Some people ooze charisma and Jay Eftimoski is one of those dudes. He made me laugh countless times during this interview and he’s definitely one of my new favorite actors. With this interview, I’m finally wrapping up my coverage for the new horror thriller, A Dark Place (read our review – here). This is one of my favorite films of the year and it’s been an honor getting to know the cast and crew for this film. They’re incredibly talented and I wish them well in all their future projects. A Dark Place is now available on Digital and Blu-Ray.
Alex, is a twenty-something struggling to put his life back together after past, reckless mistakes render his job search hopeless. While pressure at home mounts from his pregnant girlfriend, he runs into an old friend who changes his fortunes. Just when things are looking up, Alex discovers a secret that sends him into a self-destructive, downward spiral and brings his two best friends along with him.
PopHorror – Hi Jay, it’s great to chat with you. You’re a great actor. How did you get involved in acting? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
Jay Eftimoski – Hey! Likewise, and thank you that’s very kind. Let’s see, where do I begin? It’s kind of a yes and no. I’ve ALWAYS been a “performer,” but the idea of acting, as a profession, I never thought in reality that it was something tangible. You worked or you went to school. Then after school, you worked. That was it. Acting was something that was on the back burner for me. As a kid and teen, I was always involved in sports and as I got older that transitioned into martial arts, and then eventually acting. I tried acting a little bit when I was still in High School (too long ago), but it wasn’t until after I graduated (barely) that I began to pursue it in more of a headstrong fashion.
I grew up in North Jersey, about 30 mins outside of NYC, so there was plenty to keep me occupied. Also, I’m a first-generation Macedonian American and, as far as I know, the only Jay Eftimoski on the planet. I had a lot to work with as a kid. It was mostly imitations of what I saw my parents and older cousins and relatives laughing at. There’s no such thing as broken dreams in my family, just broken English. It was in NYC, where I got my “start” doing background work. A personal favorite job and sort of where the “bug” bit me was when I did background for The Sopranos. That was it. That’s when I knew. Not only did I realize just how much actually goes into filming a TV show, but everything that goes into just ONE scene. Holy Fff…I was fascinated. How I got to that point is all a blur of sorts. I mean that, in how I was able to meet the people I met and had to contact in order to be able to be a part of that world. What can I say. I got pulled into the lights, camera action, and the acting mafia.
PopHorror – That’s an amazing journey! You’ve done a mix of tv series and movies, do you prefer one over the other?
Jay Eftimoski – There is literally zero preference. I absolutely love being on set. I don’t give a rats ass if I’m covered in mud, blood or in drag, or ALL of the above! My wife (also an actress) gets a kick when I’m in a dress and makeup with a full beard.
PopHorror – (Laughs) I bet. Your new film A Dark Place is a dark thriller drama. Do you like this genre? If so, what is your favorite thriller/horror film?
Jay Eftimoski – I do like the thriller genre. If I’m being honest. I’m kind of a “lil betch” when it comes to horror movies. I scare easy. Maybe not upfront. Because, you know, I have to be tough, but definitely when the lights go out and it’s time for bed. My wife LOVES horror movies and torturing me with them. As for my favorite, I genuinely LOVE Silence of the Lambs as my favorite horror/thriller and just film in general. It’s genius.
PopHorror – Can’t argue with that! How did the role come about for you in A Dark Place?
Jay Eftimoski – I had the opportunity to work with the director and writer Chris Piñero on a short he had also written and directed called, Once Upon a Night, which served as the platform for ADP. Chris would later expand the story into a feature-length film. A few years later I was asked to reprieve my role. Boom.
PopHorror – Your character was one of my favorites. I love the bond your character had with his friends and the loyalty he shows. Is this something you can relate to personally?
Jay Eftimoski – Thank you, I’d have to agree with you! And I’m not just being a narcissistic actor. I learned to “check yo ego at the doh!” a long time ago. I loved reading the script, obviously, but come on, you can’t NOT like the guy. I can one thousand percent relate to Shawn. Personally I come from a very close-knit type of group. The friendships and bonds that I’ve been blessed enough to cultivate in my life are directly reflected in my character in the film. We’re ride or die where I come from.
PopHorror – Love it! You guys (including Christopher Donnellon) had great chemistry on screen. Did you guys also develop a friendship off-screen?
Jay Eftimoski – Of course! Most of the time as an actor when you’re cast in a project -with a decent size role- you’ll be on set for a substantial amount of time, with essentially strangers. Chris had a different approach. He had us boys meet up. We grabbed some burgers and some beers and got to know each other. By the time we got to filming, it was like being let loose on a playground as a kid with your friends. If I’m speaking for myself, I didn’t realize how much of an impact these incredible humans have on my life, until we said goodbye, when the gears all packed up and the world that was once on paper, then brought to life, is broken down. Now, when we have the chance to get together, we just pick up where we left off. It’s something I find very special.
PopHorror – I love hearing that! There are so many great moments throughout the film, do you have a favorite one or a certain scene that stands out to you?
Jay Eftimoski – Favorite scene/moment? The fight scene in the kitchen! That was a quality life moment for me. Chris let us improvise some of the dialogue…and well…you saw it. And if you haven’t…Why not? What’s the matta wit you?!
PopHorror – Hahaha, yes!!! Do you have any upcoming projects?
Jay Eftimoski – I do! I’m currently mid-production on a Sci-fi feature film with lots of weirdness and super cerebral moments, called Beneath the Green. Eric Roberts plays my “commander”. Another Gangsta. You’ll have to call back later to hear more about that one though. 😉 Other than that, I’m working on being a good husband, son, and uncle. I was also thinking about trying on those boots Hugh Jackman left out for me. I mean, someone’s gotta be The Wolverine, right? Let’s see how those shoes fit.
PopHorror – Oh Jay, thanks for a great interview and I think you would be perfect as Wolverine! I look forward to all your upcoming projects and hopefully, we get to chat again in the future!