Brendan Meyer may be only 24, but the Canadidan thespian is already an accomplished actor in both theatre and film/TV. He has filmed throughout the US as well as Toronto and Vancouver, including his home town of Edmonton.
He has performed in three seasons with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in Edmonton. His past theatre credits include Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, Comedy of Errors and Richard III (Freewill Players); and Beneath The Ice (Fringe Theatre Adventures). He also has numerous directing credits with the Celsius Youth Theatre, which he co-founded and was a co-artistic director before his busy film/TV career took him to Vancouver.
Brendan Meyer’s latest project is Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s feature directorial debut, All These Small Moments, a contemporary coming-of-age tale in which a teenage boy’s infatuation with a woman he sees on the bus further complicates his already tumultuous adolescence.
Meyer’s character, Howie Sheffield, fits easily into the the same mold as Holden Caulfield, with some contemporary twists, including his parents’ troubled marriage. Was the character of Howie an easy character fit?
“I think in some ways, and then not,” Meyer says. “I think that experience of wanting to be more mature, or maybe have a little more control over his life, I think that any teenager can relate to that – any teenager can relate to that whole idea of wanting to grow up quicker. But also I think that it is a feeling of just of wanting to feel a foundation underneath you. I think that’s hard. My parents have always had a great relationship and they’ve never had a rough patch, so they’ve always been a great foundation. I think that especially for a kid whose his parents are going through something that, the desire I think all teenagers have, which is to have a little more stability in their lives, is on top of all these emotional attractions to people. I related to that, but I did have to think a little harder about how that would affect someone who didn’t have the sort of family that I did have.”
Howie engages in some behaviors, like arguably stalking a woman he sees on a bus, that could be considered creepy. How did Meyer humanize that, and make it relate-able in the Me Too era?
“I think that was something that Melissa, the director, did very good job of both with the script and the way that it was shot and not making him as creepy. Because I don’t think he is, I think his intentions are kind of protective, for instance as a teenager he sees her crying on the bus and he sort of cuddles her, he wants to know more about what is affecting her and he wants to be there for her. Maybe there’s something in her that he feels himself emotions going on underneath the surface in this movie and maybe he is looking for someone to express them with. So yeah, I think it was always about his human desire for a connection. It was never about being a stalker or being creepy.”
Although Melissa B. Miller Costanzo is making her feature directorial debut with All These Small Moments, Meyer is effusive about his writer and director:
“She was amazing, I mean Melissa is so terrific onset and she’s I really great person as well. But yeah as far as that you didn’t ever really feel like you were working with someone who was new at her job or something. She obviously had tons of experience in the film industry and so she really knew what she wanted when she got there and I think she did a pretty fantastic job bringing her vision to life. She really had an opinion and an idea of how she wanted everything in the script to play, even the smallest little thing, and that is so helpful with an actor. To have that director to really have done their own homework as well, is so important, because obviously as an actor you have your own opinion and you bring your own ideas. But when you know that the director is there to help you out and guide you it just makes it all so much easier. And Melissa did that for sure.”
Despite his young age, Meyer already has nearly fifty professional film and TV credits. He has worked with large numbers of male and female directors, and is definitely an advocate of increasing opportunities for female filmmakers:
“I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of female directors in my career. It is always an amazing experience. I think the key is that there is no difference so there should be more equality. I think that we see this massive gap in how many movies are directed by men versus women every year and there is absolutely no gap in how skilled they are. I have had some of the best experiences of my career have been with female directors. So, yeah I want to see more female directors get opportunities as well. I think as far as my individual experiences in my career it really does come down to the specific situation of who was great and who wasn’t. Overall I wish we could see a little bit more equality, even that out a little bit.”
Eighties icon Molly Ringwald plays Howie’s mother in All These Small Moments. Meyer is enthusiastic about working with his famous co-star:
“I enjoyed it a lot, I mean Molly was so great, she was so focused and present, you know, focused on the work, but she was also so great to talk to when we weren’t working. She was so friendly and genuine, and obviously, I knew a lot about the the work she has done in her remarkable career. I’ve seen a lot of her movies beforehand. But you know when you get on set you didn’t think of that stuff, you know you just really focused on her the person. She really was so great to work with.”
The movie was shot pretty much entirely in New York City, which added to Meyer’s experience:
“Yeah the whole thing, it was all in New York. Mainly in Brooklyn, almost all in Brooklyn, and I stayed in Brooklyn right near where it was shot. I was very immersed in the world of the film.”
Does the self-professed Shakespeare nerd have a favorite Shakespearean play, or a Shakespearean role that he hasn’t gotten to play that he’s dying to?
“Yeah definitely, I mean one of my favorite plays is Richard III, and I think that is sort of the dream role for me. That’s kind of the one I always look to as the summit. I mean a lot of people talk about Hamlet and obviously I love Hamlet and and it would be cool to play, but for me, I don’t know, I was in a production of Richard III and I think of that as really the role, as the Holy Grail of Shakespeare, Richard III. I think it is technically the second biggest role behind Hamlet, the hill to climb.”
Meyer also shares this writer’s fondness for the films of Alfred Hitchcock, which means he has to disclose his favorite Hitchcock film:
“I definitely might be going a little more classic here but I think my favorites are Psycho and Rear Window. I mean what he does with Rear Window, you know telling the story that doesn’t feel constrained at all and yet when you really think about it at all just takes place in that apartment and out the window of that apartment. I think it’s kind of masterful and I think it’s something that has not been done that successfully since then. Psycho is just a classic, it’s so well done and I think Anthony Perkins performance is so fantastic as Norman Bates. So those are the two that jump out at me.”
Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart?
“I think I’m going with Jimmy Stewart there, purely in Hitchcock films, Rear Window and Vertigo. I mean I love North by Northwest, and Notorious is the other one right?”
Along with To Catch a Thief and Suspicion, for Grant, I confirm. What’s next for Brendan Meyer?
“The next thing people are going to see me in is season 2 of The OA, which is on Netflix and I can’t say when it’s coming out, but that’s next.”
All These Small Moments, starring Brendan Meyer and Molly Ringwald, opens in theaters on January 17th, and On Demand / Digital HD January 18th, 2019.