Exclusive Interview: Actress Maya Parish Talks ‘MIDNIGHT SON’
Actress Maya Parish stars in MIDNIGHT SON, a movie that gives us a uniquely different look at the vampire genre and it’s a good one. The story is original, deep and well executed. Maya took some time to let me pick her brain about the movie that she also served as executive producer on.
Alien Bee - First off tell me a little about Midnight Son and your character Mary.
Maya Parish – Midnight Son is a soulful coming of age story. For me it’s about acceptance of self, of all parts of self, even the dark or ugly parts that one would rather not look at. It’s also a love story, and in that, the acceptance that both Jacob and Mary have to achieve is not only of themselves, but also of the other – fully and completely. The film also explores the realm of addiction, and it does so in a truthful way, showing compassion for its subjects while unflinchingly exposing their weaknesses and doubts. What was exciting to me about the project was that the film wasn’t afraid to mix genres. It is a horror film, but it is also a drama, and a romance. Midnight Son is a fresh take on the age old vampire story, examining the familiar themes in a gritty and realistic fashion. The character I play, Mary, is a lost and damaged soul, very much a product of the alienation inherent to her urban environment, but she’s also a survivor. She has tremendous strength and a giant heart, and she is desperate for love, for intimacy. What she and Jacob find with each other is new for both of them, and as such is scary for them at times, but the connection they find is ultimately what allows them to fully accept who they are, even the darkest aspects of their natures.
Alien Bee - The movie and your character gets pretty deep sometimes. How’d you prepare for your role?
Maya Parish – We were lucky enough to get some rehearsal time before we shot the film, and Scott, Zak, and I worked closely together to discover the intricacies of the relationship between Jacob and Mary as it progresses through the film. I also kept a journal from Mary’s perspective, writing out her emotional throughline in all the moments we don’t see her on screen, all of those in between moments, which I found helpful as we shot, especially since we shot out of order. The journal became a road map for me, which was a strong jumping off point. Mainly though, I simply accepted who Mary was and I grew to love her very much. The safety that was created on set allowed me to mine the depths of Mary and take risks when the camera was rolling, trusting that those risks would pay off.
Alien Bee - You also served as an executive producer on Midnight Son. Tell everyone reading this why they should check this movie out!
Maya Parish – People should watch this film because it is unique, because it transcends stereotypes and easy answers, because it is a work of art. As an executive producer, I had the opportunity to see this film from pre-production through post, and all the way through, what we were looking to express was the truth of these characters, which radiates out to a larger truth that can apply to all of us as we search to understand why we are here and what makes up our journeys to self realization. This film was very much a labor of love from all the people involved, and I believe that love shows up on the screen. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we did have a lot of heart, and people should check out our film because that kind of heart and drive toward the truth is rare these days in the entertainment industry which is so saturated with commercialism.
Alien Bee - Are you a fan of the horror genre? If so name some of your favorites!
Maya Parish – Some favorite vampire films include Near Dark, Let the Right One In, and The Lost Boys. I’m also a fan of psychological thrillers. Almodovar’s film The Skin I Live In is brilliant! I saw it recently and I felt that it was enormously brave and original.
Alien Bee - You was in an episode of one of my favorite sitcoms, How I met Your Mother. How did that go for you?
Maya Parish – That was a great experience. Neil Patrick Harris is a genius!
Alien Bee - What would be the pinnacle acting gig for you?
Maya Parish -More films like Midnight Son! I am interested in contributing to stories that I care about, that contribute awareness to the public, and that ask the hard questions about our human experience. Film has the power to narrow the divide we often feel between ourselves and others, to create catharsis and ignite compassion. These are the kinds of projects I will continue to work on.
Alien Bee - Do you have any hobbies or other projects you’re working on?
Maya Parish – I recently closed a world premiere production of an original play I wrote, entitled “Lost Limbs”. I produced, wrote, and starred in this play and it was truly an amazing experience. I also recently completed a yoga teacher training certification program, and have begun teaching yoga here in Los Angeles, which I’m loving! In addition to that, I continue to teach acting and playwriting through a non-profit organization, working with youth in “at risk” areas, which is work I find extremely fulfilling and fun. I am also gearing up to go into production for a short film I wrote, entitled “Monoxine”, in which Jo D. Jonz of Midnight Son is slated to co-star.
Alien Bee - Would you like to say anything to everyone checking this out?
Maya Parish – Thank you for your support of Midnight Son. I hope that it speaks to you. If you enjoy it, please help us spread the word. Let’s make this into a cult classic!
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