Not a Saint, Just a Preacher
Paul Dunk, stunt driver/preacher, originally joined the Extraction Day team as a performance driver. After the team was exposed to his verbal banter and antics, Extraction Day writer Jennifer Lloyd started crafting out a major character for Paul, now known as Robert Daniels.
What is your favourite memory from being on the Extraction Day set?
My favourite memory on set would definitely be the drift sequence outside the warehouse. I was driving the Charger and chasing a VW SUV, which happened to be a rental. Before every take, Matt would come over to the window and say, “Now remember, you don’t need to drive fast, we’ll take care of that in editing…and don’t hit the rental.”
On one take, there was so much dust in the air that when I drifted around the corner, I couldn’t even see the SUV. I ditched the Charger, driving it off the course and into the grass. After the dust settled, Matt came over and said “What the heck? Why are you way over here?” I was like, “Hey bro, you didn’t want me to hit the rental.”
What was the funniest moment you experienced?
The funniest moment for me actually happened off-set, about two days after the drift sequence. Jeremy was driving the studio’s Charger and it died. The mechanic went over to Jeremy and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but the engine looks like your drove the s**t out of this thing in about 2 hours.” Not only was it funny, but it was the greatest compliment a racer could get. Needless to say, I’m also really glad those weren’t my tires.
What was your worst experience while shooting this film?
My worst experience was filming the interrogation scene in below zero weather. We shot it in the old Hespeler Hotel and although it looks unreal, it was frigid. The shoot was in February and took two days — both 12 hour shoots. When I read the call sheet and saw we were shooting in a hotel, I never expected I’d be able to look up and actually see bits of sky – or snow – through the roof. I’m not a diva. I did South Sudan last year – but I peed in a Tim Horton’s cups in the hallway in between takes. And the call sheet said: “Hotel.”
What was your most embarrassing moment as an actor?
The second worse experience was the barn scene. I got on set around noon and was there until 3AM the next day. I didn’t mind the long shoots; for the most part, they were a lot of fun and everyone on set was amazing to work with. At one point, however, we had several takes in a row where there were some sound issues and we had to keep redoing it. It was late, I was tired, and I leaned over and whispered to Matt, “Look, this sound guy needs to get his game together. He’s making me nervous.” Matt just points at my lav mic and says, “He’s listening to you.” I looked up and the sound guy just smiled and nodded at me. I felt like a real jerk. But hey, I think that after fifteen hours everyone should get to play one “jerk-card” on set.
Do you identify with your character in any way?
Actually, yes. Robert is intense, driven and a little sarcastic. I don’t know that those qualities are necessarily noble, but I’m capable of all of them. In my other life, I’m a preacher. I am currently finishing my Masters of Divinity and launching KW Redeemer Church in 2015.
What was the most challenging part of your character?
Well, Robert Daniels is a character who actually evolved after the interrogation scene. In fact, in an earlier version of the script, that was his only scene. But I came onto the set at the Hespeler “Hotel” on the second day and one of the guys says, “Hey, did you hear the good news?” I said no and they told me to wait until Matt got there. Then Matt and Jennifer walk in and ask me how I felt about expanding the role. As a kid, I chewed my toast into a gun to get bad guys at breakfast – so how could I say no? So really, the most challenging thing was dealing with my insecurities and the pressure I felt not to suck after saying ‘yes’.
Why should people see this movie?
Because nothing like this has ever been done in KW. It’s filmed locally, the talent is local, and the film has already been sold in global markets, but the exclusive showings are happening right here in KW. I think that it’s a real testament to the talent at High Rise Studio and I think the film is going to surprise a lot of people.
You can see Paul Dunk portray Robert Daniels at Landmark Cinema on October 20th and 27th. Tickets are available for purchase here.