Into the Storm with Nathan Kress
by Bless Montajes
Nathan Kress, known for his portrayal as Freddie Benson on Nickelodeon’s hit series iCarly, goes behind the camera once again. The 21-year old actor chats about his upcoming endeavors and his role in the new movie, Into the Storm.
Bitmap: “Into the Storm”, what can you tell me about this movie?
Nathan: Basically, “Into the Storm” is a tornado movie from a first person perspective. You’re on the ground with us as this massive system of tornados is destroying the Midwestern town of Silverton. The movie is told from various perspectives: there’s the towns people who are using their cameras to document everything that’s happening and there’s also a group of storm chasers who come into town trying to get that mythical, “eye of the storm” shot. So while they are hunting those tornadoes, the town’s people are trying to escape them. There is also local, daredevil, YouTube vloggers who get involved as well. So, the movie is told from various perspectives and everyone involved has different motivations as to why they’re out in the storm. It’s very intense and I think it really showcases the better aspects of the human spirit that I think people are going to enjoy.
Bitmap: Can you tell us about your character’s role in the film?
Nathan: My character, Trey, and his older brother Donnie, played by Max Deacon, are tasked with leading a time capsule ceremony for their school while the storm happens to roll in on their graduation day. So Trey and Donnie both have their cameras rolling while the storm is happening. In the chaos, without giving too much away, Donnie ends up missing and my character and his father, played by Richard Armitage, brave the storm to find him.
Bitmap: In the trailer, I noticed that you were still holding a camera like your character Freddie Benson from “iCarly”. Is that ironic?
Nathan: As soon as I got the job, I immediately noted the irony and not even two days after we finished wrapping up the show, I found out that I got this movie and that I would be transitioning directly into being a camera guy again. Fortunately, this camera is a little bit smaller and a little bit lighter so it was easier to carry around.
Bitmap: How was the transition from the “quirky” Freddie to being Trey? Any similarities at all?
Nathan: Fortunately, the only similarity is that both characters carry around cameras. Trey is an entirely different character that is the “black sheep” and rebel of the family. He does his own thing and doesn’t really care about what anybody thinks. Trey is much less put together than his older brother, Donnie, but what’s cool is that Trey starts out this way, and this happens for everyone in the movie because everyone changes from the beginning in one way or the other, but you see Trey’s distinct change from how he was before the storm versus how he is after the storm.
Bitmap: How was it like to interact with things you couldn’t see?
Nathan: I have gone through various levels of working with CGI, even on “iCarly” there was a lot of things that I had to react to that weren’t there. The cool thing about this movie was that there was very little that we had to imagine. They made a very distinct point to have as many physical effects as possible; so really the only thing that we had to imagine was the actual visual of the tornado. All of the wind, rain, debris, and all of the danger that could come with a tornado…those were actually happening to us on the set. The only trick was making sure that the whole group would be looking in the right place when we were imagining that a tornado was off in the distance destroying everything.
Bitmap: While filming, you were with other amazing actors like Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies…what was that like for you?
Nathan: Honestly, at least in the beginning, it was very intimidating. “The Walking Dead” is one of my favorite shows so when I found out that I was working with Sarah I was freaking out. Then I learned that my character’s dad was going to be played by the “Dwarf King“ from “The Hobbit”, I had another little freak out because The Lord of the Rings is my favorite movie franchise. While I felt very under-equipped working with these great actors and actresses, they were so welcoming and helpful and really wanted to make a good project so everyone teamed up together to make something cool. I absolutely learned a lot from them and have recently gone on auditions where I would think to myself, ‘how would Richard say that?’ and it has affected the way that I’ve approached something. I definitely think that I’ve absorbed a bit of their styles and techniques, which has proven very beneficial.
Bitmap: So now that you are done with Into the Storm, do you have other projects lined up?
Nathan: Recently, I just did a web series called VGHS, which is about a high school that trains professional video gamers. The whole point of the show is that whenever the characters start playing a game, they teleport into the world of the game and play as themselves. I was a big fan of VGHS for a while and tweeted about it during the second season. Then the creators ended up getting in touch with me and asked if I wanted to get involved in the third and final season as a new villain. Naturally I said, ‘Yes!’ It was fun because I was also a first person shooter/gamer so I was doing a lot of action sequences, which is what I want to get into as I get older. I’m getting to that age where I can start doing military or law enforcement action, which is ultimately the genre I want to break into. It was nice getting a little bit of practice there and hopefully I can use that experience in the future.
Feature: Nathan Kress
Make Up: Sophia Poch
Hair: Alissa Moore
Stylist: Sarah Chorley
Photographer: Isaac Alvarez