STARBURST: How did you get involved with this movie?
Brendan Fehr: One of the line producers I’d worked with before, who I’d kept in touch with, said, “I’m doing a movie in New Mexico”. He knew I was there, and he was like, “I’m going to send it to you, and if you like it, then I think we can make it happen!” So I read it and I said, “Yeah, something with Luke Wilson and Dolph Lundgren, little shoot ’em up, let’s go do it!”
What do you remember the most from reading the script for the first time? What stood out to you?
Well, the first thing was, “Oh, I’m the best man? That’s cool”. When he sent it to me, he said, “It’s for the role of Bradley”, and I was like, “Alright, how soon am I going to die in this thing?” Between Luke and Dolph, I was thinking, “Do I die on page nine? Or do I make it to the second act!” No spoilers, but I’m there for a while! I think for me, it’s an action movie; they’re going to have the classic shoot ’em ups, running around, and fights and all of that stuff. Those always look great, you leave those to the stunt coordinators, and you do your best to make them look real. Editing helps a little bit. But for me, I looked at it and thought that it was an interesting relationship with the maid of honour. Me talking with other actors, as a character in the scenes is a lot more enjoyable than doing fights or stunts. Fights and stunts are very cool to watch when they’re done well, and they can add to a movie, but as an actor, they’re somewhat unfulfilling to me. They’re satisfying in the end, but doing them is very unsatisfying. It’s just piece by piece, little by little, and you build this thing. Whereas, interacting with another character, whether you’re amicable or whether you’re butting heads, or whatever the case may be, that’s kind of the fun stuff for me.
It’s an interesting idea, where a wedding turns into a hostage situation. What do you think the wedding side of the story does for an action movie like this? Like, maybe it makes the viewer care for the characters more?
Yeah, no story works if you don’t care about the characters, so that’s where I always put my focus; you know, as I said, I’ll leave the actiony stuff to everybody else because you could have the coolest stunts in the world, and the last thing you want is for the audience to go “I hate this character, I just hope he doesn’t make it through that stunt” My job is to create a relationship with the other characters, and then with the audience, whether they’re supposed to love me or hate me, or go back and forth. So I think with the wedding, and my character in particular, his back story is a great jumping-off point for how he arrives at the wedding, and then he hooks up with the maid of honour, and then the ambush takes place. I just had a lot of fun working with Scout Taylor-Compton on that and us trying to establish that chemistry because it’s got to kind of come quickly, it’s not like the whole movie is about us and our relationship, as we had too much shooting and fighting to do in the middle. So that kind of relationship has got to happen relatively quickly, and I think that it does in the movie. We had great chemistry, and she was wonderful to work with. We talked about every scene. We were super collaborative. We both had the attitude that no ideas are too dumb, even when the ideas were really dumb. It was a safe space to try them, and then we tried them, and we were like, “That was dumb. We shouldn’t do that.” It was a lot of fun to work with her because that’s when it’s easiest to do your best work when you feel comfortable, and you can throw anything out there.
You filmed much of the movie at the Inn of the Mountain Gods. Can you elaborate on what it was like to work there, and maybe why you think that location worked so well!?
It’s kind of in the mountains of New Mexico. It’s a beautiful place. I’d been there before. I filmed a little bit of Wander there as well. Yeah, so we ended up at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, which has some great golf courses, and I’m a big golfer. But I didn’t get to golf at this particular juncture. It’s always interesting shooting in a casino. It’s just got that vibe, we didn’t shut the whole thing down, but we could shut certain areas off. Casinos have just got that vibe of late nights, and there’s drinking. You get a whole cast of characters in there, walking around. It added a little air of excitement, I guess, you’re always hearing the noises of the machines, and you just want to make sure that you don’t waste your money at the craps table!
Going on from that, can you tell us about what it was like to work with your director Shane Dax Taylor?
Shane was great. I’d never met or worked with him before, but we got along really well. The movie is run and gun, but the filming was run and gun as well. Given the time frame of what we had to shoot and accomplish, he didn’t get flustered or frustrated. It was a real undertaking. We didn’t have a lot of time to shoot,, we tried to pack a whole lot in, just maintaining an even keel and being there for any questions we had. He left us to our own devices in terms of the characters that we had created. I think he liked what everyone was bringing to the table. My thing with every director I have is just like, “Mould me, I’m going to bring something to it. If it’s really bad, let me know, and if it’s close but not quite there, let’s talk about it, and let’s try to shape this into something, and get the best we can out of me”. I’m a real open book for that, so if I had any questions, he was always open. It was great that way, a good working relationship.
Saban Films will release THE BEST MAN in US theatres, on-demand and digitally on April 21st, 2023.