Now available on VOD is the survivalist thriller, Weekend Warriors, written by Ritchie Greer and co-directed by Greer and Brett Bortle, co-starring Jason London (Dazed and Confused, The Rage: Carrie 2) and The Dentist’s Corbin Bernsen (our interview here). Deep in the woods, young siblings witness a cold-blooded murder and must trek through the wilderness, survive the elements, and elude the pack of criminals chasing them. Fast-paced and suspenseful, Weekend Warriors is led by the ferocious performance of Daniel de Weldon (One Must Fall, Underdog, Badland Wives), a talent we are destined to see more of in the future.
We had the chance to chat with Daniel where he candidly discusses his role of Wesley in Weekend Warriors, his deep admiration for acting, and his appreciation of the genre.
PopHorror: Your father is a world-renowned sculptor. What was it like growing up with the arts being a proud and profound part of your upbringing?
Daniel de Weldon: My father certainly gave me the outlook that anything is possible by seeing what he overcame and accomplished in his lifetime; this was my father’s legacy to me. Though my father was more absent than present in my childhood, I now dare to be more assertive in my own goals in understanding how much conviction is necessary to continue to be open to learning and growing continuously.
My father’s art continues to inspire me as I study the immense detail and originality that he pursued in all his work. He was often asked, “What is your favorite sculpture that you have created?” he would always respond, “The next one I am starting.” This is how I feel in every new role I take on, especially for the camera. It never ceases to amaze me how much the camera sees everything from the inside out as the audience can only relate to our human truth, no matter what genre.
PopHorror: Quite a few of your most recent gigs have been within the genre. What is it about all of the wonderful subgenres within horror that you find appealing?
Daniel de Weldon: Great question! I told someone not too long ago that storytelling is moving more and more in this direction to appeal to a wiser and deeper feeling audience in all genres, like stage, film, and television. I think we as a society want to feel all our emotions and to be able to express them without judgment. My appeal of the subgenre of thriller/horror is just where I landed naturally. I indeed take risks in my character choices and hope they land somewhere for someone, taking account of what I have learned to let go of from each role that I have had the opportunity to play and practice as a human being. You are as good an actor as you are a person. Always playing for hope no matter if you are the hero or the villain, this is human.
PopHorror: You seem to have relished the role of Wesley in Weekend Warriors. What was it like for you to portray such a vicious character?
Daniel de Weldon: Thank you for noticing. Yes, playing Wesley was a great challenge, and more than I knew was coming on set as all the actors were testing me every day as I tried my best to lead with the choice of keeping the Weekend Warriors safe until the love of my life betrayed my heart. The rest activated my revenge from a broken heart that was already bleeding. Playing Wesley strengthened my understanding of leadership against what looked like impossible odds. A fight to the last breath, relentless.
PopHorror: What intrigued you most about the script for Weekend Warriors?
Daniel de Weldon: First off, I was so grateful to be offered the role by writer/director Ritchie Greer after working on our first project together, Underdog. It felt so good to have a pre-existing working relationship with Ritchie, and it certainly drew out the best in me with his leadership as he saw this indie film through to distribution. The role of Wesley was an immediate draw as I knew it was going to challenge me to go deeper than I ever had, just like every new role does; however, this role in Weekend Warriors was deeply personal to me. Playing Wesley was cathartic and healing. Wesley allowed me to express a part of myself that I was unaware of, my more profound unconsciousness. I immediately loved the concept of the teenager coming of age story, becoming an adult against great adversities. I loved playing the antagonist to push the protagonist beyond what they thought was impossible. It’s a hero’s journey no matter which road you take.
PopHorror: What were you adamant about bringing to the role of Wesley?
Daniel de Weldon: It was a priority to bring my truth to the role, as I reflected on the times in my own life that I was misled, hurt, or abused, and how I felt victimized and left with great, unresolved resentment. Certainly, rage developed as Wesley progressed through the story; however, the hurt fueled my revenge. I was adamant about playing the pain that was building up in my character to the point of no return.
PopHorror: What’s up next for you, Daniel?
Daniel de Weldon: Presently, I am preparing for new a film called Desert Run, also written and directed by Ritchie Greer. The film stars my long-time friend, Ilia Volok, from Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, Brendan Feher from Roswell, and Keith Jardine from End of The Road. In addition, I am starring in an upcoming production of the stage play titled Red , written by John Logan (Gladiator 2000) and directed by Michael Arabian (Waiting for Godot), also playing opposite Ilia Volok who plays Mark Rothko, the famed eastern European painter. I play his assistant,Ken.
PopHorror: If you could program a double feature at your local drive-in, what two films make your bill and why?
The Black Stallion (1979): I see this film again as the perfect reflection of the hero’s journey. It truly embodies intense animal instincts literally and figuratively. In some regards, similar to Weekend Warriors, it was overcoming impossible odds. Not to mention the music and the cinematography are flawless. The whole film evokes a building emotion filled with passion that never stops. I have always identified myself in the audience as both the young boy and the horse. The Black Stallion is truly a call of the wild within us to survive with hope, joy, love, and boundaries. Or what I like to call beautiful, tough love. Special note: the actor who played the boy only made this one film and no other ever since.
The Big Blue (1988 – US release version): This film embodies personal convictions and feelings for me and my own life. Again, the cinematography and the score are tremendously moving throughout the film. I feel The Big Blue, like The Black Stallion, communicates predominately through behavior that reflects the director’s objective to make the audience connect through feeling more than telling the audience how to feel or expect to feel.
We would like to thank Daniel for his time, and we hope you check out Weekend Warriors, now available for streaming purchase on Google Play, YouTube, and more.
Watch the trailer below!