Interview: Jamie Johnston Talks Love Me, Written by: Karen Benardello
Creating a stimulating, suspenseful thriller that equally and expertly balances its time between its coming-of-age love story with exhilarating anticipation of its murder mystery can be a challenging task. The new film ‘Love Me,’ which was directed by Rick Bota and is set to be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, is the latest thriller to do just that. The movie chronicles the tribulations of discovering new teenage love, set against the backdrop of a town struggling to find the truth about a missing classmate. Actors Jamie Johnston and Lindsey Shaw, two of the main stars of the movie, quickly formed a close bond on set that authentically helped develop not only their characters’ growing romance, but also the speculation of how they fit into their classmate’s disappearance.
‘Love Me’ follows 16-year-old Melissa Kennedy, who has been missing for almost three months, leaving the town of Ridgedale unhinged. Meanwhile, Sylvia Potter, played by Shaw, is desperate to be in love, when the quiet, rich Lucas Green, portrayed by Johnston, transfers to Hampton Prep. Sparks fly between the two, despite the warnings of almost all of her friends. However, their love takes a major twist when the police begin an investigation into Lucas’ involvement in Melissa’s case.
Johnston generously took the time recently to talk about filming ‘Love Me’ over the phone. Among other things, the actor discussed what attracted him to the character of Lucas, and how he was cast in the role; how he formed a friendship with Shaw while they were shooting the film, which helped develop their characters’ bond; and how he collaborated with Bota before they began shooting to develop his role.
ShockYa (SY): You play the quiet, rich Lucas Green, who transfers to Hampton Prep and is the main suspect in the disappearance of student Melissa Kennedy. What was it about the character and the script overall that convinced you to take on the role?
Jamie Johnston (JJ): Well, the character has a pretty full arc. There are scenes where he’s relaxed and happy, and there are times when he’s very lonely, and gets screaming mad and sad. So there were a lot of different emotions to play. Any actor would love a part like that.
SY: When Lucas transfers to Hampton Prep, he begins a romantic relationship with Sylvia Potter, played by Lindsey Shaw, despite the warnings of her friends. What was your working relationship with Lindsey like on the set?
JJ: It was great. We became friends pretty quickly. We were living in the same hotel-she was a couple doors down. So we’d hang out for dinner. So we became good friends, and shared the same tastes. It has nice to have a friend who I spent so much time with.
SY: Like with many films focused on teenagers, Sylvia doesn’t listen to her friends’ advice, and insists on dating Lucas. Do you think that ‘Love Me’ acts as a coming-of-age story for Sylvia, and shows that people don’t learn important life lessons until they’ve made their own mistakes?
JJ: Yeah, I think it’s a good point of the film. You have to take things people say with a grain of salt. You have to make your own decisions, and can’t judge a book by its cover.
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