ComingSoon spoke to neon lights star Kim Coates about starring in the thriller, which is out today on demand and digital. The Sons of Anarchy The actor also discussed working with Dana Abraham, starring in the same movie as his daughter, Brenna Coates, and more.
“Tech mogul Clay Amani retreats to an off-the-grid place in search of meaning and peace, with disconnected siblings and their offspring, only to be caught up in a chilling killing spree in his new domain,” reads the film. synopsis.
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Dana Abraham’s character loses her mind. You give him advice and guidance in the background. What really attracted you to this Denver role?
Kim Coats: I have done so much. I feel like I’m 120 now. I’ve done so many movies and so much TV and so much stage that when little scripts like this come to your desk, and [are] sent by your people and they say “you’re not going to want to do this, but it’s pretty cool to write” and you read it. And the pandemic had just started, it’s 2020. It was like September or October 2020, maybe August. And it was one of the very first comeback movies during the pandemic, bro. Cinema and television were doing things well. We all wore masks and did COVID tests every day. This was before vaccines were available. No one wanted to get sick, that’s for sure. This story, I’ve never read anything like it, to tell you the honest truth, Tyler.
The mental health aspect of this story… Yes, it’s very Hitchcock. Yes, it’s a psychological thriller. Yes, it’s a bit of a horror. Yes, it’s a bit crazy. But it’s the mental health aspect of this kid, Dana Abraham, playing Clay Amani… his character and what he went through as a young man, as a boy in this foster home to become this enormous tycoon, giant of technology at the time… at the beginning of the film, he loses everything, everything! And he loses his mind. And he’s going to see a psychiatrist. played by my daughter, Brenna Coates, she was awesome, wasn’t she? I mean, that fucking kid was so good. Brenna, I’m so proud of her, such a great actor – and he’s sitting in this office, and then we go for a ride with Dana. We go into his mind and we do this trick and we don’t know… is it real? Is it in his head?
Is this real? This is it? And my character from Denver is woven like a needle in a thread throughout the film. And I look, I observe, I talk to him. [I] had a few other scenes with Brit [MacRae, who plays Clarissa] and my daughter. And I’m telling you, I can’t say much about the character. You’ve seen the movie and you know why – people need to watch this movie in the cinema, on their couch with a whiskey and popcorn, because it’s a crazy ending. It’s a crazy story. And it’s really swallowed up in mental health, which should be at the forefront of everyone’s plate these days.
You talked about your daughter in the movie and she’s great in it. How exciting is it to see her really become an actress?
Yeah, that’s really awesome, man. The funny thing is that she was the real actor. She’s been the real Coates actress since day one. I fell into it, Tyler, I was in college/university and took an acting class for fun. I was going to be a history teacher and I didn’t even know what a soliloquy was. And then 25 plays later, then Toronto, and here’s this Kim Coates guy, and my daughter was born, boom! The eldest Kyla, Brenna’s older sister. He’s a rock star here in LA, working with LA County and still trying to save America, God bless her. But Brenna went to NYU, auditioned to get in, and got into Tisch Acting Academy, she’s a star in school. She walked into this room called Wolves, which started in Poughkeepsie. Then the Duke Theater then went to Lincoln Center.
She won a Dora Award and a Drama Desk Award for her role in Wolves. One of the greatest plays, according to the New York Times, of the last 25 years. So I’m pretty proud of Brenna and all the theater she’s done and all the movies she’s done. And she has this one dating her dad, which is pretty cool. She has another called Charge, which also opens next week. She’s the female lead in this film, and she also has a few offerings coming this fall. Then yes. It’s exciting to see your child doing so well.
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How is? Because you have to find that balance as a father all the time, but how do you give her advice and just let her have her own career?
