LRM Online's (Latino Review Media) Nancy Tapia interviewed filmmaker Tony Stone and actor Sharlto Copley for Ted K.

From the mind of acclaimed director Tony Stone comes TED K- a bracing, cinematic journey into the tortured mind of The Unabomber.

Directed by Tony Stone
Starring Sharlto Copley

Ted K is available in theaters and on Digital February 18, 2022

Interviewer: Nancy Tapia (@inancytapia on IG)
Interview Pitches:

Nancy: I don't know. I sometimes I felt for Ted and with all the chaos going on in the world, that I would want to do the same thing and just isolate to the nature.

Sharlto: Yeah, there's, there's actually a thing called nature deficit disorder. Have you heard of this? Yeah, it's, it's the thing they're studying. I, I don't know too much about it, but it's it's something that psychologists are looking at of just what human how humans behave if they don't have enough access to natural environments. Yeah, interesting.

Nancy: If you don't mind Tony, let's let's talk about this. What made you wanna bring this story again? I mean, this was a while ago and you were Co writer. Director.

Tony: I guess I was just really interested in this character that lived off the grid. That's had such an impact somebody lived with no running water or electricity. And had this bombing campaign for 19 years and uh terrorized nation shut down airports and it was the biggest FBI manhunt. So and I'd seen a bunch of stuff about him and always from the FBI perspective. And I thought it would be super interesting. To just place the film in his world play that. See the story from his point of view and what? That was. So and the farther I dug into it, realizing all these nuances the fact that he had incredibly high IQ and then finally reading his manifesto and realizing he was right about a lot of stuff, so as I dove in, it just became more fascinating and became. More urgent to to tell the story.

Nancy: So there is a lot of content out there. So how for both? How did you break it down and dissect it?

Tony: Uh, yes, I don't know. That is the hard part it's we had so much material and we had 10s of thousands of pages of his Diaries and his writings from the archives. So we were just kind of gleaning the highlights and our original rough cut of the movie was 4 hours long. So and we were approaching it kind of this as this epic. And then we're just kind. Curated enough so it would be not too informational and but also wanted it to be experiential so it was it was a difficult process. But just trying to strike the right balance of who we. Really thought he was.

Nancy: And for you?

Sharlto: Well, for me it was really just to to try and live as much of what I could access of him as possible and let Tony capture that. It was a very sort of documentary way that we shot and covered the film. So as Tony says, we shot an enormous range of stuff. And there were all kinds of things that. And at the end of the day, Tony had to decide what he did or didn't want to include and how much you humanized him as it were or don't. But for me, I was just I I just did this. We did as much as possible. So there's there's a lot of stuff. That, for example, his just his loneliness, his his desperate need to connect with woman. We there is some of that in the form. But that was a that was a huge thing I think in in his life that that there was a very lonely man desperate for human connection, particularly with a with a female partner. And just the amount of things about him. That I didn't know that he that I mean the one person in Montana who was close to him was the librarian. When I said to her what is your memory of Ted Kaczynski's? We got to meet all these locals that that knew him and some of them are in the movie. Frankly, you have a bunch of them actually in the movie playing different roles. And she said his sense of humor. And what I remember most about Ted was laughing. He would just come to the library and we'd make jokes, and he had this very sort of dark, satirical kind of humor. And we would just laugh and laugh and laugh. And, that's a memory of task. And that's not something that obviously is out there in the public that. That so there were all those things to include. Can you show him being funny? Can you show him being in love? And you show him how much of of of him can we fit into the movie? But fascinating stuff. He composed classical music he could draw. Well he was a he was a very interesting character. And so I just. Live as much of it as I could and then it's limited to what we. Can fit into the film.

Nancy: Well, thank you for bringing up the loneliness part because I was going to ask Tony about the cinematography and I don't know. I think it was around half the film where it really portraying the loneliness and the way you directed the slow motion of objects around. Can you talk a little bit about that scene?

Tony: You mean? Yeah. I mean, yeah, the film goes in and out of reality and fantasy. And I think that was just. Sort of important for us to not have the film be overly realistic that it would be so dry and Charles was saying, you just kind of went deep. Into who this guy is. We knew how he felt about women. We knew how he felt all these different ways and just try. Going to tell it visually was so important and I think sort of understanding him allowed us to kind of create these fantasy moments maybe what he was going through and his loneliness so and then interpret that into without giving too much away in the film into some of the scenes you're talking about so yeah, it was just really full on immersion from. Sharlto just giving us everything full spectrum to also the crew we were just living a few minutes from his cabin walking around his land, camera crews in his old root Cellars old building, the structures together we're very minimal crew. So just under the being in the physical landscape kind of dictated. To us how we should shoot it. And it became obvious and we wanted to capture the land the way Ted saw. And that was really important.

Nancy: He pretty much strips naked and it's showing vulnerability. Can you talk about getting into that mindset.

Sharlto: Well, he was. He was an extremely vulnerable person with regard to his level of honesty. When he writes his Diaries, they are staggeringly self-aware and brutally exposing of himself. And there's a power in there. Is a power in going into raw raw honesty about human nature. I mean, there's one thing that he refers to of as a man and we didn't include this in the film, but it's his level of loneliness that he would masturbate and he would imagine himself as a woman so that he could feel some sort of female energy. And he records that he explain he puts that down. when you hear that, as a man who's been lucky enough to have female partners in my life. If you imagine my life without a woman. Without that energy or that influence? It's brutally painful. So yeah, it was just really getting into this. The rawness of him, he wasn't a tough guy. He was a he was I sort of call him a wilderness nerd. On one hand, you talk about a guy with, a genius IQ. But who also then learned how to be deadly with a gun and obviously make his own weapons. So he was a very interesting character. He's not your typical redneck living in the woods stereotype he's a mathematician living in the woods. So yeah, very interesting guy.

Nancy: A brilliant mind for sure. Brilliant, mind. Well, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you talking about the film. And thank you so much for your time.

Sharlto: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

Tony: Thank you. -*