One of the projects Artistic Analogies Film Co. has recently embarked on is Kevin M. Slee's The Secret Life of Jonathan Sky.
It is a film "about a man, Mr. Jonathan Sky (Amir Malaklou), who has been obsessing over the rejection he felt in high school when the girl of his dreams, Natalie Jacobson (Lexi Sakowitz), lied to him about going to the prom together. Four years later, Jonathan has thought of nothing else, and decides he wants to see Natalie one last time. The story is about those final moments and about how such immense hurt and rejection can change someone – forever." (Slee)
In his previous interview with Artists On Demand, Slee discussed how the film was developed and the challenge of casting the male lead role. He also gave us an insight on what to expect from the movie by talking about the actors who gave life to the film's characters - Natalie and Jonathan - Lexi Sakowitz and Amir Malaklou, both of whom Slee was thrilled to work with.
Slee described Lexi Sakowitz as a "wonderfully talented actor" who is "very diverse, honest, and specific."
This time, Artists On Demand is presenting you an interview with Lexi Sakowitz who played Natalie Jacobson in The Secret Life of Jonathan Sky.
AOD: You recently collaborated with Kevin M. Slee in his creation The Secret Life of Jonathan Sky. Can you tell us about your part in this new film?
Lexi: 'Natalie' is a helpful character who feels empathy for Jonathan after seeing him stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. She decides to pull over and offer her assistance, leaving her daughter Emily to wait in the car. After fixing the car, and what Natalie seems to believe to be harmless flirting for a married woman, Jonathan asks Natalie to drive down the road to make sure the car doesn't break down again. Where it is inevitably revealed to Natalie that the man sitting next to her is Jonathan Sky, the boy she stood up at prom in high school. It seems that her childish decisions have come back to haunt her with a vengeance and this time Jonathan isn't taking "no" for an answer.
AOD: Can you tell us some of the projects you've done in the past?
Lexi: Some of my favorite projects that I've been privileged to be involved in recently are "Election Day" with writer-director Zach Wechter and producer Kevin Slee. I played the role of 'Leah Reitman'. She was a schemer manipulating every student around her in order to obtain her dream of class president. It was an amazing film to be a part of and the cast and crew really became such a family afterwards due to the process itself being so incredibly fun to work on.
Another film I highly enjoyed working on in the past was "Reality Check". I played 'Dana'. It was a fun comedy short about a guy, Jason, who cheats on his girlfriend, Dana, while on a reality show and the lengths he'll go to hide it from her. It was a good chance to work a different acting muscle I don't usually get to work on. The pacing of a comedy is completely different than that of a drama. I was able to improv a lot onset just to see how it can change the dynamic of the scene, which was a lot of fun.
AOD: What makes your character in The Secret Life... different from other characters you've portrayed in the past?
Lexi: In Jonathan Sky 'Natalie' is different because she, unlike any character I have ever played, gets fully over powered and dominated physically and mentally by a male figure weakening her completely.
AOD: Are there any challenges you've come across while doing this project?
Lexi: Doing this project I found that it was very emotionally demanding as well as physically demanding. To fully get into the mentality of what Natalie was going through during a few of the scenes, Amir Malaklou, who played Jonathan Sky, and I worked with stunt coordinator Davy Thompson to practice fighting and hitting. We wanted to make this specific scene, when Natalie gets raped, was very honest and therefore we concentrated a lot on the genuine struggle. I hope to have achieved that in the film. I definitely had bruises, sore muscles, and scratches after a long day of shooting so I hope it was worth it!
AOD: Do you have any interesting story you can share with us that happened during filming?
Lexi: Well, we happened to have our location next to a bee-keeping farm. I was completely unaware of this, until towards the end of the first and second day I start seeing more and more bees swarming around crafty and makeup. By day three I think we had two bee stings and Amir, who is deathly allergic to bees, had to eat his lunch in the car to avoid them.
AOD: How was it working with producer-director Kevin Slee?
Lexi: Kevin Slee is a director who is always concerned with how his actor is doing, and working with a director like that is a dream. He is constantly checking in to let his actor know what works and what doesn't, and if it doesn't we collaborate together to find an answer. Throughout the entire process from rehearsal to shooting he was able to give me freedom while at the same time guiding me towards a structured and highly specific performance.
AOD: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Lexi: I have a few, but I am unable to speak about them in press. I hope to be able to soon!
AOD: What can people look forward to from The Secret Life of Jonathan Sky?
Lexi: I think people can look forward to seeing a great film. I hope everyone enjoys the hard work the cast and crew put into making it. I am definitely proud of the work we all put forth.
Presented by Artistic Analogies Film Co., The Secret Life of Jonathan Sky was written and directed by Kevin M. Slee and produced by James B. Cox, David Johnson, and Courtney Mock. Composer John Snyder and musician Vijay Venkatesh are on board to work on the film's score.
The Secret Life of Jonathan Sky will be released in May, 2011. For more information and updates on the film, visit their Facebook page.
Much thanks to Kevin M. Slee!
SOURCE: Artistic Analogies Film Co.