What would you do if you suddenly found yourself stuck in the middle of a zombie uprising? In the new film, Infected, rising star, Tom DeNucci, got to experience just that, and I was lucky enough to speak to him about his role as Andrew Hartley, a young man who picks the wrong day to go hunting.
Many of you may not recognize DeNucci just yet, but you will; the Cranston, Rhode Island native already has three features under his belt and has starred alongside big names such as Robert Englund, William Forsythe, and Michael Madsen. The young actor, who got a taste for film in high school, later was introduced to director, Glenn Ciano, and producer, Chad Verdi, of Woodhaven Productions in Rhode Island.
In 2011, the newcomer landed the role as Officer Pax in Inkubus, a horror that followed a demon, played by Englund, as he stalks a small police station on its final night before being demolished. The actor stood out in a film full of movie vets, as a cocky rookie cop with something to prove.
It was his experience working on Inkubus which helped him to land a role in Infected. DeNucci explains,”Director Glenn Ciano, and Producer Chad Verdi, cast me in Inkubus, and I had a great experience working with those guys. Infected was just a screenplay at the time, and Glenn asked me to read for the part of Andrew. I kind of fell in love with the character, and was able to nab the role. ”
Infected is a 70’s throwback, zombie horror that follows a small town as it deals with the rising dead. The actor states, “Infected is basically a family hunting and camping trip gone horribly wrong. It boils down to a father and son survival tale.”
DeNucci insists that the flick is different than most of the zombie films that have been thrown at audiences lately because it focuses on the origins of the outbreak. He says, “We get a chance to witness the early onset of the outbreak. A lot of times you’re just thrown into these post apocalyptic situations, and in Infected we get to see it unfold from square one. “
The role of Andrew is much different than his role of Pax. The actor says, “I play Andrew, who comes into the father son getaway in a pretty fractured state to begin with. His girl just kicked him to the curb, and now he’s forced to spend a few isolated days with his absentee father, played by Michael Madsen. It’s really fun to play a character with a chip on his shoulder.”
Both Infected and Inkubus were made by the same production company, making for an ideal filming experience. DeNucci says that a lot of the same crew worked on set, which helped to improve the film altogether.
He explains his experience working on Infected, “It was very much like a big camping adventure. We were deep in the woods of Foster, Rhode Island, and there definitely was a feeling of isolation. It was kind of like camp, and we just happened to be making a movie. This really brought the actors and the crew together, and everyone really gelled as a team.”
So how does the actor feel about getting to work with such established actors? The horror stud states, “It’s been as amazing as you could imagine and then some. Michael Madsen, William Forsythe, Joey Pants [Fatone], I mean, I grew up watching these guys; getting inspired by these guys. To get a chance to share the screen with them and learn from them, has been incredible.”
Audiences can expect to see more of DeNucci within the coming months. Along with the release of Infected, the actor has been working on a screenplay called, Self Storage, a story that centers around a young security guard who discovers the terrifying truth behind the storage facility that he works for. He says, “It’s kind of a love letter to late 80’s, early 90’s horror films, loaded with pop culture; the movies, I grew up on…I’m hoping to produce the film, alongside Woodhaven, before the end of 2012. “
The Infected star is also writing a play,”about a few knock-around guys that commit low level crimes, based out of a Trucking and Auto garage, that takes place in the late 70’s. I’m all about period pieces.”
DeNucci, whose favorite zombie movie is Land of the Dead, is one to watch. He’s talented, and not to mention, he’s easy on the eyes.
Lookout for Infected, which should be released around Halloween 2012. For more info on DeNucci and Infected, visit his Twitter @TomDeNucci, or go to www.woodhavenfilms.com.