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Time For Sunset: A Premier Night with Don Worley

This April, the thriller "Time for Sunset" made its debut at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The story follows a hitman on the brink of retirement who finds himself entangled in a final mission as he receives cryptic calls from an unidentified source. The hunter becomes the hunted, revealing a haunting truth from his past that will alter his future.

I had the opportunity to speak with lead actor Don Worley about his portrayal in the film and how the craft of acting intersects with his everyday life.

EM: Congratulations on your film debut in “Time for Sunset”! What initially attracted you to

this project?

I liked the story and thought the role would be a good fit for me as an actor. With my producer hat on, I also liked that it was a contained thriller, with the story playing out all in one hotel room since this lowers the cost of production. At the same time, this presents some interesting challenges and opportunities for performances.

EM: Can you tell us a bit about your character in the film and what drew you to portraying this role?

I’ve historically played comedic roles because I was a standup comedian across the country for a few years and had a YouTube show entitled “Prayer Hour” on which I played televangelist “Pastor Shepherd.” I wanted to take on a more serious role in a thriller, although there are a lot of comedic lines from my character throughout the film!

EM: What was the most challenging aspect of preparing for your role in “Time for Sunset”?

Being the writer and the lead actor in every scene of the film. I would shoot twelve hour days and then have to rewrite some scenes before the next twelve-hour day of shooting.

EM: How did you approach bringing authenticity to your character’s experiences and emotions?

I became the character as much as possible during shooting. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am a method actor as Stella Adler taught, but I do try to stand in my character’s shoes and think as my character would think.

EM: “Time for Sunset” seems to tackle some deep themes. What message or messages do you hope viewers take away from the film?

Enjoy the time you have here on earth with those you love. Life is shorter than we think.

EM: What was your favorite moment or scene to film, and why?

I think leaving what my character thinks could be his last message to this wife and daughter. It was an emotional scene for me and also emphasizes the theme I mentioned of enjoying the time you have with those you love before it’s over.

EM: How was your experience working with the director and the rest of the cast and crew?

It was a very small cast and crew and I’m a long time friend of the director. The director has a background as a DP so he didn’t give much direction to me as an actor. Every actor wants some direction and feedback on how the performance looks on screen. But other than this small note, the experience was wonderful and I looked forward to going to the set every day. This problem of not enough feedback on performance can now be easily solved

because of technology which allows me as an actor to watch the previous scene we just shot on my iPhone to get my own performance feedback.

EM: Were there any memorable behind-the-scenes moments or anecdotes you can share with us?

We shot in a very small town in Texas, so the joke was which of the two restaurants we were going to at night after shooting—and which of the two items on the menu we would order.

EM: As an actor, what lessons did you learn during the filming process that you’ll carry forward to your future projects?

Be bold about your acting choices. You can always reshoot the scene if it doesn’t work.

EM: How does your experience in other artistic fields, such as stand-up comedy influence your approach to acting?

I have learned that you can’t start the creative process until you have memorized the lines. This is always my first step. I record myself saying the other character’s lines in the scene and leave space for me to say my line. This allows me to play it over and over until I have memorized my lines and then I can work on performance.

EMI: Are there any specific actors or filmmakers who inspire your work?

I’m a big fan of older actors who have passed the test of time and could stop, but continue because they love it. There are a lot of examples but Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman come to mind. I’m attached to do a film later this year with Gary Oldman entitled “Americatown,” so hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time with him on the set or at the premiere.

EM: What advice would you give to aspiring actors who are looking to break into the film industry, particularly those making their debut?

Keep working at it. I graduated with an acting degree in 1990 and I’m just now getting steady acting roles at age fifty-six.


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