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June 30th, 2014   Interviews 0

Hard though this is to believe, it’s been more than four years since Noel Clarke last directed a movie. He had a triple whammy of writer-producer credits in 2012 with Fast Girls, Storage 24 and The Knot. Now he’s back behind the camera, parlaying his Storage 24 and Star Trek Into Darkness experience into a low-budget but high-concept science fiction thriller.

Clarke plays the lead role of Ryan, a former soldier who finds himself captive in the back of a van and only able to stay conscious in bursts of precisely 9 minutes and 47 seconds.

Digital Spy sat down with Ian Somerhalder on the film’s London set last summer to discuss the joys of shooting sci-fi on a shoestring, the film’s Memento-like premise, and his work with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

What appealed to you about The Anomaly?
Noel is so prolific at what he does, and I was really excited to work with someone who’s starring and directing in the movie, because that’s something I want to do and I will do myself. Noel is extremely giving with his information, and he has so much passion and compassion for the art of film. He shares it so freely and I’m grateful for that.

You’ve mentioned that you saw real-world parallels in the script…
Imagine Pfizer or Roche, one of those big pharmaceutical companies, being owned by one family. My [character’s] father Dr Langham, who is played by Brian Cox, understands that humanity is exceeding its resource pool at such an alarming rate that it can’t continue on this path. It’s what’s happening in the world now.

This movie is set 22 years in the future, so it’s getting closer to mid-century. By mid-century we’re gonna have a population of 9 billion. So Langham realizes that, because we are exceeding our resource pool at such an exponential rate, we can’t keep going; he needs to slow humanity down, and he figures out a way to do it through mind control. The problem is that that’s not ethical, you can’t take away people’s free will, but the righteous intention is there. He wants to make sure that the planet has a future, which is something I live to do.

So that’s why the movie really spoke to me, and I was really excited to be with Noel and shoot a gritty, go-for-it, balls to the wall experience. If we can get one person, with this movie, if we can provoke one person to really ask, ‘What is my role in this world, and do I take more than I give back?’ If we can affect one person, we’ve succeeded.

What sci-fi influences did you see in the script?
It has components of a Memento meets The Bourne Identity, only we don’t have that kind of dough. We’re shooting this on a much smaller budget and without a lot of days to do it, so we’re really just getting what we need. There’s an art to that – ‘How do I tell a story in the amount of time and money that we have?’ Noel is an incredibly competent, passionate and talented man, and this group, this crew and cast, are so on their game.

Most of my scenes are with Noel, and we love each other, man, we bonded hard. We’ve beat the s**t out of each other, 500 times, we’ve gone through a lot of emotional stuff together. I was off for two days recently, and I missed him!

You’re very active on Twitter, and I know you’ve had your account hacked in the past. What’s been your experience of social media overall?
You know, social media, Twitter and Facebook, have changed the world. I see it every day, with being on a television show, the success of The Vampire Diaries is so… not even part and parcel, it’s so attributable to social media. The success of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, it would not exist without social media, not at the capacity and level that it is now. So I’m in love with it.

It’s all about the fans, man. At this point it has nothing to do with me. Because of this – I always joke – this silly teen soap opera, the progress is now quantifiable, with real numbers and real progress.

How has your fanbase facilitated your work as an activist?
A lot of critics talk about ‘slacktivism’ or they call me a slacktivist, because they think people sitting on their computers, just on Twitter and Facebook, don’t really do anything. But they’re completely wrong. I see an idea on social media go into planning, and then into quantifiable progress. I see it happening. There’s a reason that I get to work with some of the people that I do.

We at ISF are building a huge animal sanctuary down in Louisiana, it’s also a youth education camp, it’s a sustainable agriculture farm, it’s awesome. But it’s incredibly expensive, and I’ve gotta find ways to pay for it, so I’ve been going around all over Europe doing appearances, raising money. I’m not complaining, I’m so grateful for it, but it’s been at serious expense to my health, because I’ve been shooting here, all day, every day all week, and then I get on a plane on Friday night and fly to a different city in Europe.

I just hope that all those little furry creatures and all those kids appreciate it! That was a joke, I’m thrilled to do it and I’m blessed that I actually have the opportunity. People say, ‘What do you do in your spare time?’ There is none! And it’s okay, you know. I want to do as much as I can while I’m here, on this planet, at least in this physical form.”


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Current Projects
The Vampire Diaries
Ian as Damon Salvatore
The vampire brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore, eternal adolescents, having been leading 'normal' lives, hiding their bloodthirsty condition, for centuries, moving on before their non-aging is noticed. They are back in the Virginia town where they became vampires. Stefan is noble, denying himself blood to avoid killing, and tries to control his evil brother Damon.
Information Photos Official Site
The Anomaly
Ian as Harkin Langham
A former soldier is taken captive and awakens in the back of a van where he learns that he only has a few moments to figure out how he got there.
Information Photos Official Site
The Vampire Diaries Family
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The Ian Somerhalder Foundation
Ian is extremely passionate about animal rights, and has even set up his own foundation to help raise awareness for the protection of animals all over the world. Visit The ISFoundation to find out more!
"The IS FOUNDATION aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures."
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