Clark Furlong shares what it is like to play a Stephen King character

Clark Furlong can be seen in the new and much anticipated Series, Lisey’s Story . The show is based off of a Stephen King novel and will premiere on Apple+ June 4th. The series follows Lisey Landon (Julianne Moore) two years after the death of her husband in a series of unsettling events which causes Lisey to face memories of her marriage that she has deliberately blocked out of her mind. Clark plays the character of young Paul Landon, who is the older brother of  Scott Landon. Clark has three siblings and lives on a farm in Virginia. YEM was able to speak with Clark about his audition process, his favorite moments on set, and his favorite thing about the character.

Young Entertainment Mag: Who or what inspired you to become an actor?

Clark: Billy Elliot was auditioning in DC. I had been dancing for 12 hours a week for the last year.  My mom and I drove five hours to New Jersey to see a  production of Billy Elliot the musical. It was sitting in that theatre that it hit me. I wanted to shift my focus to acting.  It’s kind of ironic really, to go see a show about a boy who wants to dance and decide not to dance but to act!

YEM: Your series Lisey’s Story is coming out, what is one thing that people can learn from the series?

Clark: Ooo.  That’s heavy. I’m not sure there is a lesson to be learned from that story. It’s about survival and loyalty and what happens to a family suffering loss. After you see it, you can tell me what you learned!

YEM: Lisey’s Story is based off of a novel, were you familiar with the novel when you auditioned for the show?

Clark: Not before the audition. I knew Stephen King, of course! Once I got the audition, I made quick work of the book in audiobook form. I don’t always read the book before I audition for projects, but this one was so top secret I had to read the book to understand what was going on and who I was playing.

YEM: What was your audition process like for the show?

Clark: It was fairly run of the mill at first, get sides, learn the sides, go to New York for the audition. When I got a call back, I got to go in the room with the director, Pablo Larrain. He gave me tons of direction in the callback. I remember walking into the room with my choices and reminding myself to be ready to change everything if Pablo asked!

YEM: What is your favorite part about playing the character of young Paul Landon?

Clark: The effects! I never got to do make-up and effects like this before, and let me tell you, they are awesome!

YEM: What were some of your favorite moments on set?

Clark: In one scene, my character eats raw meat.  Oliver, our prop master had made this strange soy concoction that looked like the meat and we did this whole tasting where he made sure it was something I was okay eating. When I got to set a few days later for that scene I was amazed to find that Ollie had made me this spiced steak tartare instead! I asked him what had changed and he said, we found out you weren’t a vegetarian!

Another favorite was working with the German stunt team. You’ll have to watch the show to see what we did together, but it was intense!

Photo Credit: Guido Venitucci Photography

YEM: In Euphoria you also play a younger version of a character, young Jules, what is your process portraying the younger version of a character on screen? Did you speak with Hunter before taking on this role and what was that like?

Clark: There were no references for Euphoria in the beginning, except the sides. So there was no older Jules for me to refer to, no Hunter for me to think about or emulate. I just played the scenes truthfully as me, if I was in those circumstances feeling how Jules was feeling. Our similarity is in the mastery of Sam’s casting. He found humans who have a similar vibe and created these older and younger character pairs.  I only met Hunter by coincidence on set as she was arriving and I was heading to lunch. We looked at each other and were like OMG, you look just like me!

YEM: What can you tell us about your character of younger Jules, and what can others learn from this character?

Clark: Young Jules is desperate to be understood. My mantra during the audition and shoot was “You don’t understand me.” Jules, even at 11, knows who she is, but is struggling to love that person. The most important lesson people can learn from Jules, or from any of the Euphoria characters is how important it is to love yourself, no matter who you are.

YEM: What is your favorite thing about your character young Jules?

Clark: Would it be wrong to say the blue fuzzy sweatshirt I wore in the shoot?  I loved that hoodie! They had to keep it because Hunter wore it ,too. but I really wanted to buy it. LOL.  Seriously though, my favorite thing about Young Jules is her perseverance and her grit.  She makes it through this horrendous betrayal mostly, not completely, intact. Jules has a joyful spirit and an openness that she manages to cling to and keep even after that nightmarish ordeal. I love that about her so much.

YEM: What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role and how did you overcome it?

Clark Let me just say this now- nothing good happens to little boys in tv dramas! I think the biggest challenge was the outburst in the hallway scene. It needed to be so raw and so vulnerable that I was nervous I wouldn’t get there. Sam’s direction was really ingenious and together we were able to bring out the performance he wanted.

YEM: What made you and your siblings want to start a band?

Clark That’s a funny question!  We were 6, 8, 10 & 12 and we all played instruments. Our parents had been Renaissance Festival performers a long time ago and thought we would have fun doing it. It was more like a family project than starting a band. We had no idea what we were doing at first or that we’d still be doing it now at 12, 14, 16 & 18! This is the first year where it’s really feeling like we own the band and our parents are just bystanders with suggestions.

YEM: Do you think your music might be in a show or movie you’re in at some point?

Clark No way to tell! I wish I could give you a solid answer! I would absolutely love for that to happen, even if only to have my whole family together on set. It is my happy place 100% and to have us all together when I’m at work would be the best thing.

See Clark Furlong in Lisey’s Story on Apple+