With over twenty years experience as an actor and more than seventy national commercials to his credit, it’s safe to say you’ve probably seen some of Josh Daughtery’s work. His impressive resume includes notable commercial work for Budweiser and Kellogg’s as well also appearances in films like “We Were Soldiers” and “John Carter”, and in television shows like “Supernatural”.
But perhaps no role has given the multi-talented Daugherty the flexibility and creative freedom to dive deep into his craft than in his new film, “Custody Road”.
In “Custody Road”, Daugherty plays the role of Logan, a struggling stand-up comedian who goes to extreme measures to prevent his ex-wife her from winning sole custody of their young son.
Written and directed by John Lacy, the world of “Custody Road” is described as “Desert Gothic Noir”. A hauntingly desperate, violent and at times, tender landscape that audiences are sure to embrace. The film, which also showcases Daugherty’s vocal ability as a singer, in addition to his acting prowess, also stars Erin Fleming, Frank Crim and Andrea Muller.
I recently spoke with Josh Daugherty about “Custody Road,” his career and much more in this exclusive new interview.
How did your involvement in “Custody Road” come about?
The director, John Lacy, and I have been circling each other for the last ten years. He’s an incredibly talented actor with an amazing body of work. We both knew of each other and had shared words, but never really had an opportunity to get to know each other. We eventually became friends during an acting class where he told me about this idea he had brewing. In addition to being an amazingly talented actor, he’s also a phenomenal writer. He showed me some of the pages he’d written and I loved it. I told him I didn’t know where he was going but I wanted to be a part of it.
What was it about the project that appealed to you?
John really had his thumb on this character, Logan, who’s this incredibly flawed guy. A guy who’s a bit of an idealist in a lot of ways. Logan is a stand-up comedian and philosophizer who parses out the bullshit of everyday life. Sometimes, that’s done with philosophy and other times it’s through comedy or music.
How would you describe the story of “Custody Road”?
It’s a tough tale because it’s about male-female relationships and how, in some ways, it seems like they’re doomed from the get go. Men don’t under women; women don’t understand men; and egos, DNA and conditioning can all get in the way. It’s an unromantic look at the male/female condition and asks the question, “Are we really supposed to work out?”
What was the filming process like?
I love shooting independent films because you really get to immerse yourself in the process. It wasn’t a large crew, and we sometimes had to work in extreme conditions, but you really got to see the best in people. It was instant family.
Click here to watch the trailer for “Custody Road”.
What was it like working with John?
It was great. As a team leader, John set a wonderful tone for keeping things light and focused and fun. He’s one of those guys I think of as a close friend. My dad told me years ago that business was relationships, and that is never more true than in creative endeavors. John was very open for me to shape this character. I remember when we started talking about music, he even suggested I play a few songs. He had a great beginning for the project, and for me it was like, “O, Captain! My Captain! Take the lead. I’m in!” [laughs].
You mentioned playing a few songs in “Custody Road”. Was singing always a part of your life?
Oh, yeah. I come from a musical house, so music has always been a huge part of my creativity. I grew up doing musical theater and was even a vocal jazz major in college. The fact that John welcomed that and embraced it for my character and film was a lot of fun.
Was a career in entertainment something you always envisioned for yourself?
From the age of five, I knew this was what I was going to do. I can still remember my first time setting foot on stage doing musicals with my dad. I didn’t notice it at the time, but looking back now I can envision that moment clearly. I walked onstage, turned around and saw an empty house. At that moment, it was almost as if God had tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This is what you’re going to do.”
I have to ask you about your work on the show, “Supernatural”. What was that experience like?
That was really the first dark, evil character I played and it was a terrific experience. It was such a tight cast and crew. They’re a wonderful family, and Jensen [Ackles] and Jared [Padalecki] were such great guys.
Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
One project I’ve been working on for the past few years is called “Nobody”. It’s a project I created with my partner, Felicia Willson, who’s an Emmy-winning writer. It’s an intense project about sexual trauma. And now with the #MeToo movement, it’s even more current and relevant. People are finally able to talk about their experiences and find healing. The project’s gotten incredible feedback and we’re looking to put together the right team and make it come to fruition.
What excites you the most about this next phase of your career?
With regard to the film, I’m looking forward to seeing all those days of long hours finally pay off. John is a master storyteller and I’m excited to see how he’s put it all together.
“Custody Road” is available on iTunes and VOD July 24.