We begin with Rider on a typical day.
Tonight, he will be acting in his friend Chris Levitus' short film, playing a disturbed gangster named Thad - who is described in the script as "manicured and sickly...he will slit your throat slowly."
Tonally, though, it's a comedy. A neo-noir comedy. So...funny, gross, kind-of-old-fashioned gangster-killer.
After much consultation with Chris, it's time to get ugly.
The shaving begins. Mustache. Definitely.
And flatten down the hair.
Next step: skinny black pants and undertaker shoes. Button the shirt all the way up.
This is the key. I imagine Thad as sinewy, lizard-like. In the script, he's touching things, molesting objects. Smelling his fingers.
He needs to be uncomfortable to look at.
I've always thought it's most uncomfortable to watch somebody who thinks they have a better body than they do - when they move one way (graceful, sexy, slinky) but their body tells a whole other story (forced, flabby, soft).
Which means: a belly. Definitely a pot belly.
Add a coat and make the posture more effeminate and creepy. It's becoming less and less likely I will get laid during the shoot.
Once on set, we do the final touches. We discover the key to a true pedophile stache is shaving down the top of it. Just a pencil-thin line of anti-sexy.
Hair is flattened and parted in the middle. Some make-up for a more pasty look, and glycerin for a sweaty (no, greasy is a better word) forehead.
An even tighter shirt to accentuate the belly. Unexplainable, dirty band-aids added to random fingers.
And Thad is born.
Me with writer/director Chris Levitus on set, photo by Mallory Morrison