Cara Gee (Call of the Wild) and Richard de Klerk (“Strange Empire”), stars of the indie film Alone Wolf sat down with me to discuss their roles in the film, their other projects, including Cara’s role on the Syfy series “The Expanse”, and more.
In Alone Wolf, Jonathan (Richard de Klerk) lives sealed in his house. The walls covered in plastic and windows wrapped in paper. He does not suffer from agoraphobia, but a willful rejection of the outside world. His life changes when he meets a girl named Town (Cara Gee). Jonathan attempts to cut himself off from the world, but the world manages to draw him closer until he cannot help but let it.
Horror Fuel: “What is it like to be a real couple, playing a couple in a film, like in Alone Wolf?”
Cara Gee: “It’s wonderful.”
Richard de Klerk: “It’s a dream. We actually met while playing husband and wife on a TV show years ago. It’s a real adventure that we got to work on a film together.
Cara Gee: “Yeah, we worked on a TV show called Strange Empire actually where we played husband and wife and the very first day that we ever met, we met in the hair and makeup trailer. Richard says to me, ‘Are you Cara?’ and I said yes and he said, ‘Will you marry me?’ I responded, ‘Yes, later on, today.’ That day, our first day, our characters were getting married.”
Horror Fuel: “Awe. That’s adorable.”
Cara Gee: “So we got to act together again in Alone Wolf, which was amazing. We moved to L.A. which was when Richard was offered the lead role in this film. When he met with the director he told him that he knows a woman that would be perfect for the female lead in the film, me. It was really quite amazing that Charlie, the director, contacted me and took Richard up on that.”
Richard de Klerk: The way I came to it was, I actually met Charlie through his wife, Eliza. I met her in a store where I was buying the ring that I was going to propose with. So it was crazy. I was petting her dog on the floor and we were talking about the industry, which I’ve been in since I was thirteen years old, and Eliza said that her husband was doing his first feature. I didn’t really expect anything to come of it, but a couple of weeks later I got a message from Charlie saying that he thought I would be fantastic in the lead role. So yeah, I did it.”
Cara Gee: “Richard had just gotten the engagement ring and he didn’t purpose to me until after we finished shooting, so while we were shooting, they had to keep it a secret from me how they all met.
With Alone Wolf, we had worked together before so we knew how each other worked. I really do think we push each other to do our best work. Working together is a real joy. We make each other better.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s so sweet! I love hearing stories like that. And it’s great that you will be able to share a story like that with your new daughter when she gets older.
When it comes to your characters, who are very different, in Alone Wolf, how did you get into those headspaces?”
Richard de Klerk: “When we met with Charlie we talked a lot about hikikomori which is translated from Japanese as “pulling inward.” Basically, it’s an entire subset of people in Japan – I think it’s like half a million people – that stay in their houses and don’t leave. They are known as the modern-day hermits. I really thought a lot about what sort of things would make me want to stay home. How I approached Johnathan is that he’s a really, really sensitive guy. He’s afraid of getting hurt. So many people in his life have suffered. One of the things he discovers on his journey is that you’re not going to live a very fulfilling life if you don’t let yourself get hurt sometimes. I think that was his journey. That’s how I approached it.”
Cara Gee: “I think also that situation was so interesting. Both of our different characters had a relationship with that house. Stepping onto that set, Richard basically had made a home for himself in that dusty, plastic-covered place.”
Richard de Klerk: “I was super cozy. I ate my lunch in there right where I was making all those little survival kits in the movie. I had a little bed. I’d take a little nap. I was very, very comfortable. Then when we shot outside of the house it was very interesting. I felt the same way as Johnathan. I was uncomfortable.”
Cara Gee: “Let me tell you, that house was amazing for the film, but it was gross. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I had a different relationship with that location.”
Horror Fuel: “Where was the film shot?”
Cara Gee: “We filmed it in L.A. It was amazing, we’d drive into work together in the morning and marvel at our good fortune to be living and working in L.A.”
Richard de Klerk: “Working at home. So often we have to travel to work all over North America and then to be able to go home and sleep in your own bed at the end of the day, it’s pretty amazing.”
Cara Gee: “A rare treat.”
Richard de Klerk: “It was a really interesting experience being on set.”
Horror Fuel: “I bet. In the movie, why do you think Johnathan chose not to talk to the police?”
Richard de Klerk: “I mean, I think he chose not to talk to the police because he is afraid of how that would end. When you think about it if he talks to the police and tells them what happened, how often he’ll have to go out of the house to court and be a witness. It’s not a very appealing thing for someone who is afraid of going out of the house in the first place.”
Horror Fuel: “That makes sense.
Cara, looking back now as a new mother of a baby girl, how do you see the relationship between your character and her daughter?”
