Chad Lindberg in Punk Love – ScreenShots!

Chad Lindberg in Punk Love – Stills

Chad Lindberg, Punk Love Pictures.

Chad Lindberg Interview about Punk Love.

In the new age of independent film, with thousands of films being made each year, it is becoming even more difficult for masterfully made films to find an audience, and even more importantly, for these films to find a market.  It is equally difficult for truly talented actors, directors and films to get the recognition they deserve. The brilliantly executed independent film Punk Love could very possibly be one of these films that quite simply slipped through the cracks. Despite winning five International Film Festivals and featuring a riveting performance by Chad Lindberg, a true gem of the acting world, the tear-evoking, indie-drama is still on the path to finding its market.

Set in and around the rainy town of Portland, Oregon, Punk Love was directed by filmmaker Nick Lyon who  tells a beautifully dark tale about Sarah, a lost 15-year-old, trapped in an unloving home, in a dreary small paper town. When she meets Spike, she envisions a new life for herself. Falling in love, Sarah and Spike go on a crime spree of small-time con jobs, both to support themselves and their drug habits. Spike has dreams of his own, and when he successfully auditions for a band, he can’t help but feel that he and Sarah are starting on the road to escaping their ill-fated existence. But, just as things are looking up, everything goes uncontrollably wrong, and Spike and Sarah have only their undying love for each other as a means of survival against all odds.

Independent Film Quarterly took a few moments to sit down and speak with actor Chad Lindberg, who boasts roles in The RookieOctober SkyThe Fast and The Furious and stars in Nick Lyon’s Punk Love.

IFQ: Punk Love is a dark film. Why would anyone want to go see it?

Chad Lindberg: It’s definitely a dark film. One of the darkest films I’ve ever shot. One of the most grueling shoots I’ve ever endured, as well. Although dark, I’ll say this film is very stylized in a way that makes watching the movie enthralling. If you love dark movies, this one is certainly for you. It’s an acquired taste. We touch on a lot of heavy subject matter that might be uncomfortable for some viewers.

IFQ: Why did you decide to take the role of Spike in Punk Love?

CL: I decided to do it because of Nick’s directing style first off. A mutual casting director friend had introduced us and Nick said he was interested in me playing the lead character.  I read the script and really liked it.  I then had watched some of Nick’s previous work and fell in love with his style of filmmaking. He’s got a unique way of making dark look pretty. I’m a big fan of that. Also, I love dark material. It’s always gravitated my way for some reason. I feel I understand it, and am able to portray a certain angst and vulnerability. Also, when first talking to Nick on the phone, I instantly felt connected with him and felt we understood each other’s vision of the script and characters.

IFQ: Tell us about the character Spike that you played so brilliantly, and what did it take for you to become Spike?

CL: I threw myself into that world and allowed for all the pain and darkness to consume me.  The conditions in which we shot the film were very rough at times. That helped in feeling the proper emotions that I had to touch on.   I grew up in the Northwest, so I already felt I had a sense of this character and where he grew up.  Gave myself a mohawk. Got into the punk clothes. And just trusted Nick and away we went…

IFQ: How was working with the director, Nick Lyon, and your co-star Emma Bing?

CL: Nick Lyon is one of my favorite directors I’ve worked with. He’s also turned into a good friend of mine, whom I respect.  He has a style like nobody else I’ve worked with. We’ve only done one film together and I hope we do 100 more. [Smiles.] It was really easy working with Nick. He and I have a real good shorthand communication when it comes to being on set.  We basically finish each other’s sentences and know what the other is thinking. We have a similar understanding of the vision we want to get across, or the shots we’re trying to create.

Emma Bing was awesome.  Nick had her in mind for this film for quite some time. She and I hit it off instantly. When auditioning female leads for this movie, we knew right away. She brought honesty to her character. She was very professional on set, didn’t complain, and endured a lot of physical challenges that I don’t think most actresses would have put up with. She was a wonderful co-star and I have nothing but respect for her.

IFQ: What scene did you find to be most challenging while shooting Punk Love?

CL: The Rain. Rain, rain, rain!  Before shooting, Nick said it was going to be raining the whole time to give the movie that heavy feeling. I was like, “Sure…go ahead…dump away. Pour as much rain on us as possible.” I ate my words.  The rain was so cold and intense. Everyday. Rain. The worst, was standing around in heavily soaked, layered clothes in between set-ups and takes.  It definitely took its toll.  Towards the end of filming, we were shooting the bridge-death scene. The rain was pouring so hard on our heads.  I started to become delirious and got hypothermia. Emma and I both had to go to the hospital that night. All for the art, right? [Smiles.] I didn’t mind, because I knew that the rain was going to look awesome in the end result, and it did.

IFQ: The film has won awards in five festivals between 2006-2010, and you won Best Actor for it, as well. Why do you think it still remains unknown to most of the world?

CL: Well, I feel very blessed to win these awards. When doing any role, I don’t really expect to win anything. Nor do I set out to win. I just want to do good work and hope people see it.  So it’s been a wonderful surprise to win Best Actor for something you feel passionate about, as well as a film where I put myself through hell. It’s hard to say why it remains unknown to the rest of the world. Having poor distribution surely doesn’t help. There was no marketing plan behind it. Perhaps the executives who put up the money didn’t know how to handle this film properly. That’s always frustrating with an indie movie. You don’t know where it’s going to end up. Although,Punk Love has found a small audience that seems to be growing, as well as glowing reviews and awards for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Director over the past four years. Sometimes, these things take time.

