From writer/director Jay Martin, the crime thriller 7 Minutes tells the story of three desperate young men (played by Jason Ritter, Luke Mitchell and Zane Holtz) who are forced to commit a robbery after becoming indebted to a psychopathic drug lord. What begins as a simple plan quickly escalates, as true motives are revealed and unexpected twists raise the stakes. During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, Aussie actor Luke Mitchell talked about why he was interested in being a part of 7 Minutes, the non-linear storytelling, playing a good guy that makes bad choices, and how crazy it was to shoot the heist sequence. He also talked about how nerve-wracking it was to join the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. family, becoming a regular in Season 3, his character’s Inhuman journey, and his desire to keep working in film and TV.
Collider: How did you come to this? Did you go through an audition process, or was it more about meeting and talking to the director?
LUKE MITCHELL: A little bit of both. I got sent the script, and I read it and loved it. Then, they set up a meeting with the director, and Jay [Martin] and I got along really well. He seemed to like me, and he asked me if I’d be interested in auditioning. I said, “Hell, yeah!” So then, I went in and auditioned for him and the producers, and I guess they liked what I did. The next thing I knew, I was off to Everett, Washington. I’d never been to that part of the country before, so it was all very new and exciting. Jason Ritter was my brother, Zane Holtz was my best friend, and Kris Kristofferson was in it. It was crazy and cool, at the same time. It was a really cool, unique experience and I loved every second of it. We all stayed in this little hotel in this medium-sized town and, aside from living in a hotel, we lived the life that these characters we were playing because we didn’t really escape outside of the town for the whole month. We were visiting the local bars, and having beers and bonding. Jason and I had never met before. I met briefly with Zane and Leven [Rambin] before we went to Everett, just to have an initial chat and to talk about the project. But once Jason, Zane and I got together, we all got along really well, really quickly, and I think that really helped with the film. We’re three very different guys, but the connection or the bond that we created comes across. The dynamic between the three of us actually worked really well.
Do you like the opportunity to meet and chat with your director before you start shooting, to make sure that you’re on the same page?
MITCHELL: Oh, completely. That’s the first experience I’ve had with that. Even just being on set, whether it’s film or TV, I try to communicate as much as I can with the director and the writer. On this, they were the same person. As an actor, you can get very internal or self-indulgent, and so focused on yourself, but you’re a cog in the machine that the writer and director is creating, so you’ve gotta check in and make sure what you’re doing is on the same page as what they’re trying to achieve. I try to keep that communication as open and flowing as possible. It was really cool to meet with Jay beforehand.
What was it that stood out about this story and character that ultimately made you want to sign on?
MITCHELL: Initially, it was the style. I loved the non-linear storytelling. But at the core of it, I like the fact that Sam, my character, is essentially a good guy who does a bad thing, or a couple of bad things. I like to see what happens to people when they’re thrown into really crappy situations. I think it’s really interesting to watch what decisions they make, how they deal with the feelings they have, and all of that stuff. Sam is between a rock and a hard place, and then it’s complicated even further. To try to bring that to life was really challenging, but really fascinating, at the same time. Continue reading