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Interview: Mark Webber enjoyed doing something different in '13 Sins'

"13 Sins" star Mark Webber talks about doing a movie that audiences will react strongly to in a theater, and how directing is where his head's at now.

Mark Webber plays a man who does whatever crazy things someone on the other end of a phone says in "13 Sins." Credit: Getty Images Mark Webber plays a man who does whatever crazy things someone on the other end of a phone says in "13 Sins."
Credit: Getty Images

Mark Webber goes off the rails in Daniel Stamm's "13 Sins," playing a mild-mannered sadsack pushed to frightening extremes by a mysterious voice on the phone ordering him to commit escalating acts of mischief for cash rewards. And as far as Webber is concerned, this is exactly the kind of film he wants to be making.

This is a pretty crazy movie.

I know. It was so much fun for me. It's the first time that I've carried a movie in a while in an action/thriller kind of a genre film. I got to do all of these really amazing, fun things, like when I'm on set, cutting the guy's arm off — that's so tripped out, it's so crazy. There's so many odd situations that I was put in. And a lot of my work has been really reality-based in a way, so to do a film that's heightened was very fun.

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With all that dark places your character has to go, did it make you question your own sanity at all?

I felt crazy making it. You need a really great guide for that to make sure that you're maintaining this emotional trajectory and that you're plugging in at the right place and the right time. How you track that then becomes really important. And Daniel's really flawless with how he helped facilitate that with me. It's great to have such a clear arc. He starts off pathetic, you know, and eventually he kind of becomes his own version of an action hero.

It's quite a range.

It's cool. And you never know if it's going to work, so it was fun to sit at SXSW and watch the movie for the first time with an audience and see people really enjoy it. I'm like, "Oh man, I'm in a movie now that I want to go see in a movie theater." I'm going to take all my friends and they're going to be like, "Yo, this is bugged out!" I've been a part of other movies that take themselves very seriously, and this is definitely a crazy ride. This is more the type of movie that I'd want to go see.

So going forward, what are you on the hunt for?

Honestly, I'm at the point now where directing is where my head is at. I love acting, but I really hate the game. I think the audition process is really flawed — for me — and I think that's easy for someone who's been an actor for 20 years to say. Like, "Guys, I'm sick of having to go dance for you." You've got a bunch of people sitting in a room and it's like, "Show me what you got, kid." And that's not really how it works on a set, you know? I don't really have it in me anymore to go fight for movies as an actor. I think that having to sell yourself conjures up nerves and a level of anxiety for that person that really undermines the interesting aspects of relating to someone and their artistry. For me it gets in the way of things that are interesting. That's just me and my opinion. That's what gets me off.

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter @nedrick

 
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