Interview: Sam Upton – Gone

Tommy2: What’s up, it’s Tommy2 and today we’re being joined by Sam Upton from the film Gone, that’s opens nationwide this Friday – February 24th. So what’s up man?

Sam Upton: Hey Tommy, how are you man?

Tommy2: Doing good! Now, you anxious for the upcoming premiere?

Sam Upton: Yeah, drumroll… I’m so excited. My wife is getting a dress, she’s pregnant, so she’s like what do I wear, what do I wear? We gotta get a babysitter for my 18 month old, it’s like a lot goes into these things.

Tommy2: Oh yeah… definitely ! Now do you enjoy getting out to the premieres, like in terms of seeing the film?

Sam Upton: Oh yeah, there’s nothing more exciting. Are you kidding me? This is what you live for as an artist is to see the final product. You know, you wait with baited breath if your a musician or an actor or whatever it is to like finally have that moment where you can be a part of something and show it off to the world, so I’m super this pumped.

Tommy2: Earlier this month, I saw the trailer for Gone and it’s definitely really intense. For those that haven’t, why don’t you give the basic run down of the film and a little bit about your character.

Sam Upton: Well, in the film Amanda Seyfried plays a young girl who’s been through a traumatic experience with her sister and you know without ruining the plot, she is trying to solve the case on her own and I play a police offer who doesn’t believe that one should take the law into their own hands. So we’re trying to get a hold of her, bring her in and really get the real truth out her and make sure she’s not breaking the law and going after some crazy quack out there.

Tommy2: Was there anything fun about playing that role of a police officer. Any perks there driving around in a car or anything like that?

Sam Upton: How about everything fun Tommy! Are you kidding me? It’s like a childhood dream, like first of all, just to put like a cop … a real legitimate police uniform on, it like… you completely transform instantaneously. It’s like one of the coolest things ever, it was like getting paid to play dress up. Are you serious?

Tommy2: Did it make you feel like a few inches taller too?

Sam Upton: Oh are you kidding me? I was like rolling around set like I was the man. I was like pardoning all the PA guys, I was making sure Tom Rosenberg and everybody was standing in line. It was so awesome

Tommy2: With that role of playing a police officer in the film and you know from what I’ve seen in the trailers, it looks very intense. Was that hard to get the level up so high in all those scenes?

Sam Upton: Gosh you know I gotta be honest with you, it wasn’t. Everybody in that movie was such a pro, like Amanda Seyfried was pretty awesome. I mean she showed up every day with some huge chunks of dialogue and she just came in an rocked it. It was really fun, everybody on set was… and the director Heitor Dhalia was incredible. He’s the kind of guy where he doesn’t say much, but when he does say something it means a lot and holds a lot of weight. And that’s what you want out of a director, he’d say like two things to me and I’d be like “oh, got it” boom.

Tommy2: It seems like you’re talking about trust, where as sometimes with directors you get that feel where they trust everything you’re doing… is that what you’re kind of getting at there? Whereas he didn’t have to tell you a lot because he trusted when he brought you onto the picture that he knew what you were going to do.

Sam Upton: You took the words out of my mouth, you know multiple times after a take he would just come in to where we were shooting the scene, dip his head into the other actors and I be like “That was perfect, keep doing it.” And you’re like great! Cause so many times it’s so hard, it’s almost like acting in a vacuum, you don’t know if you’re getting what they need. Because, you know I’m just a pawn in his giant chess table of moves. I’m just one small little piece.

Tommy2: About how long ago did you shoot the film and how much of it was shot in Portland.

Sam Upton: I believe the entire film was shot in Portland. And by the way Portland is an incredible place to shoot or even visit. I was lucky enough to be able to bring my wife and my daughter and like, the food was absolutely exquisite in Portland and it’s such an amazing place. Like if the weather wasn’t so terrible I would seriously consider moving there, it’s just absolutely gorgeous. And by the way I’ve heard it’s like the fittest city in the nation or something, which is a perk.

