Kin — Jack Reynor

Jack Reynor talks his new genre-blending movie Kin and dealing with gangbangers

Contributed by
Aug 31, 2018

On one level, Kin is a crime story — a young man (played by Jack Reynor) gets out of prison owing a massive amount of protection money to a local gangster (James Franco). And so a safe has to be robbed, people have to die, and so forth. On another level, Kin is a family drama about two brothers who go on a road trip together and bond for the first time. And there's also a third level, a science fiction premise that casts all of this in a much more compelling light.

We can't go into a whole lot of detail here without spoiling this unusual movie. Let's just say there's more going on than you see in the movie's trailer, which only shows a futuristic-looking blaster weapon falling into the hands of a young kid.

Without venturing too deep into spoiler land, SYFY WIRE talked to Reynor about who he based his character Jimmy on, his hopes for a sequel, and what kinds of cult-y things he'd like to see happen next on his CBS All Access show Strange Angel.

When your character gets out of prison, he needs to scramble together a lot of money fast. He's pretty desperate.

We've all felt desperation sometimes. We've all had fractured relationships with people from time to time. There's always something to draw on. I mean, there are times where I've had zero money, and people have had to loan me their last $50. [Director] Lenny Abrahamson did that. I'm sure I paid him back in pints of Guinness. But I've never gotten someone killed, though! I've never had a dangerous person saying they were going to shoot me, thankfully!

But it's not a character that I based on anyone, or researched by going to talk to prison gangs or gangs on the street. It's more based on characters that I responded to when I was growing up. He's more of a throwback to movies from the 1980s, you know what I mean? Kurt Russell in Escape From New York was someone I was thinking about. I was thinking of Snake Plissken and John Carpenter movies. I think you can feel that sort of influence of those films in this.

There's a really cool moment at the end of this movie where you guys do a version of bullet time – temporal manipulation. How did it work on your end?

Without giving away the spoilers, yes, there's a scene at the end where it kind of feels like everything freezes, and the way we approached it, rather than use motion capture and special effects, we just had a rig where we basically positioned ourselves to stay perfectly still. Even though it looks like we're still running, we're just holding still. We're holding our facial expressions and body positions. And we had to spend like a day and a half doing that, and it was in winter in Toronto, so we were all breathing frost. So that was lovely. [Laughs]

I was really concerned that it wasn't going to work, but when I watched it back, I thought it was pretty good! It's an amazing practical effect, and just gives you the impression of this moment frozen in time.

Also without spoiling what happens after that, it leaves room for a sequel.

That would be great! To be honest with you, it really wasn't on my radar until I started making the film with the guys.

I've never been somebody who was mad on the idea of being in a franchise of movies, although I've done that kind of thing [with Transformers: Age of Extinction]. But I like independent films. I like films that a story, and that's it. You can kind of manage the integrity of what you're making by limiting it. But in this instance, I loved working with [directors] Josh and Jonathan [Baker], and I felt comfortable with their ability to articulate their vision when they weren't operating at such a high budget. So I was kind of thinking, "Yeah, you could do something else with this, and bring it to a different place, and kick it up a gear."

So I would probably be into the idea of doing another one, provided it was the same team. I certainly would strongly consider it. It would probably have to be a higher budget film to expand the world, but even still, it's a departure from these huge blockbuster films that we're seeing in the theaters at the moment. It has some great sci-fi elements, but it's still very grounded, and I would love to think that if we go ahead and make more films in a series, then we'll be able to maintain that tone. That would be pretty important.

You'll need to figure it out soon, though. Your co-star Myles Truitt, who plays your younger brother, is growing pretty fast!

He's growing pretty quickly! I think he's grown four-and-a-half inches since I saw him last. We'll have to be quick!

Kin — Jack Reynor

Credit: Lionsgate

In the meantime, the finale for your television show Strange Angel recently aired.

I can't say yet whether there will be a Season 2, but I will say that I think that character is fascinating, and somebody who was really important, and yet a lot of people don't know about him. He was ripped from the annals of history because of his affiliation with this group, this cult. The conservatives did not appreciate that. I think it's an amazing story, and we've only touched the tip of the iceberg with Jack Parsons. He hasn't even begun to become what he ultimately was famous for.

And we've only begun to see the tip of the iceberg for what the cult's sex magick rituals were like. Since you're on CBS All Access, versus CBS broadcast, you can show more of that.

Yeah, I think so. As it goes on, it'll get a lot darker. And it'll be challenging. That's good. If I'm doing TV, that's the kind of TV I want to do.

I can't wait to see our take on L. Ron Hubbard. I think that's the kind of thing everybody's really waiting for, as Jack progresses in Thelema because it's kind of the ancestor of Scientology. This is the model, in some way, of what Scientology ultimately became. Even though the values and the ideology are different, the structural model is the same. At that time in Southern California, L.A. was like the cultiest place in the world, you know? It's like Mecca for cults. All sorts of mad different splinter religions. So I'm interested in getting in there and exploring how some of that stuff occurred.

Plus, there's a love triangle. Both Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard were married to the same woman. They shared a wife.

Yeah! They did. She obviously left Jack for L. Ron Hubbard, and they went and started Dianetics together. Little known fact. So that's just crazy. So it'll be amazing if we get to that point where we can explore that. I'm really excited about all of that. Season one, it was a slow burn. It was designed that way. It was designed to demonstrate the conservative nature of a certain part of society, and once we get a little further down the road, we'll see how wild it really is.

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