Interview: Johnathon Schaech from “Sea of Dreams”
Interview: Johnathon Schaech from “Sea of Dreams”

The Massie Twins recently got to sit down with actor Johnathon Schaech to discuss his new film “Sea of Dreams.”

 

The Massie Twins: I read last night that you were in “Little Chenier”. So far it’s my favorite film of the year.

Johnathon Schaech: Right on man! Yeah!!!!!

MT: I couldn’t believe it was you – with the drastically different Cajun accent, I thought for sure it was two completely different actors.

JS: I love you man! (laughs) Can I take you to Hollywood with me?

MT: Where was Sea of Dreams shot?

JS: It was filmed in Tlacotalpan. Remember “Jewel of the Nile?” That was filmed there – it’s in the middle of nowhere. Mosquitoes are the size of moths. We were in a very remote area. You don’t see filmmakers as passionate as Pepe anymore.

MT: Not all the ones you’ve worked with?

JS: (laughs) Not all of them. It touches on why there’s an international cast. Everything meshes for him. Why isn’t this film in Spanish? Because it’s a Spanish movie with an international theme. The sea connects all of us. It’s all about the passion of love. You saw the colors in the film.

MT: That was one of the most impressive pieces of the film – the vibrant and radiant colors. What drew you to this project?

JS: The screenplay. My agent mentioned that this was not your typical Hollywood film. “It’s not going to pay a lot of money. But you should read this because it’s really good.” My very first movie was for Franco Zeffirelli. He’s a very vibrant filmmaker and a painter. He would paint all of his sets and then make it into a movie. When I was reading the screenplay for Sea of Dreams, it had the same feel. I was like, “I have to do this movie.”

MT: What was your favorite scene to film?

JS: I watched Tom Hanks do interviews and he has every answer down – but you find yourself saying the same thing anyway: every scene with Angelica Maria. She’s different with her process. I studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, so I’ve studied my craft. She was in all of the Spanish soap operas. People would bring their babies for her to kiss. People were lined up at the window watching her at breakfast. She’s like the Elizabeth Taylor of Mexico. Working with her was an incredible experience.

MT: You’ve worked in both TV and film – what are some of the differences and which do you prefer?

JS: Just sitting here talking about a film with such passion and belief – it’s such a collaborative art form. This is not a product – this is a film – from the music to the visual art. It didn’t do the typical film festival route. The producers didn’t want that. It won the Silver Goddess Award – it was released in theaters in Mexico and got decent attention there. It’s a difficult film to market here in the States, but it was a big deal in Mexico. It was unbelievable. Doing this type of movie really pulls on your heartstrings. Making movies like this – it’s not about the money.

MT: Since you’ve done it all, what’s your favorite aspect of filmmaking – writing, directing, producing or acting?

JS: I became a writer because I was an actor. Then I found myself directing because I was a writer. Then I wanted to produce things because I’m a filmmaker. I’m a storyteller. I’ve never done all four in one film however, but I admire Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson – that’s what I want to do.

MT: What are some of your current or future projects?

JS: Right now there’s a screenplay that my writing partner, Richard Chizmar, and I are working on. We adapted a Stephen King novel called “From a Buick 8” – we’re finally going to make it in April. And Tobe Hooper’s going to direct it. We had George Romero, but he fell out so now Tobe Hooper is attached. I’m also writing for the “Masters of Horror” series this year. Mine is “The Washingtonians” – Peter Medak directed that.

MT: Any funny stories to share from the set of Sea of Dreams?

JS: We were told while filming that we could eat at this one restaurant each night without any problems. So I ate at that one restaurant every single night. Nicholas Gonzalez starts to mingle and eats shrimp fajitas at some random restaurant. He became so sick that he passed out and fell flat on his face and busted his face open.

MT: That sounds funny in a “I’d hate to be him” sort of way. Any plans to work with Pepe Bojorquez again?

JS: Any time any day. Pepe’s a very unique filmmaker and he’s got a bright, bright future.