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Trailers for May 2020

Vanessa McMahon


Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)

 


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'Mercy' please, Leon Clingman!

During the World Cup, FIFA 2010, my friend South African actor Leon Clingman and I traded information about World Cup news from each country we were in (he in South Africa and me in Brazil). Now, the Cup is over and film excitement has taken over in South Africa once again. Leon Clingman speaks to us from Cape Town about his latest film projects.

 

LEON: My role in Black Butterflies is really small (3 lines). I play a doctor who works at the reception of a psychiatric hospital who hands over some poetry belonging to a patient to her lover. The movie is a biographical drama about Ingrid Jonker who was a well known South African poet who led a very troubled life and ultimately committed suicide by walking into the sea and drowning.

ME: Wow! Well, even though you play a small role in that I really want to see it! It sounds like an incredible story! Can you tell us a bit about your animation film The Lion of Judah (2010) where you play the voice of Tony?

LEON: I loved playing a voice in Lion of Judah. It's always been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid to do an animated voice. In Lion of Judah I play Tony who is a mafia raven and sidekick to the Boss
(played by Michael Madsen). The Ravens control the streets of Jerusalem. I had a lot of fun coming up with the voice for Tony. He reminded me a lot of Joe Pesci so I watched a few Pesci movies and developed the character from there, my only regret is that I didn't get to actually work with Michael Madsen as they recorded me in Cape Town and then flew to LA to record him and some of the other characters. I really hope to do more animation work in the future.

ME: Must be fun to be a voice for animation. LOL! And you have a film coming out next year called Mercy (2011)? This film sounds like Silence of the Lambs in South Africa!

LEON: Yes. Mercy which is currently in post and hoping to be released on the festival circuit next year. Mercy is written, directed and produced by Duncan Angus and is his first film. In the movie I play the male lead Jimmy who kidnaps vulnerable young girls off the streets of Cape Town, locks them in a cage, breaks them down completely and then sells them to Lucas, the head of a crime syndicate who then pimps the girls out as prostitutes. Jimmy has no friends or family and lives a simple, isolated life. He is cruel and loves to play psychological games with his victims, he really enjoys toying with them and breaking them to the point where they beg him to keep them rather than hand them over to Lucas. Jimmy's only weakness is his obsession with Susan who is one of his victims, but after years of working for Lucas she makes a deal with him for her freedom. She pays him a fee every month and he releases her from the prostitution ring and promises to protect her from Jimmy. This causes a lot of friction between Jimmy and Lucas. Jimmy's latest victim is Monika a pretty, fragile looking young girl but she turns out to be Jimmy's toughest challenge yet and she reminds him of Susan. When Lucas sees her he demands that Jimmy hand her over, jimmy knows that she's not ready yet but does what Lucas asks. Monika escapes from Lucas, Lucas blames Jimmy and forces him to go with him and his goons to search for her. The search culminates in a Mexican standoff and shootout.

ME: Whoa! This film sounds gripping! How was it to play Jimmy? Sorry, but you seem to nice to play a killer :-)

LEON: I really enjoyed playing Jimmy as he is so different to me and I very rarely get to play bad guys. I tried to stay in character all the time and had a lot of fun toying with the cast and crew as Jimmy. One of the challenges for me was that the director wanted to keep everything very simple and minimalistic so he didn't want a lot of props and he wanted the characters to keep their behavior very simple and minimal which I found difficult at times.

ME: Did it take long to film? And when can we see it? I really am anxious for this one! I want to see you play a sicko! LOL!

LEON: It took 3 weeks to film with a skeleton crew. The edit is finished but we are having to adr the entire film which is taking a long time but the director believes it will in improve the quality of the film drastically. At the moment I don't have any other projects that I'm working on as the World Cup brought the South African film industry to halt but things are starting to pick up and I'm positive that the year will end well.

ME: That darn World Cup! But hey, it's only once every four years and how amazing must that have been to be living in Cape Town in the midst of all that? Sorry, but that's a film in itself! Thanks a million Leon. Cannot wait to see you in all your films.

 

Interview by Vanessa McMahon on August 08, 2010

 

see Lion of Judah trailer here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUnjYsd8TPI

LOL! :-)

actor Leon Clingman

 

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