The Supernatural vet stars in the remake
Given the notoriety that surrounds Meir Zarchi’s original rape-revenge film, you’d think Grave would be an unlikely candidate for an update. But nothing is sacred, haven’t you heard? Director Steven Monroe gathered a crew and headed to Shreveport, Louisiana where he quietly shot his remake last year with stars Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Rodney Eastman, Jeff Branson and Sarah Butler. In line with the original, this take finds Butler playing a young woman who is brutalized and raped near her remote cabin only to later exact merciless revenge on her attackers.
To talk about this not-so-pleasant bit of business, Shock met Lindberg – known to Supernatural fans for his role as “Ash” – for tacos in Hollywood where he shed some light on the making of Grave, which apparently included much “hurling” on set, and discussed his heavenly return to Supernatural.
Shock Till You Drop: Is it true you had never seen the original prior to being offered this role?
Chad Lindberg: I hadn’t seen the original and they sent the script for the remake out under the title Day of the Woman. I read the script and was like, whoa, this is crazy! I had never read anything like that before. I auditioned and got called back a couple of times and got the part. Then I started doing some reading online about the original and there was a whole history behind it. Then I got extra excited. I was all about it, I love dark material.
Shock: The original is very divisive. In fact, I hardly find any fans, but I think it’s incredibly effective. So when you caught up to the film, what did you ultimately think?
Lindberg: First of all, I had to turn down the volume. My neighbors must think I’m nuts. I thought it was gnarly. It’s really a movie that pushes the audiences’ mettle to see what they’re made of. It’s interesting that the original director, Meir Zarchi, he was driving along Central Park in New York and had come across a woman who was just raped and he took her to the police and from that came this movie. That’s amazing. But yeah, that movie, they just keep going and going and you think they’re done and they keep going, okay…
Shock: Remakes today are either staying true to the source material or going wildly off track. What category does this one fit in to?
Lindberg: I think this one is pretty close to the original. I know that they’re amping up the tortures of the guys. But we put a realistic spin on it. Back in the â70s things could be a bit campy for today’s audience, this is more intimate and realistic. All of the actors, we all got along and felt a connection and bonded. It was one of the greatest filming experiences I’ve ever had.
Shock: How did your director, Steven, keep the set comfortable given the intense subject matter?
Lindberg: He was very laid back. He never got into our business and he kept it light. We had to laugh and joke about it because the material was so wrong and raw. [laughs] We’d find ourselves in the middle of Walmart and we’re talking about the brutal scenes we had just done, doing it openly in public, and people are just looking at us and thinking, what the hell? But Steve was super cool and he created a great environment.
Shock: Did Steven give you an idea of why this film demanded to be remade in his mind?
Lindberg: I think the consensus was that enough time had passed. The original director, Zarchi, is on board producing. Steven had seen the original as a kid and it just stuck with him. When this came his way, he felt he could do it.
Shock: Did you meet Meir Zarchi?
Lindberg: Yeah, he came to set. He was definitely there and it was a blast.
Shock: Now what’s your part in the madness? Who do you play?
Lindberg: Matthew. The, um, mentally challenged kid. [laughs] It was unlike anything I had ever done. It was awesome. I love that I get to play that character. He’s the character in the movie that they use to take advantage of the girl. And he’s a fine line character. I didn’t want to go over the top. I wanted to keep him child-like and haunting. Realistic. With respect to the original guy, of course. I wanted him to be innocent and compassionate, if you can give him that.
Shock: What was your dynamic like with Sarah Butler. Clearly during the uncomfortable moments you have to ease the tension. Assure her everything is okayâ¦
Lindberg: Yeah, Sarah is very cool and very down to Earth. We hit it off immediately and we had a bond going into it. We just trusted each other and trusted Steven. On “the day,” the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up. We were high from the work. It was gratifying, though, creatively. There were a few times though where Sarah had to check herself, she needed her space and would give us the thumbs up. I would, at times, hurl or dry heave between takes. But then we’d go and do it again. It was great. [laughs] Hard material, but awesome as an actor.
Shock: Did you get those scene out of the way first on the production schedule?
Lindberg: Yeah, they started before I got there. Some establishing stuff. We shot pretty much in order so we started with those scenes. And then Sarah comes back and takes care of us.
Shock: Are you keeping track of the online talk surrounding the remake?
Lindberg: I think a lot of the fans think it’s going to be a big campy Hollywood movie. It’s not. We kept this indie. It felt that way and it’s sticking true to the flavor.
Shock: I’m a Supernatural fan, but I’m not up to date on my episodes. You recently came back, didn’t you?
Lindberg: Yeah, it was awesome. They had killed me off in season two and I was doing all of these conventions and building relationships with the fan base. Then Twitter came along and I said, help me get back on the show. Kripke heard what was going on and they brought me back. And now my character is in Heaven. [laughs] Being back was a full circle thing for me in getting to work with the guys again. And season five was one of their biggest yet. I was thrilled.
Shock: There was always talk season five was going to be it. But now there is six. Do you think the series still has legs for much longer?
Lindberg: I think this year they were going balls-to-the-wall and just end it. But something happened and it had the biggest year and they can’t end that. [laughs] So yeah, they’re doing six. But past that, who knows? I’d like to come back. I think they’ll have people who can come back will come back for six for one last run.
Shock: You’re working with A.D. Calvo again on something called Snow White?
Lindberg: Yeah, I’m interested in doing it if it comes together.
Shock: You did another film with him called The Other Side of the Tracks. What can you tell us about that film and its release?
Lindberg: It’s going to Showtime and then getting distributed on DVD. I play the best friend of the main character. I can’t give too much away without giving up the twistâ¦ We had a great time on that one.
Lindberg can also be seen in the upcoming Once Fallen with Peter Weller and Ed Harris and the documentary My Big Break which you can learn more about via the film’s official site.
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor