Jeremy Sumpter is also one of the stars of hit US show Friday Night Lights and is currently working on a variety of feature films.
HUG: Can you talk about what you feel is the main story of Death and Cremation.
JS: The main story of the film is the relationship between Jarod and Stan.
HUG: How does your character fit into this story?
JS: Jarod is the story. He has had a bad life and is reaching out to someone for friendship.
HUG: What do you think the tone of the film is?
JS: Definitely dark.
HUG: There appears to be a father-son dynamic in Death and Cremation. How did you approach this and what was it like working alongside Brad Dourif?
JS: Working with Brad was great. We clicked immediately. I would love to work with him again sometime.
HUG: Jarod is bullied in the film. How do you feel the film deals with issues surrounding bullying and was this something that drew you to the film?
JS: I think most people are bullied at one time or another. It didn’t necessarily draw me to the film but I understood what Jarod was going through.
HUG: From the trailer Brad Dourif’s character of Stan appears to be very creepy. Do you think Death and Cremation is a film that will scare audiences and do you think this is part of Justin’s intention?
JS: It is a dark story that captivates you. It isn’t a horror story where things pop out at you.
HUG: Do you think the character of Jarod is the character that audiences will most relate to in the film?
JS: Probably although I’m sure Stan will get his share also.
HUG: Justin Steele describes Jarod as “extremely odd, disturbed, and damaged”. Did you find any ways in which you could relate to the character and was there anything in particular that you brought to the character that wasn’t in the original script?
JS: It was an interesting character to play since Jarod is so unlike myself. I didn’t find any specific ways to relate to him, just tried to imagine what he was going through.
HUG: Death and Cremation looks to be a very dark film. Do films with a darker or grittier subject matter appeal to you?
JS: Yes, but I like a lot of different films too.
HUG: Can you talk about your route into the film industry and also the experience of working in TV and film and the differences you have found.
JS: I attended a talent competition when I was 10 which was where my manager found me. He helped me get started finding an agent, getting “Frailty”, etc. I’ve been with him for the last 11 years. Television definitely moves quicker. On “Friday Night Lights” we didn’t even rehearse, just was ready to shoot when we showed up in the morning. Film moves a lot slower.
HUG: What other projects are you currently working on and where will we see you next?
JS: I have a couple of scripts I am looking at but have not yet decided my next project. Possible a baseball movie.
Embedded below is the trailer for Death and Cremation.