EXCLUSIVE | The Third Day's Amer Chadha-Patel says filming on Osea Island was 'very strange and claustrophobic'
In an exclusive chat with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), 'The Third Day' actor Amer Chadha-Patel sheds light on the mysterious show and his even more mysterious role in it
HBO's 'The Third Day' is a curious show that follows life on a mysterious island of Osea via two characters who show up in two seasons -- 'Summer' and 'Winter'.
Starring Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine, Emily Watson, Naomie Harris, John Dagleish, Nico Parker and Freya Allan, 'The Third Day' premiered on the channel last week. The first episode of the series left people in a haunted daze with its distinct imagery.
Even with the premiere episode out, you can't tell much about where the show is headed. However, 'The Third Day' sure looks thrilling yet haunting. Actor Amer Chadha-Patel, who plays the role of Preacher on the series, promises that the show is exactly that. "If being constantly stressed out is what you think of as thrilling!" he tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive interview. The actor adds that "it is genuinely one of the most unique, bizarre and beautiful things I've been part of."
Amer reveals his first impressions of the show, saying, "When I was first asked to audition for the Preacher, I wasn't actually sent a full script. Just one scene from later in the series and a full-page sermon (not scripted) but especially written by Dennis [Kelly, who co-created the show with Felix Barrett]. The sermon started as a typical evangelical, Biblical rant and then I noticed more and more oddities in it, like references to land, sea, salt, and earth, and at that point, I realized whatever this show was, it was definitely going to shake things up when it came to our pre-existing notions of 'normal'." He adds, "After the rest of the scripts were sent over that was pretty much confirmed!"
'The Third Day' moves at a slow, measured pace while making sure to leave you scarred. While Amer can't indulge us in details, he delves into what the show is about. "It's a show about loss and belonging, or maybe looking for a new place to belong and simultaneously, not dealing with your past pains. There are some strong themes surrounding the idea of legacy also and, you know, I’m playing a preacher, so there's a really interesting focus on Christian-religion-meets-paganism as well."
But that is not it. "All of that with a little bit of chaos, violence, patriarchy, hallucination, fire and dead animals thrown in. I think Jude [Law, who plays Sam] described it best as 'The Wicker Man' with a dash of David Lynch and all I would add is a slight aftertaste of 'Lost'," he says.
Sam (Jude Law) and Helen (Naomie Harris) arrive on the island at different times and discover different things. What they don't know is that the island hides deep secrets and the people who inhabit the land even more so. Amer is with us on this one. "The island definitely isn't as simple as a 'bit of land with people on it', the island is as important to the show as the weirdos that live there. All I would say about them is none of them is to be trusted, even the innocent-seeming ones," he says.
Set on the real-life island of Osea, the land is indeed cut off from the mainland and is connected only twice a day, which made not only the shooting there difficult but "very strange," says Amer. "Despite not needing to get off the island, the knowledge that you couldn't unless you had a boat was very strange and claustrophobic sometimes," Amer recalls, adding that "for the most part it was a strangely serene and pensive environment."
Amer's association with the creators and makers of 'The Third Day' goes a long way. "I've been a fan of Punchdrunk [the production company] since 'Faust', which funnily enough, I worked on in the art department when I was at art school. Dennis and [director] Marc [Munden] ever since 'Utopia' came out in the UK."
MEAWW spoke to Amer just ahead of the premiere of the show and he mentioned what's in the pipeline for him. "I'm just wrapping up on an interactive horror-comedy directed by Stephanie Zari that's coming out this autumn on Whatifi, which is a new interactive movie platform where you watch with your pals and decide what happens next. I'm playing a pretty out-there freak in the movie and it’s an absolute blast. We've had a lot of fun and it's unlike anything I've seen! I genuinely can't wait for people to try and get their heads around it because I'm not sure I have just yet. Then I'm off to Prague next week to start shooting on an Amazon TV series and I'm also popping into a well-loved Netflix drama-comedy series for a cheeky cameo as well, which will be fun," he says. "Nice change of pace after playing a demented preacher stuck on an island and an 'out-there freak'!"
When he isn't busy being an actor, Amer hosts 'The HobbyCast', a weekly podcast helping you discover your next pastime adventure. He does it alongside actress Jemma Moore and Carla McGlynn. "Each episode, we pick a theme and then each explore and bring a strange hobby to the table. Highlights I've discovered so far have been sigil making, digital painting, and moss graffiti. It's a fun listen and informative too. Advert over," he says.