Today we have Frantz G. Saint Louis Jr, one of the stars of the short film Murder Ballad, which just premiered. It’s an exceptional period piece about a preacher with a dark mission, and a woman who has done something terrible.
FoF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself.
FGSLJ: I’m a trained actor who has a passion for playing unique characters on screen and television. I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York and grew up in a single parent home in Flatbush.
FoF: What do you do? And why do you like it?
FGSLJ: I’m an artist and I love performing. I was the kid who entered every talent show and performed monologues and songs for every guest who entered my home.
FoF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?
FGSLJ: My process includes locating the right opportunities and finding the voice from which the character I’m playing speaks from. Asking myself, “what is this character’s objective?” is usually the first place I start.
FoF: What drew you to horror in the first place?
FGSLJ: I was drawn to horror by the opportunity to do something different and pay homage to the genre. I’m a versatile actor and it’s the dialogue, story, and character that speak to me, and in this case, it was a very well written film.
FoF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want).
FGSLJ: Saw Series, The Shining, and all of the Friday the 13th films are my favorites.
FoF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?
FGSLJ: Murder Ballad. There were so many layers to this role and having a real message to deliver is always a plus. I enjoyed the accent, the singing, and the fun in playing this part. The writer/director Sergio Guerra gave me a lot of freedom to discover the intricacies of this character.
FoF: What role do you think your specific style of art plays in the community overall?
FGSLJ: I think that my specific style of art and interpretation of characters will help the community to be more open to non-traditional characters and to perceive villains in new ways.
FoF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight? (Commissions, flash sales, new project?)
FGSLJ: My recent project Murder Ballad has had a very successful run at the festivals. I have a film called “Los Angeles” in post-production, and I’m also the executive producer, co-writer and lead on a film called “After it Rains,” which I plan to shoot next spring.
FoF: If you could do anything with any horror franchise, what would it be?
FGSLJ: I would say the Saw Series. I’d love to play Jigsaw in a remake.
FoF: Tell us a bit about how you get into these characters.
FGSLJ: Getting into these characters for me is trying to discover the life of the character. How did this character live? What did he love? Hate? What were his values? What does he want?
FoF: Specifically your character Deacon Ankou (spelling?) in Murder Ballad, he has this mysterious revival preacher vibe. Where did you pull that from and how much fun was that to play?
FGSLJ: Deacon Ankou is death personified and I discovered how powerful death is. It doesn’t need to boast or be forceful, although it can be. I always try to approach a character in a bold way. It was a lot of fun to play this character and Hannah Reese, whom I share screen time with, gave me a beautiful vulnerability to play off of. My coach Nina Murano, whom I studied Meisner with, always says, “You can’t act alone. The answers the character seeks are staring at you in the face.”
Sergio Guerra is a brilliant writer/director and my cast mates Hannah Reese and Daniel Van Thomas were stellar and committed in their work. I had a lot of fun making something really special with them.
FoF: Tell us about the film process for Murder Ballad. For a ten minute short, it feels like so much work went into making every scene just right.
FGSLJ: It’s interesting because I had a very short time to prep. Sergio Guerra (director) reached out to me one day and said, “What are you doing this weekend?” I said, “Nothing” and he said, “Well I have a job for you.” He sent over the script with notes and I went into my own personal routine for finding the character. Research. Research. Research. I don’t like to over-rehearse. Once I have it all memorized, I like to leave room for discovery.
FoF: Ankou was a character I’ve been thinking about all weekend. The way you played his scenes, from the mysterious introduction to the Candyman -esque ending, it had me mesmerized. Is there more horror in your future?
FGSLJ: Thank you very much and yes most certainly if all the elements align the way they did in this film.
Thank you to Frantz for taking the time to answer these questions. You all have to watch his short film, Murder Ballad, which I have included below.
Follow Frantz on Instagram !