“In the Family” is a drama that has garnered positive reviews since it was released last year.
For Spokane audiences, however, a familiar actor may prove reason enough to draw them to a screening of the film during the final weekend of the Spokane International Film Festival.
Trevor St. John, a Spokane Valley native who graduated from West Valley High School in 1989, stars as Cody, half of a gay couple raising their 6-year-old son, Chip (Sebastian Brodziak). When tragedy strikes, Cody’s partner Joey (writer-director-star Patrick Wang) is left to try to keep the family together.
St. John is no stranger to the big screen, having played small parts in films such as “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “The Kingdom.” He probably is best known for his eight years on ABC’s longtime daytime drama “One Life to Live.”
“In the Family,” which played last night at SpIFF and will be screened again Saturday, is a film that New York Times critic Paul Brunick called “one of the most accomplished and undersold directorial debuts this year.”
In an email interview, St. John talked about making “In the Family,” and what’s next for him.
SR: How did “In the Family” come to you? Why did you decide to take the role?
TSJ: It came from my agent who liked the script a good deal and suggested I give it a read. I thought it was a terrific story, well written and I was interested in the challenge of playing a gay character. I also love to do dialects. The Southern dialect is one of my favorites. So I read for Patrick and he offered the role of Cody to me.
SR: What was the shoot like for you?
TSJ: The shoot was terrific. The atmosphere on the set was one of real creativity and a passion for the story and filmmaking in general. Everybody there was interested in making a great movie.
SR: Clearly, this story meant a lot for Patrick Wang, as writer, director and star. I can imagine that can make for interesting times on the set. Was there still room for collaboration?
TSJ: It was nothing but collaborative. Patrick approached the whole endeavor with patience and openness. He trusted the people he hired so he let them do their thing and if it was not what he wanted then he opened it to discussion. It’s really the only way to do it. It’s how all the best directors approach it.
SR: You left “One Life to Live” last year. Was that hard?
TSJ: Not at all. Although I miss my friends from the set, I had absolutely no reservations about leaving. It had been many years of work and I was simply through. I’m much more content now that I’m done with that job.
SR: What are you up to next?
TSJ: I just shot the pilot episode for an ABC Family show called “Intercept.” I’m waiting to see if it goes to series. Other than that I’m just fishing for more work like most everybody else.
SR: Do you get back to Spokane much at all these days?
TSJ: Well, I just moved back to Los Angeles, so I should be able to get back more now. But I was just there a few days for Christmas. I miss many aspects of it. Of course I love seeing my family. And I miss the land. It’s a naturally beautiful place.