Roy Huang on the heart of ‘Take The Night’

Roy Huang as William Chang in the thriller, TAKE THE NIGHT, a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.
Photo courtesy of Saban Films.

Roy Huang stars as William Chang in Take The Night, an inventive and edgy crime thriller about a prank gone wrong.

Take The Night is a twisted tale of sibling rivalry and family secrets. An elaborate surprise birthday stunt heads into increasingly dark places when career criminals hired to stage a fake kidnapping go rogue. Older brother William secures a crew to stage a fake kidnapping of his brother Robert. But the crew has plans of their own. The brothers must put aside their sibling rivalry if they want to save the family fortune.

Take The Night is written and directed by Seth McTigue in his feature film debut. Seth McTigue stars in the film alongside Roy Huang (“Castle,” Joyful Noise), Sam Li (Women Is Losers), Brennan Keel Cook (Encounter, “Love You To Death”), Shomari Love (Maya and Her Lover, “The Chi”), Antonio Aaron, and Grace Serrano.

Check out our interview with Roy!

What are people in for when they watch this movie?

Roy: If you’ve seen the trailer, it’s a thriller/mystery movie. There’s a car chase, a little bit of action, there are some twists and turns. It says it’s a crime thriller but it’s more than that. What you can’t see in the trailer is it’s a relationship story about two brothers- as a matter of fact, four brothers because Seth and Brandon play two brothers and me and Sam play two brothers. They’re on the criminal side and we’re on the rich Asian family side. But it’s ultimately, at the heart of it, it’s a story about the relationship between the brothers and what they go through and, you know, them being at odds with each other for different reasons.

What was it like working with Sam to build that relationship?

Roy: Sam was great. He was naturally just a lot like Robert Chang. I think he really captured just that straight laced feel, but underneath all of the, you know, responsible, straight laced brother, it was really about this need to live up to our dad’s expectations. And that’s really what I think drove him in the story and to be the way he was.

(L-R)Roy Huang as William Chang and Sam Li as Robert Chang in the thriller, TAKE THE NIGHT, a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.
What drew you to this project?

Roy: Well, I auditioned for this. It was one of the many things I auditioned for. That’s how I initially heard about it. I didn’t know anything about it. You know, I auditioned for it, and they called me and they said, ‘Oh, well, the director is interested and he wants to meet you.’ And I think it was the next day we did a zoom call because he was in New York, and then the day after that, they were like, ‘oh, yeah, like you got the part.’ So that’s how I got involved. But then when I got into it, and had the script, and we got into rehearsals, I really started to realize that, you know, it’s really a unique story. And it’s I think it’s pushing the envelope in a sense that hey, you got to Asian leads in here, you know, that aren’t, you know, doing martial arts and aren’t doing the typical thing and it’s really, like I said, a story about the two brothers at the heart of it.

This is also Seth’s feature film debut, and he wore a ton of hats as the writer, director and actor. What was it like working with him as he was performing all of these roles?

Roy: It was fun for me. I’m sure he was stressed, but for me, I thought he did a really good job of creating an environment that really felt collaborative and that we all felt involved in. As matter of fact, he would frequently come to us, me and Sam and other members of the cast and ask, ‘how am I doing, this is my first time doing this. What do you think about this or do you have any insight on this or that or what do you think about the scene that we’re gonna be filming after lunch? Do you have any ideas?’ And that was refreshing to be able to work in that way because you feel like you’re involved and you feel like your ideas matter and you feel like you’re very much a part of the process.

Toward the end, your character is reading the letter from your father. What was it like kind of switching gears from pranking my brother to being in that more emotional moment? 

Roy: It was all fun. I mean, every actor wants to play roles that have meat on them. What I mean by that is, there’s always things going on underneath. We all have things going on in our lives and we all have emotions and struggles and all these things going on underneath, and this movie, being a lead and playing that role, really gave us the chance to explore all that stuff. Like I said, with Sam, with the younger brother, a lot of it was about trying to live up to the dad’s expectations, you know, and trying to figure all that out and I think for me, for the older brother, it was a lot about trying to figure out who I was and dealing with the insecurities and literal jealousy for the younger brother kind of the dad’s favorite, right? And I mean, you never see William outwardly show it but it’s always there. It’s like, ‘well, why him and why not me? I’m the older brother,’ and when it comes to Asian culture, usually, as the firstborn son, it’s like, oh, he’s the one, but in this story, it’s the reverse. There’s a lot going on, and I think that’s what really buys you that scene at the end. There’s so much going on and finally, there’s that reconciliation or that resolution at the end. It’s just, I think that’s why we all watch movies.

Roy Huang as William Chang in the thriller, TAKE THE NIGHT, a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.
Was there ever a time that you pulled a prank on someone, and it went wrong? 

Roy: That’s a good question. I’m not much of a prankster. But I’ve definitely been pranked before and not been happy about it. But no, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that crazy. But again, that’s why I think this was such a fun character to play because he is a little bit reckless and a little bit, you know, I’m sure you saw my car in the movie. It’s a very loud, bright vehicle and, you know, it’s fun to play characters like that.

What is something that you are most excited for people to see when they watch this movie?

Roy: For me, the funnest thing to shoot was the chase scene because I’m driving around in this bright green Lamborghini and I love cars. That experience was great and I thought it came off great on screen. But for me, the thing that I’m most excited for people to see is really the relationship because that’s the thing that you don’t really get to see in the trailer, but it’s, at the heart of the story, it’s this relationship between two brothers and, you know, all the very real disagreements and problems and emotions that they have going on in that relationship. I think that’s the most interesting thing.

(L-R) Grace Serrano as Melissa and Roy Huang as William Chang in the thriller, TAKE THE NIGHT, a Saban Films release. Photo courtesy of Saban Films.
Saban Films premieres Take The Night in theaters on July 8 and four days later, on July 12, the movie premieres on Digital.