After being given a press release pass to check out the new Mystery at Mansfield Manor game, I was kindly offered the chance to interview a few members of cast and crew and get all the questions I had about the game off my chest.
So, in the third and final part of interviews about Mystery at Mansfield Manor, I had the pleasure to talking with Tim Beresford, who plays the role of 'Colin Mansfield Junior'
Andy Ogier: Welcome Tim, thanks for taking time out to answer my
Tim: My pleasure.
Andy: Why don't we start off by telling our readers a bit about you?
Tim: I have been using acting to buy my groceries for about four years now. Before that I was acting but not buying many groceries. I also enjoy music. I grew up in the country then lived in Toronto for many years. Then I moved back to the country. I still work in Toronto and therefore, I now mostly live in my car and not in the house that I drive to Toronto each day to pay for by acting. I had a small microwave installed in my vehicle so I could cook the groceries that I bought with the money I made acting on the way to work. I have become a perpetual motion machine.
Andy: (Laughter). So which part do you play in Mystery at Mansfield Manor that helps you with your grocery bill? Tell us a bit about your character.
Tim: I play Colin Mansfield Jr. Colin is a twit. I myself don't care for him but it was interesting to play such a disreputable character. Fellow cast members had such strong reactions to what I was doing that it became quite real. Realness is, of course, important.
Andy: And that realness is clearly evident in your performance. What interested you most about playing a role in an interactive movie game?
Tim: So many days are spent doing what you did the day before. It takes someone with a unique and accessible idea like this to break that cycle. I was glad to have been chosen to participate.
Andy: Do you play video games at home? If so, what are your favourite games?
Tim: Not so much. There was a time when I spent about six weeks alternating between SWAT and Road Rash, non stop. Then of course, I needed to go for a jog and I never really got back into it. Lest we forget the great Nintendo boom of the mid-eighties. Ahh, the good old days.
Andy: Colin Mansfield Jr walks straight through a minefield of taboo topics. With alcoholism affecting nearly 10% of North Americans, racism still a problem that won't die away, and cheating partners becoming as common as free toys with a fast food meal, it must be very difficult for an actor such as you to portray a character that crosses
into all of these troublesome topics. How did you prepare for such a hard role? Was there any research required?
Tim: Not really. As you said, all of these shortcomings exist. They are all around us. These poor examples are being set all the time and one cannot help but to bear witness to the occasional incident. Once you experience a bigot or some other nasty character,
you are left with a unique opportunity: to ridicule them in fiction using their own ammunition. I don't think it is socially relevant or anything, it's just what I like to do. And as far as research for the role goes…I guess stupid people did all the work for me.
Andy: That’s a good way of looking at it. Let’s face it, there is an abundance of stupid people out there – so plenty of research is already done for you. It doesn’t seem like any of your colleagues could be placed in that category though. It seems that you had some attractive, intelligent, and talented colleagues to work with. What was the atmosphere like behind the scenes?
Tim: Very cool dudes. I missed everyone when it was over.
Andy: I guess there's a long script to read with an interactive product like this, and long filming time with multiple endings and alternate scenes as well to work with them on! How long did shooting the script take?
Tim: The whole thing happened very quickly. Necessity is, if not the mother of invention, at least an evil auntie. The production team needed to be dangerously organized and they were. I wonder how they kept it all straight.
Andy: But it all seemed to have worked out in the end. The game is out there now and being perused by the public as we speak. Tell our readers why you think Mystery at Mansfield Manor is worth their hard earned/stolen/begged/borrowed cash?.
Tim: Most folks take pride in being the first. Being the first to hear about a new band or read a really good book shows others how clever and pop culture savvy you are. Or, as the kids say, how cool you are. Someday the MMM format will be very popular but as it stands now, it is the first of its kind. A fine opportunity for the cool kids.
Andy: I thought it was a great game too, and the format I’m sure will be paid homage to in future titles now that the doorway has been opened… But now that the door has closed on production of Mystery at Mansfield Manor, what's next for you? Do you have any projects coming up in the future?
Tim: I play in a band called Chinese Food. I am doing commercial work and I have a few indie film projects on the go as well.
Andy: Cool, if you pass me a CD of your stuff I’d be happy to review it for you (smiles). Anyway Tim, Thanks a lot for taking time to answer my questions. It's been grand.