Written and directed by Brea Grant, 12 Hour Shift centers on Mandy (Angela Bettis), a pill popping nurse at an Arkasas hospital who is also selling organs on the black market with her unpredictable cousin Regina (Chloe Farnworth). Bettis and Farnworth deliver knockout performances in the film, and Farnworth talked to us about landing this scene stealing role.
Set in 1998, 12 Hour Shift has its share of thriller and horror elements. Amidst the tragedy, however, is a refreshing layer of dark humor and no holds barred storytelling. David Arquette co-stars in the feature as a convicted killer and Nikea Gamby-Turner has her share of memorable moments as a simply over it nurse (and friend to Mandy). The picture is bound to garner a cult following, and hopefully it gets some much deserved traction when its hits theaters and On Demand on October 2.
During our conversation, Chloe Farnworth talked about the “psychotic tornado of chaos” that is Regina, her love for Blue Valentine, and why writer-director Brea Grant was a first rate collaborator.
How does it feel to have a gem on your hands? You must be excited for people to see this film.
It feels fantastic. It’s really amazing. When I first got the script, I thought this was something really special and it was going to (be) awesome.
When we were filming, it just had something very different about it. So yeah, it feels fantastic and I’m very excited for people to see it and for it to come out in October.
I don’t want to give much away, because there is a lot of layers to Regina. What can you give away when you are describing your character?
I would describe her as a “psychopatic tornado of chaos” who is also very lovable at the same time – if that is not too much to give away (laughs)!
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It’s such a scene stealing role and your character is one of the most memorable roles I’ve seen in cinema.
Thank you so much! I always start out with the physicality of the character first so when I first got the audition, I wanted her to have this wonky kind of walk. She could walk but she’s a bit clumsy at it.
I wanted to give her a little crazy eyes and a fake twitch. So I start out with the physicality of the character before learning the dialogue and anything else. And then I just build the layers on top. Once you add that physicality, it changes everything.
It changes who they are and how they talk to other people and the way they move. If that makes sense.
How was your audition for this movie? Did you just go for it?
(laughs) My auditions are all set up with self tape. I have a studio set up at home where I do all of my auditions.
As soon as I got this audition, I had this picture of what she looked like. I always have a vision of what a character looks like when I’m auditioning or what they should look like for me.
I kind of from the start gave her all of these physicalities, it was a thing from the get go. When I got the part, I discussed with Brea what she wanted and what I wanted and she went along with how I first did the part, which was (using) all the little quirks that Regina has.
It must have been great to collaborate with writer-director Brea Grant.
Working with Brea, she’s wonderful. She is good at everything. When I read the script, I couldn’t put it down. I read it so quickly. It’s one of the quickest scripts I had ever read.
As a director, she is very good to work with. She gives direction when needed and she also lets us have these amazing improv takes so we can go off and do anything. I think a lot of them are in the final cut, which is even more awesome.
She is really great to work with, and I would work with her any day.
12 Hour Shift is also a deceptively multi-layered story. Was that one of the many reasons why you wanted to take part in this project?
Yes definitely. That was a huge draw. Regina is such a fun, interesting to play. When you read a script and you can’t stop reading it, you know it’s going to be a good.
Sometimes when you’re reading a script, you get to page ten and you’re like “Well it’s just kind of not all that.” With this one, from start to finish, it was amazing.
What kind of reaction have you received so far from 12 Hour Shift?
So far it’s been really good. People seem to love it and say it’s a crazy, roller coaster ride. People seem to love and hate Regina. Hate her in a good way, because Regina is a psychopath. We have had some good feedback so far and I can’t wait for people to see. it. Hopefully a lot of people will.
Was acting always in the cards for you?
It’s been pretty much my whole life literally since I can remember. There has never been really anything else I wanted to do. I had a really big imagination as a kid, and I still do know – it’s huge (laughs)!
Just growing up I used to pretend to be all of these different people and I used to put on shows for my parents. I did ballet from five years and acting class at 10. I love performing.
I love film and television a lot and how naturalistic it is. I love how small movements can be picked up and tell a whole different story. It’s been pretty much my whole life and it fulfills me. It makes me very happy.
Along with imagination, is persistance a huge part of working in the entertainment industry?
I think definitely. One hundred percent. I think persistence is one of the keys because I feel like a lot of people they will work how many years and they stop and don’t pursue it. I think you have to be really persistent and very patient. I think patience is a big key in this industry.
And imagination for sure. You need to have a big imagination to be in the entertainment business, I think.
Can you name one of your favorite movies and what is it about this film that still resonates with you?
One of my favorite movies is Blue Valentine. It has Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in it. That film is just so raw and real and gritty. It pulls me in every time I watch it and it’s one of my all-time favorite films.
Which of your previous projects from your body of work should I check out?
I did this really cool short called Wandering Eyes. It’s a short film. It’s about 20 minutes long but it’s a really good one and the DOP (director of photography) is fantastic. It’s just shot really beautifully. I would have a look at that one.
Chloe thank you so much for your time.
Wonderful, thank you for having me!
12 Hour Shift opens October 2 in theaters and On Demand. The full audio version of this interview is exclusive to our CinemAddicts Patreon members.
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