James Gallanders

Interview with James Gallanders of ‘Project Ithaca’

When I got word that I was going to be interviewing James Gallanders for his new film, Project Ithaca, I jumped at the chance. He was in Bride of Chucky! But that aside, I was intrigued about his new flick, and speaking to the star would make it even better. We talked about aliens, his career, and of course, horror movies.

Side note: I did have a small fangirl moment as James is married to Stacie Mistysyn, who played Caitlin Ryan on the original Degrassi.

Project Ithaca

PopHorror: Hi James! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.

James Gallanders: My pleasure. Right on!

PopHorror: So, I wanted to know what intrigued you about Project Ithaca, and hat made you want to be a part of it?

James Gallanders: At first, all I knew about it was that I was given the sides, and I did a self-tape for it. So, I didn’t know a ton about it, but I knew it was a sci-fi thriller, and that it dealt with alien abduction and all these other things. That sort of had me because I am a fan of the genre. On the night prior to my call back, I got to read the script, and that’s when I was really pulled in, when I saw the depths of the character that Anthony [Artibello] had written. He’s such a tormented soul. He’s such a wounded man. He suffered a terrible loss in his past for which he carries a ton of guilt, and now he’s developed a relationship with a young girl that he sees himself as the paternal influence and he wants to protect her. But he’s got to put all that aside to try to figure a way off the ship. But it was the kind of role, once I realized the depth of the character itself, aside from all of the sci-fi elements, it just made me go, “Man, I want to play this guy. I really want to play this role.”

PopHorror: You mentioned that you’re a fan of the genre. So, do you believe in aliens?

James Gallanders: For sure, for sure. I mean, you know. There’s all kinds of life out there. There can’t not be. I’ve never met one though.

PopHorror: Where did filming take place? How long did it take to film?

James Gallanders: We went up to Sudbury, Ontario. I think we were there for about a month. Most of it was shot inside a sound stage in Sudbury, so the spaceship was there, the laboratory – or, at least, half of the laboratory – was there, the hospitals were there. We did one day of exteriors, right near the end of the shoot, and it was during a massive, massive snow storm. If you’ve seen the film, then you know the one day that we were outside was a huge snowstorm. I was apart from my family for the full month, but as I was telling some other people, it helped to inform my character, who was so very isolated. A solitary type of guy. It was tough to be away from my family, but it also sort of helped to resonate with my character.

James Gallanders in Project Ithaca

PopHorror: So it actually worked in your benefit, while it may not have been ideal.

James Gallanders: It sort of did, and no, not ideal, but I also got a good night’s sleep, which was very, very helpful. When you’ve got young ones, you don’t always get that.

PopHorror: If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?

James Gallanders: If I wasn’t acting, what would I be doing… When I went to acting school, I always thought if the acting thing doesn’t work out, then I would be a lawyer. But I’m glad that never happened, because I don’t want to be a lawyer.

I actually do have a painting business on the side. When I started out after graduating from the acting program at York University, I did a play with this Italian guy. He was a painter, and he said, “Hey, can you paint?” And I was like, “Yeah.” Over the years, from time to time, in between acting jobs, I would help him out. Then a number of years ago when we moved out to the burbs, I started a painting business, and I thought this would just be a nice little thing to pay the bills on the side. And now it’s sort of like a thing. It’s an actual business. So when I’m not acting, I’m actually painting.

PopHorror: Oh, that’s very fun.

James Gallanders: I find it very meditative and relaxing. The clients are very happy, and it’s nice to get away from the acting and from that whole world, and just to do something with my hands. It’s cool, but I don’t always tell my clients [I’m an actor], and so every once in awhile, I’ll get an email from a client saying, “Hey! My painter’s on TV!” It’s kind of funny.

James Gallanders

PopHorror: Nice Surprise! So, what do you have coming up next?

James Gallanders: I’m waiting to hear about a couple of other things. I just actually passed on a project that would have had me tied up for over a year. I’m holding out hope because Project Ithaca is actually meant to be the first in a trilogy. So, we’re hoping that if we get the numbers and the stars align, we’re going to get to revisit these characters and see what happens next.

PopHorror: That’s exciting!

James Gallanders: Yeah, I’m really stoked about that.

PopHorror: Absolutely. I just have one last question. What’s your favorite scary movie?

James Gallanders: Scary movie… my favorite scary movie… Let me think, let me think. Oh, I’d had to say Bride of Chucky would have to be my favorite scary movie.

Thank you so much to James for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to catch Project Ithaca in Theaters and On Demand June 7, 2019.

About Tiffany Blem

Horror lover, dog mommy, book worm, EIC of PopHorror.

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