Rhys Wakefield and Ashley Hinshaw in "+1"
If you could relive a moment all over again--say, reversing something you wish you hadn't or maybe enjoying the best moment of your life--would you? Now say you could have that moment back, but there was the problem of a pesky second you about to relive the same moment as you. What would you do?
"I'd probably have him do all of the chores I wouldn't want to do," Actor Rhys Wakefield tells me.
Wakefield's character David in this week's new release "+1" has somewhat more ambitious aims with his own double, attempting to salvage a damaged relationship with his girlfriend Jill (Ashley Hinshaw) as a bizarre time loop has David, his friends, and an ever-increasing number of duplicates at a massive house party experiencing the same moments over and over in the same night.
"It was pretty difficult, actually--trying to contextualizing where the character was and what version of that character was there." Wakefield says that during film, it was a challenge tracking where his character was emotionally (depending on which iteration it was) in the Bill Gullo screenplay (based on a story by director Dennis Iliadis). Wakefield confesses to huddling together with the script and continuity supervisors attempting to track his character's progression in the film, which twists and bends the POV of the characters as their duplicates increase (and the time loop gets shorter and shorter).
David has such a dramatic arc throughout the course of "+1," that the lovelorn guy we meet in the beginning is almost unrecognizable from the young man who takes drastic measures to get what he wants. Wakefield allows that David is very selfish throughout the film, but that as an actor, he needed to find something sympathetic about him. "It was a hard balance to find that, to make him feel compassionate" Wakefield says about David's trajectory throughout the film. "I guess the thing was to make it clear that he was doing everything out of love." He says that David's love was "naive and blind," that the character, in the context of the increasingly crazy night and that "whether it was right or wrong, he was doing the best thing he thought he could possibly do."
Earlier this year, Wakefield was also in the home invasion thriller, "The Purge" as one of the well-dressed and anonymous lunatics looking to commit a murder on the one night all crime is legal.Wakefield says he's surprised by the success of "The Purge," which is getting a sequel. "Somehow it seems to tap into some part of the zeitgeist that I had no clue that it would." Describing the film as "sort of sick and sadistic," he says "The Purge" has a "sort of weird and apocalyptic vibe where you're in control of what you want." He chuckles saying it was so fun to play a psychopath in the film, working alongside stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.
He's got a theory that the audience for "The Purge" liked that idea of being able to "take control" in his words--there's something very compelling in both "The Purge" and "+1" about being able to let loose and pretend as though consequences don't exist for a night. "I guess both films, a major theme is hedonism," Wakefield says. "Everyone's so hedonistic and will do whatever they need to do to get what they want and whatever they feel they need."
Next up, Wakefield is working on the film "A Relative Stranger" for director Kane Senes as well as the dark romantic drama "Endless Love" with co-stars Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde.
"+1" is out in theaters this week.