Andrew J. West talks indie movie Antiquities, Once Upon a Time, and more

Antiquities -- Courtesy of Orchard -- Acquired via Sicily Publicity
Antiquities -- Courtesy of Orchard -- Acquired via Sicily Publicity /

Andrew J. West is known in the Once Upon a Time fandom as adult Henry. His newest project is now out and he chatted exclusively about Antiquities and things to come in the future.

Once Upon a Time fans will know Andrew J. West as adult Henry. Starring in the seventh and final season of the series, he captured our hearts. Now he has a more personal project out and he’s spoken to Hidden Remote exclusively about Antiquities and much more.

If you haven’t heard of the indie film, you’ll want to check it out. West plays Walt, who returns to his home town after the death of his father. He decides to learn more about his dad, but at the same time, learns far much more about who he is as a person.

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Check out why this was so important for West and what’s to come in his future.

Hidden Remote: Antiquities has such a sweet but powerful message behind it.

Andrew J. West: Yeah, thank you, it does. When I first got the script, I was excited about it. But what really put it over the edge for me was when I had a conversation with the director, Dan Campbell. I realized how personal the story was to him and the parallels between some aspects of his life and my own.

The power of it hit me then, mixed with this weird but great ensemble. I agree. I thought it was pretty special.

HR: There was certainly some quirkiness to the characters. The meeting in the antique store really stood out for me for the quirkiness. Was that all scripted or was there a chance for people to ad-lib?

West: Yeah, we did get a chance to ad lib. I say we, but mostly it was all the others, especially in that opening scene. Dan and I talked about this a lot. I’m just the surrogate for the audience, so I just stand back and watch this avalanche of weird in front of me.

A lot for me in that first scene was just listening to these quirky, weird people going off. There was definitely the chance to ad lib, but a lot was just reactive, feeding off whatever crazy stuff they were doing. They definitely had a lot of fun ad-libbing.

Antiquities — Courtesy of Orchard — Acquired via Sicily Publicity
Antiquities — Courtesy of Orchard — Acquired via Sicily Publicity /

HR: There was a lot through facial expressions from yourself.

West: Yeah! That was another thing Dan and I talked about. We wanted this character, Walt, to feel grounded and be the conduit for the audience. In a lot of ways, it made my job easier. They’d just put the camera on me and I had generous actors who gave me full performances, even when all we were shooting were my reaction shots. I got to react naturally and that’s what we used for the movie.

It was a cool acting exercise not to be that verbal through a lot of it. It was interesting and fun from my standpoint to watch and react to these great performances.

HR: So, what was it about this character that pulled you in?

West: I read the script and it was funny and moving, but it was when I talked to Dan and realized how much some of it was based on his personal experiences. Getting to know him early on and quickly, I suddenly had a deeper understanding of the character and more of a handle on who the character was.

Ultimately, it’s just a universal story of someone dealing with loss, grief, disappointment, and confusion. We all deal with them at some point in our lives. As an actor, any time we get to do something honest but in a fun and weird world, it’s why we do it, I guess.

HR: It did feel like the character went through every stage of grief, and he certainly reached acceptance. Where did you draw inspiration for all of that?

West: I’ve certainly dealt with loss in my life. It doesn’t have to be the loss of a person close to you. It could be more person or place that’s dear to you. The older I get, the more I kind of realize how important acceptance is in life for anything. People say acceptance is the root of all happiness, and I think there’s truth in that.

The ability to truly accept your situation or place in life on any given day. If you can do that, it’s hard, but you can probably find the closest to contentment. It’s something I think a lot in my life and work on, practicing acceptance that you may not be too thrilled about or that you lose.

This was definitely an exercise to get back into that state of mind and think about these things and apply them to my own life. It was a good mental and emotional exercise for me.

HR: This was completely different to the last thing I’d seen you in, which was Once Upon a Time. What was it like going from this fantastical world into one that’s more dialogue and story based?

West: Honestly, it was the opposite. With indies, it takes time to film and for them to come out. We actually filmed Antiquities before I left for Vancouver to film Once Upon a Time. It was the reverse, going from the small, story-driven movie to this fantasy world and that was cool.

There were definitely some similarities between the two characters, Walt and Henry, and it was nice to have that continuity. They’re obviously very different world and one was an independent film and the other was network television so that’s different, but that’s what I hope to continue to do in my career. I love bouncing around different projects and mediums.

It was exactly how I wanted it to work out and how I’d hoped things would work out. So going onto Once Upon a Time, I got that wish, but I did have the continuity of character. It’s nice not to have to do a 180.

For those who are familiar with both, they’ll probably see some similarities.

ONCE UPON A TIME – ABC/Jack Rowand – Acquired via Disney ABC Press
ONCE UPON A TIME – ABC/Jack Rowand – Acquired via Disney ABC Press /

HR: What’s next for you?

West: I’ve got a couple more independent films lined up that I’m excited about. I can’t talk too much about them because things are still coming together but it’s cool. It kind of goes back to what we were saying, where I got to do Antiquities that was a personal project and then go onto do a network show. Now I get to do some of these film projects again.

I’ve got two that I’m doing in the months to come. Hopefully, they’ll come out not too long. And then we’ll see what comes up.

They’re definitely different from Antiquities. Both of them are much darker dramas. That’s the next direction for me for the time being.

HR: If you could do anything, what would your dream project be?

West: It’s actually something I’ve been working on for about a year that I’ve been trying to get it off the ground. I don’t want to say too much because I hope it becomes a reality and I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s something that involves baseball and an enormous amount of travel. We see many different parts of the world.

It’s an absolute dream project and I hope we can talk about it again. I’m a huge baseball fan and have wanted to do a baseball project for a long time, so I’m hoping me and my partners can get it going. It’ll be fun.

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Have you checked out Antiquities? What would you like to see Andrew West in next? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Antiquities is now available to rent or purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and other digital platforms.