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5 Questions with Jason Krawczyk of He Never Died

The film He Never Died by Jason Krawczyk is a treat to behold, but very hard to verbalize why. So let’s just say that Henry Rollins gives an incredible performance in Krawczyk’s incredibly imagined film. The movie was shot in Toronto, but is set in a sort of anyplace. Krawczyk brings out the grit of what is now his adopted city, and the film chugs along with its own spirit. We spoke with Krawczyk by phone from Austin on the night of its world premiere.

Scene Creek: Why did you shoot in Toronto?

Jason Krawczyk: I really liked the vibe that came up. Supremely talented crew base that worked extremely hard. Did the post there, got to know Toronto, and I like everything about it. The people were great, lovely ladies, it was a good time. There’s something about Toronto that’s magical.

Scene Creek: Can you speak to the importance of shooting certain scenes here?

Jason Krawczyk: We did this really long single take walk and talk, that was around 11 am and my location scout said “I love this area, (Queen West), let’s film here”. Then we filmed some important interior scenes there as well.

Selene Creek: How tough was that last scene to shoot?

Jason Krawczyk: (chuckling) Henry Rollins didn’t have a lot of time to prep that last scene, we pretty much rehearsed that scene as one long, ten page stage play, and we filmed it in segments, but we rehearsed it, as one giant thing. So first of all, being able to remember it, and second of all, being able to play it, is just a testament to how devoted and talented that guy is. I wrote the role with (Henry Rollins) in mind.

Scene Creek: Was it a coincidence that the character doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs?

Jason Krawczyk: He probably inspired that, and he inspired me to do that in my life, too. I saw his spoken word when I was still in high school, and it felt more correct to me for a lifestyle, and it kind of gave me a direction and a freedom at the same time.

Scene Creek: Why did you want this film to premiere at SXSW?

Jason Krawczyk: This has all been a dream to me. I have been to film festivals before, but nothing of this scale, (SXSW), I just want as many people to see it who want to see it, and hopefully they like it. We’re working diligently to make a mini-series with it. Hopefully it goes off without a hitch. I live in Toronto now, I’ve planted roots there. I’m going to come back there and make a mini-series.

He Never Died makes its Canadian debut at Fantasia Fest on July 26th at Concordia Hall.