After success Killed two loversAnd Cline Crawford And Robert Machoian joined forces to produce another acclaimed independent film. Now in select theaters and available on demand, The integrity of Joseph Chambers It follows the titular character, an insurance salesman and family man (played by Crawford) on an internal quest to acquire the skills needed to take care of his family should the apocalypse strike. He decides to go deer hunting by himself for the first time ever, despite the objections of his wife (Jordana Brewster). Taking off into the mountains with a borrowed rifle, Joe wanders aimlessly through the woods in his search for deer. His boredom is short-lived, however, when he passes in the blink of an eye, he experiences a traumatic experience. What begins as an experiment to prove himself as a capable father and husband turns into a nightmare as Joe finds himself faced with a terrible choice he must make.
We recently caught up with Crawford to discuss collaborating with writer-director Machoyan on his many acclaimed projects and an upcoming film that also stars Gina Ortega and Tommy Lee Jones.
On playing Joseph Chambers
MW: Can you talk about your character Joseph Chambers, what he stands for, and why you were interested in playing him?
Cline Crawford: As you know, I started making, financing and producing films for a number of reasons. First, there were actors I wanted to work with, and there were writers and directors that I felt needed a chance. And then, selfishly, there were characters I desperately wanted to play. with [my previous film] Killed two loversI’ve never been able to play a weakling, you know? I was going to play the sidekick, the guy who beats up the other guy, right? And I really wanted to stretch myself. Also, I was on a bit of a crossroads when I turned 40. And I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue doing films or an acting period. And if I was going to do that, I kind of wanted to try it out on my own terms and have a chance to play a guy or a character the way I wanted to play him, without any kind of outside interference.
So we have a little bit of success with it [The Killing of Two Lovers]. And it turned out right when COVID hit, you know, we were at Sundance 2020. And we went out, and we were all sitting at home watching Netflix and drinking in the daytime. And I said, “Man, I want to be creative. I need an outlet.” And [writer-director] Robert Mashoyan and I have been developing this material for HBO with Melissa Bernstein as a limited series. And [The Integrity of Joseph Chambers] It was kind of like the first episode. And I took it down in 2021 and was kind of looking at it. And I felt like there was a little movie here, and there was an opportunity to kind of explore what we did with the first movie [The Killing of Two Lovers]which is “what characterizes a man today?” And I thought, what better way than to take a guy who was born and raised in an urban environment, small town, and now move to rural America, small town. And the definition of man is very different in these two sites. And I think he was struggling a little bit, as we all are, with what that definition means, you know?
We grew up being told, “That’s what a man is.” Now, we learn that it’s a little different, and that the pendulum continues to swing. So we’re just trying to find that happy medium. I suspect [my character] atmosphere in that place. And we found him in town that morning, as he had planned this trip for some time. He’s bought these clothes, he’s got his hunting clothes… he’s got a plan. And he was tired of being told “no”. And I also thought there was an opportunity to look at guns in this country… I was 12 years old when I got my first gun. I come from a military background. I grew up in a very small town… I was just one generation away from a man who had to support his family by hunting and fishing every day. So it was interesting to explore a guy trying to do the right thing. You could even argue that it’s cool that you want to provide for his family in this way. But he still shouldn’t have a weapon in his hand…
And Peter Albrechtsen, our sound designer, was so great at helping with this, that you kind of feel like Joe is going to be a victim of something terrible, right? What will happen to that poor idiot in the woods fumbling around? And then, as the movie slowly unfolds, you realize that Joe is the monster in the story. And I thought this was a great opportunity to highlight, I think, the majority of our problems in this country, which is the lack of education no matter what.
In cooperation and future projects
MW: Do you hope to collaborate with Robert Mashoyan on more projects in the future?
Crawford: The two films he directed before, he always had a partner. And they had a falling out for whatever reason, and Robert kind of desperately wanted to direct on his own. And when we got to set Killed two loversI remember, at one point, I’m like, “What’s your way, as it relates to kind of talking to the actors?” And he’s like, “Oh, [my former partner] He talks to the actors, he works with the actors. I work with the camera “… [Robert] He is a professor of photography. That’s why he’s so great when it comes to framing. I mean, it’s beautiful, what he can do with that lens. So for me, it’s just as perfect as anyone who wants to create characters without any outside influence. I was really curious about my abilities after working in an industry for 20 years…and Robert is really great at just stepping back and letting us do our thing and finding his block. And then he might adjust the camera a bit to capture it. Then again, the way he writes, he leaves a lot open for interpretation.
MW: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
Crawford: Right after I shot this, I immediately went on to another project with the same producer I worked with on this one. His name is Poe Clancy, and we made a little movie called The best clowns. And we sold it to 1091 Pictures, and they’re going to release it this summer. They did What do we do in the shadows?, that’s kind of useless. It’s like a satirical comedy…so I’m really excited about that. And then as an actor, I have a movie that I just did [Finestkind] With 101 Studios and Paramount + with the incredibly talented Brian Helgeland, who did it mysterious river And he wrote LA Confidential. he did legend with Tom Hardy. He’s just a really talented guy. So I am excited about this movie. They have Tommy Lee Jones, Jenna Ortega, Ben Foster. Great staff.
The integrity of Joseph Chambers It comes to us from Gravitas Ventures.