Martin Cohn, actor: DESIRE IN NEW YORK
1Q: Tell us how you became involved with DESIRE IN NEW YORK, and how you prepared for your role.
I applied online, went through two rounds of auditions and, thankfully, got the part. When I got the sides for “Desire in New York” I was really blown away by how good the script is. I went in really wanting to get the part of “Adam”, not just for the sake of work, the way it often times is with smaller projects and when you’re starting out. I really wanted the part because it resonated with me as well – I grew up with a very difficult and strenuous relationship with one of my parents and getting the chance to play Adam really helped me work through a lot of the emotional baggage I had in regards to the child/parent relationship. It was really interesting and challenging preparing for someone that isn’t me but who is dealing with something I can very much relate to. It took the idea of separating and reconstructing yourself for a part to a new level, for me at least.
2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of DESIRE IN NEW YORK. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?
To echo what Ed said, I’m just really thrilled to have the film premiere at such a major festival and know that because of the scope of Cinequest, a significant amount of people will see it. The greatest outcome for a film, in my view, is to get it out to as many people as possible and hope that they’ll react to it, hopefully, in a positive way. The worst fate for something you’ve worked on is for people to walk away from it having felt nothing.
3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making DESIRE IN NEW YORK?
I only had positive experiences working on “Desire in New York.” The cast, crew and, especially, Ed were so easy and professional to work with. This project really set a standard for how I like to work and behave on set and what I hope and expect of others. It was also very rewarding on a personal level because of the subject matter. Again, as an actor, I hope that most of the things I work on not only teach me more about other lives and people, but also about myself. That’s something I really love about filmmaking, the aspect of self exploration through othering yourself and that is something that “Desire in New York” gave me in spades.
4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?
I think people should see “Desire in New York” because it’s a story not very often told from the perspective of a female character, and rarely with such empathy. It really gives the viewer a glimpse into the troubled inner lives of people that are trying to work through damage and trauma, both of their own doing and at the hands of others, without making them out to be saints or sinners. The audience is encouraged to decide how they feel about them. Anyone looking for small, intimate filmmaking is sure to enjoy this.
5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for DESIRE IN NEW YORK. Give us your acceptance speech.
I’d be speechless.