Tommy2: Now did you find any good hangouts there worth sharing?

Sam Upton: Yeah, we stayed at this amazing hotel called The Nine’s. And I believe like all the Portland Trailblazers go there, like there’s this really cool restaurant on top of the hotel that overlooks the entire city. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was really awesome, like if you ever get a chance you should really check that out.

Tommy2: Now in Gone you obviously worked with Amanda, which is a huge face and Jennifer Carpenter. In your last film, The Lincoln Lawyer you also had some huge names in it. In your acting career who have you most most excited to work with and why?

Sam Upton: Oh wow? Well, I did a tiny horror film awhile back with an actor named Paul Gleason and I don’t know if you remember Paul Gleason. Unfortunately he passed away a few years back, but Paul Gleason was in the movie Beverly Hills Cop, he played the agro police officer. He was incredible to work with just because of his skill and his history in the business. I think he’d been in over 100 films, cause he was incredible. Moving on, obviously to be with a big movie star like Matthew McConaughey was totally awesome. I mean to be able to go toe-to-toe and we had a really great scene where we’re kind of going at it with each other. And so to be able to like use a sports analogy “play ball with some of the big boys,” that’s what you dream off. So, you know I’ve been really blessed.

Tommy2: I also hear Fitness is a big one for you, what type of activities are part of your weekly routine?

Sam Upton: Oh my goodness. I love weight training, I’m really into cross fitness. Lately there’s a whole underground movement in the fitness world called CrossFit, if you haven’t checked out CrossFit you can go to a CrossFit Box near you. It incorporates all of the olympic movements, it was started by a Marine so it’s totally hardcore for those hardcore fitness buffs out there. And, you know I truly believe that to say fit and healthy you have to break a sweat a day, so somehow some way I try to break a sweat a day no matter what that is, it’s a CrossFit workout, weight training, I love to run on the beach, anything. A buddy of mine the other day bet me that “I bet you can’t do one thousand push ups in an hour: and I said “What? One thousand – let’s do it.” So that was the work out for the day. It was one thousand push ups in one hour.

Tommy2: My goodness, that’s a little insane.

Sam Upton: Yeah, totally! It’s totally insane.

Tommy2: I think the one thing that people need to know is that you have to start, and that’s how you get to that one thousand right?

Sam Upton: That’s right! Take the jump. Like you can start right now, right now whatever you’ve been doing up to this point you can just make the change right now and take it one day at a time. You know I always like to bring out a calendar and hang it on my refrigerator and I make a big red X and every single day I’ve done something to get closer to my goal, I take that big red Sharpie pen and I boom. I X out a day, and then after you come downstairs every day and you start seeing that calendar loading up with big red X’s you start to feel like, okay – I’m on a plan here, this is working. As opposed to just like how do I feel, I don’t think I want to… no, no, no it’s – you gotta be like, you gotta be on a plan.

Tommy2: Yeah, exactly! You have to see the results and feel accountable to something.

Sam Upton: Yeah, and by the way nutrition plays such a big part. Like I love to say “this doesn’t taste as good as ripped feels.”

Tommy2: Now with a lot of people, music plays a huge role in their work out routines is that true for you?

Sam Upton: Oh are you kidding me, like tremendously! It’s very difficult to workout to Johann Sebastian Bach, but like if you got some crazy James Brown, or there’s this amazing rock band I love out of Australia name Karnivool. You know if you’ve got some crazy killer music pumping in your iPod, that’s a great way to kickstart your adrenaline and motivation. Oh, play the Rocky theme song, that’s another one. Just turn Rocky on.

Tommy2: That’s right! That’s on my power mix. Some of that good stuff from Rocky III and Rocky IV like Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, right?

Sam Upton: You can’t stop, you gotta move once that stuff comes on, right?

Tommy2: Sam – thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule today to talk with us about your latest work on Summit Films new suspense thriller GONE, that opens nationwide this Friday – February 24th. Take care man!

Sam Upton: Hey thanks so much for your time. I hope we get to do it again.