Exclusive Report & Photos: Neve Campbell Starring in The Glass Man

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Brother, can you spare a crime?

The current economic crisis is proving a nightmare for many people. Especially Martin Pyrite, the central character of The Glass Man, a new psychological horror thriller now filming on London locations starring Andy Nyman (Severance, Black Death, Dead Set), James Cosmo (Outcast) and Scream Queen Neve Campbell. The compact chiller is written and directed by Cristian Solimeno (star of Mother of Tears and Highlander: The Source) who calls it “An exploration of the fears regular people have in the real world, the dark places they have to go in times of extreme stress, forced to cross a line they never dreamt they’d get even close to.”

Andy Nyman describes the premise: In a nutshell The Glass Man is about a guy with a nice middle class lifestyle who works in the financial sector. Thanks to the banking collapse he loses his job but instead of telling his wife (Campbell) he continues his 9-5 routine and gets into enormous monetary difficulties. Then late one night there’s a banging on the door. It’s debt collector Pecco (Cosmo) who tells Martin he’s bought his arrears from the loan shark and wants to start clearing out his house. After much anguished persuasion Pecco tells Martin there’s only one way to stop the repossession; he still has an important job to do that night and if Martin does it with him, he’ll wipe the slate clean. Naturally Martin wants to know what the job is, but Pecco won’t tell him – he has to yes right away or the deal is off. So Martin reluctantly agrees…”

What that job is and what exactly it entails takes Martin on a terrifying journey through his own private hell. Where he is forced to dig a double grave, deal with a maniac stalker and confront his worst dreads in a shocking vortex of soul-destroying madness.

Nyman and Solimeno have known each other since co-starring together in Dead Babies/Mood Swingers (2000). “I write a part in everything I do for Andy,” points out Solimeno. “I’m such a fan of his acting prowess and The Glass Man needed an absolute tour-de-force performance at its centre to make it work. He really has to carry the whole movie as it goes into some really scary and psychologically uncharted areas. I knew he had the emotional range for it though. I got the idea for the script after reading some of the newspaper stories about the abject depths desperate unemployed people went to after being fired. What would someone have to go through mentally to get to such an awful place where bloody murder – and far worse – is the only option? I wanted to find a way of manifesting that kind of stark horror in a psychological thriller context.”

“I’ve now worked with Cristian four times,” remarks Nyman, presently the toast of London’s West End thanks to his hit horror anthology stage play “Ghost Stories” (co-penned with The League of Gentlemen writer Jeremy Dyson). “I played a small part in his debut feature as a director (the romantic drama THIS IS) and knew from that he was up to the job. How could I refuse the role when it had been expressly written for me anyway! It fitted into my two-month hiatus from acting in ‘Ghost Stories’ and I adore working in such a calm and creative environment. The twisting story leads you to places you don’t expect and the final weird third of The Glass man is simply astonishing in my view. Some films I can watch my acting back on the video monitor after ‘cut’ has been called. I can’t here because my performance is so raw and emotionally naked, I don’t think I could take it.”

James Cosmo is another former co-star of Solimeno’s called up for action duty in The Glass Man as the sinister repo man Pecco.

“We appeared together in the sci-fi TV movie Comet Impact (2007),” says Braveheart lead Cosmo, “And we got on so well that working together again seemed the ideal situation. We had talked about a few other projects before The Glass Man reared its head, but it was the one that seemed most accessible both financially and artistically. Cristian developed his original draft into something I can only call a short, sharp shock of a movie and I couldn’t wait to be involved because actors-turned-directors are the best people to work with as they have the technical experience I respond more to. Pecco is a hard part to play for many reasons I can’t divulge; he’s tricky, aggressive, very scary and I’m playing him dead straight so no one will get a hint of what I’m really about until Cristian needs them to. Pecco is everything Martin isn’t and in many ways that’s why Martin goes along for the frightening ride. If Martin had Pecco’s grim determination, he’d have told the boss who fired him exactly where to get off. I adore making ensemble pieces and this is one of the best because it’s about those dark moments of the soul we all have. This isn’t about horror staples like zombies or vampires, this is about the really scary stuff you uncover when you confront the darkness in yourself.”

Neve Campbell agreed to appear in The Glass Man because she’s a fan of Andy Nyman’s work and wanted to work with him according to Solimeno. He continues, “Perhaps Neve categorizes it as a genre movie more than I’d like because the story is just so unique and the aesthetic I want to give it (with director of photography Bruce ‘Huck’ Melhuish) is on the artier side. But the violence does creep in and that’s the best aspect about a genre crowd, they are more prepared to go with such experimental and challenging material than most audiences.”

That’s the reason why The Glass Man has been financed privately through producer Paul Fournel’s city connections. “My day job is in investments so I have access to private finance,” explains Fournel. “I was executive producer on the crime thriller Tu£sday (2008) and found myself playing a cameo in a scene with Cristian. Because we were stuck in the same room together for ages we bonded and thought it might be a good idea to work together again. So Cristian, ‘Huck’ and I made the short film Smile last November to see if we could jell as a team and The Glass Man came off the back of that. I’m a huge fan of Hammer Horror and felt a genre movie would be the right project at the right time. Especially as it falls into the ‘Recession Horror’ category and I’ve seen more of my fair share of that being based in London’s financial Square Mile. Although we will complete filming next month – we are still trying to find the perfect woodland location for an extreme chase scene – already the rushes look fantastic and there are some great jumps in there already.”

Cristian Solimeno actually has a dual responsibility the January night I visit the North London townhouse location. For not only is he behind the camera in the pivotal scene shooting, he’s also appearing in it. “I play famous movie celebrity Toby Huxley, star of such action epics as ‘Princess of Mars’!” laughs Solimeno. “Martin has come to see me about loaning him money. Unfortunately he’s found me in a distressed state about to move out of my home because a crazed stalker has been sending nasty letters and killed my pet dogs. This is the moment the true horror of the situation is revealed for the first time and it’s a very intense, distressing and disturbing epiphany for everyone. Especially the audience…

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Source: Alan Jones