Johnny Shingleton is playing a rather nasty character in Mercy, a movie by actress, Wendy Morgan. I had a chat with Johnny about his involvement in this very important film.
Hi Johnny, thanks for chatting to Break A Leg, tell me about your character in Mercy – The Movie.
My Character’s name in the movie Mercy is Johnny Reggae. I am one of the vile ‘Slaughterman’ in the abattoir that the movie is set in.
How did you become involved with the movie?
Initially, my mum told me that my Aunt knows a lady named Wendy who is casting for roles in her latest play that she had written. It was written as a play to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but was eventually, with other plays, turned down. So Wendy had the idea of re-writing it as a film instead. I got in contact with her and she asked me to play the part of Johnny Reggae, which at first I found horrific with the subject matter, but I thought the story had to be told.
Is there a part of the movie that you find particularly poignant?
The poignant part of the movie, to me, is the main element of the story. It’s the scenario between the time the pigs are delivered to the slaughterhouse and the time that their time sadly comes to an end. In other words, the way they are mis-treated in this movie, which I don’t condone what-so-ever. This, I believe, is mainly what Wendy’s message is trying to get across to the audience.
How familiar were you with the subject matter?
To be honest with you, I never realised what really happens ‘behind closed doors’ in some abattoirs. When I saw some footage of what really happens, I couldn’t believe it. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian myself, but I can see how people can easily change to becoming one when they actually have seen what happens.
What do you think and hope that the audience will take away from the film?
I think the audience will be taken aback and think more about how the welfare of these animals could be handled better, and the steps to make this happen. This could maybe, in turn, make them decide to change their diet.
With the strong subject matter, I obviously don’t expect people to watch it if they don’t condone what happens. But, at the same time, it would be good to have the audiences’ different opinions about it. But this story has to be told.
Huge thanks to Johnny for chatting to Break A Leg, looking forward to seeing him in the film.
Photo Credits: Gaz De Vere