Check out episode thirty of Richard’s web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet an actor who is having an incredible couple of years. With starring roles in “Ready or Not,” “The Frontrunner,” “Goalie,” “Marriage Story,” “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “City on a Hill” and a new indie called “Hammer,” now on VOD, Mark O’Brien is a very busy actor… and if that wasn’t enough, he also became a dad and wrote and directed his own movie The Righteous.
On a Zoom call from his home in Los Angeles we caught up… talking about working on post production for his film “The Righteous” while in isolation, the short films he made with his friends growing up in Newfoundland, doing the Happy Gilmour dance on a film set, auditioning for Al Pacino and, of course, his most recent film, “Hammer.”
It’s the story of O’Brien’s character Chris, who is having a very bad day. Estranged from his parents and deep in debt to some very bad people, he arranges a deal with an old associate. They arrange to meet on a rural road to exchange $200,000 in cash in return for drugs. The deal goes wrong, bullets are fired and Chris, covered in blood splatter, makes a getaway on a motorcycle with the drugs and money. As he speeds through town on his getaway, his father Stephen, played by Will Patton spots him and immediately knows something is wrong. Over the course of one day the situation escalates…
“Hammer” is an engaging and offbeat thriller that makes the most of its lead performances. O’Brien manages to make Chris almost likeable despite his constant foul-ups and Patton, as a father caught up in a breathless situation, is all strength and goodwill, even when he’s doing terrible things. Why this wasn’t released on Father’s Day I’ll never know. As it is, you can find it on VOD, right now.
Let’s get to know Mark O’Brien.