Actor Patrick Taft Talks Bag of Lies

Actor Patrick Taft is no stranger to the horror world. After going through his resume, you can see he has done it all, whether it be associate producing Wicked Ones or starring in projects such as Never Gonna Give Up On You. In his latest horror film, DREAD’s Bag of Lies, Patrick plays a husband who will stop at nothing to save his wife who is dying of cancer. The official synopsis for Bag of Lies reads: Desperate to save his dying wife, Matt (Taft) turns to The Bag, an ancient relic with dark magic. The cure demands a chilling ritual and strict rules. As his wife heals, Matt’s sanity unravels, facing terrifying consequences.

In the below interview, Film Obsessive’s Chris Miller speaks to Patrick about everything from his favorite scene in Bag of Lies to what attracts him to the horror genre.

Bag of Lies is available now on VOD.

Film Obsessive: How did you first become involved with Bag of Lies?

Patrick Taft: The writer/director (David Andrew James) is a longtime friend/collaborator of mine from my time living in Cincinnati, Ohio. I moved to LA three years ago, but ironically the biggest opportunity I’ve gotten flew me right back home to Cincinnati to film Bag of Lies.

What stood out most to you about the script?

David pulls no punches with exploring the darker elements of the human psyche. The dialogue was succinct and macabre, the perfect playground for an actor. But he didn’t skimp on the plot for the sake of cheap scares. It’s a love story too, just a terrifying one.

Poster for Bag of Lies featuring a hand raising out of a canvas bag tied in rope.

How did you prepare for your role as Matt in Bag of Lies?

It takes time for characters to seep into my bones. Movies aren’t like the stage, you have limited rehearsals with the other actors (if you get any at all). You have to make sure to turn in a consistent performance, even though you often shoot scenes out of order. In other words, you better have it all figured out by the time the director is calling action. If you don’t really put the time in just sitting at a desk, asking yourself who the hell this guy is, you won’t deliver a compelling performance. What keeps him going? What is he ashamed of? Did he cry during Toy Story 3? All these details, big and small, deepen your presence on screen.

Did you have a favorite scene in the film?

I have a scene with John Wells that was just so heartbreaking. Matt’s in the denial phase after a traumatic event, and the line between reality and delusion has blurred to the point of disappearing. I’m usually able to keep my characters at a distance, but I felt that pain to my core. I had to take a break on set to recover before we could keep going.

Patrick Taft holds a device connected to a wire in Bag of Lies.

You frequently work in the horror genre, whether it be in in front of the camera (Bag of Lies) or behind the camera (being an Associate Producer on Wicked Ones). What attracts you most to the horror genre?

It’s such a thrill to be part of this community, in any capacity. I don’t think any other genre can boast such an enthusiastic, supportive fanbase. Everyone knows each other, and we want to see each other succeed (despite constant disrespect from all the awards shows). We find a way to make it happen, even when money is tight. That’s special.

Did anything creepy happen behind the scenes when making the film?

We ran out of coffee. Twice.

Bag of Lies has a lot of creepy scenes within it. What was it like creating the dark imagery within the film?

There are moments where you feel the dark/creepy environment start to get under your skin. Then you see a demon crossing its legs, drinking hot chocolate on the couch during their break and it snaps you out of it in the most hilarious way possible. Making horror films is the best kind of fever dream.

What are you working on next?

We’ve got some scripts leaning more towards the psychological thriller side of things that we’re hoping to make soon. I’m also writing a feature film about two promising young athletes whose careers don’t pan out, and how they deal with the crippling reality of not meeting expectations. We can’t wait to get back on set!

What are some of your favorite horror films?

I really love Hellraiser, and The Fly. Goldblum is so awesome in that movie, and Cronenberg is such a master. The practical effects are so much cooler than the bullshit CGI we see today. But I’d have to say my favorite is Psycho. Hitchcock is the ultimate genius, because he understands who the real monsters are: ourselves.

Written by Chris Miller

Chris currently lives in Los Angeles, surrounded by the industry he has been passionate about since a child. He covers events such as San Diego Comic-Con, Screamfest, premieres and other Academy functions. He believes too often the creative talent behind the camera is overlooked, so he specializes in bringing awareness to roles such as composers, costume designers, cinematographers and production designers to name a few.

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