Steve Mccarthy is an actor and director. He most recently starred in the
TV series Chapelwaite: his work includes The Expanse, Barkskins, Under the
Banner of Heaven, Ruby and The Well.
In the TV series Chapelwaite you play Stephen Boone. Can you tell us about your character?
Stephen Boone is the character that initiates the main action of the tv show when he invites his cousin, played by Adrien Brody, to return to inherit the Boone family mansion. Stephen has faked his own death in order to trick his cousin into claiming the inheritance so that he and his father, who's been seduced by the dark vampiric forces, can force Charles Boone into doing their bidding and unlocking the powerful secrets of the vampire clan.
The series is horror and mystery. Do you like this genre?
I loved how the showrunners, the Filardi brothers, created a very old fashioned, slow-burning, Gothic tale and made it feel very real and modern. What I love about genre pieces is they kind of provide a shorthand to the audience - the rules of every vampire movie you've ever seen - and then the writers and director and actors can kind of play with those pieces, subvert them, own them, use them and make them anew. For my own first short film I made a kind of vampire film called O NEGATIVE - a kind of co-dependent relationship movie - that uses the appetite for blood as a metaphor for how we can be addicted to people. There's something about horror, if it's used well, that is the perfect kind of story. Kind of goes back to why we love scary stories told around the campfire. here's link if you wanna check it out: it's available on Vimeo.
Can you tell us a curious episode that happened on the set?
The first scene that I shot was the first time Stephen is seen in the film - when he meets Loa on the stairs. I loved the writing of the scene and I remember thinking "with this makeup and this costume I don't have to do any work. I just need to make her trust me and to feel that I'm her friend. If I play any of the menace and scary stuff it will be too much.' That's the scene when I found that I wanted his voice, his movements, everything about him to be smooth and graceful and efficient. Almost as if he were gliding on air.
Can you anticipate something about the upcoming season?
What season? I've heard internet rumours but like most things on the internet it's better to treat them with skepticism.
You also worked on The End of Sex. What was the experience like?
End of Sex was just a little one scene part I did as a favour to a wonderful director friend of mine Sean Garrity. He called me up and I said yes and then had the absolute pleasure of working with Lily Gao who is an absolute star. I get to yell and scream at her and basically be the darkest scene of what is otherwise a wondefully hilarious movie. I can't recommend it enough. Sean Garrity and Jonas Chernick have been one of Canada's most wonderful filmmaking teams for years now and I'm a huge fan. But I want a bigger part in their next one please.
What is your next project?
I'm currently acting in the theatre working on a trilogy of plays based on a horrific murder that happened in Canada in the late 1800s. At the time it made headlines around the world - an entire family was killed and their house was set on fire by a mob of 40 men in a small town in rural Ontario. The play is called The Donnelly's -The events leading up to their murder - the arrival of James and Johannah Donnelly from Ireland, the struggles of their own seven sons to make good on the promise of the new world, and the powerful forces against them - it's an incredible story. It seriously deserves to be a 5 season series like the Wire; the characters and the politics and the violence is all so rich and fantastic. It's an honour to be part of telling their story and it's meaningful to me because my own Irish immigrant relatives settled in a town called Kingsbridge which is very near to where the Donnelly story took place, and very near the theatre where we're retelling their story at the Blyth festival.
Have you ever been to Italy?
My wife's family on her Dad's side is from italy so we spent our luna di miel travelling all over visiting family in Cuneo and then in Ladispoli outside of Rome on the Adriatic. Then we travelled across to Puglia and down to Sicily. To see and taste the wide variety of foods, peoples, wines, landscapes that make up the depth and breadth of Italy - from the foothills of the Alps all the way to Etna was just astounding. We can't wait to come back - ideally I'd love to spend half a year there while our two kids are small.