It has actually been some time since I have done an interview for PopHorror, but when I found out I had the opportunity to talk to someone I consider a staple of my childhood, I had to jump at the chance. I am so excited to share this interview with all of you, as I grew up watching Degrassi: The Next Generation, and I am so happy that Munro Chambers is doing big things on the big screen, including his films, Harpoon and Riot Girls [read our review here]! I hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I did conducting it!
PopHorror: First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to do this interview! I know you are busy, so I’ll just jump right in. How did you get your start in the industry?
Munro Chambers: Aw, thank you! I got my start in the industry at a young age. I like building characters and I like film, and my parents asked me if I wanted to try that, along with every other sport I was doing under the sun, and I just started doing it at 7. Started going to auditions, worked hard… and now I’m lucky to say I’ve done it ever since.
PopHorror: That’s awesome! Degrassi is actually a big part of growing up for me. Eli was the most relatable out of any character with him wanting to be a director and in film class. What was it like playing him and knowing what a huge influence your character was to a lot of teenagers?
Munro Chambers: You know… it was an amazing experience working on Degrassi. I was very lucky because I got to work with partner in crime, Aislinn Paul. They gave us such great material to work within our whole tenor there. We didn’t know what the relationship would be like and how it would be perceived by the fans, but Eli and Claire were such a special duo, and Eli was very special to me. I was really happy to find that audiences were able to relate to him because he had a lot of stuff going on in his life. I always enjoy portraying to real-life situations with a disorder of the mind, and things that people go through every single day. He was bipolar and manic depressive, and to have to deal with all the stuff in his life, past and present… for people to relate to it and hear stories of how it made people feel safe and not alone…, that’s something special. That’s something that I think Degrassi really executed to perfection with teenagers. It was a very well-oiled machine and I was just blessed to be a part of that.
PopHorror: It’s always cool to hear backstories about that series because it was such an integral part of growing up for so many people. Thank you so much for sharing that!
Munro Chambers: Well I’m glad to hear that, and I know they will, too!
PopHorror: One of your iconic roles is none other than Turbo Kid [read our review here]. What was the most challenging thing about that role?
Munro Chambers: Honestly? I think it was so much fun to work with everyone. We were all in. There was nothing overly challenging about it. I think maybe making the world we were living in, and how big it was… also, how the gore was a little bit over the top, to make that feel real and make it as grounded as we possibly could, that was the biggest challenge. But as soon as we found some rhythm between the 7 of us within the main ensemble, once we had that down, it just became fun. It was a really fun experiment in time, and as long as we kept it grounded and kept the situations real and emotions grounded as well, it was a piece of cake!
PopHorror: I hear there is a sequel possibly coming?
Munro Chambers: That’s what they say! We will see what happens.
PopHorror: I want to congratulate you on having two films that you have starred in being very well received at the Fantasia Film Festival.
Munro Chambers: Thank you very much!
PopHorror: I haven’t seen Riot Girls yet, but I hear nothing but great things about it. Also, I just watched Harpoon, and I loved it! How did you prepare for those two roles?
Munro Chambers: They were very different. With Riot Girls, through the casting process, I got to meet Jovanka Vuckovic [read our interview with her here]. I was a big fan and was really excited to work with her. There were so many inspirations she wanted to hit home with, like The Outsiders, The Lost Boys, Warriors, Lord of the Flies… we wanted to draw from films like that.
With Harpoon, it was just the three of us on a boat. You know, we had a great rehearsal process on that film. It was a lot of fun to challenge ourselves to try and make five different films genre-wise. And then, to combine them into one cohesive story arc… They were both a lot of fun, and they both had amazing crews as well. I’m really proud to have both of them at Fantasia this year!
PopHorror: I’m really looking forward to Riot Girls. I can’t wait to see it!
Munro Chambers: You are going to love it! Paloma [Kwiatkowski] and Madison [Iseman] are phenomenal. It’s got a great cast all around, and it’s shot really cool. Jovanka Vuckovic is such a great director. I really think you are going to like it.
