Dawn: Jackie Moore and Jared Cohn’s rideshare nightmare

Jackie Moore as Dawn in DAWN. Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures, LLC

Jackie Moore (Pernicious) and Jared Cohn (A Stalker in the House) lead an ensemble cast in the frightening share ride horror Dawn, from Uncork’d Entertainment.

The film, directed by Nicholas Ryan, tells of an unsuspecting couple that get into a rideshare only to find out that they may have to fight for their lives as the deranged driver puts them through life and death situations. Be careful who you accept a ride from, it may be your last.

Sarah French, Michael Paré, Eric Roberts, Gigi Gustin, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendon also feature in the Ryder Doupe, Dawson Doupé, and Todd Tapper-penned Dawn.

Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures, LLC
So when you first booked the role and you got to read the script, what was your first reaction to it?

Jackie: Well, I was very, very impressed by the script. These two writers, I believe they’re brothers, Dawson and Ryder, wrote what I consider a very unique piece of art. I thought it was something totally different from scripts I’ve read in the past and I really love the idea of a female serial killer. I thought that was super cool. I thought it had a deeper meaning than what was on paper. 

Jared: Yeah, you know, I like the message that she’s, you know, getting justice and she’s kind of acting like the karma police. You know, my character is the bad guy, so she traps me and gives me my comeuppance, so to speak. So, you know, there’s a deeper meaning to it and I think a lot of people will kind of see that and will cheer her on for what she’s doing.

But Oliver’s like, not really a bad guy. So it’s kind of interesting.

Jared: I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think it’s a bad society that the movie commentates on that, ‘this is what I have to do to make money for my wife, you know, I’m trying to provide for my family,’ and I’m in the situation doing questionable business but, you know, you can argue that he’s working as a company man. It’s not his fault. It’s just the way the world is.

Jackie, did you kind of feel the same way about Dawn? 

Jackie: No, I definitely feel like she’s a big time villain. Even though she believes what she’s doing was justified, I don’t ever agree with murder. I think what she did was pretty extreme. Her point of view, you know, as an actress, you have to get behind your character’s point of view. And it’s tough when it’s the villain who’s doing things that are completely out of your realm of thinking. But it’s fun, and it’s interesting, and Dawn was pretty diabolical. 

Jared Cohn as Oliver and Sarah French as Anna in DAWN. Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures, LLC
Rideshare horror stories are really really popular right now, why do you think that is?

Jackie: Well, they’re in the news. I mean, there was someone that, unfortunately, this is something that has happened in real life. Maybe not necessarily to this degree, but I think anytime you’re getting in the car with a stranger, there’s going to be a risk that you’re taking. So I think it’s definitely a popular topic because it’s so, you know, topical and it’s in our minds. I think anytime you get in an Uber or Lyft, maybe in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, ‘this could go south,’ you know? You never know. Because you’re meeting someone for the first time and people are unpredictable.

Jared: Just to echo that, yeah, I mean, with the rideshare background checks are, you know, not necessarily super thorough. So, you know, you can be getting in someone’s car, and yeah, violent crimes do happen. I mean, if you’re going to have that many passengers use the app, all across the world, like it’s a very, very small percentage, but it’s going to happen. But, you know, like with anything, you can get mugged on the street, anything can happen. So by getting in someone’s car, yeah, something can happen.

Has this project kind of affected your relationship with rideshare services? 

Jackie: I still use it. 

Jared: Yeah. I mean, of course, I’m gonna use it. I think it’s brilliant. I watched “Super Pumped,” a series about the making of Uber. And I love what they’re doing and the rideshare space is not going anywhere. I think what’s going to happen is what’s happening in San Francisco right now, driverless cars. They’re gonna be coming to LA in the next few years. So in like 5 to 7 years, there’s not going to be any more human Ubers, or just are very few… But yeah, I’ll trust a computer more.

Jackie: That’ll be like the next horror movie. It’ll be like, Christine, but with a Tesla that drives itself.

According to your IMDb pages, this is not the first time that you two have worked together. What was it like coming back for this film?

Jackie: Terrible. No, Jared and I are good friends. We’ve worked on a lot of stuff, he can’t get rid of me. We’re like Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, we just keep coming back together.

And Jared, I know you more so as a director. So what was it like working with Jackie as an actor instead of the director?

Jared: Working with Jackie is great. I’ve acted in movies with her and directed movies with her, I’ve done cameos and little bits here and there but I haven’t played a lead role in a really long time. And I really enjoy acting. It’s not that I don’t act because I don’t want to, I just, you know, I started directing and then stopped focusing on the acting. So, when this came around, it was really good and exciting to get back in front of the camera. I do enjoy it and from time to time. But yeah, when I first came here, I was hustling at all times. But the grind, the actor lifestyle grind, you know, auditioning and headshots and all that, mad respect for all the actors that do that. I was doing that and then I was just like, ‘yeah, I gotta pivot.’

Jackie: He’s an amazing actor and I was very happy to hear that he was going to be acting with me. I’m a big fan of Jared as an actor, and he did this movie called Feed the Devil, which I keep talking about, because I loved that movie and I thought you were amazing in that, and I’ve told them that he should be acting all the time. But he’s a great director. too. 

Jared Cohn as Oliver in DAWN. Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures, LLC
Well, now you have to direct a movie that you star in.

Jared: I did that with the first movie I directed. I put all my scenes in one day so it wasn’t bad, but it was written like that, I wrote it, too, but yeah, I mean, I have done that. Actually there was a movie, I was doing a movie in Thailand and the actress cast as the mom, her appendix burst. I’m directing the movie, her appendix burst and the role started the next day, so I took over, I had to play the role. So, the mom became the uncle and I had to rewrite it on the fly. It’s tough directing yourself. I mean, if you have time, sure it’s a lot easier, but when you’re on a tough schedule, you know… if you got time to really relax and get into character, that’s one thing, but if you’re running and gunning and then throwing on wardrobe and sitting in front of the shot and, you know, racing back. It’s tough. That was tough.

Jackie: Yeah. And honestly, I think just to add, too, you know, working with Sarah (French) and Jared, I feel like this movie would have been so hard to do if we didn’t have such a good relationship, all of us. Because we’re in a car, we shot it in like five days, I mean, it was tough. It was night shoots and we only got one or two takes. It’s no joke. So, it’s good to, you know, like the people you’re in a tight space with. Even if you had to act like you didn’t like them. It was really fun to be around really cool people. And Sarah I just met on this movie, but yeah, it was great to have that camaraderie between all of us.

What’s coming up next for the both of you?

Jackie: I have one called Out of Hand coming out with Billy Baldwin and Louise Linton. And that one is like a really cool mystery thriller. And there’s a really, really great stunt in the beginning of the movie, but I can’t say too much but my character is involved with it so I’m very excited to see how that comes out. 

Jared: I directed a TV series, six episodes, that’s in post now. And yeah, some other stuff, you know, in the works, but that’s the next thing coming out. I don’t know when it’s coming out, but follow my Instagram or my LinkedIn.

And Jackie, how can people keep in touch with you?

Jackie: They can mail me a letter. No, they can find me on Instagram @Jackie__Moore, because I have a very common name so I couldn’t just be Jackie Moore. And then I think I’m @MooreJackie_ on Twitter. 

Is there anything else that you’d like to add about Dawn?

Jackie: It’s a fun ride that we both have not seen. We’re both scared to watch it. It’s hard to be an actor because, you know, you’re putting yourself out there, so it’s not always easy to watch your own work. I hope everyone enjoys it. I hope everyone knows that it was a lower budget film and we did the best we could. Hopefully it provides some enjoyment or fear.

Jared: I second that.

Jackie Moore as Dawn in DAWN. Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures, LLC

Dawn is now available on DVD and Digital