Eagle Q&A: ‘One Bedroom’ actor-director Darien Sills-Evans
Brooklyn Film Festival feature is set in the borough; we spoke with the 'Superior Donuts' and 'Treme' star
Darien Sills-Evans stars on the CBS comedy “Superior Donuts,” was on the HBO series “Treme” and the crime drama “Person of Interest” and he even does commercials for U.S. Cellular — but what he really wants to do is direct. Fortunately, he got the chance, helming his own story, “One Bedroom,” the ultimate Brooklyn story about a couple, Melissa and Nate, that breaks up on the very day they’re supposed to move to a new apartment. It’s a feature film at the upcoming Brooklyn Film Festival, which runs June 1-10.
Sills-Evans chatted this week with the Brooklyn Eagle.
John Alexander: How do your Brooklyn roots inform your work?
Darien Sills-Evans: I was born in Kings County Hospital and lived in Brooklyn my whole life until recently. East New York, Clinton Hill before it was Clinton Hill, Crown Heights before it was Crown Heights. Nearly all of my life experience happened here.
JA: OK, here’s the inevitable plot summary question.
DSE: Most of the film happens as Melissa is moving out of the apartment and she and Nate have their final argument. Breaking up is easier than moving out and I wanted to explore a romance dissolving on a moving day. Emotions run higher than usual — former lovers can be cruel, but then extremely vulnerable. I think we all know couples that seem like they should be great together, look great together, and make us all jealous, but they fall apart and have regrets just like everyone else. The hope of the movie is that if they’ve ever had a bad break-up, the audience will see some of their own experiences reflected as well.
JA: Why did you choose to set “One Bedroom” in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood?
DSE: I’ve lived all over Brooklyn and I’ve seen every neighborhood I’ve lived in become gentrified. The characters never discuss gentrification, or race, but it’s a part of their lives, because they live here. “One Bedroom” is a total Brooklyn movie. The entire movie was shot here, and all of the post-production was done in Brooklyn.
JA: What are some of your favorite things to do in the borough?
DSE: I no longer live in Brooklyn. And I no longer like this interview for making me put that in print. I moved to — sigh — Los Angeles three years ago for work. I return to Brooklyn often for work, and my favorite things to do are still the same. Tom’s Restaurant on Washington, Mike’s Coffee Shop on DeKalb. I walk and wander, now that I’ve relocated I have even more reason to do that. You can’t wander the streets of L.A. and eat a slice of pizza or a hot dog, or a falafel… Okay fine, I made this question way too much about food and I’m sorry.
JA: Are there more movies like “One Bedroom” in your future for us to look forward to?
DSE: (Laughs) The next film is “Two Bedrooms!” Seriously though, I have other projects in mind, not like “One Bedroom,” but I’m very close to deciding the next film.
“One Bedroom” is scheduled to be screened on June 5 and June 6 at the Brooklyn Film Festival. For up-to-date screening schedule and tickets visit www.brooklynfilmfestival.org.
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