Actors Chasen Schneider and Jordan Salloum discuss 'Hate Crime' Special

Posted Jan 13, 2016 by Adrian Peel
Two rising stars of American cinema, who also happen to be good friends, talk to Digital Journal about their upcoming movie.
Raymond (Jordan Salloum) and Kevin (Chasen Schneider)
Raymond (Jordan Salloum) and Kevin (Chasen Schneider)
Mavern Entertainment
Chasen Schneider is the 24-year-old son of actor, writer and director John Schneider. After graduating from LAMDA (the world renowned London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), the L.A. born film enthusiast moved to New York in 2014. He would eventually take on the pivotal role of Kevin in the new hard-hitting thriller, Hate Crime.
Acting alongside him, in a role equally important to the story, is Jordan Salloum from New Orleans, who is a couple of years older than Chasen. Salloum plays Raymond Brown, the perpetrator of said "hate crime."
Chasen reveals how his father helped him get the job: "My dad was in it and they were looking for someone to fill in this last part... He said to director, Steven Esteb, 'Well my son's the right age, you should talk to him, see if you like the sound of him,' so Steven gave me a call.
"We talked about the project, I thought it sounded interesting. He sent me the script, I loved it. I told him I'd like to do it and sent him my showreel, and he really liked what he saw."
"The script had a wonderful emphasis on people," continues the ambitious performer, "and their relationship to their environment and their circumstances. It was telling a story about real people reacting to this dramatic event.
"I only have one scene, but it's an essential one. I form the crux for the development of the character Ray and for his eventual failure, as well as the grief for both sets of parents."
John Schneider in a scene from  Hate Crime.
John Schneider in a scene from 'Hate Crime.'
Maven Entertainment
Jordan, who describes his buddy Chasen as a "really great guy," reflects on how he ended up as a member of the cast: "I consider Steven Esteb, our director, a friend and he's been really good to me. The way he put this whole film together is just amazing...
"He gave me the script about two years ago and had me audition. I didn't hear anything for a while and then a few months had gone by before he told me I had the part. They got this great cast together, he and Alicia our amazing producer. It was a great experience."
The film deals with the immediate aftermath of a violent crime committed by a young man, Raymond (Jordan), against a young homosexual man, Kevin (Chasen), and the effort both actors put into their respective roles has not gone unnoticed.
Aforementioned producer, Alicia Allain, stated: "I was very impressed by Chasen and Jordan for 'cutting their teeth' in Hate Crime. Both give a stellar performance and I completely believe the relationship," while John Schneider opined: "What a delight working with new talent who were both willing and able to listen to some of the, ahem, older rules of cinema!"
Judging by the trailer, this motion picture looks to be an exciting cinematic prospect, but there is no fixed release date as of yet.
Jordan Salloum in  Hate Crime.
Jordan Salloum in 'Hate Crime.'
Maven Entertainment
"We're working on it," explains Chasen, who also acts with Jordan in another soon to be released movie (this time directed by his father), Anderson Bench. "It's finished now and we're submitting it to several festivals. We're submitting it to Tribeca and Toronto, among others, where it will be screened by distributors and someone will pick it up. We're thinking it'll be released before the end of the year, but if not maybe early next year."
I wondered what Chasen had learned over the past two decades from watching his old man act (in Hate Crime the two don't actually have any scenes together, despite the fact their characters are also father and son).
"I went to visit him on set a few times, on Smallville particularly," recalls the former London resident. "I learned a lot from that because as a kid, you watch movies and TV shows and you think they're magic. You think they just shoot a camera at people playing pretend, which is true, but when I went to Smallville I saw how much time it took and how so much is done for such a short amount of screen time."
Jordan Salloum is also grateful for the chance to learn from the very experienced John Schneider (as well as Hate Crime and Anderson Bench, he is set to appear in Like Son and Inadmissible, two more film projects involving the much admired star of TV's Dukes of Hazzard).
"Oh man, he's great," enthuses Jordan. "He's been around for so long and I really look up to him a lot. All the films we've done together have been an education for me."
For more information on Hate Crime, visit the film's Facebook page or the official website (or Facebook page) of John Schneider Studios.