William Galatis plays the father of a gravely depressed young man in the confronting and powerful new drama JUST SAY GOODBYE, now available on home entertainment platforms from Leomark Studios.
Congrats on the movie! Have you seen it, yet – or is the premiere your first viewing?
Thank you very much! I have seen it, several times now as we’ve travelled through the festival circuit.
Are you an actor that’s fine with watching himself on screen?
I learned how to be ok with it for the sake of objective filmmaking. I’ve become pretty good at watching a film I’m in and tuning out the fact that it’s me so I could have perspective in the storytelling. While we’re shooting, I prefer not to look at any of the playbacks unless it’s absolutely necessary to work out a scene. Once you start watching yourself on camera in the role you’re playing, it can be very distracting and difficult to remain natural in the skin of your character. If I feel relaxed in a scene and the director is happy, then I’m happy and can move on. Having that trust in a director is everything.
There’s some very powerful moments in the movie – I guess, for any viewer, they can be confronting first time around. Was it the case for you?
As far as the power behind those cinematic moments, I’ve known people like Jesse and his Dad, I’ve been in Sarah’s shoes before with friends that were having a real tough time in life. Unfortunately, I’ve known bullies like Chase and his friends as well. That being said, every story with this kind of weight will always resonate with me and make revisit feelings. You can never stop learning from stories like these.
Reading the script that first time, could you sense where the story was going?
The genesis of Chase was certainly a surprise to me… that certainly got my attention. As far as the ending, I remember having the thought in my head that it could go one or two ways. As a reader, I was satisfied with the outcome because I thought it was really important to show that these things happen in real life. Many people prefer not to confront these issues, but you have to acknowledge it because it’s real and it’s happening everyday, everywhere.
How much could you personally relate to the core story?
As I mentioned before, I’ve known people like these characters. I can relate to every character in one way or another. As much as I root for people like Jesse to make it through, I also feel for people like his Dad and Chase… they’re full of pain and the only way they can express it is to put it on others. It’s a valuable lesson to realize that sometimes the “bad guys” need just as much saving as the “good guys.”
The locations are as much a star of the film as the cast is. Where was it shot?
I believe the entirety of the film was shot in and around a lovely little western Massachusetts town called Wilbraham.
How do you think it would differ if it was shot in Hollywood?
It would probably look a lot sunnier. Kidding! Besides the aesthetic differences, I think you can put this story anywhere and you’d still have an effective film because it can happen anywhere, and does happen. Although, I will say that the overcast skies of New England suburbia do set a tone for the story. The palette of the film is on the colder side.
Looks like you’re quite versatile. What genres do you prefer to work in?
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a genre I wouldn’t want to work in. I would do anything as long as I felt that the story was intriguing and it was a role I could sink my teeth into. In turn, I want the character to sink it’s teeth into me and take the wheel every now and then. I love new experiences. I love discovering what I’m capable of, even if it’s a bumpy road. I’d love to be a Jedi someday. I’d love to work in a David Lynch film. If there’s ever a Fire Marshall Bill movie, I’d throw my hat in the ring.