AWARD-WINNING ACTORS DISCUSS SUPERLATIVES OF THE CAST FROM THEIR FILM
ACTORS KIM PARIS AND SEAN A. KAUFMAN TALK ABOUT THEIR ROLES IN RNF’S LATEST AWARD-WINNING FILM ‘MATURING YOUTH’
NIE: First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us and have this interview. Congratulations on your recent nominations. We see you both have been consecutively nominated for Best Acting for each of your roles in the film even against Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-nominated actors. How does that both make you feel?
Kim Paris: Thank you! Yes, that's correct although I prefer to think of it as being nominated alongside other actors, not against. Of course it's a wonderful feeling to be nominated alongside such brilliant talent, and how I took home the award, I have no idea. But I'm very grateful.
Sean A. Kaufman: Yes, grateful to be nominated at all, let alone with people I look up to and have watched since I was young. It’s feels surreal when you say it out loud. But on the whole, I’d say it’s just affirming that we’re on the right track in practicing our craft.
NIE: What was your experience like working together?
Kim Paris: It was great working with Sean. From the very beginning he was extremely dedicated to the role and ready to meet outside of our scheduled rehearsals for one-on-one time to rehearse even further. He was also open to exploring different ways of rehearsing - getting into some improv and character histories and things like that, which I find very beneficial.
Sean A. Kaufman: Yeah, Kim is incredibly collaborative. We found each other very open to trying each other’s ideas and methods of working. It’s something I wouldn’t expect from every actor, but when you’re that generous with each other, something amazing comes of it. I think it helped us grow some wonderful chemistry on screen.
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NIE: How long did it take you both to get the chemistry we see on screen? Was it difficult to achieve? And what was the process of gaining such chemistry with each other?
Kim Paris: That's hard for me to answer because I don't have an outsider's perspective. To me, the chemistry felt very natural from the beginning. In fact, part of the audition process was to audition with each other, so apparently there was on some on-screen chemistry from the beginning or I imagine we wouldn't have been cast together. But regardless, I'm sure all the time we spent in rehearsals only strengthened that.
Sean A. Kaufman: Totally - we naturally work well together!
NIE: You both had an intense argument in two of the pivotal scenes in the film, which also included your film son, Joshua Saint Leger, right at the kitchen table between you two. How was filming that scene on set compared to what we see in the film? And where did the anger stem from? Did you have to conjure up past emotions of relatability to make the scene seem genuine and authentic?
Kim Paris: I think most actors are conjuring past emotions in one way or another - it's kind of the definition of what we do. For me it's usually a mixture of memory and imagination. You take something you can relate to in the past and then you integrate imaginary circumstances to create something new that relates to the story. But as my acting teachers have taught me, I never give away what those thoughts are, otherwise they lose their power.
Sean A. Kaufman: Luckily for me, I don’t have a Roger-like past to draw on for this sort of situation, so everything you see is completely created out of the circumstances and how I felt about it at the time of filming. While we filmed, you could actually feel the temperature in the room rising from the tension. The crew grew very quiet between takes, and things were very uncomfortable until it was over. I think it was all of us focusing on the job, and that was a testament to every single person’s professionalism. It’s also a natural reaction to being in or near an argument. As long as Kim and I were doing our job to create that tension, everyone could feel it.
NIE: If you could change one thing about your cast-mates character what would it be, and why?
Kim Paris: Hmm, I'm not sure I understand this question . . . something about Sean? or something about Roger? I wouldn't want to change anything about Sean because he's perfect. And Roger is already set in stone so there’s no going back - the movie's complete!
Sean A. Kaufman: HAHAHAHA Kim is too kind!!! I am far from perfect (but she’s not - she’s perfect!)! But I guess I wish Sadie had tried to work things out with Roger. I don’t want to give anything away, but I’d say that in an alternate version of the film, maybe a feature length version, I’d have her hash things out with him.
NIE: If there was one thing about your castmate that inspires you to be a better actor, what would that be? And why?
Kim Paris: Sean was always prepared and ready to collaborate. He was extremely open and generous to work with and had a great attitude throughout the entire process.
Sean A. Kaufman: Can I copy and paste what Kim said? But to add to that - watching her career grow since filming constantly keeps me inspired. We keep in touch and I love hearing about all of her new projects, both on stage and on screen!
Kim Paris: Aw, thanks, Sean!! That’s so nice!!
NIE: What impact did the film have on you and what have you learned from each other from this experience?
Sean A. Kaufman: This was my first film. I had just graduated from The Maggie Flanigan Studio and it getting cast as Roger felt incredible - like getting shot right out of a cannon! Everything else just keeps making it feel more and more like a dream coming true. So on an aspirational level, the impact has been affirmation and inspiration. Artistically, it has taught me to be vocal about my, and open to new, ideas. Working with Kim has taught me about the details and how much they matter. Everything we did together, from line rehearsals to backstories, mattered and made a difference.
Kim Paris: That’s so nice to hear! I always notice a huge difference when I dive deep into the backstory, so it was awesome that you were open to exploring that with me. I think overall I’ve been impacted by R&F Entertainment and how hard they’ve worked to promote the film. When you make something you’re proud of, you want people to see it - and they’re doing a great job celebrating the film and getting our work in front of people.
NIE: Out the two of you personally; A) Who would be the one to have a shoulder to cry on?
Kim Paris: Who would have a shoulder to cry on . . . like who would be the best person to lend a shoulder for a cry? Sean seems like a pretty compassionate guy, so I'll say him - but I think we're both pretty nice people!!
Sean A. Kaufman: I think I’ve cried on Kim’s by now!
B) Who would be better suited as a parent?
Kim Paris: I'd say it's a strong tie but I'll go with me because I have tons of babysitting experience and I adore kids. But Sean was so good with Joshua during rehearsals and on set, so I’m sure he’d make a great parent too.
Sean A. Kaufman: Kim, for sure. I’ll be the best dad I can be, but Kim is so maternal!
C) Who is more of a daredevil?
Kim Paris: Hmm. Maybe Sean. I'm not into extreme sports or anything like that. You won't catch me jumping out of planes or bungee jumping off any cliffs!
Sean A. Kaufman: All artists are daredevils. Don’t believe me? Check one’s bank account!
D) Who is more of a homebody?
Kim Paris: Definitely me. I love snuggling up with a good book and a cup of tea on my couch. And I LOVE decorating and taking care of my apartment. Although I'm still somehow always out . . .
Sean A. Kaufman: I’m never home!
E) Who is more like their character?
Kim Paris: I think I'm nothing like Sadie, but Sean isn't like Roger either. We're both opposites of our onscreen characters! Maybe Sean would be more like the Roger towards the end of the film . . .
Sean A. Kaufman: Hah! well-said!
NIE: You both mentioned about some upcoming news about the film this summer, mentioning something about “on the west coast”, can you elaborate more on this? “West Coast” like Los Angeles? Maybe Hollywood? C’mon, what can you tell us?
Kim Paris: I really wish I could say more but I’ve been sworn to secrecy! But I can say that something big is definitely happening in June and we’ll be making an announcement soon, so keep a look-out for it!
Sean A. Kaufman: Right! We hate to be so lame, but you’ll have to keep following all of RNF’s social media channels since we can’t make the official announcements yet. But if you were to make a guess...
Congratulations again on your success with the film so far. We only wish the best in the future and thank you for this interview!
Kim Paris: Thank you! All the best to you as well!
Sean A. Kaufman: That’s very kind of you - thank you! Very grateful for this opportunity to chat with you!