Josh Cruddas’ career is booming and everyone is excited for his upcoming Netflix thriller, Polar, where he stars alongside Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen. I got a chance to talk with him about his passion for acting, his love for composing, and his upcoming films, including Polar.
Check out the interview down below and stay tuned for our review of Polar, which releases on Netflix on January 25, 2019.
Hey Josh, it’s great to speak with you. How long have you had a passion for acting?
Josh Cruddas – Thanks for having me! For as long as I can remember. I started out in a production in my mom’s home-education group with a one-line part, and now I get to audition for TV shows and movies where I also have one line! But it’s usually not the same line I had back at age 6. After that blistering start, my sisters and I started our professional careers as Von Trapps in Neptune Theatre (Halifax)’s production of The Sound of Music for a few months, and I kept on doing musical theater until I couldn’t keep up with the choreography anymore.
I’m glad you’re doing what you love. How did you get involved in the film industry?
Josh Cruddas – Growing up, my sisters and best friends and I used to make short films together. One day, we made a feature-length sci-fi adventure movie when we were 14 or so. I loved it, and so while I was in theatre school at Dalhousie, I got my first agent, Brindle Peralta, and started doing some film/TV work in Halifax. Right before I graduated, I was extremely lucky to get a lead role in Ron Maxwell’s Copperhead for Warner Bros. It was a big period piece. I got to shoot on location for 3 months right out of school, and meet some incredible actors and crew. I learned how to plow a field of crops, 1800s-style, milk a cow, groom a horse, and be a better actor.
I need to check that one out! What was the first film you worked on?
Josh Cruddas – Well, that would have to be the sci-fi film my friends and I made as teens. I wore a paper mache alien mask the whole film, meaning I could make no facial expressions. Because of this, it was probably my best performance. Otherwise, my first film would be Copperhead! I still think I got that part because of the color of my hair…
Tell us about how you got involved with Polar.
Josh Cruddas – I had an audition early on for a smaller role, and then about a month and a half later, got called in to read for Alexei. In my first audition, I thought I bombed it because I had a completely different idea for the character than casting did. I ended up asking them if we could do one take my way, at the very end of the audition. However, I thought I did so badly that I gave the next guy going in the room to audition a hint of what to expect when he got in there, so he could be more prepared than I was! Needless to say, somehow, after a couple other callbacks, I met with Jonas [Akerlund] and Jeremy [Bolt] and somehow didn’t talk myself into losing the role. I liked them both right away, and I got the part the next day!
That’s awesome! You play Alexei in the film. Can you tell us a bit about him?
Josh Cruddas – He’s a quietly deadly assassin with a lot of style. I think that’s all I’m allowed to say or Netflix will cancel my subscription.
(laughs) What was it like to work with such an amazing cast, including Katheryn Winnick, Mads Mikkelsen, and Vanessa Hudgens?
Josh Cruddas –It was absolutely fantastic. I’d been a fan of all of them before we worked together, and am an even bigger fan now. I met Mads on our first day, and we immediately started talking about Olympic hockey on location in a dingy motel. I didn’t have any scenes with Vanessa, but we met early on, and I had to get over my childhood love of High School Musical real quick in order to not be reduced to a bumbling fan. She entered the makeup trailer humming a tune and it took every fiber in my body to not scream out, “SOARIN’, FLYIN’!” She’s fantastic in this movie. Matt [Lucas] and Katheryn are great as well, and my group of assassin compatriots, or the A-Team as we call ourselves, are all beautiful souls and are now good friends.
You’re hilarious. I’m sure people love working with you. Any fun/memorable moments off the set or on that you can share with us?
Josh Cruddas – Unfortunately, there’s only one thing I can remember about my life now, and that’s when Johnny Knoxville sunk the 8-ball in our pool game by staring me dead in the soul while he did it. The image has haunted my dreams since, and I’ll never get over the humiliation.
(laughs) You’re also a composer. Tell us a bit about that. What is your favorite part about composing music?
Josh Cruddas – Probably hearing it played by talented musicians for the first time. I often get emotional when that happens. It’s one thing for me to imagine a tune in my head or hear a computer play it, but when you give those notes to someone who can dig the soul out of them and put it on display, that’s something really special. I’ve been somehow able to compose music for movies for a few years now, and it’s the most exciting thing that happens every time.
That’s beautiful. Now for the hard question. If you had to chose one, would it be acting or composing?
Josh Cruddas – I have such a hard time answering this question! I’m very fortunate in that both allow me to express emotion and humanity and tell a story in different ways. This year, acting’s been on the front burner, but I’m excited to get back to some music stuff hopefully this year.
Any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
Josh Cruddas – I got to check a few things off the bucket list this past little while: I get to play a small but juicy role in Hulu/BBC/CTV’s Cardinal which premieres in Canada on January 24th. I got to visit North Bay, Ontario, for a few times last fall and reunite with my onscreen dad in Copperhead, Billy Campbell, whom I think is one of the best actors working today and is finally getting his due in this role. He and Karine Vanasse are absolutely, heartbreakingly dynamite in this show, and along with Devery Jacobs, Alex Ozerov, Nick Serino, Dan Grou and the rest of the team, we had an amazing, crazy time up north and I’m so excited for the world to see their work.
I also got to play around on IFC’s Baroness Von Sketch show, and I’ve just finished shooting one of my dream roles in a new project that I can’t breathe a word about yet, or I’ll be stuffed in a locker until it gets released. My only other project these days is making ballad versions of pop songs with my buddy Chris George of The Ballad Boys… And trying to use my tiny voice to fight the forces that seek to undermine our democracy and planet – like social media, nationalism, climate change deniers and the rapidly approaching death of empathy. Oh – and losing at video games with my friends!
We want to sent a great, big THANK YOU to Josh Cruddas to taking the time to talk with us. Be sure to check back for our upcoming review of his most recent project, Polar.