Interview: Talking About ‘Echo Boomers’ With Patrick Schwarzeneggar

Echo Boomers (dir: Seth Savoy) is a smart, modern crime film (based on a true story), following five college graduates who decide the best way to get revenge against an unfair economy and broken dreams of success is to steal from the wealthy in Chicago and… shall we say ‘reappropriate’ the spoils for themselves. Starring Patrick Schwarzenegger, Michael Shannon, and Alex Pettyfer, it’s an interesting film with great performances, high tension, and solid action, and it is absolutely grounded in modern economic concerns. I spoke with Patrick Schwarzenegger (Daniel Isn’t Real) about the project.

JE: This is a timely film with a lot of interesting themes. What brought you on board?

PS: I chose the project because of Michael Shannon. When I was auditioning for it, I was stoked to work with someone like Michael who’s obviously been nominated for the Oscar, has tons of accolades, [and] in the acting community is so well respected… I always have goals of trying to do different types of projects and play different types of roles, so when I got the role, I was stoked to work with someone like Michael and [the] other supporting cast members that were great as well. That was what originally drew me to the project… I was [also] a huge fan of heist movies, and this one was a version of that.

JE: What was the casting process like?

PS: There was a different cast, actually, when we were originally starting to go into film, and then some things changed… you know, classic, independent film… casts change, locations change, everything kind of changes on the fly. Certainly there were a bunch of different moving parts, production got pushed and delayed and everything like that. But yeah, it was mostly just kind of auditioning at first for role and then having different director meetings.

JE: It definitely looks like it was a fun film to make.

PS: It was fun to make. I mean… it was an independent film, so there weren’t as much explosions or, you know, crazy stuff […] that a normal heist movie would have. This was a really small independent film that Michael Shannon found the script of at Sundance, and it was based on a true story so we had to stick to certain parameters. Hopefully it was still fun. I think a lot of it was him wanting […] social and political commentary, and not [have it be] just a kind of an action movie. So, you know, we get to play with what we were given and hopefully make the best of it, but we had a lot of fun filming it, for sure.

JE: What would you say drives your character?

PS: I think that… in the beginning he’s a really great, smart kid [who] follows what America says you should do… going to high school, getting great grades, going to college, taking out student debt and loans and going [all in] on America’s educational system, because it promises you X, Y, and Z jobs when you’re done… and so I think at first he is motivated to do the right things and do what he grew up being told to do, only to find out that he’s left after college with a shit ton of student loans and no work. And I think then it starts to [give him the motivation of, ‘Okay, you know what? It’s time to put this system on its side and expose it’ and ultimately we find out that other people are doing things for different reasons than what he’s told they’re doing it for.


JE: What was it like collaborating with Michael Shannon?

PS: Michael Shannon was stuck in character the whole time from the time he got to set to the time he left set. He didn’t call me ‘Patrick’ or anything until we were wrapped for the day. He doesn’t really talk to anybody, he just kind of stays focused on his work and stays in his corner. It was pretty cool to watch and see, I mean, he was so focused and didn’t let anything kind of deter him or distract him.

JE: What’s next for you?

PS: We have a bigger budget film called Moxie that Amy Poehler wrote and directed and produced and stars in for Netflix that comes out this spring. That’ll be really exciting, and its a really funny movie… more of a dramedy but it also has some political commentary. It’s kind of like a version of Mean Girls, and I play a totally different person in that movie and I’m excited for that to come out.

Echo Boomers is available in select theaters and on VOD.

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