Crackle’s The Clearing: Liam McIntyre chats zombies, stunts, and more

The Clearing - Courtesy of Crackle
The Clearing - Courtesy of Crackle /

We chatted with Crackle’s The Clearing star Liam McIntyre about his role

Crackle’s The Clearing is a new zombie horror film on the free streaming service. The movie stars Liam McIntyre as Tom, a man striving to reconnect with his daughter Mira (played by Aundrea Smith).

The two embark on a camping trip, and well, things don’t pan out exactly as they planned. Crackle’s The Clearing marks director David Matalon’s feature directorial debut. According to Bloody Disgusting, he also wrote and produced the movie, too.

Hidden Remote: What drew you to Crackle’s The Clearing

Liam McIntyre:The Clearing had heart. I love action movies, absolutely, but this one offered more than that. This was a really great character piece, about a father who slowly reconnects with his daughter, and after discovering that the whole in his heart can be filled with their connection and her love and respect, has it all torn away from him, and he fights to get it back. I felt there was a really great opportunity to do something special.

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HR: Were you a fan of zombie films or the genre in general beforehand?

LI: I do love zombie films, but truth be told – they’re too scary for me! I love the Evil Dead‘s… but anything more intense than that usually sends me running for the hills, tough guy that I am.

I was really curious to see if FILMING one would generate the same reaction as watching one, and I’m glad to report that it did not! Ha!

HR: You and Aundrea Smith had great chemistry as father/daughter, did you guys get to spend any time getting to know each other before you started to film?

LI: Aundrea was a delight to work with, she has such spirit and such a cool attitude… she brought so much swagger to the role I was just trying to keep up with her! We were incredibly lucky that the Director, David Matalon, insisted on rehearsals.

All actors want them, but you seldom get them, especially in a film with a smaller budget. I think that went a LONG way toward building our characters, our chemistry, and our performance. But she’s so much fun, and it was hard not to love working with her!

HR: Did you have a favorite moment or sequence to film? Did you do all of your own stunts for the movie?

LI: It’s tough to pick a favorite moment in any film, especially this one. The scene where Tom contemplates taking his own life was a powerful moment for me, as was the ending. But it was a hell of a lot of fun jumping off that camper into the truck bed… more fun that the safety officer probably wanted it to be!

I don’t know if I can say I did ALL of my own stunts, but I sure tried. We had great stunt people on the production, so most of the kudos goes to them, but we also didn’t have a lot of time, so it tended to be easier for me just to jump off things and what have you!

HR: How do you get into the right mindset for a zombie outbreak to make it seem genuine and frightening? 

LI: Honestly, it’s not as hard as you might think to get in the mindset for a role like this. At its heart, it’s a role about love and something threatening the safety of a person you love more than anything.

The fact that it’s these infected humans doesn’t really matter that much – I’d argue if you tried to play the ‘zombie’ of it all, it could possibly come off as a bit trite… for me, you barely get that far… you’re just assailed on all sides by these ruthless people trying to kill you and take your daughter… the fear of that is all too real.

I was in Fort Lauderdale at the airport when that horrible shooting happened and trying to keep my wife safe, and the fear and responsibility I felt to try to get through that ordeal was a really interesting emotional parallel for this.

HR: You’ve done a lot of action roles before, but not necessarily as much horror, is it a genre you are interested in exploring more?

LI: As I was saying before, Horror has always fascinated me, because I am so scared of it. I always tell people, it’s not always what’s on the screen, it’s what my overactive imagination does with the information – I really play into every horror makers tropes and dreams because I get MYSELF on edge watching them, and scare myself more by thinking of other scary things that could happen with that conceit.

So I’ve always had a morbid fascination with them, and I always wondered what it’d feel like to MAKE one. And honestly, it’s pretty amazing! There’s a stylistic quality and a certain beat structure that you get to play around with, which is really interesting ‘behind the curtain’… and you get to see the pieces get put together where you go ‘OH! I see… THIS bit is going to be really scary…’. So it’s was cool, and I’d love to explore more stuff in the area.

HR: What do you hope audiences take away from the film?

LI: I hope, first and foremost, that audiences can enjoy the ride and take their minds off of this CRAZY world we’re living in for just a moment. That they can take a moment to have some fun so they can focus on the big questions and decisions that are facing all of us now.

But from a film point of view, I hope in a weird and left of field way. It can inspire some people to reconnect with people that they may have thought they’d never be able to reconcile with. Because hard as it may be, life is always better with love in it.

HR: Was the partnership with Crackle something that interested you?

LI: As a simple actor, you don’t get invited to many of the fancy meetings that decide where a film is going to be placed.

But in hearing that it was going to be screening on Crackle, I thought that was great – Crackle is producing a lot of great content now and growing, and it’s great to be a part of the growth and that family as they reach new heights!

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Crackle’s The Clearing is now available to stream free on the service.