Pre-Order our movie here for a discount: The Men Who Robbed the Bank

Jonathan Medina plays Jon, the mysterious man in black who sits in the corner playing solitaire. He is a rogue figure, the outsider in a room full of outsiders. And he is the power in the room. When he speaks, everyone listens.

Interview by Holly Foreman

What first attracted you to this project?
The money. Actually, I had seen the dawn break for Travis Mills and Running Wild Films. So when Michael Hanelin mentioned the role had opened up in the film I jumped at the chance to work with Travis. The meeting for the role was memorable, and it solidified my desire to be attached to a RWF project.

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What in your background did you draw on when preparing for your role? How did it help?
Johnny is a quiet man out of necessity. The choices he makes ensure that his social circles are small. I spent a chunk of time years back existing solely on the fringes of society, by choice. That sort of solitude introduced perspectives I would never have known, and a way of interacting with people that became synonymous with Johnny’s day to day. It’s what helps him remain grounded throughout the film.

What do you think most people who know you will be surprised to learn about this film? Why?
That I am just as comfortable not talking, I love to talk, about anything and everything. And yet not talking is just as satisfying to me. It creates a space to not just listen more intently, but to experience other people’s silence. That silence speaks volumes.

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Why should people download the film?
For the journey. Filming the last scene with Travis, where my character lights the cigarette in the rain, it finally dawned on me. This film is about the men. Now, I had known that on an intellectual level of course, but it was the emotional realization that really hit me. I suspect having reigned in my emotion while filming to honor my character had prevented me from seeing, or sharing, the emotional weight of those other men. But it’s there, in the words, in the silence, in the filming, and in the shared experience – not just with each other, but with the audience as well. If you can put aside your connections with the outside world for 75 minutes, you get some genuine vulnerability from five people whose job it is to not be emotional.

What did you struggle with the most?
Continuity with the playing cards. Trying to remember which king was in which column during which line was a pain in the deck. Thankfully there aren’t many places in the film where anyone is looking at the playing cards. I played so many games of solitaire that after the film was done I deleted the solitaire app on my phone.

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What was the worst thing about being on set? What was the best?
Working with such a talented group of actors – and I include Travis in that – was remarkable. The heat was probably the worst part, with no air conditioning, although I don’t remember having too many days where even that was terrible.

How were the craft services?
The caviar was from Canada, so it wasn’t the best. And when they have to ladle out the red wine you start to wonder how long they actually let it breathe before serving it (just for the record it was starting to turn).  It was fine. We had hot meals, snacks and fresh fruit. We always had choices. To be honest I don’t remember even thinking about craft services, except to ask where people put the Red Vines, which is a good thing.

If your character actually had his gun, who would he have used it on?

What do you think your character will do with his part of the split?
Find someplace warm and with little in the way of foot traffic to relax for a while. And buy expensive cigars to smoke.

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What else do you want us to know about the film?
There’s a lot of heart in the film. And you should watch it at least once.

What project is next for you?
Couple of short films and a couple of features that I am currently attached to, both in AZ and LA.