What did you take away from working with Juliette Lewis during the film?
CM: I loved the scenes we had together and it’s really interesting because she has such a youthful exuberance to her which really shines through into the character. Normally the mother son relationship in these types of movies is always the kid going ‘oh shut up mum I hate you I don’t agree with you blah blah blah’. It’s really interesting in this one however that it’s a very warm loving relationship. Obviously they disagree about a few things but Luke is in a bit of a down part of his life and experiencing addiction and experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Yet he has the support of this warm relationship with his mother and Juliette Lewis was able to bring so much comfort and play to those scenes and I think it really shows. Those are some of my most favourite scenes in the movie because of it.
Touching on Shameless and Gotham in conjunction with Anthem. If there was a common characteristic which linked all of those roles what would it be?
CM: I think Luke and Ian definitely have more in common than Jerome from Gotham. I think all of them have a raw streak and moments of animalistic expression, so I suppose you could say that. You can say that Luke and Ian are very caring souls and have a certain level of vulnerability and care for other people. I don’t think they have the same level of narcissism and anger that Jerome does. I would say I’ve had a chance to play with all the characters and you live vicariously within the situation and circumstances of what the characters are going through and you experiment by putting yourself out there. And with all these characters there are definitely takes that didn’t work, but you have to take a chance and do something odd or throw yourself out there and hope it works. Or you rely on the editors to not put it in but you have to take chances, it’s the only way to get something unique. I think what every artist or filmmaker is looking for are those moments which are uncommon. Those things you find in the moment and having the room to do that is I think very important. At the end of the day actors are just kids playing make believe, with very elaborate make up, in very elaborate sets with lots lighting and lots of people who are very good at their jobs. Yet we are still coming in to play and I think it’s very important to retain that. So that is probably the common link between all of them.
Touching on your time in Shameless and more specifically working alongside William H, Macy for so long, is there anything he has imparted to you over the years?
CM: There is so much to learn from him both on and off camera. I think how you carry yourself on and off set when you’re not filming is extremely important. He is great about that. One of the most amazing things I see him do is how well he takes care of people who are coming in as day players, people who are coming in as supporting actors, or people who just have a couple of lines. He always goes up to them and introduces himself and he is very kind to them. He is an actors actor and working in theatre for such a long time before he became successful within the film industry, he is one of those people who has care and love for anyone at any point in their career. Whether they have been doing it their entire lives or they are just starting. I also really respect how he has separates his home life.
He has a certain level of privacy and he loves his family and his kids and he takes care of them and I think that’s very important. But I will also say that when he is on camera he is such a consummate professional and he knows how to throw himself into the scene and like I said take chances. He is a guy who is willing to wake up in vomit or dive head first into a porta-potty or whatever he needs. He has Emmys and Oscars and all this stuff and it doesn’t matter. He is still actor who is coming in to play and because he has never lost that I think that is why he is one of those people others will forever regard with such respect and admiration. We call him Bill but people will always call him William H Macy like it’s an incantation, because there is a little bit of magic in his abilities.
So beyond your on going commitments with Shameless and Gotham which I imagine is tied up now, what other projects have you got lined up?
CM: So Gotham is tied off and I will say that it’s really exciting with that final season that we got to go to the places that we do, while specifically for the final episode there is a lot that people have not seen yet. It is definitely my favourite interpretation of what we have done with the character and it is definitely the boldest and just so cool. And the final episode in my opinion is my most favourite thing I’ve had a chance to do on the show. I am working on a project where I literally can’t say what sort of thing it is because I will be shot and have signed way too many NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) about it. So unfortunately I probably won’t be able to reveal that for the next year. I actually have a Western which I am going to start shooting in a couple of months as well, which I’m not sure I am allowed to say yet because it hasn’t been released.
Many thanks to Cameron Monaghan for taking the time for this interview and Liz Rodriguez at EMR Media for putting us in contact.
Anthem of a Teenage Prophet premiered January 10th and was released January 11th.