INTERVIEW: Up On The Glass Star Chase Fein Torments Old Friends

Old friends reunite and dormant desires return in Up On The Glass, a thriller from director Kevin Del Principe (Fashion of the Wolf), co-writer Nikki Brown (Those Little Monsters), and starring Chase Fein (On The Rocks).

Up On The Glass introduces viewers to Liz and Hunter Shelton, a married couple living a good life. The pair reunite with old college friends, including Jack (Chase Fein) who’s life is on the rocks. As the night among friends becomes more intimate, jealousy and desire motivate a descent into murder and mayhem. For a tension-filled 90-minutes, viewers get an engrossing thriller.

PopAxiom and Chase talked about becoming an actor and turning into Jack for Up On The Glass.


Theatre & Film

Acting is something that seems built into Chase’s being. “I was always kind of an entertainer since I was a kid, cracking jokes for everybody and doing magic. In high school, I did some plays.”

Chase picked up speed on the road to stage and screen come college. “It wasn’t until I went to New York University and Stella Adler Studio of Acting that I fell in love with acting. The Stella Adler Studio set me on the path and changed my life.”

Before TV and film, there was only the theatre. “Stella Adler was a four-year conservatory. All we did was theater. I went to RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). There it’s all theatre classics,” Chase adds, “I’m a classics nerd, so I did my Master’s in European Classical Acting.”

Now 39 credits into his career as an actor on film and television, Chase shares some perspective on acting for stage and screen. “It’s like painting and sculpting. They’re different mediums, and both have exciting elements.”

“What’s often missed with theatre and film,” Chase says, “is that they complement each other. I got the theatre heart and soul, the use of my full body, my full voice, and full emotions.”

For film and television, Chase continues, “it can sometimes be jarring for a theatre actor. We’re imitating real life. The camera’s a foot away from you and can read your brain. Ease and relaxation pairs with the intimacy of film.”

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About Up On The Glass

Chase’s connection to Up On The Glass came via a close bond. “I got involved with it through my friend Rachel Imbriglio, a casting director. We originally met when I played some fun parts on a kid’s show, Mutt and Stuff. We hit it off and have been friends ever since.”

As Chase explains, Rachel “saw a film of mine called On The Rocks (2017), and that character had a certain essence that vibed with Jack for this project.”

“We went to grab a drink,” Chase says, “and I met Kevin and Nikki.” Soon after, Chase “read the script and thought it was super-cool.”

The work to make Jack began.” Kevin gave me a lot of great backstory and ideas about Jack’s type of person and the overall movie. That gave me a lot of texture and flavor into Jack.”

“Although I had a connection from the beginning,” Chase shares a bit of the process for making Jack come alive, “he was elusive throughout the process of finding him. I would work with different friends of mine and tried different styles. It was an amalgamation of all these things that was absolutely enjoyable. But it was tricky, tough, and confusing.”

Chase says the process, though challenging, “was a blessing,” he adds, “Sometimes as actors, you want a perfect experience of everything lining up. We find the character, we play it perfectly, and everything is there. But, to be honest, we’re not playing perfect people. The people we play don’t have everything figured out.”

“I think, in the end,” Chase says, “it helps because there’s a turbulent confusion, a sense of loss, and that helped me get to the heart and find this guy.”

For actors, all preparation leads to the stage and gets under the lights. “Things come alive when you’re on your feet.”

Making Up On The Glass

Film productions are hectic hurricanes of different players moving in many directions. Up On The Glass was no different a storm. “We had to fit so many pages in a day that I think I went crazy. We’re on page 36, and you’re with the guys. Now, we have a 10-minute turnaround. He’s dead, and you’re dragging him. So, ten minutes of crying and then, jump back to page 50, and you’re dancing and having a good time.”

“It sounds crazy,” Chase says about a day in the life on set, “but it’s a lot of fun.”

What’s Chase’s quick pitch for Up On The Glass? “Grounded mid-Western retelling or re-imagining of the Talented Mr. Ripley and that kind of world.”

Chase explains Up On The Glass a bit more. “You watch a movie like the Talented Mr. Ripley, and it’s perfect. The talent is incredible. Everything is so clean, and he’s great at imitating. He watches something once, and he’s imitating,” however, Up On The Glass looks at similar ideas differently,” but Jack is the not-perfect Matt Damon. He doesn’t have the tools and watches desperately to see how he fits in.”

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Wrapping Up

Chase’s influences are many. “I love Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, and Kate Blanchett. Non-actors like Paul Thomas Anderson or the MMA fighter Anderson Silva.”

Chase explains more about the types of people he admires. “I’m drawn to artists who have a fully-immersed obsession with their work. They love it so much that they can be in it for 18 hours a day.”

“I love Alan Watts,” Chase says when asked about a dream project, “I would love to play a biopic about Watts.” The question gets a little more specific, honing in on a dream remake or reboot: “I’m a huge sucker for emotionally driven science fiction, so one of my favorite movies is Solaris.”

Up On The Glass is available on VOD and various streaming services like Amazon and YouTube. So, what’s next? “Right now in quarantine,” Chase says, “I’m working with a couple of people to get a few features prepped. I’m learning Russian for two hours a day and practicing drumming too.”

Is Up On The Glass on your watch list?

Thanks to Chase Fein and October Coast
for making this interview possible.

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Ruben Diaz
Ruben Diaz
Writer, film-fanatic, geek, gamer, info junkie & consummate Devil's advocate who has been fascinated by Earth since 1976. Classically trained in the ways of the future.