AN INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD SPEIGHT, JR.
Actor for Driven
Fanworld: How would you pitch Driven to the uninitiated?
Richard: “Driven” is clever, it’s a quirky and unique ride, a lighthearted suspense thriller that represents all that is cool and fun about indie film.
Fanworld: What made you say 'yes' to the project?
Richard: I love doing movies (and rarely get to do them), I knew Glenn and Casey were for real, and I thought the script was great.
Fanworld: Glenn & Casey are good friends and they work together often. How was it to be a newcomer in that dyamic?
Richard: Easy. As an actor, you’re always walking into a situation where others know each other. Maybe the producers are long time partners, maybe the cast has been together for a while…so you always feel like the new kids at school. I’m used to that. It’s part of the job. For their part, they were very welcoming and kind and eager to hear my thoughts, so it was a smooth and quick transition.
Fanworld: I tend to believe each new job is a lesson. What did you learn from Driven? (Apart from 'wear thermals?')
Richard: I learned (or was reminded) that a movie doesn’t have to be big to be good. And I was very impressed with Glenn as a visual storyteller. He was super prepared and stuck to his style the whole time even when it wasn’t the easiest path.
Fanworld: Describe Casey in one word.
Richard: Dry. (And that’s a compliment). She has a very dry wit, and I dig that. It worked well for her character, too.
Fanworld: Describe Glenn in one word.
Richard: Easygoing. Just a charming, likable guy who seems to never get flustered (or hides it well).
Fanworld: Driven is a comedy horror. What's your favourite horror movie?
Richard: I’m not a straight up horror buff. My favorite “light” horror films are “Shaun of the Dead” and “American Werewolf in London.”
Fanworld: Em is a budding standup comedian. Who are your favourites?
Richard: Steve Martin is a big #1. Then Mitch Hedberg. I also really enjoy Bill Burr and Jim Gaffigan. And Jim Breuer. I’ve seen a lot of unknowns in my day going to clubs. I have tremendous respect for good comics. It’s an impossible art.
Fanworld: Roger is high on my list of your most appealing characters. What did you like most about him?
Richard: He wasn’t a one-note trumpet. His backstory was interesting and what drove him as a character was compelling. Also, as a character, he was funny without being comedic. That’s tough to pull off but Casey nailed it. That made him fun to play because I was playing moments, not jokes. Any humor came out his honesty and his interactions and connections with Emerson.
Fanworld: Roger's pep talk to Emerson really struck a chord with me. Do you have a favourite moment from the movie?
Richard: There are many, but one simple one is Roger and Emerson sitting in the back of the car as Roger explains how to use the powder to stop a demon. I get the feeling that was the first and only time Roger ever explained that to anyone. I like the shot visually, and I like them bonding over the challenges ahead. We see they are in this together. There is trust. A lot is accomplished in a very quick moment.
Fanworld: As a project, Driven seems to have really captured the imagination of your fans. How much of that do you think is down to the way Casey and Glenn engage with fandom?
Richard: I would guess a lot. They are warm and welcoming and charming and honest and that makes folks, including me, want to see them succeed.