Henry’s (Brian McGuire) fiancee Beth (Nina Millin) kicks him out after discovering his audio recordings of their intimate life and his confession that he may no longer love her. A chance meeting with Charlie (Sonja Kinski), a headstrong young photographer, allows Henry to act out his obsession with creating the perfect interaction: spontaneous, rehearsed, both fixed and changeable. Charlie and Henry’s recordings of imagined conversations become a dangerous game where intimacy and identity may be both real and imagined.
After a successful film festival run in 2013, voyeuristic indie film DIAMOND ON VINYL is available December 1st on VOD, and in select theatres December 7th, including New York’s Anthology Film Archives (featured a special Q&A w/ Director JR Hughto and actress Sonja Kinski).
We spoke with the film’s lead actress Sonja Kinski on its improvisational elements, her introduction to the film and much more.
How were you first introduced to this script? What were some aspects of the script that drew you to it?
It was kind of an accident. I was auditioning for something else and my friend (Lisa Roth) was casting ‘Diamond on Vinyl‘. She recommended I read for it. Originally I read for a smaller role but then I read for Charlie and got it.
When I read the script I really liked the darkness of it. I also liked its intrusive nature. I liked Charlie a lot because she is someone who is very far from my own personal character and I like to play roles like that. It is more fun for me. It was great to be able to explore and express this kind of a role.
I was going to ask you how the character relates to your own personality? Did you draw from any personal elements to create this character?
A lot of it was preparation; daydreaming where she is from, what she is about, what her motives are and what she wants to do. I am a very private person and Charlie is not like that at all. She is very interested and open. I think what I can, and most people can, relate to in this character is her struggle. Everyone goes through struggles in life where they may not know what they want. You think you want something but you find that, through your experiences, you may not actually want it at all. It is about experiencing hurt and getting through it, as well as learning from it.
Were there any past roles you drew from to inspire your performance?
I honestly didnot but I have not been acting for very long. I really enjoyed this role, though. I learned a lot from it. I try not to care or censor myself or care what others think of me.
How much of the script ended up on-screen? Was their improvisation?
Yes, there was a lot. Maybe that is why I liked it so much, because there was a lot of improv and a lot of bouncing ideas off of each other. I really liked that.
Did you know this going into it or was it something that developed over the production process?
In the beginning JR (Hughto) had us meet and go over the characters. Once there he mentioned how the film was not about the lines but rather the connections and actions.
How did you approach the improvisation with the other actors?
We walked and did it. There was no practice before hand.
In your mind, what was the most difficult part about acting in this film?
The moment when Henry has sex with Charlie. She realizes “Oh Fuck!”, but it is too late because he is already inside her. Everyone can relate to a feeling of cringing when you have done something and it is too late. But, that is how we learn, right?
What was your favorite part of the project?
For me, just being present. JR was so great and he gave us a lot of freedom. Also, the improvisation was a great addition.
Did you know JR before this film?
No. I was introduced to him by Lisa.
How would you describe his approach as a director?
He is very trusting and very communicative. He is also very involved with the actors. He is an actors director, which was really constructive. I think his approach is amazing.
Where do you feel your role as an actress in a film lies after it is completed? Do you try and do as much publicity work as you can?
It depends on if I really believe in it. For this film I have been doing the film festival circuit which has been really fun. Still this is all new to me so I am feeling my way through it.
Acting wise, what is next for you?
I am not sure. I have a few films in post and we will see what happens. I really enjoy acting and have fun doing it. It is one step at a time at the moment but definitely something I am pursuing.
– Interview Conducted, Edited & Transcribed (via phone) by Steve Rickinson