The new indie film And Then I Go takes you inside the mind of two troubled teenagers who end up deciding to ignite a school shooting event. The film deals with the social stigma of teenagers who start off getting bullied and then later resort to an act of violence. I was able to see the film and interview the star of the movie, Arman Darbo. We spoke about the Never Again Movement, what got him into acting and more.
When reading the script for this project, what initially drew you into being not the upfront and brash type that your co-star Soyer Barth is, but the reserved and quiet isolationist that Edwin is?
First of all, I guess contrast, because, well…also it doesn’t really work with the rest of the story, and Edwin’s character is supposed to feel empathy for him, and he’s kind of the character in the film who shows that, you know, kids who go through things like that are also people, I guess.
Was there a personal connection as to why you wanted to play this character?
Well, the thing is, not really, but I feel like, I guess, people are very complex, and we all have emotions and things that we hold inside of us…and never access or explore it. It’s not like I must be a completely different person for the role, I just had to explore a part of myself I’d never explored before.
I feel like this a question a lot of child actors get, but how do you maintain an acting career with the fact that you still must go to school when the lights are down?
Well, it’s tough. I was in a lot of scenes in the movie, and after a long day of working on set, I still must get three hours of schooling every day, and really, we didn’t have a lot of time for that, so I just had to squeeze it in during lunch. But, yeah. I don’t know. It’s tough but it works.
Do you have any advice from any other child actors about how to maintain a good lifestyle balance?
Not really, I kind of just had to figure out myself, but yeah, you just must find time for everything else. It’s not that difficult.
I wanted to ask you about the scenes where you are getting physically bullied. In my experience with bullies, it’s always been verbal abuse. How did you put yourself into Edwin’s headspace?
Well, I’ve been bullied, too, in my childhood before, and I have been bullied verbally and physically, so I know what it feels like. And like I said, he’s just a kid who goes through unpleasant things, and I’ve gone through unpleasant things myself in my school career, so yeah. In that way, I’ve been relating to him.
What do you think can be done to prevent tragedies like the one portrayed in the film? It’s going to take lawmakers and politicians or activists like those in the Never Again Movement. Which do you think has more of an effect on gun culture?
I don’t know, I mean, it’s a very complicated topic. But I think before we start doing things and acting, I think that we should see the problem from all different perspectives. That’s why I think the movies so great because it kind of shows you before it will lead up to the tragedy, versus what you see on the news, which is what happens afterward. So, I just think that we should see the problem from all different perspectives. We should see the problem from all different angles; we must understand the problem before we start acting, because kids put their futures on the line or give up their futures just for revenge, basically, you know, it can’t be a very simple solution. It’s a multi-varied equation.
Who were some of the people or works that inspired you to go into acting?
I started acting when I was very young, so I guess I just wanted to do it — I went to a couple of auditions when I was 7 or 8. Not really anything inspired me, I’ve just been doing it since I was a small kid; I really liked it when I was a kid.
Are there any projects coming up that you can speak on that you’re excited about?
Yes. I actually recently finished shooting a movie called Greatland, and it’s kind of a dystopian sci-fi about…. well, I don’t know if I can talk about it.
And Then I Go is available everywhere on demand and digitally now.