📷 : Bobby Quillard
Zach Avery was cast and directed by Ralph Fiennes in 2019’s release of The White Crow, which has been shown around the world and saw him play the role of Michael Jones alongside Oleg Ivenko’s character Rudolph Nureyev. Having filmed in London, Zach will be appearing in the upcoming release of Farming, which tells the story of a young Nigerian boy, based on the writer/director’s childhood. Chatting with Zach, he talks about his most challenging role so far, the upcoming production of Farming and filming for The White Crow.
How are you involved in the newly-released film The White Crow?
I was cast by Ralph Fiennes (who directed and played a role in the film) to play the character of Michael Jones – an American reporter who followed Rudolph’s journey as he defected to the west from Russia.
What was this production like to film?
The production was incredible. I shot all of my scenes in Belgrade, Serbia, so that was a first for me and a wonderful experience. Getting to travel to another country and dive into this story was such a treat.
Who were you acting with the most?
My scenes were all opposite Oleg Ivenko, who played the lead role of Rudolph Nureyev.
How was it being directed by Ralph Fiennes?
What a dream come true. Ralph is such an incredible artist and the experience that he brings by being in front of the camera for such a tremendous career really shows through when he was working behind the camera. He is able to direct actors in a way that only someone who has spent a career acting would be able to do and for me to witness him work his magic is something that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my career.
Did you get chance to attend any of the film festivals where the production was shown?
Unfortunately, I was working during Telluride last year but I did get to go to the NYC premiere, which was such a treat.
Who is your character Martin Fellows in Farming?
Martin is a parole officer who is tasked with working with Damson Idris’s character in the film, Enitan. The film is set in a time in London when racial tensions were at a high point so balancing the humanity within the character while dealing with his clear racist beliefs was constant struggle but one that added layers to play throughout the story.
Are you able to say where you filmed for this role?
We filmed in London.
📷 : Bobby Quillard
What was it like working alongside a cast which included Kate Beckinsale and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje?
Such a wonderful experience. The entire cast was incredible and truly brought their A- game every single day. Since the story revolves around Adewale’s actual life, he brought such a personal touch to his scenes and was able to guide us through our work in a very unique way that I think took the (already great) film to the next level.
Can you tell us about Hell Is Where the Home Is?
What a wild ride this film is! The film is actually called Trespassers now in the US and will be released theatrically on July 12th. This is an elevated home invasion thriller but that is really the backdrop to an extremely intense look inside the lives of two different couples that are going through tough patches in their relationships and go on a little weekend getaway to attempt to reconnect. What unfolds is not as “peaceful” as they had hoped. Really fun film that I am excited for everyone to see.
Where is the furthest you’ve filmed away from home?
Serbia for The White Crow was definitely the furthest from home.
How did your acting career start?
I was cast in a short film called Shifter in 2012/13 about three/four months after moving to Los Angeles. From there I started to develop relationships with different producers and directors that led to more work slowly but surely and haven’t really stopped since. It’s been an incredible journey thus far.
What would you say has been your most challenging role so far?
I did a film last year called Last Moment of Clarity in which I played a character named Sam who witnessed his fiancé getting murdered and then flees to Paris to mourn and escape his “old” life only to find clues that his fiancé may still be alive; plunging him back into his past on a hunt for the love of his life. There were so many hills and valleys throughout the character’s journey that it really made me take a magnifying glass to every aspect of my life in order to draw each emotion out along the way in an organic fashion. This was definitely a challenging role but also one of the most fulfilling to shoot.
What’s your next production to be released?
I have a few films that will be released this year. Trespassers will be released on July 12th. Farming will be released in October. Shookum Hills is slated to be released theatrically late fall of this year and Last Moment of Clarity will be going through the festival circuit in the fall as well.
What screen roles do you have coming up in the next few months?
I just wrapped a really cool thriller called The Gateway that was directed by Michele Civetta, which starred myself, Olivia Munn, Shea Whigham, Bruce Dern and Frank Grillo. I start production on my next film in Spain beginning of July that will be directed by Diego Hallivis.
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