Chris Conner is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, and I happen to have had the pleasure of interviewing him last year in the midst of my coverage of the Gods and Generals Extended Director’s Cut release, where he portrayed the infamous John Wilkes Booth, and perfectly nailed the role with conviction and charisma, giving some life to an oft vilified player in our American history. After seeing those highly anticipated scenes, I went out and watched (and reviewed) one of his other films, called The Assistants, which was a comedy about the cutthroat goings-on behind-the-scenes in Hollyood—I thought it was fantastic. Since then, he has appeared in Halloween II, as well as an episode of Without a Trace. He currently has two movies about to be released, one titled Teacher of the Year, and the other, a new, awesome looking Sci-Fi short titled Duality, which focuses on a scientist who has found an incredible way of duplicating matter, something that could change the world if put to a positive task such as organ donation. However, as the story unfolds, not everything goes according to plan, and he ends up duplicating himself, and he and his double have to work together to find a way out of their precarious situation.
The film, which is slated for a November release, has been directed by Andrew Tulloch, who has previously done visual effects work for The Dark Knight and Cloverfield, and was produced by Sarah Smith, another visual effects artist who has worked on two Harry Potter films, as well as Sherlock Holmes and John Carter. Chris Conner, who I was in contact with today has told me that Sarah and Andrew have just gotten married, so we would like to say congratulations to them, and he also offered that they were “really fun to work with”, while describing them as a team as being young and feisty. Chris also had this to say about how he got offered the role in the first place: “They called my agent and asked if I would come meet with them to talk about an idea they had for a film. Sarah had seen me in the Bones pilot and thought I was right for the role. I loved them and the idea. They raised the money themselves. We shot it in Oakland, California. I had quite a few conversations with Andrew the director about the story and character and because he was so specific in what he wanted- it made my job easy.”
For a science fiction film, it certainly helps their case that many of the crew members have extensive backgrounds in visual effects. If you view the trailer here, which Chris warns is only a rough copy that has not been color or sound corrected, you will find that this is definitely promising for a short film, and I am looking forward to the finished product. You can visit their official website by clicking here. Duality also stars Lisa Renee, William Young, and Owen Thomas.
I also wanted to make mention of another project Chris was involved with that unfortunately never came to fruition. Because so many young people interested in film read this blog, some of whom are filmmakers themselves, I always try to bring up just how difficult it is to get a project done, whether it be for film or television. Chris appeared in what was to be a pilot episode of a new show called Bad Girls, but unfortunately, NBC never picked it up. “Bad Girls was a hour pilot for NBC produced by John Wells (ER, The West Wing) and based on a British TV show about a woman’s prison.” Chris notes, “I played a slimy abusive husband to Amy Smart who was on Showtimes Shameless. NBC decided to not buy any episodes… So nobody will ever see the final product.”
So what does everyone think? I know he’ll probably always be Mr. Booth, the “finest actor in all of Richmond” to me, but this guy can act in a multitude of roles throughout many different genres. That is why I wanted to give him and the film this shout-out, because his name should be out there more because of the fantastic job he has done. Best of luck to Chris and this project. Can’t wait to see it when it comes out!