Incontrol gets its premiere at this week’s Frightfest. The film will form one of over sixty movies screening at the festival. The five day event celebrates the dark heart of cinema. Incontrol tells the tale of a college students who find themselves able to step into the bodies of those around them and control them. In essence, it’s Flatliners meets Being John Malkovich. Ahead of the premiere we sat down with one of it’s stars, Levi Meaden, to find out more about the project.
Meaden is a young, upcoming actor. He has a lot of television experience, appearing in The Killing, The 100, and Aftermath, but has recently started to rack up the feature films. He has a small part in War of the Planet of the Apes, and post Incontrol, will be seen controlling giant robots in Pacific Rim: Uprising. When we caught up with Levi he was in the process of moving house, but was more than happy to chat to us about Incontrol, controlling Donald Trump, and new gay icon – The Babadook.
How would you describe Incontrol to people?
It’s a low-fi tech thriller about a group of people who find the ability to basically jump into other people’s bodies and take control of them, and use it to have fun. But it slowly starts to become almost like a drug and gets them into more and more trouble.
When I watched it I thought Flatliners meets Being John Malkovich…
That’s a pretty good cross.
What was it about your character Mark that appealed to you?
I’m a huge fan of the genre. I know the producers and they said ‘it’s going to be a low-fi thriller, but you get free reign to do whatever you want with the character. Play with it, give it whatever stamp you want to’. As someone coming off of a few things that had a more specific idea, than what they would allow me to do, it was a lot of fun to have.
You mentioned you were a big fan of the genre, what are some of your favourites?
Blade Runner is my favourite sci-fi, 2001, Fifth Element. But low-tech kind of thrillers like that…Primer is great. I guess those would be a few of my tops.
Can you explain Primer to me because I’m still confused.
Erm…(laughs) I had to sit down and go beat by beat, it made sense when I got really wrapped into it, but now that I’m not, I couldn’t.
If you were given a go in the machine, who would you like to take control of?
Oh that’s a good question…Donald Trump. I don’t know how that would happen or how people are going to take that, but sure.
I kinda feel that if maybe people already are jumping in and out of him, that might explain some stuff.
Well that would be a nice explanation for it.
Incontrol screens as part of this year’s Frightfest programme. The festival celebrates the dark heart of cinema, what do you think the festival fans will get from the film?
I mean I hope that they’ll just get a good little thrill ride. It’ll also maybe open up a bit of conversation about the philosophy behind the film. What our actions mean and how they affect us. But more than anything, just a great little thrill that they enjoy, and then they can tell other people about it.
In addition to acting, IMDB lists that you also write, produce and direct, are these areas that you’d like to expand out into more?
Yeah, working on it now, but every one of those things takes a lot of energy. So right now I’m focusing on acting, I will eventually turn back to it, it just depends on when I have the time to do it.
If someone came to you with a big wad of cash and said ‘make whatever you want’ what would you do?
Probably some little genre-melding horror sci-fi or horror comedy. A film noir horror.
So is horror another favourite genre?
Yeah, I mean especially story-wise. I love writing and directing horror movies. I like being in them too.
Any stand-out for you in recent years?
The new Conjuring movies I thought were great. Babadook I thought was phenomenal. I think over the last few years Babadook has been, not only one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in the last few years, it’s one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen.
Have you seen that he’s now a gay icon?
(Laughs) I have! It came out of nowhere. I don’t know how they ended up choosing that one, but yeah (laughs).
You’ve recently finished work on the Pacific Rim sequel, what can you share about your character and the project?
I can’t say much. All I can say is that I am part of the next generation of cadets that are training to pilot the Jaagers. If you like the first one, this one will give you even more of what you like. The pitch was easy, you want to see giant robots fight giant monsters, this is the movie.
You also had a small part in War for the Planet of the Apes, what was that experience like?
I mean that was the first huge set that I was on. When I got on set, the sheer size of it was so impressive. It got me so excited for movies all over again. The details and the world they create. That was my first really big thing and I just got to sit in awe.
What other projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a new movie called Breaking In. It’s directed by James McTeigue and has Gabrielle Union in. I can’t share much more as I’m sworn to secrecy.
Incontrol screes as part of Frightfest’s discovery screen programme on Sunday 27th August. The film sales are being handled by Devilworks.