SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Louis Robert Browne: My name is Louis Robert Browne and I’m a 22 year-old actor/writer currently living in the big apple; originally from Boca Raton, Florida. I moved to NYC for university at NYU Tisch School of the Arts; and since graduating and producing my first play, I’ve been collaborating on new projects with a few of the inspiring artists I’ve met along the way.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Louis Robert Browne: I always knew. It was in my blood–carved into my heart.
Between the Cuban and Italian I’ve always had a very performative family. None of them are actors; but they sure know how to make a scene when they want to. Lots of strong women–especially my grandma– they fought anyone who dared to belittle my artistic passion.
SKSM: How did you become involved in All that you love will be carried away Dollar Baby film?
Louis Robert Browne: I had read the story before the audition process and I instantly understood why Kasey (our director) was drawn to it. The isolation of the environment and the bleakness of the surroundings in the story are haunting; but what is even more haunting is the familiarity of the open road with no where to go. The freedom to do anything in theory and yet the motivation to do nothing.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Louis Robert Browne: Because as imposing as the central conflict is, Alfie is real. He is relatable. And his unbearable depression is only made worse by his mundane job selling glorified Lean Cuisines in the middle of nowhere. It makes people think about the parts missing from the American dream; and it makes them think of what’s missing from their own lives. What is our purpose and will we ever have one?
King does such a fantastic job making the roadside setting so familiar to the reader that they take on the pressure of Alfie’s struggle inadvertently. Our adaptation of the script really tried to grapple with the symbolism and Americana culture that the story involves.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Louis Robert Browne: I was the last submission they screened– but I was called in from a self-tape to do an audition in-person. I was nervous because I knew the role was originally written for someone much older, and that was obvious from the other actors in the audition room; But they gave me the part and made Alfie just a bit younger. Between the massive amount of weight I gained for the part and the makeup; voila, Alfie was born.
SKSM: You worked with Kasey Rae on this film, how was that?
Louis Robert Browne: Yes. Fantastic. She is a powerhouse. Kasey treated this story like a jewel that she took months to polish (literally). She worked on it until it glistened the exact way she wanted; she has a very keen eye for detail. It was truly an honor to work with her and the crew she assembled.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Louis Robert Browne: You would never believe the movie was about suicide if you saw what the set looked like in between takes. Between puffy eyes, the snot dripping everywhere, and the 40 pounds I put on for the role– I had practically written a stand-up act for myself from all the jokes that were happening behind-the-scenes. The comedy helped get us through the sadness of the story.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Louis Robert Browne: NYC is one big place, one small island. We all run into each other constantly–and that’s the times I know about… I have horrible nearsighted vision so I tend to not see people waving from afar haha.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Louis Robert Browne: Well I’ve been working off those 40 pounds for a while now; glad the green juice and carrots lifestyle can go on hold. For the theatre, I’ve been workshopping a full length version of my play, “Freezer Services.” Meanwhile I’m in the middle of two different developing film projects, one of which revolves around the world of computer programming. My research process is pretty in-depth because I’m a masochistic Capricorn and hardcore nerd at heart; so it gives me an excuse to study and make flashcards now that I’ve graduated.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Louis Robert Browne: Absolutely. I mean, his works often scare the s*** out of me; but in a good way? You know? I’m angry at myself because I still haven’t seen “It.” On top of all of that, as a gay man in 2018, I really respect the man behind the work; especially when he knocked that Anti-LGBTQ+ bill in Indiana in 2015. Stand-up guy.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Louis Robert Browne: My father used to drive around the country, the same way Alfie did, as a truck driver. He saw it differently though– those roads represent solace to my father I think. An open stretch of road was always brighter than the problems he left in the rear-view mirror with the rest of us.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Louis Robert Browne: The Dollar Baby film approach is absolutely brilliant–who wouldn’t want to see their story interpreted that many ways?! I would just say, “Spread the word!” The world could use our generation’s voices and that’s exactly what people like Kasey set out to do!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Louis Robert Browne: One more thing, just, especially in the time of the “Me-too” movement:
The entire crew was filled with damn talented people thanks to Skylah Productions, Kasey Rae, and Sancha Spiller. I think it’s worth noting that our crew was almost all women (Our director, our DP, our AD, our CD, our camera-woman, and so many others). In case it wasn’t obvious, that isn’t something you see very often, and I think it was really special. Women–especially women working behind the scenes in the film industry do not get enough respect or credit as professionals the way things stand right now.
I’ve been on a lot of film sets before; this was something special.