Interview with James Gallanders (Project Ithaca)
“PROJECT ITACA features James Gallanders (Bride of Chucky, The Skulls II), Deragh Campbell (MS Slavic 7, It’s Hard to be Human), and Daniel Fathers (“Snatch”, The Void). The film was co-written by first time screenwriters Anthony Artibello and Kevin C. Bjerkness and directed by Nicholas Humphries (ABC’s of Death 2.5, Riese).”
Saban Films will release the sci-fi / thriller PROJECT ITHACA in theaters and on VOD on June 7, 2019.
Hi James, How are you?
James- Hi Janel. I am fine. How are you?
I am doing well. Thank you.
James – Great.
Tell us about “Project Ithaca” and you got involved?
James- “Project Ithaca” is essentially a story about six strangers who wake up aboard an alien spaceship and they’ve got to try and cope with the situation and they’ve got to confront the past. They must try and find a way home. How I got involved was, I got asked to do a self-tape audition actually and at that point all I had were the sides and I was intrigued by the sides. My wife and I put it on tape and then I got a call and they said, we really liked your tape and they want to meet you. Then I met with the director/ writer/producer Anthony Artibello and I did the callback. It is funny because he told me a story because now Anthony and I had become really good friends. He said that the minute I walked into the room he really liked my energy and he said the second I had shook his hand and I looked him the eye he had found his John. I hadn’t even done the callback yet. I was already intrigued by the notion of being in a sci-fi thriller that involves alien abduction but when I had read the character that Anthony had written that I was really pulled in. I found that John is such a tortured soul. I was thrilled when I got the chance to play this part.
I think you did an amazing job. Did you have to do any kind of research or anything to get into this head space to play John because is going through so much?
James- I would say for sure. I think in a way that it was really good that I was away and away from my wife and my family. I’ve got two young children. So yeah it was an ugly place I had to go and sort of live with that tortured soul kind of place in your psyche for like a whole month but I think it really helped. I lived a very solitary sort of existence while I was there. Being a part from my family, from my loved ones sort of helped reinforce the idea that I was detached from the ones that I care about. So it was an ugly place to go for sure but that’s part of what you sign up for as an actor to dive into these tormented souls. Sort of part of the fun right.
I agree. What was it like for you working with the director Nicholas Humphries?
James- It was really good. He was helpful and supportive.
You play a variety of characters in so many different films. You have also been in a variety of horror films as well. Did you always want to do this?
James- It is something that I fell into. When I did the “Bride of Chucky” I remember my agent calling me up and saying, do you want to be in a movie called “Bride of Chucky” and I just sort of laughed and said I have to have that on my resume. I didn’t know anything, I think I was still relatively new out of acting school. I didn’t much about the “Child’s Play” series and I thought this sounds like a cute little B movie. I got to set and I saw all the movie that was involved and I thought how cow, this is like a big movie. So yeah that was sort of accidental and other things that I’ve done like “Skulls II” has certainly been a lot of fun.
May I ask what you are working on next?
James- I am waiting to hear about a couple of jobs. I recently passed on something that would have been a really long term commitment. To be honest with you I am sort of holding out hope that we will get to revisit these characters because this was originally meant to be the first in a trilogy.
I would be so excited for a sequel.
James- Oh, me too. I am totally jazzed. Let’s hope it happens.
What do you want to say to the fans and the audiences that will be watching “Project Ithaca?”
James- Oh, that is so nice. I hope they enjoy all the sci-fi elements of this film. It is a lot of fun. It is a wild ride. This film really allows the story and the characters some time to breathe within the urgency of the situation.
Thank you so much. It was an honor to talk with you. I love the films you do and this film is so different so thank you.
James- That is very kind of you. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.