PopHorror: Harpoon was an absolute blast. I loved the narration of it and the fact that it was only the three of you. It was very captivating to watch. I didn’t anticipate it being that bloody by reading the plot description, though! What was your favorite scene to film?
Munro Chambers: Without giving away any spoilers? (both laugh) I think one of the most fun for all of us was shooting all the exteriors in Belize. So, one of our first days there – you get to see it in the trailer – we got to party on the boat. You know, hitting golf balls off the boat, drinking… and then we break out the harpoon gun, and that’s when things start to escalate a bit. So, that big chunk at the beginning of the film was a lot of fun, because it really establishes real friendship and also tension. So, those scenes were a lot of fun. There are other scenes as well, but I can’t get into them without getting into spoilers.
PopHorror: Your character, Jonah, had a lot of layers, and you played it with such range. Are some of those emotions difficult to tap into?
Munro Chambers: I was always drawn to actors that had range. People like Tom Hanks and Robin Williams… This was a fun challenge for me, especially, like you said, given the layers that Jonah has and the way it was written. It was always fun to talk about with Emily Christopher and Rob [Grant], just to try and get what’s on the page and put it on the screen. It was a lot of fun.
PopHorror: I think you conveyed it brilliantly!
Munro Chambers: Oh wow, thank you! I appreciate that.
PopHorror: You’ve been in a few horror movies now with Knuckleball, Harpoon and Turbo Kid. What is it about the genre that draws you in?
Munro Chambers: Honestly, they’ve just fallen into place. It’s not something I originally sought after. It wasn’t a decision like, I’m only going to do genre films, horror and thrillers. But I’m so happy that it’s all happened this way. Turbo Kid was really the start of that. I had done a couple of horror films when I was younger, and at the time, it didn’t resonate with me as much. I didn’t grow up on that genre. I knew The Shining, Rear Window… I knew Hitchcock, Texas Chainsaw… I knew the classics.
The Arquette’s had to tell me all about the Easter eggs that were put in throughout the film that were nods to a lot of different horror movies, so after that, I had a newfound respect for it. Not that I didn’t respect it already, but just seeing how much goes into it. It’s a whole team effort, and it really shows what film making truly is. The editing, the directing, the performance, the music… it’s just so impressive to experience first-hand, and it’s an absolute pleasure to have gained this newfound knowledge of it all over the past few years.
PopHorror: What is your favorite horror movie?
Munro Chambers: It’s got to be The Shining. I really like Rear Window and Texas Chainsaw, but I got to go with The Shining.
PopHorror: Are you excited about Doctor Sleep?
Munro Chambers: Oh yeah! It looks amazing!
PopHorror: What do you want your fans to know about Harpoon and Riot Girls?
Munro Chambers: Harpoon, I would just say, go into it with a fresh pair of eyes. I love the trailers we put out there because they are misleading. They are subtle, and they don’t give away a lot. There are a lot of layers to Harpoon. I hope people are ready to take the journey with us, and hopefully, it will turn you in your seat like it did when I read the script. And Riot Girls, I hope they feel empowered. It’s a fight for good and evil. It’s a story about love, and it’s about standing up for what is right. There is a statement in there, but most of all, it’s a fun film. Aesthetically, the look of the film is amazing. There is a lot of nostalgia in what we did, and I hope people are picking up what we are putting down. I hope people enjoy watching it as much as we did filming it.
PopHorror: Last question: do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?
Munro Chambers: Paloma and I did a film together recently, and it’s called Entangled, but I can’t talk too much about it. Also, I did a film recently called Release Date. That’s in post-production now. Entangled is a sci-fi thriller and Release Date is more of a slow burn drama. I am excited for those two, as they were really fun to shoot.
Thank you to Fantasia International Film Festival and to Munro Chambers for granting us this interview! Please be sure to stay tuned to PopHorror for all of Munro’s upcoming projects!