“One Bedroom” has been the big winner in several film festivals, recently the winner of Best Actor Award for Darien Sills-Evans and Breakthrough Performance Award for Devin Nelson. The film also received the nomination for Best Feature Film, Best Actress Award in New York.
DARIEN SILLS-EVANS plays Nate. Most recently, known to television audiences as ‘James’ from CBS’ Superior Donuts and as the national spokesperson for U.S. Cellular. Darien made his feature debut in X-Patriots and has since appeared in The Reception (for which he won best actor at OutFest 2003), Rivers Wash Over Me, Big Words, and the upcoming LAbyrinth, starring Johnny Depp.
Darien was trained at the famed New Federal Theater in New York City and is a prolific stand-up comedian, actor, producer, writer, and director. He has appeared in over 200 commercials and numerous television series including, SEAL Team, Treme, Major Crimes, The Whispers, Stitchers, Third Watch, Person Of Interest, The Bedford Diaries, and Cosby.
When not acting, Darien is developing projects, or performing comedy in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
DARIEN SILLS-EVANS is known mostly for his television and commercial appearances, but he has also been a directing professionally since he was 19-years-old. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Sills-Evans started his film career writing, producing and directing dozens of PSAs and award-winning educational industrials. He wrote, produced, and directed his first feature in 2001, X-Patriots. In its film festival run, the film would win Audience Award: 24HourFilmFestival (2006), LA Weekly Award Best Screenplay 2002, CCI Digital Award for Best Ensemble Cast 2002, Film Finders Maverick Award for Quality Low-Budget Film 2002 (Method Fest), Critic’s Choice: Chicago Reader 2001, Best Feature AngelCiti Chicago 2001, and be nominated for the Gordon Parks Award at IFP 2001.
In 2008, Sills-Evans collaborated with director John G. Young to co-write and produce the film, Rivers Wash Over Me. During its film festival run, it would win Best Actor OutFest 2009, Rivers Wash Over Me: #3 Best Film of The Year (Bay Area Reporter); 5th Best Undistributed Film of The Year (Amy Taubin, Indiewire); Best Narrative Feature (The Chicago LGBT Film Festival); and Top 10 Undistributed Films of 2009 (Film Society of Lincoln Center), before finally being released by Strand in 2010. It also had the honor of being the Opening Night Film of Newfest 2009.
In 2012, Sills-Evans directed MC Extra Cheese: The 40-Year-Old Rapper, a comedy web series. The pilot was nominated Best Pilot at Banff World Media Festival 2012.
As he wrote “One Bedroom”, Sills-Evans hoped to make a film in which the audience would recognize themselves or someone they knew in the characters, “The film is very Black, but it’s also very universal. These characters could be anyone and in the context of the story, they never actually talk about race. Unfortunately or not, misery in a relationship is something we’ve all seen or experienced. At the very least, I hope that our film can find some laughs and a different point of view to ending romance.”
London Prestige Interview with Director Darien Sills-Evans
London Prestige: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
Darien Sills-Evans: I grew up in Brooklyn. First in a very tough neightborhood, then in Clinton Hill. I’ve been very passionate about the arts since I was a child.
London Prestige: What are you currently working on?
Darien Sills-Evans: Currently I’m touring with One Bedroom and writing the script for my next project.
London Prestige: What made you take this role?
Darien Sills-Evans: I wrote the role of Nate, rather shamelessly, for myself. Simply, I wanted to work and I tried to write a character that I haven’t had a chance to play.
London Prestige: What journey does your character go on in the course of the monologues?
Darien Sills-Evans: My character, Nate, has some growing and maturing to do in the film. He’s selfish and sefl-centered at the beginning. A cheater and liar as well. We leave the ending opn, but I think it’s possible he corrected some of those behaviors, or at least is really trying to.
London Prestige: Tell us a little bit more about this film, what is it about, who else are you working with, and who is the director?
Darien Sills-Evans: One Bedroom is the story of a break-up. It endeavors to be a very honest look at romance and fidelity. I wrote and directed the film and produced it with the talented Devin Williams.
London Prestige: What is the most challenging role you have played and why?
Darien Sills-Evans: This role was probably the most challenging. There was so much material, but also working the long scenes and directing was not always easy.
London Prestige: And the most fun one?
Darien Sills-Evans: This role, Nate, was also the most fun.
London Prestige: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
Darien Sills-Evans: Having my two children.
London Prestige: What is your advice for aspiring actors?
Darien Sills-Evans: Always be honest. Honesty is what makes great performances.
*Cover Photo: By Innovation Media New York