Donal Logue and Kate Walsh in a “Sometime Other Than Now.” COURTESY OF GRAVITAS VENTURES
By Karen Butler
Donal Logue says he was eager to star in “Sometime Other Than Now” because the father-daughter reunion story felt emotionally honest.
“What drew me to it were those regrets and those pains that we swallow and try and walk away from,” the 55-year-old actor told the Irish Echo in a recent Zoom interview. “But it’s never too late to do the right thing, I think. Better late than never.”
The drama was written and directed by “Four Lane Highway” filmmaker Dylan McCormick.
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McCormick is married to Greer Goodman, the author and star of 2000’s “The Tao of Steve,” one of Logue’s first major movie projects.
Playing in theaters and on pay-per-view platforms, “Sometime Other Than Now” casts Logue as Sam, a man who rides his motorcycle from Texas to Massachusetts to reconnect with Audrey (Trieste Kelly Dunn,) the daughter he hasn’t seen in 25 years, after her mother dies.
While he’s staying in a small, seaside town, Sam also strikes up a romance with Kate (Kate Walsh,) a divorced lawyer taking a break from her career and running her late father’s motel and restaurant.
As Sam grows closer to Audrey, Kate and Molly (Alexa Swinton,) the granddaughter he didn’t know he had, he must decide whether to stay in their lives or hit the road again.
“This movie spoke to me as a parent,” said the real-life, single father of two kids, adding he feels sorry for people who don’t talk to or spend time with their children.
“My heart goes out to the abandoning parent because, in a way, it’s like your soul must be so hurt to do something like this,” he noted.
Logue isn’t sure everyone who seeks redemption can attain it, however.
“There is incredible power to kind of a 12-Step approach to life — of just really looking openly and honestly at what you have done and what your part is in all of these things and making amends and making it right with people,” he explained.
“But how that is received is not up to you. The most important thing is to acknowledge that — in this area, on my piece of sidewalk here — I have to say what I did wrong and not give ‘ifs, and buts and ands.’ But I do think that, 90-something percent of the time, you’ll be amazed at how cathartic and healing it is for both parties.”
Setting aside Sam’s original sin of leaving his family decades earlier, there is much grace and decency on display in “Sometime Other Than Now.”
Audiences will see locals welcoming a stranger into their community and offering rides to someone without a car.
Sam also fixes a screen door without being asked and protects a young woman who is being harassed at work by her jerk of a boyfriend.
These gestures convey an important message to those watching the film during a time when people seem to be so divided.
“I cannot say [it often] enough that this is about kindness, small kindnesses and not broad political statements,” Logue said of the film.
He pointed to how in real life his own political beliefs differ from those of his neighbors in rural Oregon, but he emphasized they still all respect each other and enjoy spending time together.
“We are politically different. We are on different sides of the fence, but we can talk about it really openly,” he said.
Last summer, when wildfires tore through the region where he lives, destroying homes and businesses, Logue’s property was spared, thanks, in part, to his resourceful neighbors.
“They were clearing firebreaks around my house for me,” he recalled.
Logue then referenced a recent Los Angeles Times piece in which a writer wondered if it was morally OK to be grateful for the Donald Trump-supporting neighbors who voluntarily plowed her driveway after a tremendous snow storm.
“I was like, ‘Wow, man,’” Logue said about how surprised he was reading the column. “If we are going to come back together, it starts with just tiny kindnesses between each other.”
“There is an explosion of anger everywhere,” he went on. “My opinion about that doesn’t really matter. What I can control is tiny kindnesses and ‘thank yous.’ Up here, I couldn’t exist without my neighbors. They look out for me when I’m not here, when I am traveling and working. … It’s awesome.”
People viewing “Sometime Other Than Now” during the coronavirus pandemic might find the small-town aspect of the film appealing, since so many are finding freedom and comfort in less congested areas of the country these days.
“I think big cities are in trouble right now,” laughed Logue, who, in addition to acting, owns hardwood and trucking businesses in the Pacific Northwest. “I love a simpler life and I am living it now… The human connection is the most critical.”
“Sometime Other Than Now” is all about human connection, much of which is communicated using an economy of language.
“Unlike me, this guy really holds onto words,” Logue said of Sam.
“I’ve always argued that silences are more important. The moments between words are where we really communicate. Sometimes, in [the storytelling] field, it feels like people have a real need to fill it with words and there were speeches in this thing, but it’s right up my alley and it’s what I said I always wanted to do, but then when I was doing it, I thought, ‘Am I enough to pull this off?’”
Logue had nothing but high praise for his leading lady Walsh.
“She’s just such a force of nature in the best possible way. She is so brilliant — her energy and life force,” he said, explaining that working with Walsh reminded him of when he collaborated with another famous co-star, Julia Roberts.
“I remember doing a scene with [Roberts] in ‘Runaway Bride’ and I remember being taken out of the scene, in the middle of it, just saying, ‘This person is so good!’” he said of the two actresses. “They’re so amazing. They make the difficult seem easy.”
Born to Irish immigrant parents in Canada and raised in the United States, Logue is famous for his roles in the TV shows “Grounded for Life,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Copper,” “Vikings” and “Gotham,” as well as in the movies “Blade,” “The Patriot,” “Purple Violets” and “The Groomsmen.” He also co-wrote “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood,” actor Danny Trejo’s memoir, which is set for publication in July.