We asked the Gruesome Playground Injuries actor to talk a little about his process.
Gruesome Playground Injuries is a beautiful and honest depiction of love in one of its
most desperate and isolated forms. A quirky, unspoken understanding exists between Doug and Kayleen, and yet there is always a certain distance between them. This callous space is maintained to serve as both buffer and canvas for the intimacy they simultaneously need and fear.
Doug possesses a level of intensity that both excites and intimidates me as an actor. In
my analysis, he is simultaneously clever and foolish, brave and afraid. For a great majority of hislife, he sees himself only in relation to Kayleen. He exists for her, and is willing to destroy himself for her, even if he doesn’t quite realize it. Eventually, Doug is worn down, exhausted, and no longer willing to put himself through the trials required to maintain Kayleen’s already limited affections.
The foremost challenge I face in preparation for this role is the level of intimacy and
authenticity it requires. At first, I thought that because I understood Doug’s psychology, I
understood his emotions; I was mistaken. It is not enough to know why Doug does what he does. I need to experience how Doug does what he does, what he feels when he does it. I need to be willing to feel that. Such openness can be taxing, but it’s also absolutely vital to the performance. So, each day, I dig a little deeper into myself. I go back down the emotional mineshaft and extract humungous heaps of useless dirt. Occasionally, however, I return to daylight with a small bit of precious ore, and like a monkey with a machine gun, flaunt my discovery with reckless abandon, and hope no one gets hurt.