Honoring the Civil War’s 150th year anniversary, Moving Box Entertainment and Uptone Pictures present “Union Bound,” with Sean Stone in the leading role of Sergeant Joseph Hoover. This extraordinary true story is taken directly from the diaries of Hoover — a white Union soldier — recounting his escape from an inescapable prisoner of war camp, and the adventure of traveling home on the Underground Railroad aided by the very slaves he was fighting to free. “Union Bound” is directed by Harvey Lowry (“A Beautiful Mind,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Collateral”).
Stone shares his feelings about this epic film with Z’scoop’s Kim Coston:
What compelled you to go after this role?
SS: Joe Hoover sees beyond color—he has morality, doesn’t stereotype racially. Also heroic, he is someone with the courage to escape a prisoner-of-war camp. This is a tremendous adventure story, an odyssey, a tale of escape and survival against all odds. We love stories like these. The desire to be a survivor, fighting, persevering and finally reaching the destination. He has a good line in the film: “to live is to suffer, but we’ll do almost anything to survive.”
What were the most challenging aspects?
Hot wool clothing wasn’t easy to deal with in 100º Southern heat. Ticks, chiggers … the discomfort helped in assuming the role. It was miserable. We wanted to escape, complete the journey, get to the destination.
How was the relationship special between your character and Jim (Tank), the slave who helped free Hoover?
To be a prisoner of war is to become a slave, so there is empathy, and a progression, so that by the end, he sees Jim as a good man, one who risks his own life to save them.
Compared to all the other heroic, courageous people who ran the Underground Railroad, why does Joe Hoover’s story need to be told?
“Union Bound” is really Joe Hoover’s story, not the Underground Railroad. What is unusual about our story is slaves helping him.
Did working with your father in some of his major films sensitize you to the requirements of acting, or make you a better actor?
Having been on camera since I was a kid helps me be myself, and not think about it too much. I’ve learned more from my dad’s directing process and having written-directed scripts, than in acting class. An actor has to work with the script as a whole, and convey something from the story that’s pure.
Anything more to tell me? What did you love about this film?
It was a lot of fun working with cast and crew, they were tremendous. It is a low budget, ambitious indie film. That we were able to do it with little should be appreciated. “The Revenant” had 100 mill+ budget. We created an epic story with a low budget.
Multi-faceted with many talents, Sean Stone recently directing his own feature film, “Greystone Park.” He also writes as well as being an accomplished actor (“Wall Street,” “The Doors,” “JFK,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Savages”) and co-hosts Buzzsaw-theLip.tv, an online alternative media show. And, yes, he’s the son of Oliver Stone.
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