IFQ: You have worked on studio films such as Fast and the Furious and October Sky; yet you have made a name in the indie world with films like Punk LovePush, and recently Spit on your Grave. Tell me the difference between shooting studio and indie films.

CL: They’re both great for different reasons. It’s hard comparing studio and indie, really. I mean, sure, perks working on a big studio flick such as Fast are going to be a lot different than a movie where your trailer is the size of your bathroom.  Generally on bigger movies, things run a lot smoother (not always!) and it’s a full working machine. You can trust that a studio movie is definitely going to be seen in theaters! With indies, there’s no guarantee. On the flip side, indies are wonderful because you have room to explore a little more. Maybe you don’t have to stick to the page as much. Also, if it’s a passion project like Punk Love, everybody is working guerilla-style trying to make the best project and push boundaries. You have to hope you have a good crew as well, because on indies, most of the crew is getting next to nothing. And these guys work so hard. Sometimes people walk. And then you’re left with the producer holding lighting equipment just to get the shot. [Smiles.] But in the end, it’s about the experience. So studio or indie… I love them both. And, I’m just thankful to be working.

IFQ: In the past ten years, do you feel like American film has suffered? Where would you like to see cinema go?

CL: Well, I think the Internet has changed where film is going—in good and bad ways. People can download as opposed to going to theaters. But in the end, I think people are still going to want that movie-going experience. It’s one of my favorite things to do.  I’m not sure where cinema is heading.  I think it will always be there. People will always want to go the movies, sit down with their soda and popcorn, and have an experience. And, hopefully be moved or laugh, and perhaps forget about their life’s problems for a couple of hours.

IFQ: What is coming up for Chad Lindberg?

CL: I’m in a movie called Once Fallen, directed by Ash Adams that stars Brian Presley, Ed Harris, Ash Adams, Amy Madigan, and Peter Weller. I just recently came back to the CW show Supernatural as “Ash,” a fan favorite who was killed in Season 2. They brought me back for an episode in Season 5. The character is now in Heaven. I’m also in a remake of the cult horror classic, I Spit on Your Grave directed by Steven R. Monroe.

IFQ: Do you have any tips to young actors or filmmakers that may help them avoid mistakes that you may have discovered along your path?

CL: Keep pushing no matter what. There are days where you will feel like quitting and saying, “To Hell with Hollywood”…and I have!  But, continue and follow your dreams. You never know what’s around the corner. You must commit to your art 110%.

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Chad Lindberg – Punk Love Movie, Synopsis (2006)

Directed by : Nick Lyon

Chad’s Role : Spike

Synopsis :  Punk Love is an American tragedy, a tale of unconditional love in the foreground of a dark, cynical and corrupted city. A tale of two kids fighting for their dreams against society. Pushed to the extreme, this is an endearing story of love in all its purity. Set in and around the rainy town of Portland, Oregon and Camas, Washington, Punk Love is the endearing tale of a young couple fighting for their love to survive in the post 911 era. Pitted against society, and her abusive step-father, Sarah (EMMA BING) is a reckless and lost fifteen year old, who will do anything to escape the ill fated reality of her existence. Besides her addiction to heroin, her only glimmer of hope is her unconditional love for her 21 year old boyfriend Spike (CHAD LINDBERG).

Spike’s life has been plagued by disappointment. Anything good that has ever happened to Spike seems to be followed by a dark cloud of misfortune. So is the story of his life. Pulling off small cons is how Spike and Sarah support their drug habit, which comes only second to their love for another. But when a con goes bad, and they are forced to flee to Portland from their hometown of Camas Washington, things only get worse.

At first, moving to the City seems like a big opportunity, and Spike follows his musical dreams hoping to get a new start on life. He wants to clean up and do something with himself. But as is the story of his life, the dark cloud follows him and not only does it rain, but it pours. Shortly after he gets in his first band, Sarah is badly beaten and hospitalized.

When Spike visits her in the hospital, he is placed under arrest by her mother and step-father for statutory rape. Even though only a few years separate them, the law is the law, and Spike is sentenced to jail. Sarah is sent back home to her abusive, and manipulative step-father. Six months later, Spike is released from jail, and despite the restraining order, he goes to Sarah’s house to take her away, but not without an altercation with Sarah’s step-father, which ends in his death and the two wanted for his murder. Spike and Sarah must once again flee to the City, where they plan to make enough money to go to California. 

But once again, that dark looming cloud follows Spike, and the two lovers are back on the  wagon and things are rapidly ascending. Soon, they give up all hope and decide to end it all by jumping off of a bridge. But because of Spike’s undying love for Sarah, Spike can’t do it.  Instead, the young lovers come out of their low point with a new love for life and determination to make their dreams a reality. With renewed hope, Spike and Sarah pull off the biggest con ever, and come out with the big bucks; $3.000. Enough to get them to California. But the long arm of the law reaches further than they had reckoned with, and in a dramatic attempt to escape, their dream of California is shattered, and Spike is killed. With  nowhere to go, and no one else in the world to love, Sarah follows Spike to a better place…somewhere where it doesn’t rain.




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