BRIDGING THE GAP: CALEB CHERNYSH

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Childhood, for most of us, is a wonderful time when we are provided for and loved unconditionally; we have the feeling that anything is possible. This is the spring from which the ideas that make up fairytales flows. The world seems to be such a welcoming and magical place that almost anything is possible…even the magically impossible. Adulthood is quite a different place. The real-world practicality and day to day of surviving and providing is the experience of most adults. Still, children often give the adults the motivation and joy to accept a sense of selflessness. There is a space between these two worlds and this is the inspiration for Mark Pedlow’s film The Gap. This film is comprised of three different tales about the curveballs life can sometimes throw us which begins to pull our life experience from this comforting fairytale world into the realities (and dangers) of the real world. The Gap has a lofty goal in its attempt to link the world we aspire to with the one we are forced to accept. The unique approach of The Gap is what first interested actor Caleb Chernysh to the film. Chernysh has played a heroin addict (in Mule), a serial killer (Fractured), even a  father of twin sons…one whom “sees” his dead brother everywhere (James in Sea Change), but never before has he been a young father.

As a student of the Actor’s Centre (the same Australian school which has produced actors such as Hugh Jackman), Caleb continually searches out varied and challenging roles by which to challenge himself and increase his palette of experience. Chernysh recalls how he came to the film, “Mark Pedlow, creator and director of The Gap, was holding auditions for John, the father in one of the three stories contained in The Gap. I was attracted by the script, as I’ve never played a young father and it would involve fight training. When I got the script, I fell in love with it and begged Mark to let me audition. I wasn’t aware of this fact but Mark already knew that he wanted me for the part. I’m thankful that he was aware of my work and abilities but he didn’t want me to know that. He wanted me to audition, not to see if I would be good enough, but to confirm that I seriously wanted to do whatever it took to get the role of John. After the audition, I was thrilled when he said I would be John in The Gap.” Pedlow states, “I had a lot of applicants, but Caleb’s resume stood out the most. I decided to meet him and asked him what he thought of John. When Caleb described his version of John, it felt like he brought more layers to the character then I even thought of.gap-5

Getting the part may have been the easiest facet of his involvement as Caleb had to venture into a completely unknown area for him, fight training. Chernysh was excited to train but admits that it had its uncomfortable moments. He notes, “The Gap was the first movie which I was in that had fight choreography. I was so excited! There were nights where we had to train leading up to production and I would come home bruised and sore…but with a smile on my face. When it came to the shoot, we added some more fight sequences. I still remember getting an uppercut from one of the thugs and I literally picked myself up and threw my body backwards onto a box. It must have been impressive, because I remember people gasping when I crashed into the box. When I got up, people were saying ‘Geez, you’ll do anything for your performance!’ It looked like the uppercut was real and had a powerful force behind it.”

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That uppercut comes courtesy of one of the attempted kidnappers of John’s daughter. In one of the tensest parts of the film, Caleb’s character John (one of the lead character’s in this film) has gone to a café with his young daughter and, while she wanders downstairs, two men attempt to kidnap her. This particular scene which so clearly states the film’s theme of the difference between the fantasy life’s abrupt collision with reality, was highly motivating to Caleb. Though not a father himself, Chernysh believes that in each man resides the protective fatherly instinct towards his children. It was that character trait that he unearthed for John commenting, “I’ve never played a young father before. So I really needed to put myself into the role and imagine that I have created this beautiful life and have raised it for 8 years. This beautiful life is the most treasured being in my world and I would not let anyone or anything harm it. That was my mindset in the performance, which also helped the fight scene.”

Caleb Chernysh is currently working on a webseries in which he plays Boris Djerkich, a man who want to be the next Eurovision star. One character is Bosnian born Boris Djerkich who has moved to Australia and wants to be the next Eurovision star. Caleb also plays Cameron Tomes, a flamboyant ex-dancer who goes to a job interview and it bombs! Caleb is working on extending his series with more characters.You can subscribe and view on YouTube.

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