Tyler, I’m not giving him advice anymore, man! I mean, are you kidding? She is young like you, she is 28 years old. She’s on her own way now. And does she love her father? Yeah, she does. Is she proud of her old man? I think she is, but I’m her biggest fan. And she sometimes comes to me with a question about the company or someone said that, what does that mean? Or dad, what would you have done in this situation? But no, she’s her own gaming machine now and it’s really exciting to watch.
A lot of this movie revolves around this relationship between you and Dana, and you share some really powerful moments. What was it like having her as a stage partner?
How good was this guy? I mean, Tyler, he reminded me of a young me. Like my character in Waterworld, like this wacky homeless man on the ocean, wacky… I mean, Dana had this incredible ease with his nervousness, his little giggles, the fact that he was completely devastated since he grew up with his dad at home and all that means now like he’s a young adult. And we get to live his life through the film, and it’s so hard to watch sometimes, but being with him and Rouzbeh Heydari, the director… I mean, I’m the kind of actor, Tyler… you know that probably about me, you have seen enough of my work. I learned them and then I forget them.
You can’t be real if you make the lines the way they are… you can’t, it’s not acting, you’ll be chosen. I don’t know what I’m going to tell you now. You don’t know what you’re gonna tell me now, so you have to know and then you have to let it go. And Dana and I, we dropped everything. I came up with this “always and forever and always and forever”, it was just something that just came out on one of the takes. Then we liked it so much we used it throughout the movie. “You are my favorite. You are my favorite.” It was also just a line that Kim Coates came up with that seemed to suit Denver Kane, who I played. So yeah, I’ll make a million movies with Dana. He is so good.
You had such a famous career, as you mentioned, and one of your earliest roles was as a gang member on Miami Vice. Do you remember this role? It’s kind of funny that you even got biker gang roles back then.
No come. Think about it. miami vice … What was that? Bikers from hell, yeah! [It] was like Viking Bikers from Hell, or something like that. Yeah. Don Johnson, man. He opened my head. I had stitches. I never left the set. They put one of these bandages on the back of my head. I wasn’t going to get pushed around by Don Johnson. He was a star. I just had a small guest star, but I got my first Visa 01 on this show. I am a proud Canadian boy. I’m both now I have both passports obviously but yeah man I was just a little Canadian guy who came straight from Stratford and got picked miami vice right away. And then all the theater and the Broadway and the last scoutit just went on and on and on from there.
You need to come back as Tig in Mayans MC. What was it like revisiting this character after so many years away?
Yeah, that was pretty awesome, right? I mean getting them back to me for wanting to put some icing on this last show of the fourth season… all I said to Elgin James — the showrunner, Kurt Sutter is gone now, that’s all Elgin and such a handsome man — I told him on the phone…obviously they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, but it was really about the writing. I said, “Make sure you write for Tig. I can’t just come in and have a little stupid, little break up a fight. I needed something. I needed something. The two scenes he wrote were so good, so scary, funny and violent – the first one in the hospital. And then a seven-minute r with Emilio Rivera? My brother, my brother, two old warriors talking about the good old days and what the future might bring? Smoking a cigarette? I was just really, really happy to be asked. And it was weird as hell, really weird.
Black Hawk Down recently turned 20, which is crazy. How does it feel to see your art persevering and still meaningful decades later?
This is a very nice question and observation. I really mean it, thanks for saying that, Tyler. I have so many fond and fond memories of Sam Shepard and Ridley Scott, who made it, and Sam is gone now, but I golfed with him five times and Billy [William] Fichtner and Eric Bana and I have become best friends, Ewan McGregor, best friends. Tom Hardy, one of his very first films. You look at the names – Orlando Bloom – you look at some of the names on this show and how it was the first or second show for some of these young guys, and the amount of quality and, and how it’s so revered, and the Oscars we won. Again, it’s a movie about the war and now we’re… all the Russian bullshit, and it never stops. It seems that the war never ends. And so to be part of that, this movie that was celebrated for what it said that day for Americans and the Mogadishuns demo was… I’m really, really happy that I got to do this movie. It was something I will never forget.