Blake Berris, who played DAYS’s Nick Fallon from 2006-09 and 2012-14, has penned a new movie, Fangirl, about a woman who goes to a fan event to meet her favorite actor. In addition to writing the movie, Berris is starring in it. Here, Berris talks about his new project.
Soap Opera Digest: Tell me about Fangirl.
Blake Berris: The film is about a super-fan who travels to a soap opera fan event to meet her favorite actor. The whole thing takes place in 24 hours. As some of your readers will know and some of them won’t, depending on whether they’ve been to a soap fan event, things can get weird by the end of fan events. Basically, the distance between the actors and the fans at the beginning of the event changes over the course of the night based on the level of intoxication. This main character, her name is Mercy, she’s at a rough moment in her life. As the film goes on you find out more and more about what’s going on with her. Jen Tullock, who is a dear friend of mine and literally one of my favorite actors in the world, will be playing her. She was a huge hit at Sundance last year in the film Before You Know It, which I was also in. She’s really brilliant. I’m playing a soap actor named Blake Berris, who is, I suppose, a funhouse-mirrored version of myself. He’s kind of a much worse version of myself. I think one of the interesting things about this movie is that we are playing with the line between fact and fiction and fantasy and the importance that fantasy plays in everyone’s life, no matter who you are. I think everybody spends a lot of time in their head having conversations with people that they’ll never actually have, or fantasizing about affairs that they’ll never have. That’s what the movie is exploring. And where’s the line where it becomes dangerous.
Digest: There will be a fan participation element to this. How can they get involved in the film?
Berris: So we’re going to throw a real soap opera fan event in March that everyone is invited to. And this event will star in the movie. We’ll start with a Q&A; some of it will be improv from questions in the audience and some of it will be scripted. And then there will be a picture and autograph signing. There will be a very exclusive VIP dinner, where each soap star will have a table but will mingle with all of the different tables. And then there will be a cocktail party where there’s dancing and we’re able to let loose a little bit more and people can take selfies and that sort of thing. There are other ways that people can engage with the film. There’s a scene later in the film where one of the characters ends up doing this striptease in a hotel room. There’s a way that people can be there for that scene. Spoiler alert: It’s not me!
Digest: How based in reality are these stories?
Berris: At the end of the day, it came from my imagination, but also my imagination is informed by having been to a lot of these soap opera fan events and having witnessed certain things happen.
Digest: Where can fans find out more about it?
Berris: You can check out our Crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark. That link is live and accessible. Look out for it on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It’s @official
fangirlfilm on Instagram. Fangirl Film on Facebook. @realfangirlfilm on Twitter. On the Seed&Spark, you will see a little sizzle of a little scene that we filmed at a soap event that happened in November here in L.A.
Digest: Are you ready for a big undertaking like this?
Berris: Yes. I do feel really ready for it.
Beyond The Sea
Berris and wife Alexandra McGuiness welcomed their first child last year, son Lir. “My wife is Irish and it’s an Irish name,” he shares. “It’s a figure in Irish mythology. Lir is either the sea itself or the god of the sea, depending on which literature you’re looking at. We just liked it. It was one of those names that just kind of stuck around for a long time. I think we actually started putting a list together when we were on our honeymoon. It was just one of those ones that survived the test of time, I guess. It was a keeper. He was born and we couldn’t figure it out for a couple of days. We didn’t want to leave the hospital without a name because it gets complicated. And also, then what? You’re gonna go two months and have no name? So anyway, we tried to see which one we thought made sense when you’re actually saying it.”