Shiloh Fernandez Battles the 'Blizzard' for JJ Spotlight
The 29-year-old actor – who wore Creative Recreation shoes for the shoot – chatted with Just Jared about his new film White Bird in a Blizzard, which co-stars Shailene Woodley and Gabourey Sidibe. Check out the interview below, where Shiloh talks about what it was like sharing a smooch with Shai on set!
Along with chatting about his new film, in theaters tomorrow (October 24), Shiloh also discussed actors who have influenced and inspired him, his musical talents, and more!
Along with White Bird in a Blizzard, Shiloh is also featured in the upcoming films Queen of Carthage, Return to Sender, and We Are Your Friends – we can’t wait to see these new movies. He’s more than just a pretty face!
Click inside for our complete exclusive interview with Shiloh Fernandez…
Shiloh Fernandez Interview – JustJared.com Exclusive
Just Jared: How did you hear about White Bird in a Blizzard? What was the audition process like?
Shiloh Fernandez: I’ve been a fan of [director] Gregg Araki for a long time. I saw Mysterious Skin when I was nineteen! I had the opportunity to participate in a film before this one called Kaboom but it just didn’t feel right to me. So when this one came around, it just worked out.
At first glance, you could think that [my character] was just dumb stoner but in the end, maybe he was smarter than everybody… just a really bad guy who orchestrated this catastrophe to happen with this family.
Gregg is such a great filmmaker and he taught me a lot. He knew exactly what he wanted to make and he cast people that fit into it. Shailene [Woodley] obviously was a revelation and amazing to work with, you know, at that time in her life before all this craziness happened.
JJ: What was your favorite scene to film?
SH: It’s when Shailene’s character goes away to college, her mom’s been missing, and she starts having these dreams. She comes back to her hometown to investigate what happened to her mother and the mystery surrounding it. And she comes to visit my character because there’s people telling her I had something to do with it.
I sort of know my life has already ended–I’ll be at this hardware store for the rest of my life, taking care of my mom until she dies, and living in the same house. It was the first day that we were filming and I just liked the somber-ness of the scene.
We also filmed a fun scene where we get to dance together. The only thing that as neat as this dance scene is that one in Wild at Heart, that David Lynch did, where Nicolas Cage has that dance scene with that snake skin jacket.
JJ: What’s your favorite off-screen moment during the shoot?
SH: Shailene brought me some home-grown tobacco, which was awesome! And on my last day of filming, I got a really sweet note on my trailer mirror. I don’t know who it was from and I never asked, but it said something like, “You’re great. We’ll miss you.” Every time you finish a movie, sometimes you feel like a family, sometimes you don’t. This one was definitely a family feeling. Especially after that note!
JJ: Do you have a favorite prop from set?
SH: I had to do a sexual scene, where you have to wear the little cover-up, just on the front. It’s sort of a thong on the back and a cover up on the front. It’s sooo strange and always a new experience to put that thing on!
JJ: Favorite memory shooting with Shailene?
SH: Shailene, my friend, and I accompanied Gregg to a screening of Rust and Bone with Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, and my favorite French director Jacques Audiard. After the movie, we realized, oh sh–, we like the same things, we’re going to be in sync, we know what moves us. My friend ended up being really moved by the movie and was crying for like fifteen minutes after. Shailene didn’t know us very well but she sat with us and we were just rubbing my friend’s back. It was a really sweet moment that showed me a lot about who she was.
JJ: What’s one thing most people don’t know about Shailene?
SH: Even though there was craft services every day on set, at lunch, she had her own organic, beautiful, gourmet meal that she made the night before. And I would have whatever it was, El Pollo Loco. I don’t even eat meat but I would have lettuce and beans. I was like, “Man this girl cares about life and what she puts in her body.” That was unique to me.
JJ: What was it like kissing Shailene?
SH: Umm… Magic.
JJ: At the end of your Wikipedia page, it says, “He is a friend of actor Thomas Dekker.” So random!
SH: Yeah, but it’s true! I don’t see him a lot, but he means a lot to me. We played brothers in a movie years ago. I don’t think it’ll ever come out but he directed a movie that I did that was sort of all improv. He would pick me up in the morning and say, “Well here’s what your going to do today.” And I would have to do it. He’s such an artist and a human being that transcends, sexuality is the wrong word. But there’s something about his aura that’s all-encompassing.
JJ: How did your trip to Vietnam come about and what was the highlight of your trip?
SH: I turned 29 so I want to do a lot of things this year. My friend and I looked up Vietnam and it seemed like a really amazing motorcycle trip to take. We also started working with this organization called Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which helps girls who are sex trafficked to China, and local children who are taken from the mountains or the rural areas and forced into child labor. So we went and met with them in the North, in the capital of Vietnam. Then we took our motorcycles down to the South.
The highlight of the trip was our motorcycles breaking down every day. And every day when they broke down, we would be in some random place that had amazing pho, they could fix our bikes, or there was an amazing hotel for us to stay at. It was just a prism of amazing luck in Vietnam.
JJ: Are there any young actors or actresses that have inspired you recently?
SH: I saw a play a couple years ago called Through a Glass Darkly, with Ben Rosenfield, the kid in Affluenza. I saw him do a play with Carey Mulligan where he played a little brother and he was just incredible. He hadn’t done anything at the time I don’t think. It was his first off-Broadway play. Ben Rosenfield was amazing in this play a few years ago. You could just tell. I’m looking forward to the movie Starred Up, with Jack O’Connell. He looks great. Chloe Moretz is amazing. She’s always been mind blowing since (500) Days of Summer. She’s amazing, I didn’t see Kick-Ass but that one, you can just tell that girl’s got it.
JJ: Which actor have you met who has influenced your career the most?
SH: I’m friends with a guy named Rami Malek, and we’re neighbors. And I love him to death as an actor, and as a friend. Though we’re so different, we’re up for the same parts sometimes. And he really inspires me to be better ’cause I know how good he is. Our relationship is complementary and even though we fight for the same roles, we trust each other and we know supporting each other is going to be the best thing ’cause we’ll come out and get to work together.
JJ: What kind of music are you listening to lately?
SH: Soul music. On my trip to Vietnam, I only had a few songs downloaded on my phone by like Sam Cook, Curtis Mayfield, that sort of thing. It’s just been moving me.
JJ: Can you play any instruments?
SH: I don’t really sing or play guitar very well but I enjoy writing country songs. I don’t ever want my voice to be out but I do enjoy playing guitar!
Fashion Credits –
Photos 1 & 7: Emporio Armani jacket, Alternative Apparel shirt, Les Benjamins pants, Bacco Bucci shoes, and Nashelle necklace.
Photos 2 & 5: Francisco Van Benthum shirt, vintage thermal, Creative Recreation shoes, and vintage gloves.
Photo 3: Marc Jacobs jacket, Alternative Apparel shirt, Marc Jacobs pants.
Photo 4 & 6: Diesel shirt, vintage thermals, vintage boxing gloves, and Nashelle bracelet.