Ryan Daniel Thompson is an independent film and television actor represented by the Brock Agency. He’s worked on several TV series, including AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies, FOX’s SHOTS FIRED, and Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural. I recently co-lead an independent horror/comedy, The Haunting of Four Points, alongside The Walking Dead‘s Amber Dawn Fox.
We had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Ryan, to learn more about his upcoming projects. Check out the interview below.
Hi, Ryan! We’re excited to learn more about your career. You have starred in several, high-profile series, which has been the one that launched your career?
It’s difficult to attribute the success I’ve had in my career so far on just one particular project. I’ve been truly fortunate to work on some truly incredible productions with amazing people that helped lift me up to where I am now. I have to say, though, that my time as reoccurring background on AMC’s ‘TURN: Washington’s Spies’ definitely had a major impact on launching both my love for acting and my career. I portrayed a variety of colonial people, from Continental Soldier to Tory to Poor Philadelphia Protestor; and I had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside top-tier actors Jamie Bell, Ksenia Solo, Ian Khan, Daniel Henshall, and Owain Yeoman. The show was a thrill to work on, I give a huge thanks to Casting Director Erica Arvold for selecting me for it. You can watch it now on Netflix. Look for me in the latter half of season two. Here we are years later and I just recently co-starred in an independent horror/comedy film, ‘The Haunting of Four Points’, alongside the talented Amber Dawn Fox (Officer Bello on AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’), which brought my work into the public eye in a very new, exciting, and rewarding way. It’s a big step forward in my acting journey. It has been a wonderful experience seeing so many people supporting the film and its cast and crew – and being so supportive of independent filmmaking. Like I said, I’ve been very fortunate in my career so far and I hope I can continue to climb the ladder to bigger and better projects, learning as I go and lifting others up with me along the way.
We have no doubt that you’re looking forward for the audience to see The Haunting of Four Points. Tell us what you can.
Absolutely. It’s actually currently available to buy on Blu-Ray and DVD for a very limited time, with an online release coming soon – as far as I know. It’s an independent, low-budget horror/comedy film that follows an amateur paranormal investigator, Evie, her angst-ridden cousin, Lucas, and his friends on an adventure to capture proof of the paranormal and win a local contest. And let’s just say, things don’t go as expected. It’s the second installment in an anthology series by filmmaker Joey Martin under his company, That Endless Horizon Productions. It follows a short form titled, Levon, which is available to stream on YouTube. I play Lucas, the angst-ridden cousin of Evie, played by Amber Dawn Fox. Kelli-Anne Harris and Charles Ezekiel star alongside us as Avery and Dante, respectively. It also features an amazing supporting cast of local North Carolinian actors, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with on several past projects, and music by local musician Kenny Shore. I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot, but I will give a few details on my character. It was my first comedic role, but he’s not a “just for laughs” character – he’s the catalyst that ignites the film’s main storyline.
Lucas is down-on-his-luck in a state of bed-ridden depression after his high school sweetheart dumps him over his general lack of work ethic. In a bid to win her back by “earning” a butt-load of cash, he sets out to win a contest put on by The Four Points Paranormal Society, a group of celebrity ghost hunters. The contest is simple: capture a ghost on tape and not only do you win a large sum monetary prize, but you’ll be invited to join the group on a ghost hunt. Lucas is forced to turn to Evie, with whom he has a petty feud, to help him win the contest. Evie, on the other hand, dreams of being a paranormal investigator and leaps at the chance to prove herself and, hopefully, launch her career. Without going too deep, I’ll say that Evie, Lucas, Dante, and Avery all have something personal to gain from the contest, that is if they can survive it. It’s a story of chasing your dreams, lost love, and redemption with a lot of heart and a little humor. It was a wonderful film to work on, one of my favorite sets to be on so far, and I hope the audience enjoys it as much as I do. I will never forget the experience I had working on The haunting of Four Points. You can check out a ton of behind-the-scenes content on the film’s official Facebook page.
Was there a particular event or time in your life, when you decided acting was going to be your career?
I was fresh out of school, having studied filmmaking with a focus on becoming a screenwriter and director, and a filmmaking friend of mine asked me to help out as an extra for a commercial he was hired to shoot. It was Halloween-themed, zombie film inspired online promo for a local guns and ammo retailer. I played a zombie and fell in love with acting immediately. I caught the “acting bug” as some would say, it’s consumed me. I pursued as many acting opportunities as I could to gain on-set experience and learn by observation, working as reoccurring background on AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies, appearing in small roles in a variety of independent short films, and modeling as a zombie for special-effects makeup artist Gregory Hewett, as seen on SyFy’s Face Off. Fun Fact, I’ve appeared alongside him and his crew at many events and comic/sci-fi conventions, which was a truly awe-inspiring experience and I’d jump at the chance to be a convention guest again. It all played into fueling my passion for both acting and modeling, and it’s lead me to where I am today. I couldn’t be more thankful.
