Interview with Brian Landis Folkins, Star of Horror Thriller ‘Rent-A-Pal’

Check out our interview with Brian Landis Folkins, a brilliant actor with a variety of films under his belt. He recently starred in the new horror thriller, Rent-A-Pal, and I was lucky enough to chat with him about his career, how he got involved in this film, details about his character, and more!

Brian Landis Folkins

PopHorror – Thanks for talking with me, Brian. How did you get involved in the acting business?

Brian Landis Folkins – I have been an actor my whole life starting in Kindergarten. I have been a professional actor for 26 years working primarily in the Theatre. After High School, I just started auditioning for everything I could and started working as an actor while I went to college. And have managed to make a career out of it ever since. I’m happiest when I’m working so the pandemic has been really tough.

PopHorror – I’m sorry to hear that. I hope things get better soon! Looking at some of the films you’ve been involved in, many are in the thriller/horror genre. Are you a fan of this genre and if so what’s your favorite horror film?

Brian Landis Folkins – It definitely was not intentional although I think the horror fan base is the most dedicated and passionate fan base out there. And so incredibly supportive. It’s not my go-to as far as being an audience member but I do enjoy making them. Favorite Horror film? Hmmm…Poltergeist really got me good as a kid growing up. This is funny given what happens with the TV in that movie! More than anything, I just like an interesting story and complex and three-dimensional characters.

PopHorror – I’m glad you say that about horror fans/the audience because it’s so true! How did you get involved in the new horror film, Rent-A-Pal?

Brian Landis Folkins – I reached out to Jon to see how he was doing and to get his advice on a personal matter and he emailed me back and said, funny that you contacted me. I’ve been thinking about you for this script of his which was to be his directorial debut. He sent it to me and I was 8 or 9 pages in and was like, I have to be a part of this, and furthermore, can I come on as a producer. That was September of 2018 and we wrapped production in Feb. of 2019.

PopHorror – That’s awesome! Can you tell us about your character?

Brian Landis Folkins
Brian Landis Folkins in Rent-A-Pal

Brian Landis Folkins – David is a lonely 40-year-old who has given his life to taking care of his mother with dementia. They live off of Mom’s Social Security since Dad killed himself 10 years ago. David has been trying a videotape dating service for about 6 months with no luck. Frustrated and desperate, he goes in to record a new profile video. After baring a piece of his soul, he is told his video is too long and to keep it at 30 seconds. This is where we find David in the 1st Act of the film.

PopHorror – Could you relate to him at all?

Brian Landis Folkins – Absolutely. I have been lonely. I have felt isolated. I understand mental health issues and have a difficult relationship with my mother. I lost my father 5 years ago. There is a lot about David that I empathize with. He’s a very real character.

PopHorror – Wow that’s a pretty deep connection. You worked with a pretty incredible cast and crew including Will Wheaton. What was that experience like?

Brian Landis Folkins – I absolutely loved everyone who worked on this film! The crew was mostly people I had worked with before over the years, many of whom are friends. And the cast was one of my favorites. Kathy Brady, I had grown up watching on stage at The Denver Center Theatre Company. An idol of mine for sure and I was honored to be able to work with her in that way. We became very close. And Wil Wheaton is an absolute professional. He came in and did all of that work in a day! And just the nicest guy you have ever met. I have been a fan of his since Stand By Me and Star Trek: Next Gen. And most recently Big Bang Theory, which I loved. Even though all of my interactions with him are through a screen, I feel that we had some really interesting chemistry which translated well in the film. And Amy Rutledge was completely perfect for the role. We got really lucky with our whole team.

PopHorror – I love it. I love hearing that everyone was wonderful to work with. Any favorite scenes?

Brian Landis Folkins – Oh, man, that’s tough. First, I think because Jon comes from a camera background and Scott Park is an absolute genius, the cinematography and overall look of the film is breathtaking. Every shot is really beautiful. I think that the roller skating scene is indie movie magic! The breakdown scene with my mother was a tough one to shoot and the work is really good. I pushed myself in a lot of ways in this film which I’m very proud of. Sometimes you need to go to those dark places within yourself to get the best work possible.

PopHorror – The cinematography is amazing! Are there any types of roles/characters that you would like to play that you haven’t yet?

Brian Landis Folkins – So many roles, so little time. The big thing for me being a character actor is that I want each role to be very different from the last. I don’t necessarily look for a particular type of role but mostly look for a unique character in a very engaging and interesting story. It’s all about the story for me. I have been looking for the next Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Garden State for some time now and since I am not a writer, I have to read a lot of scripts to find something like that. But no luck yet.

Brian Landis Folkins
Brian Landis Folkins and Will Wheaton in Rent-A-Pal

PopHorror – Hopefully you will in the future! Any upcoming projects?

Brian Landis Folkins – Given the current state of the world, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity to be had right now. I’ve been in talks with Scott Park about a project he wrote that hopefully will go into production next year. But if you know of any good stories, let me know, yeah?

PopHorror – I will most definitely reach out if I see something that I think would be perfect for you. Thanks for talking with me again, Brian, and let’s hope for a better 2021. Rent-A-Pal is now available on Digital platforms and will be available on DVD beginning January 11, 2021, from Lightbulb Film Distribution.

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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