Josh Hopkins talks 'easy chemistry' with 'Mail Order Monster' co-star Charisma Carpenter
In 'Mail Order Monster' Hopkins plays Roy, a widower who struggles for normalcy even as his daughter refuses to be a part of the new normal.
Most of us know and love Josh Hopkins as Dime Eyes aka Grayson Ellis of ‘Courgar Town,’ or more recently, Liam of ‘Quantico.’ However, his role as Roy in the Paulina Lagudi film ‘Mail Order Monster’ is not like anything you have seen before. A widower, struggling to keep his still-mourning daughter happy even as he tries to move forward in life, Roy is a man we can all root for. He is "deeply wounded but manages to repair himself and find the strength to go on in order to help his daughter have a happy life,” as Hopkins explains. He tells Meaww, “I had to really think about the pain he carries with him, even in good times. It will always be a part of who he is.”
The movie that was released earlier this month is the brainchild of Paulina Lagudi, who co-wrote the script and directed this Indie gem. Hopkins claims that it was Lagudi’s writing of the flawed Roy that allowed him to give a wholeheartedly three-dimensional performance. In fact, after the producer and casting director Robert J. Ulrich pointed him in the direction of ‘Mail Order Monster,’ it was then Lagudi’s passion and the vision she had for the film and “her fantastic energy” that compelled him to take on this project, he says.
“She wrote a very human, flawed but genuine character who has to push on for his daughter who, in a sense, saves him as well because I don’t think he would have made it out of the tragedy of his past without the drive to help his daughter,” he elaborates. Said daughter, Sam, is beautifully and seemingly effortless portrayed by Madison Horcher, who was willing to give it her all during every take. Hopkins calls Horcher “a present and talented actress. Every day she showed up prepared and emotionally open so being opposite that kind of talent, most of your work is done for you.”
In fact, Hopkins claims that Horcher, despite being young, is a “real pro” and most of what she needed from him was to be present and “let the script lead” their scenes. Gushing further about his co-star, he says that the stigma of what Hollywood does to young actors do not cause him any worry in his on-screen daughter’s case, thanks to her “wonderful support system and her level-headed parents.”
Meanwhile, his on-screen love interest Charisma Carpenter made for the perfect partner in the film and a great friend outside of it, he says. He says “easy chemistry” is a great way to describe their working together. Hopkins further elaborates, “We are the same age and have been in this business for longer than we care to tell so we were very like-minded. We know a lot of the same people so it was almost surprising we hadn’t met before. She was fantastic. We still talk in LA and meet up for lunches etc. Made a great friend there.”
Above and beyond, joining Lagudi on her visionary project, playing father to the charming Horcher and finding a great friend in Carpenter, it is the prospect of finally being in a project that his young nieces and nephews can watch, that excites him most about ‘Mail Order Monster.’ He says, “Not a lot of my past work has been too kid friendly so this will be fun to hear what they have to say. It’s such a relevant story for this day and age. Bullying is a huge societal problem but one that is finally starting to be addressed and this film shines a wonderful light on that problem but in a simple sweet way that young kids will be able to understand and learn from. There is a lot of forgiveness in MOM and that’s always a healthy lesson.”
While anti-bullying is a huge part of the film, forgiveness and second chances are too, along with a relatively newer concept of a positive and well-wishing step mother-step daughter relationship.
Released on November 6, ‘Mail Order Monster’ is in select theatres near you.