When it comes to film leads, Cody Kearsley is as fresh as they come, holding his own with the likes of his more seasoned co-stars Bruce Willis, Rachel Nichols, and Thomas Jane in the sci-fi horror film Breach. Directed by John Suits (Pandemic), Kearsley stars as Noah, a blue-collar engineer who becomes a stowaway to a military transport ship trying to be there for his family. I spoke to the actor about what drives Noah, fitting in with the cast, and what he's learned from his co-stars.
"I'm friends with Ed [Drake] (who co-wrote with co-star Corey Large)," Kearsley said. "He presented the script awhile back, and I loved the determination of what someone would do to protect their family. That was the thing that drew to me the most. This guy jumps into an environment where he's way over his head. He doesn't even know how to hold a gun, and he's in this military ship, but he's there because he's there for his partner and his child. I love that determination of risking a lot." Playing Noah's partner, Hayley is Kassandra Clementi, who is the daughter of an admiral (Jane) and pregnant. The father and daughter are both in cryo-sleep for the bulk of the film. Fortunately, Noah is able to board with forged papers provided by Hayley. When Kearsley arrived on set, he recalled a lax set prior to filming. "The set was so much fun," he said. "We were in a small town of Fitzgerald, Georgia, and it felt like a summer camp. I was there with Rachel Nichols, Tim Murphy, and Callan Mulvey. We had such a great time. We would meet every day before the set, talk about the scene, and get it all together. We'd meet with [director] John Suits, and we'd talk. We had a lot of fun. It was a good time. Bruce [Willis] was great."
Murphy played Stanley and Mulvey played Teek, both military personnel on the ship. Prior to filming, Kearsley and Clementi provided some background for their characters. What made things easier was the flexibility on set. "Kassandra and I got close and built a back story about ourselves, our relationship, how we met, and all those things creating our own little family," he recalled. "As far as anyone else, we kind of all jumped in, and it was a short shoot. There was a lot of improv and a lot of figuring out things at the moment, which I think worked within the story because none of us knew what was happening within the world."
Kearsley took some inspiration from Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) but noted there wasn't much precedence for someone like Noah. "[Noah] doesn't know what's going on, so there are no action stars to model him after," he said. "I took a lot of inspiration from the actors around me. It was kind of a mentorship. It was Noah's position too. He's trying to survive keeping up with the veterans around with me." The actor feels Breach is a nod to 1980s sci-fi and remains grateful how his peers and co-stars helped shape his performance.
"Watching the work ethic from the other actors is incredible especially working with Callan," Kearsley said. "Both of us are really similar in that we really want to figure out what's going on in the scene. There were a few times on set where John was annoyed by us. We wouldn't be ready to shoot because we're still trying to figure out the scene. I think after a while, an actor gets used to it and can wing it. To see someone that passionate still, that was really inspiring. I fed off that passion a lot." You can also catch Kearsley on Riverdale on The CW. Saban Films' Breach is now playing in theatres, on-demand, and digital.