LAFF 2011 Interview: HOW TO CHEAT actor Kent Osborne

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
June 21st, 2011

In HOW TO CHEAT, Kent Osborne plays a husband, Mark, so intent on escaping his life and feeling something over than the overwhelming sadness plaguing him, he decides to do something drastic – cheat on his wife. Osborne’s performance of a man on the edge, while never losing his affable charm, gives Mark heart, humor, and honesty and brings the audience into his frustration rather than simply judging him for his actions. You never want Mark to cheat, but if he does, you continue to root for him and hope that in the end, he finds the happiness he is so desperately seeking.

I spoke with Osborne about his creating his character and his approach to the role. We delve into some of the situations Mark finds himself in and pose the inevitable question – how would Osborne advise someone who is thinking about cheating.

Your character, Mark, is a jokester, but at the same time deeply sad. What made you want to take on this role? What was your process for getting into the mind set to portray this role?

I had seen Amber's first movie "A+D" while I was a programmer for Slamdance and I really liked it, so when I met Amber and she told me about the idea for "How to Cheat", I was excited to work on it. She said she wanted us to play a married couple where I'd be kind of happy-go-lucky and she'd be mean and bitchy and she was basically describing my last long-term relationship so I was like, "Yeah, I can do that." And then my process for getting into the mindset to portray the role I guess was just me thinking about that last relationship.

Do you think Mark wanted to go outside of his marriage to try and get back to the place where sex made him feel good or was he simply trying to feel good again?

I think he was just trying to feel good again. I think he wanted to have a crazy sexual experience with someone who wasn't yelling at him.

Mark's job as a limo driver would sometimes put him in the middle of more intimate moments between people (whether saying goodbye or reuniting). What do you think it is about those moments when you are leaving or coming back to someone that cause people to not care who else is around them?

Hmm, that's a good question. You see it all the time at airports, people screaming and hugging each other and they don't care that they're making a scene. I remember a good friend of mine was returning from a trip where he had been interviewed for a teaching position at a college, and his girlfriend and I met him at the airport and we had a big ol' sign that said, "Welcome home, Professor!" and I remember not caring at all that we looked silly because it was all about the moment when he walked off the plane and saw us, like that moment was more important than any judgment that might have come from the strangers around us, and it's not conscious, it just happens naturally.

There was a strong level of comfort between all the actors that seemed to allow you to portray these characters without reservation. Did that come out of the rehearsal process or was that something that developed on set as you all began working together?

Yeah, Amber is really easy to get along with, she laughs at all my jokes and stuff, and we hung out a bit before filming so it felt really easy to pretend that we were married.

What advice would you have given Mark if he came to you with his dilemma of wanting to cheat on his wife?

I would say, "Don't do it, bro! You'll feel terrible. Either talk to your wife about it or get a divorce."

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