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7 things to know about The Day Shall Come by its star Marchánt Davis

Marchánt Davis reveals all about working on Chris Morris' latest movie

7 things to know about The Day Shall Come by its star Marchánt Davis
Marc Chacksfield

The latest Chris Morris movie, The Day Shall Come, is an incendiary look at home-grown terrorism in the US and how the FBI are complicit in creating these terrorists - all so they can hit their targets.

It's a movie based on hundreds of true stories and while it may not sound like it, it's a comedy - albeit one that has a nasty sting in its tale.

Its star is a newcomer to movies but, after his portrayal of Moses (a small-town revolutionary targeted by the FBI)m Marchánt Davis is set to be a star. He's fantastic in the film, playing Moses with wide-eyed innocence that veers into delusion.

He's currently on Broadway starring in The Great Society at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, alongside Brian Cox ("He’s one of those actors where you are like - that’s how I want to be when I get to that place," say Davis) but we caught up with him recently and he explained to us just what it's like to work with Morris and on a film with such provocative subject matter.

Here are 7 things to know - including how The Day Shall Come Was Made in secret and what it was like for Davis to watch Chris Morris' TV stuff for the first time.

The Day Shall Come is in cinemas now.

7 things to know about The Day Shall Come by leading man Marchant Davis

1. The screen test was like dating

"The first time I auditioned, it was just with the casting director but the second time I met Chris. I was told that that we would come in 15 minutes early, have a conversation and then he would tape something. So, we talked for maybe 20 minutes, when he talked to me about what the film was. Then we taped for about 45 minutes. Afterwards I went to manager and said, ‘I think that went well, otherwise I just did very badly and he was trying to fix the performance’.

"The audition process was more like dating - by the end it was, I have this information and you have this information and now we see where our interests line up."

2. The Day Shall Come was one big secret - even to the stars

"Chris just doesn’t give you the information. The best way to keep something secret is not to tell anybody, so that’s why I didn’t get the script until I got the job. The information was on a need-to-know basis, but there were definite moments in filming when I was banging on his door and saying: ‘I need to know, send me the script!’ I didn’t know anything until I needed to know.

"We weren’t allowed to take pictures on the set. That happens a lot more than you think it does. There was a point where I wanted to let people know I was doing something. I had people coming up and saying ‘it’s going to work out some day’ and I’m like, 'I am working! It’s happening!' You can say it all you want, but people won’t believe you if there’s nothing there."

3. When the script did arrive, there was a big surprise

"When I eventually got the script, it was funny because I realised a lot of the conversations that Chris and I were having were in there. It was one of those wonderful moments where I was like ‘I get to do that! And that! But then it was, 'oh shit, he listened'. He took these ideas and themes and moments that I had talked about in my life, or I had read about, and it was fed into the script."

4. Davis struggled with his character's motivation

"Moses is a visionary, so in order to get where he is going he has to see it before anybody else does. Sometimes, visionaries who are like that - like LBJ - their visions become delusional, like Vietnam.
"He thinks all the decisions he makes are right, but they are flawed. And I can say that I was wondering how to get behind this: why would he not give up, why would he do it this way? But there was a moment where Chris said, 'he doesn’t know failure, he doesn’t know how to lose so where’s the know and he finds yes where’s there’s a no'."

5. Davis didn't know Morris' TV work before getting the part

“I didn’t discover any of Chris’ UK-based TV stuff, like Brass Eye, until I got the job. When I saw that, it felt like I was watching something that I shouldn’t be watching. There is something mischievous about it. There’s something extremely bad about it, but great that he’s willing to provoke enough and have those conversations.
“It’s hard for some people to hear - so I am surprised when people say they absolutely love it. He’s one of those people like Dave Chappelle right now who pokes and he doesn’t care who he is poking at.”

6. He doesn't read reviews but was taken aback by one reaction to the movie

"I try to not read too much. But I remember after we did SXSW, my agent got a review but only because it was a nice one, and I get messages from people who have seen it. There was one response that struck me at SXSW - where this women came to the stage and just kept saying “It’s not fair” and I agreed and she said: “They were laughing and it’s not fair”. She maybe felt deceived by the laughter. I didn’t expect that response but it really struck me that people see and people feel.

7. Davis feels that the US is finally getting UK-style comedy

"What We Do In The Shadows, Veep, Fleabag, Sex Education... I started to fall in love with the British satirists like Armando [while doing the film]. I watched Death of Stalin recently and it’s a great film. It’s a very different style and I think in America we are just getting used to the idea of that type of comedy but it’s happening."

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