Actor Josh Stewart has written a screenplay on something he’s incredibly passionate about; the opioid epidemic sweeping across America, called Back Fork. It tells the story of a couple who suffer a tragedy, that bears too much weight, and the only thing that eases the pain is prescription pills. Josh not only wrote the movie, he also is directing and starring in it as well. AJ Cook (Criminal Minds) will also be starring in this film as “Nida”, Josh’s character’s “Waylon’s” wife.
Josh Stewart has been in quite a number of television series and films including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises, Transcendence, Dirt, Criminal Minds, Third Watch, among more. He’s also guest starred on some pretty awesome shows like Grimm, CSI, The Mentalist, just naming a few.
So getting to interview this man of many amazing talents about Back Fork was quite the honor for me.
See what Josh had to say below, then check out the links following the interview.
With this film, you’re trying to bring awareness to the addiction problem in America. Are there any other goals you hope to accomplish with this movie? (Like having more addiction centers open, more support groups, more help period)
I think any good that can come from extending the conversation is welcomed. I think by keeping things in the conversation, whatever the subject matter; it helps force the hand for change. I’ve found a small way that I know how to make a contribution to this narrative, and I guess that my hope would be that maybe it helps to inspire someone else to make a contribution.
What was your inspiration for making this project?
It’s a story that I’ve been kicking around for a while now, but the endless amounts of reports that have been coming out across the country with regards to prescription drugs finally pushed me to write it. I wouldn’t say that there was one thing, but a combination of lots of life events and just being blown back at how big this has become.
I see AJ Cook is playing your wife once again. How did she come on board?
Yeah, it was a total GET having AJ come on board. I went about it the old fashion way with her. I just sent her the script and hoped that she dug it. Thankfully she did.
Do you plan on making any more films?
For sure. It’s something I’ve wanted to do more of but has been hard with my acting schedule. Making a film is a long and arduous process and I have just decided that I HAVE to make time for it. I love doing it and want to continue. It’s easy to blame schedule and all of those things to keep from facing that beast, but it has to be done. I’ve got a few stories to tell.
The subject matter for the film deals with a serious issue, why did you feel it was important for this film to be made?
I think the story is full of universal truths. And addiction, on some level, is something that just about everyone can relate to in some way. Where I’m from, there are just too many people who have been touched by the prescription pill epidemic whether directly or indirectly. The sheer numbers of people affected, the stories you hear, it forces you to step back because you’re left thinking, how is the possible, you know?
Without giving away too much detail, can you elaborate on the plot of the film?
The story follows a couple that has endured some trials and tribulations. And like life is, they’re left to pick up the pieces and try to put everything together. But, sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes we feel like we’re doing the best we can do and it isn’t enough. That’s the place, WAYLON, the main character, finds himself in. And like so many times, he chooses to not deal with it. hahahah I know that’s more of a synopsis, but it’s hard to get into the plot, without REALLY getting into the plot.
How do you feel your previous body of work has prepared you for this new project?
Look, I think being on sets for the last 15 years with everyone from first time directors to Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, there were plenty of lessons learned. Preparation, efficiency, effectiveness, what’s a priority and what’s not…there are so many things I’ve gained. But at the end of it, no matter how big or small the movie is, no matter the genre or story, making a movie always gets back to a few basics: having a good script, following and shooting what’s in the script and nothing else, and get your day done. If you stay on schedule, you stay on budget. It’s like everything else, really. You succeed when you excel in the fundamentals.
In addition to this project is there or will you have any other upcoming projects you can share with our readers?
YES. I have a couple movies coming up. WAR MACHINE starring Brad Pitt will be out soon. I have a movie called MALICIOUS out this summer and INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 4 hitting the theaters in October. A few things coming to look forward to…
What else can you tell us about Josh? What types of movies and television do you
I’m working on a small collection of short stories and other things I’ve scribbled down over the years to release. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve recently just started saying it out loud to force myself to follow through with it. So we shall see…
I know I’m excited to see Josh’s film! How about you guys? Leave me some comments below or find me on Twitter @erinwise82 and check out the links.
Photo Credit: James Acomb
For more on Josh and the Back Fork film:
Josh Stewart’s links:
Back Fork film links: