am. In fact, I shot “Riverdale” not long after finishing Dead Sound.”
Horror Fuel: “When can our readers see Dead Sound?”
John Behlmann: “It will be out on DVD and Digital on March 3rd.”
Horror Fuel: “What will we see you in next?”
John Behlmann: “I can’t tell you yet what the big one is, but I do have a movie called Standing Up, Standing Down that was just in theaters with Billy Crystal. It’s a very different role. It’s about a stand-up comic who burns out and moves back home. Billy Crystal is an alcoholic doctor. The two become unlikely friends. I play the husband of Ben Schwartz’s ex-wife. I’m a real sweet guy in that one.”
Horror Fuel: “I’ll have to check that one out. You lend your voice to World of Warcraft, right?
John Behlmann: “Yeah, I ‘ve been a voice on World of Warcraft for a while now. I’ve played a few characters, but mostly I play Mathias Shaw, the head of the equivalent of World of War Craft’s secret service.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s awesome! I know a lot of fans of the franchise. It sounds like you’ve been busy.”
John Behlmann: “Yes, definitely. I’ve been really lucky. I also just finished a run on Broadway with Tootsie the musical. We won a couple of Tony’s last year.”
Horror Fuel: “Wow. Congratulations! I’m a big fan of musicals.”
To say John Behlmann has a huge range is an understatement, the talented actor can play any part on stage or on screen, from nice guy to brooding badass. He has a real knack for projecting emotion, like the rage we witness in Dead Sound. You are going to want to follow John’s career and the best way to do that is by following him on Twitter and Instagram to see what he’s working on and what he has coming out.
Grab your copy of Dead Sound or rent it now.