Local Chelsea actor Myles Clohessy has been appearing in more movies and TV shows lately as part of an emerging career, and follows in his father Robert Clohessy’s impressive acting footsteps.
Myles, 24, co-stars in “Last Ferry,” a 2019 thriller about a man who visits Fire Island and witnesses a murder. The movie made the rounds of film festivals last year and debuted on Netflix on March 11, just in time for movie lovers with only streaming options these days because of the coronavirus.
“I like playing villains and conflicted characters, just because it’s the total opposite of myself. I’m like a golden retriever,” Clohessy said recently. He had never been to Fire Island, which he said was surprisingly true of many New Yorkers.
The film was shot last spring, during Fire Island’s pre-season when it was still very cold. “It was eerie. It was freezing,” he said.
Clohessy didn’t use method acting in portraying his troubled character, but said it was about making connections with his own life.
“It’s about pinpointing similar experiences or feelings and applying it to the character,” he said. Clohessy used his imagination, he said, because he actually had a great upbringing.
The family had an apartment in Chelsea going back to the 1980s. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve been going in and out of Chelsea, so I’m kind of a Chelsea boy,” Clohessy said.
The neighborhood has changed plenty since the family moved in, Clohessy noted, with a grimy feel giving way to many more upscale residents, but he said it’s still a great place to stay.
“It’s a very chill vibe. You have artists, actors, people working 9 to 5, galleries,” he said. “I love being able to walk to galleries and there’s such an array of restaurants now.” He remembers growing up with fewer restaurant options in the area, and a favorite now that he goes to with his parents is Le Grainne Café at 183 Ninth Ave.
A current project for Clohessy is a TV show called “Glow and Darkness,” a Medieval period drama with Jane Seymour and Denise Richards. Clohessy just returned from shooting in Spain, right before coronavirus anxiety became serious there, though the shoot did have to be moved from Italy because of coronavirus cases there, he said.
“Schedules were crazy. Everything was nuts, but once I got there it was great,” he said. Further shooting in Spain has been postponed because of COVID-19.
Clohessy said it was an enjoyable set to work on with a laid back atmosphere. And working with Seymour has been a really good experience, he said.
“She’s so cool, she’s like the ultimate professional,” he said of Seymour. He described her as relaxed and confident in her ability, able to learn 16 pages in a day compared to a typical two or three pages for an actor. “She’s so talented and just the nicest person on set,” he added.
Myles’ dad Robert is a veteran actor of many movies and television series, including “Blue Bloods” and “Oz,” to name just a couple. Myles said his dad left it to him to pursue what career he wanted.
“Both my parents supported me no matter what I did,” Myles said. He added about acting, “It was always something I kind of wanted to do.”
Myles played Division 1 soccer at Central Connecticut State University, “but I think acting was something I was always going to do eventually,” he said.
Myles has gotten advice from his father, including that acting was only worth pursuing if it was a love and something he needed and wanted to do. Myles said his father advised him, “Put your head down and do the work, because so many things you can’t control in this business.”
Even when going for a big role, his dad said to not take things too seriously – Myles noted his dad is always having fun on sets and is friendly. “He’s always instilled in me, Keep having fun and keep the childhood aspect of it,” Myles said.
Myles doesn’t have specific long-term goals for his acting career, saying for now he’s going with the flow. “I really am in this because I love it,” he said. But a goal is to have the power to choose projects, and he started a production company this past year that is producing two movies, a horror film and another about the Holocaust.
Being a movie star would help his chances to choose roles and projects, but it’s really about controlling his own destiny, Myles said.
“The ability to be someplace where I can choose the stories I want to tell,” he said, “and make those stories myself, would be the pinnacle.”