‘All These Small Moments’: Brendan Meyer from The OA and Mr. Young talks about latest film
Brendan Meyer is the lead in the new film “All These Small Moments,” which also stars Molly Ringwald, Brian d’Arcy James, newcomer Sam McCarthy, Harley Quinn Smith, and Jemima Kirke and directed by Melissa B. Miller Costanzo. It opens January 17th in select theaters, and the 18th on VOD.
Set in New York, the movie is a somewhat quiet study of relationships and the awkwardness that accompanies teenage life, especially when compounded by family strife and the beginning of sexual self-awareness. The film will resonate with older teens and anyone who has experienced a crush which one knows will never come to fruition, but which nonetheless inexplicably fixates one’s desires.
We got the chance to interview Brendan about the film as well as a few other topics (like his role on Fear the Walking Dead) via phone conversation, scroll down to read!
[Full disclosure: Interview below has been edited for clarity…and because on the call I kept calling the movie “All the Small Things” like the Blink-182 song instead of All These Small Moments — oops lol]
How are you?
I’m good. How are you?
I’m swell, we got exactly 10 min and I was told I better not go over so I am going to be speed talking. Is that cool?
Yeah, that’s absolutely fine. I’ll try to talk quickly too.
All right, cool. So before we talk about your movie All These Small Moments let’s help the people who may not be familiar with you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Yeah, ok! My name’s Brendan Meyer, I am actually Canadian but I live in Los Angeles now. And yeah, I always wanted to be an actor so I’ve kind of been doing little acting classes since I was really really young. But it’s probably been…I’ll say my first actual professional acting credit was probably like almost 14 years ago now.
It started kind of small only working every now and then, did this show call Mr. Young and then I moved to Vancouver. I’ll say that’s when I really started — I mean I was working before that but not as consistently. So yeah that is kind of when I really started pursuing it both in Vancouver and then in L.A. So that’s been about eight years.
You live in LA now?
I do now. Yes. Yes.
Let’s get to the film now. Tell us what All These Small Moments is about, and about your character?
Well basically it focuses on this teenage boy and a bunch of different aspects in his life, and it also focuses on his parents. So his parents are going through kind of a rocky patch in their relationship. They are not sleeping in the same bed all the time, and the kids can kind of feel that, so that is kind of the home life.
Then Howie — the teenage boy that I play — whenever he is going to school, he rides the public bus and sees this sort of older woman, early 30s, and starts to be drawn to her and wants to know more of her story. And it also goes into sort of what is going on with him in school and this girl Lindsay, that he is always running into at the library, and his relationship with his friends and stuff. It is a little hard to describe succinctly, but it’s sort of this tapestry of all these moments that he is going through and that the family is going through.
Right. I saw it and I loved it. I think that everyone’s performances were amazing. So, I enjoyed it, but why do you think teenagers are gonna want to watch this film?
Well, I think teenagers will like this film because I think it is a great portrait of adolescence and I think how he desires to make sense of his situation and deal — I mean I think anyone who has dealt with parents breaking up or having a rocky relationship, that is not something I personally went through that but I imagine so many kids did. So that is something that young people could relate to if they are going through it right now, because I think its very real and honest to that experience.
And then I think there is a real interesting sense of development to all the different characters and I don’t think its just funnelled through a teenage experience. I think a teenager might enjoy not just relating to what they see, which is this sort of teenager-around-their-age’s journey, but they might also kind of be able to see their parents in some of the characters, or think more about what it would be like when they are a little bit older. So I think there is a lot there to chew on that is not just something that is trained to that teenage experience, and I think teenagers may be interested in that.
I agree. Especially older teens, maybe not the 13 or 14 year olds but you know the…
….maybe not, maybe definitely people in the Howie age-range, like 16, 17 and maybe even 18 could really, I think, get a lot out of it.
Absolutely. Now did you know who Molly Ringwald was before you booked the role? Did you know her iconic status?
Yeah, yeah, of course I was very very familiar with her movies and who she was and and the career that she’s had. So yeah, I was very excited to get the chance to work with her and was absolutely familiar with her.
Awesome. What stand out most for you from the production?
I mean one of the greatest things, you know the first thing that I always think of, is getting to film in New York. I love New York and I love spending time there, and we really were in such great, kind of classic New York locations whether it would be a Brooklyn brownstone or this roof overlooking the city or you know in these little parks or shops or cafes or wherever the scenes were.
I think that the movie does such a great job at capturing New York. And so, as an actor in the moment, being there was so amazing. I mean, I lived in a brownstone in Brooklyn while I was there. I walked to set a lot of days. I think the place I stayed was like two blocks away from the actual house where we shot all the stuff with the family. And it was pretty close to some of the other locations too, so it was really really cool.
Were there any awkward moments on set, especially with the actress who plays your crush? I know in real life there is not such an age difference, but as actors getting into your characters, was there any kind of maybe deliberate awkwardness that you guys kind of played off each other? I am talking about Jemima.
Yeah, I don’t think…there was no real awkwardness but I think there was certainly…you know the two of us and [the director] Melissa certainly worked together to sort of get it. A lot of it was in the script but it was still in the moment that you really have to finesse that sort of balance of the relationship, because obviously it is sort of an inappropriate age gap.
But is also one of the central relationships in the movie and so I think its an interesting balance. You are right, it is awkward and finding the moments in the script where the age difference didn’t matter in what they were talking about, and maybe finding the moments where it did and where that led to a little bit of awkwardness when that age difference shows, that was something we definitely had to work on as actors and with Melissa.
Well you did a good job because there were some moments when I was cringing. I was like “oh no…”
I am also very naturally awkward. So sometimes that would just come out, and I like to think they could just use that (laughing). I don’t have to pre-plan that necessarily all the time.
All right, good. What role do you get recognized most for and maybe you wish people would move on? I am guessing Mr. Young, am I right about that?
Ah, look I never wish people would move on from anything I…you know, I don’t mind whatever people recognize me from, it’s fine. But yeah, I think that’s probably still the one that I most get recognized for. Sometimes The OA, but mainly Mr. Young still. And for the most part I can still move around and its not too crazy but yeah, I’ll say when people do stop me its most often from Mr. Young.
Cool. You were part of another iconic series, albeit briefly: Fear the Walking Dead, first in the web series form and then in the actual show itself. Did you have hopes to make it as a regular or did you kind of know beforehand that your character was going to be limited?
You know, there was always talk about it potentially being more, but that was never confirmed. I actually booked the regular role I have on The OA at like the exact same time so I couldn’t have actually done it. So I don’t know necessarily if they ever made that call. I know there was certainly talk about having that character having a little of a longer lifespan, but I never got a confirmation one way or the other.
But it didn’t really ever matter because I started filming The OA I think the month after I did that episode of Fear of the Walking Dead — which was an amazing experience. It was really, really cool. The one episode that I got to do, filming in the water tank they filmed that season in and being down there on the set with all those actors for a day was cool. But yeah I think I filmed that the end of January and was in New York for The OA in February so it wouldn’t have worked.
Alrighty, so Brendan what do you have coming up next?
Yeah so the next thing is season 2 of The OA. I think that is the next chance you will be able to see me, and this movie comes out on the 17th in theaters and the 18th on VOD.
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us. Love your Instagram feed by the way, you have a good eye for photos man, you are talented. Good luck with the movie and hope to see you on a red carpet in L.A. somewhere.
Thanks man hope to see you too!
Follow Brendan: http://instagram.com/brendankjmeyer