Jake Weber didn’t have to think twice about joining the film, “Those Who Wish Me Dead.”
There was one major factor that drew him to the production.
“Taylor Sheridan, he’s the man,” Weber says. “He’s one of the best writers around. He had a terrific script. I was a fan of his work before and I wanted to work with him.”
“Those Who Wish Me Dead” is about Hannah Faber, played by Angelina Jolie, a smoke jumper struggling after failing to prevent the deaths of three young campers and a fellow smoke jumper in a forest fire. She is now posted in a fire lookout tower in Park County, Montana.
Meanwhile, Owen Casserly, played by Weber is a forensic accountant who learns about the death of his boss and his family in an apparent gas explosion.
Believing he is next to be targeted, Casserly goes on the run with his son, Connor, played by Finn Little, to seek refuge with his brother-in-law, Ethan Sawyer, a deputy sheriff.
They are ambushed by the Blackwells, assassins who force them off the road and down a cliff.
Production took place in New Mexico, with filming taking place in Bernalillo, Torrance, Sandoval and Rio Arriba counties. It also filmed on the Santa Clara Pueblo. The film is currently in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
Weber would often fly back home to Los Angeles during breaks from filming.
He enjoyed stepping into Owen’s shoes for the film.
“Owen is a bereft man,” Weber says. “He lost his wife and he’s doing his best as a single dad. Then all of a sudden, he finds himself on the run – through not fault of his own. He’s trying to protect his kid and he’s just a regular guy. He’s also way in over his head.”
Weber says in terms of the execution of the role, he felt comfortable.
“Working with kids is something I enjoy and I’ve a lot of experience on set working with them,” he says. “Finn is so talented. With kids, because they are spontaneous, you get a real reaction out of them.”
New Mexico doubles for Montana in the film and Weber says the state’s topography is so varied that it lent itself to many different locations.
“The film industry is booming out there because you have so much variety,” Weber says. “We had great wooded areas and then there’s all the wide open spaces. You get great vistas and for a cinematographer, it’s a great state to shoot in with an attractive setting.”
Weber says one of the great things about being an actor is the opportunity to travel.
“I didn’t see New Mexico as a tourist or do any sightseeing,” he says. “I got to travel to these beautiful locations to film. It was also close to home and in our hotel, I was running into friends on other projects. It’s like it was the Chateau Marmont.”