As you enter the realm of the film industry, what makes a film role great for you?
Early on in my career I wasn’t too picky when it came to selecting roles, I tended to leap at every opportunity I had to be on set and act; however, as I progressed, I learned which roles that best fit me, those that match my style and personal taste, and those which challenge me and take me outside of my comfort zone. I tend to gravitate more towards the latter, the roles that push me as both an actor and a human. The roles that have something to teach me. I typically favor darker roles, characters with a rough edge. The more flaws a character has, the more fun they are to play – for me – because there’s so much to explore and these roles tend to speak to a human truth in one way or another. The more I grow as an actor, the more I narrow down which roles I want to take on and the more focused my career path becomes.
It is said that it all starts with a dream and an opportunity. What are your thoughts on this?
I wholeheartedly agree. I will add, I feel although it’s a wonderful thing to have a dream, that’s all it will be unless you take action. Dreams need goals. You have to work every day to create an environment that attracts opportunities, rather than dreaming and waiting for an opportunity to come along. The best advice I can offer anyone, and I learned this early on if you want something to happen you have to get up and make it happen. As an actor, even with an agent, I personally seek out acting opportunities online every day and I put in the work both on and off camera to build myself up as a person and as a brand. You can’t settle, this business is a constant uphill battle. Talent is only a small part of who gets work, it’s those who work the hardest who go the farthest. Sounds cliché, but it’s one hundred percent true.
What has been the most important lesson you had to learn from working in the film industry? How did that lesson happen?
I’ve learned that not everyone is out for your best interest and not everyone is as they seem. During one of my first big auditions, a public call, I met an actor whom I had admired and they ridiculed me right there in front of everyone. I was so distraught after that, but I used it to inspire me to improve myself and work even harder. The lesson is, don’t trust everyone you meet and don’t follow every piece of advice you hear. It’s a highly competitive industry and people will knock you down to get ahead. A harsh thing to say, but it’s the sad truth. I hope to always be better than that and promote a positive, inclusive environment for those work alongside me. I strive to be an example and never let anyone go through the embarrassment that I had to endure. I’m not angered by the incident anymore, I choose to look back on it as a life lesson.
What keeps you inspired?
I always find this question difficult, because many things in my life inspire my creative pursuits. It’s inspiring to see independent films on the rise, with the equipment being more widely available and affordable. It’s inspiring to see the cultural revolution sweeping Hollywood and entertainers using their influence to promote a better, diverse industry. But for me, personally, my biggest inspiration is watching the works of my favorite filmmakers and performers, I aspire to one day reach their level, and in turn, inspire others to follow their dreams too.
Thus far, what has been the best experience working in the film industry?
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on so many amazing projects with some remarkable people both in front and behind the camera, too many to name them all, so I’ll focus on a select few. I’ve worked alongside notable indie director Evan Kidd on his feature film Son of Clowns, about a down-on-his-luck actor returning home and coming to terms with his alcohol addiction, which is now streaming on Amazon Video. I starred in a historical short film Our War, by J.D. Mayo and Steven Hancock, focusing on the son of a southern farmer who leaves home amidst the heat of the American Civil War to join the Union Army, a decision that tears his family apart. I also played a supporting role in Parallel Parking, directed by rising filmmaker Aby Rao with support from Cucalorus Film Festival. It’s a superb feature film that follows an immigrant’s life after moving to the United States, and the struggles and prejudices she faces as she tries to build a better life for herself here in the Land of Opportunity. I love taking on films that tackle and challenge our current state of affairs, and those that speak to the human condition and this is one of those films. I can honestly say I haven’t had a bad experience in my career yet, and I consider myself to be very fortunate to have had the journey I’ve had so far.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?
I’ve mostly been focusing on my modeling work currently, shooting with a variety of amazing photographers creating some pretty cool stuff. Many of the film projects I’ve worked on have recently premiered and are either available to the public or undergoing festival circuits. An independent horror/drama TV series I worked on called ‘Locals” just recently dropped its pilot episode online, you can watch it via the link on my Facebook fan page.
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do ___________.
I would make it to the big leagues as an actor. I would work on the type of films and shows I grew up watching. I would do everything I can to not only be the best performer and entertainer I could be but to be the best man I can be as well. I would live my life to the fullest, travel the world, and perform until I die.
The Haunting Of Four Points
Photos by: Mac Moss, Neil G. Jester, and Matt Fry.
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