Although details are sparse about the plot of Stage 5, the film that is being shot in the Airdrie area and other parts of Alberta, the actors who were on set this past week were able to give a little bit of insight into their roles. The leading male actor, Jack Campbell, plays the father in the film and said it is in many ways a father-daughter movie. 

"Sometimes you get to play one [or] two-dimensional roles that don't get to be that emotional, but [in this film] there's everything. There are tears, there's a deep emotion and it's just a very interesting journey," he said. "It's a very interesting situation for this character to be in and so you've got to immerse yourself in that emotionally, in order to tell the story." 

While he was careful to not give away the entire plot, Campbell underlined that he thinks the audience will resonate with the film, especially because there are themes that have been echoed in headlines and in the lives of the public in recent years. He said that one of the motifs in the movie can be linked back to skeptical views of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

Campbell, who grew up in the Australian outback, moved to Sydney to pursue a career in rugby, and by happenstance fell into acting. After starring in a T.V. show that was based in New Zealand he said he simply fell in love with acting and honed his stagecraft over the years. Campbell also spent time in New York, although those memories are bittersweet for him. 

"I was actually there for 9/11, which was a pretty dramatic time to be in New York, [but] it was also a very beautiful time to be there. There were lots of examples of humanity that were really beautiful." 

He returned to Australia where he landed a role in a medical drama, playing a doctor as well as a gangster in a different production.  

"I'm very fortunate to have had some wonderful experiences in this industry and this is yet another wonderful experience. We've got a really great little crew. There's really good family energy on set. It's a small crew and producing really great work." 

The writer/producer and director of Stage 5, Eddie Arya of Aryavision Pictures and Campbell have worked together previously on Arya's last Airdrie shot film Risen, where Campbell landed a supporting role as an American Colonel. That production introduced Campbell to Airdrie and area. While Campbell had left his sunny and warm palm-tree-laden Los Angeles to come to Alberta, he said the cold and the winter was not only refreshing but beautiful. Although Campbell has become very familiar with all that the Rocky Mountains have to offer in the province, his co-star, Lauren Hamilton-Neill, who also happens to be from Australia is visiting Canada for the first time. 

Hamilton-Neill whose character, for the time being, has been dubbed as The Beast, said the role has been liberating. She described her role as one that requires much energy in order to pull off the persona of the beast effectively on-screen. 

"That's such a departure from a lot of the things that get thrown at you, as a female actor. You're always expected to fit into a really tiny little box and that's one of the many things that I adore about Eddie, as a director, but also as a person. He just encourages everyone to just be big, be ugly, and be feral." 

She will also perhaps get to experience something even more liberating for the first time in her life: snow. 

"I've never seen snow, so, that would be an absolute experience for me. I just feel like as long as you're with an incredible crew and a phenomenal cast and everyone's just in it together and wants to make something that is the true essence of escapism, why wouldn't you come to a place where you get to do all that as a professional?" 

Although the film does have quite a few Australian actors, there are some very familiar and very local faces. Evie Marsten, a Linden local, is starring opposite Jack Campbell and she plays the daughter's role in Stage 5. There's also some amazing talent working behind the cameras; Airdrie's own Amanda Tozser who is the film's key makeup and hair artist. With Tozser's make-up skills, one can expect nothing more than the beast to be every bit as terrifying as any film-goer would hope. 

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