Adam Berardi plays Detective Sanchez in the found footage horror film The Last Five Days directed by and starring Clay Moffatt (Eyes on the Road) with Joe Pacini (Star Man).
A college project for film class leads two students to the truth about some gruesome deaths. The Last Five Days follows Greg Sanders (Clay Moffatt) and Brian Mills (Joe Pacini) through their investigation. It’s not long before things get worse, way worse when an unknown and violent force begins tormenting the young, would-be filmmakers. Adam Berardi’s Detective Sanchez is the unfortunate investigator charged with making sense of the case for the public.
PopAxiom spoke with Adam about watching himself and becoming Detective Sanchez for The Last Five Days.
Older & Uglier
Adam’s journey into showbiz started early. “I got pushed into it at a very young age. The first television show I was on was Superboy when I was 14 or 15 years old.”
Acting was “… never even a question,” Adam says, then jokes, “My father used to say, you’re not great looking, but you could be in catalogs.”
Adam’s 29 acting credits (and counting) is evolving. “The older and uglier I get, I find being behind the lens serves me pretty well.”
About The Last Five Days
Adam’s role in The Last Five Days came about through his relationship with director Clay Moffatt. Adam says, the pair “… made a love connection recently where we love doing films together. He has an exciting style of filmmaking that I love to tackle with him.”
Adam explains, “His shoot days can sometimes be 3-5 days worth for an entire feature, which is insane. It’s something a little different than the regular SAG workday where on a feature one actor might be on set six or seven days straight, and the entire production is 30 days.”
Moffatt, Adam says, “… likes to shoot for wherever the edit is going to be and call it a day. I like doing that kind of stuff with him.”
The birth of The Last Five Days came about during a hangout between the pair. “I was over at his house one day; he had a bunch of mini-DVs. I asked him a question about it, but he said ‘Oh, that’s nothing.’”
Adam kept prodding. “Nothing’s ever a secret between us. He told me it was a college project from when he went to film school. They were supposed to do an investigative film for a capstone project, so they did a found footage film. I watched it and thought ‘This is pretty good!’”
Fueled by Adam’s motivation, Clay gave the film a once-over. “We added the front and end caps which I acted in. That was the end of it. We got so many offers for that movie.”
Simply updating The Last Five Days with cleaner edits or colors wasn’t enough. “We wanted to do something different,” Adam says, “When it comes to found-footage, there are two ways to go about it. It’s either heavily scripted, or it can just have plot points and let outstanding improv actors do the rest.”
The beginning and end of The Last Five Days features Adam as Detective Sanchez. “The end caps, we wanted to do something where we introduce the film.��
Inquisitive reporters litter the scene which came about from a brainstorm between Adam and Clay. “What questions would reporters ask, and what would the detective do? Let’s write down a bunch of questions; you pick out what you want to be asked.”
On the day of shooting, each actor playing a reporter was given a number and a question. “We went down the line, and each of our actors, about 12 of them, asked their questions.”
Trying to capture authenticity at the moment was pivotal. “The most authentic thing about the detective was that he didn’t want to be there,” Adam jokes, “I didn’t want to be there.”
Adam tried his best to experience everything as Sanchez would. “I watched the film; took coffee breaks; watched more. By the time I got to the set, I was the detective.”
Adam’s been an actor for a long time, yet, he says, “I’ve never seen a thing I’ve done. People tell me it’s horrible, and I just believe them.”
Adam’s not unique. Many actors avoid seeing their work, including Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon, and Joaquin Phoenix to name a few. “There are a million different couch critics at home that will pick your stuff apart,” Adam says, then brings up an interesting point, “The thing about art is that it’s not really acceptable to do that at an art gallery. You don’t stand in front of a painting and pick it apart.”
Criticism doesn’t bother Adam. He simply doesn’t like watching himself. He says that for up-and-coming actors to avoid critique like that, “Unless you have a very tough skin or do not care what people think or do not listen.”
“A lot of filmmakers are looking for acceptance,” Adam explains, “It’s a natural thing.”
Adam shares some of his long list of influences. “Spielberg, Kubrick, Reitman … those are some of the greatest minds of our times. Hitchcock was amazing too. So many.”
Adam talks about his fondness for 80s movies. “You watch movies like Goonies and Gremlins; every person in the Gremlins universe has their own story, objects have their own story. Like when you watch Back to the Future, every object in Doc Brown’s house has a story.”
What’s a dream project that Adam would love to create? “Easy, Vertigo.”
The Last Five Days is available for purchase on DVD from every major retailer. So, what’s next for Adam? “We have a really big film, two big films. Clay is finishing his kung-fu spectacular The Rise of Sir Longbottom. We made a movie called Sour that comes out in January. It stars Bourke Floyd and Natalie Maher. I got a chance to do some directing, and I was an actor. It’s a terrifying film.”
Are you excited to watch The Last Five Days?
Thanks to Adam Berardi and October Coast for making this interview possible.
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