Recently released on DVD (November 20), REACH has been gaining many fans, because the film takes on some tough topics and fully includes the whole audience. We’ve got a series of interviews with some of the cast of the film coming up for you, and here is the first one, with Wren Barnes.
Wren Barnes plays the mother of our main character Steven, through a series of flashbacks that certainly makes the viewers wonder how the past has impacted the present. The talented actress has starred in a number of films and TV series, she’s listed as a co-producer on The Manny, and she has a few more exciting roles coming up, including a book she is writing.
We reviewed the film, REACH, four months ago after viewing a private screener, and this is what we said: “REACH makes viewers think about everyone in general and how everyone has baggage, has troubles, has difficulties in life. We’re a true believer in positivity and how it can reshape someone’s world, even for a little bit, and that’s exactly what we see in this coming-of-age film. REACH has true potential to touch everyone’s hearts, whilst sending us through twists and turns, and complete shockers – try not to cry at the end.”
After watching such an amazing film, we were honoured to interview some of the stars. Wren Barnes spoke to us about REACH, her experience on set, her career to date, and the near-fatal car accident she had in 2014; she also had some very inspiring words to end our interview on.
Hi Wren, we hope you are having a good day today, what have you been up to recently?
I’ve been producing on several feature films and have been acting in various films, even this week, I am starring on a TV episode filming this week in the L.A. area. I also have been writing my book and several feature-length scripts.
How excited have you been for REACH to be released?
Incredibly excited. I really believe in the message and the creative brilliance of the content. I can’t wait for this film to be viewed and shared with audiences.
Can you tell us more about the film itself?
The story intertwines several themes including acceptance, bullying, suicide, the power of arts in schools, friendship, and the power of reaching out to another person in need.
What message are the viewers likely to receive when watching this film?
I feel like they would be inspired to see how reaching out to someone even the smallest gesture can have a major effect you can’t even imagine the positive domino effect you can create. It’s amazing!
What does this film mean to you?
It’s a vital message that deserves to be shared. I’m so proud of all the work that’s gone into it and grateful to be a part of it.
Who is your character in the film, and what role does she play?
I portray the young mother of Steven, played by Garrett Clayton. I feel, as most mothers do, she is an underline motivation and psychologically they are connected in actively being a role model and creating motivation within the plot.
What character traits do you share with Steven’s mother?
I brought to the screen real feelings of pain such as heartbreak & betrayal. I too love the arts and enjoy making music.
What was it like filming REACH, were there any specific moments or memories that you’ll never forget?
I loved every moment on set. All the crew and cast was wonderful. I filmed a birthday scene on my actual birthday so it seemed beautiful to be on set experiencing that on my true birthday.
What was it like working with the director Leif Rokesh?
He was a fantastic director I hope to work with again. I love how we worked with actors and gave very specific feedback that helped me as an actor adapt and try something a new way. As an artist, I was grateful when I was on set the director, Maria Capp, & the editor all told me after viewing the footage of a crucial scene I was in, that my role was acted exactly the way they wrote it or pictured it to look.
The film stars some great and up-and-coming actors and actresses from Garrett Clayton to Jordan Doww. What was it like working alongside them and did you strike up any friendships whilst on set?
Yes, both became friends and I loved the emotion Garrett brought to the scene. Jordan is very funny off camera! Jordan and I had a chance to work on the set of Relationship Status later that year after wrapping the filming of REACH. I feel like their careers will go far, as they are both very talented.
How did filming REACH compare to the films and TV series’ you’ve been a part of in the past?
I feel like working on an award-winning script from the start is an amazing opportunity. I feel like the overall message is the best I’ve worked on so am genuinely thrilled to share and promote with fans.
Now, let’s touch upon your career to-date, what has been your favourite role to play over the years and why?
I loved playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and I even won best actress for the role. I loved the singing, the dancing, using an accent and wearing a wig it was a very fun memorable experience. I even had a lady from Levittown, NJ come up afterwards and said I sounded just like I was from there! I never saw the movie on purpose before I performed and people told me I did a better job than the movie, all I know is I created the character based on my acting coach’s training and my own deep character development and study.
You returned to pursue a career as an actress in 2014 after a near-fatal car accident. We found the details about it shocking, and we are heartened to see that this is what pushed you back into acting, and you have been building up your career ever since. Can you describe what it was like to go through that and how it influenced your decision to focus on becoming an actress?
I was hit by an 18-wheeler at 70 miles an hour on the interstate, I was going 55 and it pushed me and I flipped across all 4 lanes hit the concrete median, and then on the other side of the interstate, hit the metal railing and somehow survived after my car caught on fire. I thought as I was flipping through the air that I might die or be paralyzed. What a miracle I walked away from the car crash. I heard God’s voice in the emergency room tell me he still had good work for me to do here on earth and I knew it meant to pursue my lifelong dream of acting and film producing. My life is a literal blessing and a dream come true!
Now that certainly is a miracle, it’s clear you had more to do on earth and this role proved it as you played Steven’s mother brilliantly. We loved the film REACH. Why do you think our readers should watch the film?
Its a beautiful work of art. I’m not even a cryer and I found myself with tears running down my face. Whether you just want to see a good movie or you want to leave inspired, it’s in this timeless movie.
Do you have a particular favourite scene? Can you tell us which one it is?
I love the transformation Garrett goes through with Johnny Fiore’s character.
And, finally, do you have a message to your fans?
Remember, that saying No to one thing is saying Yes to another.
Don’t be afraid to even stand alone if it means standing for what is right.
Stay true to yourself there is just one you and the world needs you!
Never give up on your dreams. No one will show up at your door and hand you the life you want. Stay persevering and always full of hope. You are loved more than you know.
Thank you so much, Wren Barnes, for taking the time out to answer our questions. We look forward to following your career and seeing where it takes you. Your final few messages have inspired us and we’re sure it’ll inspire our readers.
REACH is out now on DVD, while it’s been available via DigitalHD since October 20. The film has touched a lot of people and we can’t recommend it enough.