Cara Gee: “I think that it’s quite devastating, to be honest. It breaks my heart. Town is certainly a victim of domestic violence. We see Benny being abusive and violent. We can only imagine what their backstory is. I think that as a society, we really fail women in those situations. There’s that way of thinking ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ but that’s without considering how many obstacles women in that position have and how few resources there are. And how cruel it is that so often the children suffer. To me, it’s truly devastating, especially since becoming a mother. I think as a society, it’s often thought that women are somehow softened by motherhood. There’s a stereotype of motherhood where you like picture pastels and softness when really it’s one of the most hardcore things you can do, especially with your body and beyond that. Caring for and nurturing life, you really do realize how truly precious that a young vulnerable life is and how much we really do owe children. That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, especially living in America and what’s happening at the border with children being kept in cages. I think there is truly nothing more cruel and sickening. I’m glad you asked me that, I’ve been thinking about that.”
Horror Fuel: “I agree. I think the whole border situation with the children is insane. Splitting families apart is not right. They’re people, not animals. There has to be a better way. We’ve condemned other nations for their human rites atrocities and look at what our government is doing.”
Cara Gee: “We’re going to look back in history at this and ask how could it be happening under our own noses. What do we do about that? It’s crazy. It makes me sick actually to think that right now, that there are children suffering so nearby and so senselessly. No other country is doing that. No other country separates families that way. Lots of countries have immigration issues, but to me, it seems like such a needlessly cruel way of going about solving any issue.”
Horror Fuel: “I agree. Hopefully, we’ll get a new president that can come up with a better way of going about this. It’s a terrible thing. All the people wanting this should take a moment and realize that 90% of their ancestors were immigrants as well. I already know that we’ll catch hell from people reading this interview. Oh well, it is what it is.”
Cara Gee: “Who can’t sympathize with a child in that situation? I don’t know if it’s a lack of ability to empathize or a lack of humanity. An innocent child should not have to suffer.”
Horror Fuel: “I agree. I think we may have gotten off track [laughter]. Richard, was the most difficult aspect of playing your character, Johnathan?”
Richard de Klerk: “I would have to say the scenes where we were filming around the door, we would do in an afternoon. It was pretty challenging. I made a lot of notes on where my character was at that point, where he was going, what he was doing. There was a lot of clothing change that day. I think Charlie had me change clothes, I think, like 20 times. We were shooting wide and close and closer.”
Horror Fuel: “It seems like the mother’s death really affected Johnathan. Why wouldn’t he go see her in the hospital? Was he just scared to leave or scared to say goodbye?”
Richard de Klerk: “When you think about it, he was sticking his head in the sand for a good portion of the beginning because of his fear of going out into the world. Going to get his mother’s ashes turned out to be the mission that actually the catalyst for a lot of different things, including his relationship with Town. I think the reason he was resistant to it is probably because he’d have to do a lot of growing. It’s almost like when you have a really, really big task that you want to do but you don’t quite know how to get started. You put it off. It’s almost easier to not think about than it is to do it, but when you do you’re slapped in the face with a whole bunch of realizations about yourself. I feel like that’s what he was feeling.”
Horror Fuel: “Right. I watched my dad deteriorate for two years and pass from cancer. I know how hard and heartbreaking it is to watch your parent die, but I couldn’t imagine choosing not to be there. ”
Cara gee: “I’m so sorry.”
Horror Fuel: “Thank you. On another note, you both played your characters really well. Between Town and Johnathan’s lives, the agoraphobia, Town’s daughter, the abuse, and Johnathan’s fear. it makes for quite an emotional film. Was there a time when you two were really emotionally challenged while filming?”
Richard de Klerk: “Every day. It was kind of crazy. Whenever we would shoot Cara’s side I would find myself tearing up.”
Cara Gee: “Richard really had to tone it down.”
Richard de Klerk: “It was definitely an emotional thing. Johnathan was not an easy character to play. But I’m really grateful that I did play him.”
Horror Fuel: “We’re glad you did too.”
Richard de Klerk: “Thank you.”
Horror Fuel: “So, what’s next for you two, besides a lot of dirty diapers?”
Cara Gee: “When it’s safe to get back to shooting again, Richard and his producing partner have a script they have optioned. They are working on doing some prep work now.
I’m very grateful that I get to shoot another season of The Expanse, the TV show that I work on. It shoots up in Toronto, so we finished shooting season five in February, right before the pandemic hit. Hopefully, we’ll be able to go back and shoot the sixth season. We’re just waiting to hear about that.”
Horror Fuel: The Expanse is a great show. We love it.”
Cara Gee: “Oh, really? That’s so cool. Thank you.”
Horror Fuel: “If you would tell our readers a little bit about your character on The Expanse.”
Cara Gee: “Oh my goodness, it’s such a dream job. That show is such a cool thing to get to work on. So, it takes place in the near future, about 200 years in the future. Earth is run by the UN. Mars is an independent nation. Then there’s a group of people that live and work in the asteroid belt. They are an underclass and they mine the belt for resources to send back to the planets. I play a woman named Camila Drummer who has risen up through the ranks in the belt and finds herself in a position of leadership during a time where the political tensions between those three groups are peaking. That’s her.”
Richard de Klerk: “That show is everything good sci-fi should be. I’m a huge fan.”
Cara Gee: “Basically, it’s a sci-fi thriller. I6t’s very powerful and more and more relevant all the time.”
Horror Fuel: “It is a great show. It kind of sounds like where we are right now in the world.”
Cara Gee: “Yeap. Definitely.”