Bad Cupid’s Shane Nepeau speaks to Discover 716
Discover 716 recently sat down with Shane Nepveu, Dave, from Bad Cupid filmed in Buffalo. We talk all things Bad Cupid, how he got into acting and the experience of filming in Buffalo.
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into acting.
I grew up in a family of ballroom dancers and I think growing up in that atmosphere anything is on the table. An acting career was kind of normalized from the get-go for me. I never looked at it like a career in the beginning. It was just sort of like well I'm pretending to be Spider-Man around my house so you know why wouldn't I want to do that. I remember really falling in love with Jim Carrey and I kind of turned into a clown a little bit. That feeling really became very enticing to me even though most of what I do in film and TV has been I would say mostly drama to some degree or another. That's what I get called in for the most like I did for Bad Cupid, but the comedy to me at that age was so attractive because we were making people laugh and it felt so good and it just kind of snowballed from there. So in a family of dancers I was the black sheep as the actor and they supported me. I've been very fortunate to have that growing up.
Where'd you go to school?
I went to college at Kean University in North Jersey. I didn't go to college for acting, but I loved writing so I went for English. I have to give my parent's credit too because I wasn’t going to go to college at all and my parents were like listen we think that's a dumb idea even though we support you we think that this is a foolish solution. They were like listen we're going to support you if you just go to school you know you’ll stay here rent-free and go on your auditions. You can cut class to go on auditions you can do whatever you want in that regard to pursue your dream just as long as you go to college so I'm like I would be so dumb to pass that up all I had to do is go study something that will benefit me.
Can you tell me a bit about Bad Cupid and your kind of character development and just your character in general?
I got the part at the end of summer 2019. I knew I had a really good shot of getting it because of my connections with the people involved with the film. I had worked with some of them to some degree or another pretty closely. I had a really good feeling about getting the part so immediately when I knew that I was up for it that's when I really started digging in. Dave is in law school and I had no idea about anything at all. I watched Legally Blond when I was 11 or 12 years old or something, but that was probably the extent. I needed to know what it is like going through that feels like. There's this book called “One L” and it's basically a journal that some guy kept while he was in his first year at law school and it's insane. The journal at the beginning is a kind of an orientation into the world which was really cool, but once he starts getting into like the coursework of what he actually has to do in his first year like he's going insane. It took me so long to read it because I could feel the anxiety just reading it. It was nice because when we meet Dave he’s further along in law school so he’s in a better position, however he’s gone through that period alongside his girlfriend. So it feels like those were the kind of the conversations that they were probably having with the relationship like you know “I'm sorry that I don't have the kind of time and energy to be giving you what you need but I'm just losing my mind trying over here”. There's a line in the beginning of the film, my character's first scene, where I say to Christine Tuturro’s character something along the lines of “we talked about getting married after I graduate from law school” and the way that I started working it out in my head was that there was this almost agreement where it's like “I'm going to support you for this time because that's what you need from me and then you'll support me when it's time time for me”. Yet when we meet Dave he’s not listening and being a typical guy. So getting into the character for me was a lot about digging into what this guy would be going through before we meet him in the film, but also I want to bring as much of myself to the role as possible because that's why I was excited about it. For me I was doing a lot of work with lucid dreaming and how they help you psychoanalyze your emotional state. It was really kind of tricky by the time we got to set. There was all sorts of deja vu I really started to have and the people around me started to have. The first day on set we shot in this coffee shop in buffalo called Sweet_ness 7. This barista looked at me and said “woah I just got this crazy deja vu” and walked away. I asked him what that means and he said “it's just something about you being here that feels familiar to me”. That blew my mind. That was a really beautiful experience because it kind of feels like I'm home where I need to be.
What was the background and experience of shooting the movie like in Buffalo?
With the production itself it was sort of non discriminant where it was located originally I Believe by the time I was involved Buffalo was the selected City. Our producer Larry Tish was in Buffalo I believe doing some sort of nonprofit theater because he's an actor as well. I think he just kind of fell in love with Buffalo. I can't really blame him because I did too. It wasn't just that he fell in love with Buffalo, but then also Niagara Falls was there and there was also this growing part of the industry in Buffalo and the people I suppose who work behind the scenes of what it takes to make a movie in Buffalo are easier to work with than perhaps in other areas. That means everything to a producer. I think it was very serendipitous with how it worked out. I think everyone kind of fell in love.
How can they get to see the movie?
Whatever on demand service you have should have this movie. Amazon, iTunes I believe you can rent it on Apple TV. I would say nine out of 10 of the streaming services that you can rent movies on will have it.
Why should people see the movie?
I'm in it and I was there, I was a part of the process so I'm so tethered and I'm so biased. I really loved the experience so much. Obviously I'm going to love the movie, but taking that out of it for me I felt like this movie was something that was made like 20 years ago and locked in a vault and was released now. During Covid and all this craziness that we’re experiencing right now. It feels nice to have something that reminds us of life before and what life could be like again now that we’re seeing at the end of the tunnel. Watching this movie it was like “oh this is my last ounce of Freedom before on house arrest”. Watching it felt like home in a weird way. It was just nice to laugh, have fun, and watch something that made me feel unlike the Doom and Gloom around us. This is a dark comedy so there is some Doom and Gloom and there's definitely some cynical parts to it which I think some people found refreshing. A lot of people in my life don’t like rom-coms, but they really like this because it wasn't something that maybe they're used to seeing within the genre. I think that people should watch it because it's fun and it's refreshing and it's reminiscent of the time that maybe they miss right now.
Bad Cupid can be streamed on Vudu, Amazon Prime, and Google play as of February 12, 2021.