Ben Kaplan talks Slasherdotcom
Ben Kaplan is an Actor, Producer, Writer with a career in film industry spanning over seven years. Kaplan stars in Chip Gubera‘s upcoming Horror film Slasher.com. In his latest role, Kaplan portrays the charismatic Jack Roper. Slasher.com will release on the 7th of March 2017. To Pre-order Slasher.com visit Amazon.
In our exclusive interview, Ben Kaplan shares his thoughts on his role as Jack Roper. The online interview is divided into three segments; social commentary portrayal and production. Kaplan touches on these topics be sure to give it a read.
As a comedic relief, we asked Kaplan the following;
The Myers what would be their dating site of choice A) A Fetish themed site or B) A farmers singles dating site. To which he replied other!
To understand the gist of the joke to be sure to watch Slasher.com
The synopsis reads as follows:
After meeting online, Jack and Kristy go on a weekend getaway to the woodlands of rural Missouri. While discovering each other, they soon learn of the terrorizing horrors that the forest has in store.
The questions were formulated by DecayMag Staff Correspondent Stacy Cox.Thank you for your time in answering our questions, Mr. Ben Kaplan. Best of luck on your film career.
1. Social Commentary
DecayMag: Slasher.com delivers a thought-provoking social commentary. As an actor what are your views on using Horror as a platform for social topics?
Ben Kaplan: There was the app that came out last year where people could leave reviews for other people and it was completely lost on the developer that it could be misused as a tool for attacking others.
I think horror is a fun way to explore the worst case scenarios of the world we live in.
DecayMag: What were your thoughts on the script, particularly in fusing social topics with a horror slasher?
Ben Kaplan: I loved it! Meeting people online is only going to become more and more the norm so the darker side of that needs to be explored. No one is themselves on an online profile, who’s to say they’re not a serial killer?
DecayMag: Please describe the challenges in the portrayal of both the antagonist and the protagonist?
Ben Kaplan: We worked to pick moments where the real Jack would poke his head out of the persona he was hiding behind at the beginning of the film. The goal was not to do it so much that it was obvious but to do it just enough that the viewer would find his behavior odd. We tried it in a lot of places and sometimes it really didn’t work. I think it worked well when Jack confronts the sheriff in the convenience store. Up to that point, he was fairly timid but here he is suddenly telling the sheriff to get lost!
DecayMag: What were your references behind the portrayal of your character, Jack Roper?
Ben Kaplan: I went back and watched Scream and also Dexter as references. When we did some rehearsing before going into filming though, I was growling a lot of my dialogue as the S/ash.er. Chip asking me to try bringing in the Joker in to my delivery it really opened things up.
….I really found the rhythm of how this guys speaks and the excitement he has while being menacing.
As far as Jack before the big reveal, one of Chip’s goals was to make it really obvious that I’m the S/ash.er in the first couple minutes and then spend the next 40 minutes making you doubt your assumptions. I kept that in the back of my mind and I did my best to make Jack seem too inept to be a killer.
DecayMag: Slasher.com is unique in the way that there’s is not a protagonist. What is your opinion on this point of view?
Ben Kaplan: I think it’s great! You really want to root for Jack at towards the end of the film but he is in no way a hero. Any story of Jack before this story, he’s a monster. Here we have all of these characters who are used to being the big bad and coming out on top and they’re all going head to head.
DecayMag: If plans are considered to expand on the character, Jack Roper as a spinoff would you consider taking on the role again?
Ben Kaplan: Absolutely! My favorite stuff to film was after Jack is out in the open as the S/ash.er. I’d love the opportunity to play him with the audience already knowing he’s a chameleon of a killer and getting to explore that deeper.
DecayMag: From your viewpoint were there some ideas/scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut?
Ben Kaplan: The opening scene was originally way more brutal, ending with a fantastic practical effect of a knife being plunged into the victims stomach. Blood pooled around the knife on her and even I cringed watching it.
When it came time to work on getting the film out for distribution, it [Opening Scene] was suggested that it was a little too much at the top of the film.
We understood where they were coming from and we just keep telling ourselves that maybe someday there will be a director’s cut.
DecayMag: Most of the film unfolds with the backwoods as the setting. What were the challenges in filming in an uncontrollable environment?
Ben Kaplan: There were definitely some challenges with the out doors! The biggest one for me was after filming the scene where Jesse stabs Jack in the leg. I wasn’t wearing much as far as wardrobe goes and I was rolling around on the forest floor.
I ended up with a horrible rash all over my back that felt like a giant bruise. It took a couple days for it to really show up but at that point I was the make up department’s least favorite person.
We also had two cabins, one for the exterior shots and one for the interiors. The one for the exteriors was a hunting cabin with nothing inside other than dirt floors and a chimney. The owner warned us that there was large rat snake inside. I grew up with snakes as pets so that didn’t freak me out. What I wasn’t expecting though was a spider the size of my hand carrying an egg sack the size of a golf ball! It just stood there on top of a pile of firewood the entire day watching me go in and out every take. And then all of a sudden, IT WAS GONE! Thankfully we were almost done for the day but I was sure it was going to surprise me at some point.
DecayMag: For such a serious topic and being a Horror slasher what were (if any) some of the funnier moments while filming?
Ben Kaplan: A lot of our team has known each other for years so there were a lot of prank wars on set.
Because we’re all close, there’s a lot of stories I can’t tell without us all sounding like a bunch of deviants!
One I can tell though is when Chip and I freaked out the writer, Chelsea while we were filming Caitlin vs Jack in the cabin. There’s the point where Caitlin punches Jack in his leg wound, he drops and then kicks her in the crotch.
As a joke, I suggested we add a line for Caitlin saying “Ow, my daddy hole!” Chip backed it up and told Chelsea we were adding it. She was so upset she told us she wanted her name taken off the script. We let this run for a while, pretending to try to convince Chelsea it was a good idea. Eventually we told her it was never going to happen but we let her be pissed about it for a solid 20 minutes.