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Craig Frank is not a Method Actor

by on Mar.31, 2010, under Creators Blog

Craig Frank wields the belt against Taryn O'Neill

Looking back at our series, one of my favorite stories was the rumor that Craig Frank is a method actor. This started last July, back in Pre-production, when Craig came up to the production team with a request. He asked that during the days that we’d be shooting in the interrogation room, that he get some space to prepare and be by himself to be away from the hustle and bustle of the set. This one request would begin the chain of events that became “Craig Frank is a method actor”.

Let me give you some back story, we shot our 8 episode season over five consecutive days. Day 1 were the office scenes, Day 2 were the IT Room/Garage scenes, Day 3 and 4 were the Interrogation Scenes, and Day 5 were the House/Cassandra’s room scenes.

During the first two days of shooting, Craig was his usual self on set. A couple wise cracks here, some playful fun there, but still the consummate professional and a great guy to have on set. He came, he did his scenes, and he even hung out for a while afterward. At the end of Day 2, as he did his goodbyes to the cast and crew he said to all of us, “see you all in 3 days,” for the Craig that we knew would not be with us, but rather someone else.

Day Three started with a different feel. We knew it was going to be a “different day.” We were shooting some very intense scenes, and we had a very different lead actor. When Craig pulled into the warehouse, he stayed in the car while the crew prepared. I remember watching him sitting in his beat up old Integra staying very still. An announcement went over our walkies from Producer Michael Tohl with explicit instructions that no one was to disturb Craig’s concentration. Eventually Michael came over and personally walked Craig over into a room designated to him, a room labeled “Do Not Disturb“.

The next two days were filled with different little tidbits. We had Craig shuttled between the set and his room, to ensure that he was never bothered. He never interacted with his scene partners Seth Caskey, or Taryn O’Neill, with the exception being in front of the camera. Actually no one interacted with Craig, save for a handful of the principal crew. Through the shooting days Craig remained intense, he brooded, he was stoic, and he was very quiet. Was it method acting? Was it Craig making demands? No… it was Craig committing to the character, and thus we committed to Craig.

Craig has stated to me that he never was lost in the character of Mark Sandler the Sadist, but I believe he convinced the rest of us that he was. There was a perception around the crew that no one was to look Craig in the eye (I don’t recall if this was a stated rule or not, but it pretty much became one). I also remember ‘shuushing’ someone for making too much noise outside of his room (yes I committed). And my favorite story was on set where our D.P. Jason Raswant was so intimated by Craig that when he needed him to move a simple step or two over he’d flag down Director Nathan Atkinson to relay the instructions.

The rumors began to spread, the crew, the actors, the guests on set,  ”Craig Frank is a Method Actor”, but it all just a rumor. The truth was that Craig did immense preparation for this role. He did his research, he prepared himself and had committed to the Mark character to put his all in this performance. We as the crew thus committed to Craig. He gave us everything he could, we gave him everything we could back, and the result is the performance you see today.

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5 comments for this entry:

5 Responses to “Craig Frank is not a Method Actor”

  1. David Nett says:

    The problem is, while Craig is not a Method actor, he does smash people’s feet with sledgehammers all that time. All the time. On set and off. No matter how many times you tell him it is inappropriate. Other than that – great guy. A pleasure to work with.

  2. Warren says:

    I don’t know about feet, but his Vulcan ears and Hashbown eyes are always on.

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