What can we say about Finnian Nainby-Luxmoore and Little Pieces that hasn’t been said by one of our friends:
“Finnian Nainby-Luxmoore and Matt Jones are flawless! Every scene with them engrosses you and allows you to truly empathise with their characters.” –Real Time Write-Ups
The film is a non-linear drama centering on a group of people all dealing with their own personal demons, crashing into each other. The film is most noted for it’s uncommon form of storytelling. We believe however, if there is one thing that really sticks out in this one, it’s the performance of Nainby-Luxmoore. He bears his soul in such a way you’ll believe he’s actually Michael, the character he portrays.
We got the chance to chat with Finnian and just like his performance in Little Pieces, he did not disappoint.
Your director, Adam Nelson, describes you as someone who is fun and not too serious. What was it like preparing for a film rooted in a very serious subject matter?
It is true that I try to be a happy person and give off a good energy to the people around me but just like everyone in life, I have had my struggles and dark times in life. Moments that have tested my resolve and character and it is these times that I tried to draw on and use in my preparation of Michael. Adam is also a very good writer, so as I read through the script it was easy to put myself in the mind frame of Michael. After reading the script and studying Michael’s behavior throughout the story, I then spent a lot of time living his life out (which involved spending a lot of time alone) as well as thinking his kind of thoughts. For Michael his thoughts in life often return to his family, especially his fears for his little brother and as I have 2 younger sisters, this is something, which I too understand and have spent time worrying about. So as you can see the preparation for this film was intense, thought-provoking, and often involved struggling with hard times, which can be very draining on and often will leave you feeling low. But that is what was so beautiful about the film, the way it really caused affect, not just for the viewers but for all the people involved.
Nelson has described the rigorous casting process his team went through to find the perfect cast for Little Pieces. Tell us about finding out about the film and the process you went through to win the role.
I first came across the film whilst searching for auditions on one of the websites I use, Casting Call Pro. As soon as I read the description of the film and the role of Michael, I knew I had to be involved, so I sent a cover letter with some links of my previous work to Adam and proceeded to wait, not my strongest attribute. After a week I got an audition time, which was huge relief as often people don’t even reply to my responses. The day of the audition my best mate and his sister drove me from London to the audition in Guildford. It was nice to have their support because at the time I didn’t feel like I had a chance at all. They told me it would be great and to think how amazing it would be to get the role and then proceed to wait for me in the car park. I then went into the university and met the crew and Adam. We were in a big room, they were behind a table, and it felt kind of like auditioning for drama school, especially as I sat on the chair in the center of the room. I remember feeling very nervous but trying to ignore it as I introduced myself and spoke with them as they started filming. Then they got me to perform something and after that there was some improvisation work. I was meant to be acting drunk, as alcohol plays a big theme in this film but half way through, I remember tripping slightly as I went to get up and thinking “oh dear now I’m really messing this up’, which then lead to me thinking ‘your not meant to be thinking this, your drunk, act drunk’. At the time, it felt like every time I stepped I put a foot wrong, which I think luckily to Adam and his team just made me look like a real drunkard. Either that or they saw something in me, which I didn’t. After finishing talking with them and thanking them for seeing me, I remember leaving and the whole drive home talking with my friends about how I screwed up. A week later I got a call to my huge surprise from Adam saying I had indeed got the role. Biggest shock of my life.
Was there something specific to Little Pieces that made it a project you wanted to work on?
I loved the intensity of the project. From the moment I read about it on Casting Call Pro it was clear there was a heavy darkness to the story but throughout the horrors, there is this determination by the characters to try to do the right thing. Often that gets lost, as it does in everyday life, but it was the attempts to do better that I enjoy and the cruel way in which fate just keeps intervening. There are a few times in the film when it looks like everything will indeed pan out for the better but alas it is not meant to be, however it is the fact that even in the end when all is lost, they still go on, and Michael’s character especially, tries to do the right thing, no matter the consequences for him. That honest, real life struggle is what really drew me in.
The film doesn’t follow a more traditional, linear form of story telling. Were there any unique challenges as a performer specific to this type of story telling?
Yes and No. Yes it was difficult at times, because like most scripts, Little Pieces was written in the same order in which the audience watch it, so when you are first working through the scripts, it was as much a puzzle for us as it is the audience. Once you start to see the lay out of the film and realize how each scene connects and where the emotions drag from one scenes to the next, then you start to get a feel for how the characters are and from that you can build on the characters and their stories. When it came to filming, the non-linear story telling did not really cause too many challenges as it is not often that a film is filmed in the order in which it is written, so you get used to preparing yourself and your characters mind frame for different scenes and moods each day.
Can you describe your experience working with Nelson? What type of director is he to work with?
Working with Adam has been an amazing experience; he is a very talented director and is very good at working with his actors. He is one of the most patient people I have ever met, something I’m sure comes in handy with being a teacher, which has also made him very good at seeing the best in people as well as being able to help you develop areas of the film or a scene you are struggling with. He is happy to take time out to talk to his actors, to explain his views for the scene and how he plans to film the scenes. On top of that though, he is also willing to trust his actors to give him what he needs and is always willing to get the actors to explore the characters, both on and off-screen. This I found often paid off for him, as his work with the actors understanding was so good that everyone normally came to the same conclusion, on their own stead. It was a true pleasure to work with Adam, one which I hope will happen again in the not too distant future……….there is in fact some talk between us about a new thriller project but I’ve already said enough, you’ll have to ask Adam about that.
Now that the film is complete, what are your thoughts on the finished product? What have you been doing as one of the faces of the film to promote it since it’s release?
I love it and I am so very proud to be a part of it. The overall film has come together amazingly and that is in large part due to the crew and Adam, for their incredible talent, with the camera, the editing, and the music, which has been put together terrifically. It is not your typical film, big budgets flying, endless special effects, huge sets and foreign locations. This is a real life, down to earth, make you wake up and think about what goes on around you kind of film. It makes you look at people differently, makes you realize how little of each other we really see or understand. It is slow in places, which only makes the hard-hitting scenes more powerful. It slowly drags you into its world and before you know it, your emotions are wrapped up with those of the characters, causing you to share what they feel, their pain, hate, love and loss. It causes you to really think. Since its release, I have been spending time doing interviews for people, as well as sharing information on this film and advertising it to all my friends, family, and industry people I know. Nearly all the reviews and feed back its received, have been amazing and I’m sure the longer it continues to be out there and the more it is brought to people’s attentions, the greater its reach will become. It is subtle and elegant, blunt and brass comical and dark, and as my Aunt told me, ‘a real rollercoaster ride that will leave you feeling emotionally drained’. I hope you enjoy the ride.