Here’s another conversation with a SUNDOWN cast member. This time, I talk to Veronica Wiseman who plays Monique, a fellow survivor of a partner with dementia who befriends Clara (played by Zele Avradopoulos).
Although relatively new to film, Veronica is a veteran of the stage. We typed back and forth for a bit about the leap from theater to film as well as dementia and leather jackets:
Veronica: By the way, my typing sucks.
Brendan: It’s ok – I’ll edit it. I had to edit Grayson WAY down. That boy’s a talker. So what has been your experience like with the movie so far?
Veronica: I am just glad to be part of it. When I told everyone about the story, I was tremendously proud. It feels like we’re doing something important.
Brendan: I didn’t know something important could have this many f-bombs in it.
Veronica: That’s why it will be accessible to so many folks.
Brendan: Yeah, it’s kind of hard to take on this subject matter without feeling too heavy. That’s why I like to throw in all the juvenile jokes.
Veronica: My father-in-law is showing signs…not Alzheimer’s but age-related memory stuff. We are all scared. Our insides are mush. I know it is everywhere. People are scared, so in a way it is important to normalize it and make folks see that it is about everyone everywhere.
Brendan: You’ve done mostly theater before this, right?
Veronica: Yeah. I am a stage actor and I mostly do straight plays but I get a lot of calls for musicals because I can sing and I have that character thing going for me.
Brendan: I did not know this. Is it too late to write in a musical number for you?
Veronica: Not too late. I can sing over the credits. Monique at the nursing home.
Brendan: What’s your favorite show tune to sing?
Veronica: “I Had A Dream” from Gypsy. Perfect for my range.
Brendan: Maybe we’ll get Monique singing a tune or two. What do you like about her?
Veronica: She hides behind sarcasm and deflects stuff with jokes because she does not want anyone to know she’s needy. Being alone really scares her I think.
Brendan: That’s one of the things I wanted to really explore in this film – the point of view of the partners of people going through dementia.
Veronica: You want her to be more rough around the edges than I am? Can she be like a biker chick?
Brendan: I want all her lines to be in song. A singing biker chick.
Veronica: Yeah! I need a tattoo. Several tattoos.
Brendan: So what do you want people reading this to know about the movie?
Veronica: I think I want people to come to the movie not expecting a “downer” or a sappy show but a slice of life. Imperfect people coming together when they are in need. Despite their struggles, they know that they have each other. I guess that does sound sappy.
Brendan: A little bit. But the movie isn’t, I swear.
Veronica: Can Monique wear a black leather jacket?
Brendan: You’re stuck on this biker thing, aren’t you?
Help buy Veronica a leather jacket (ok, not really) by supporting the SUNDOWN Kickstarter page.