TWENTY ONE PILOT’S “MY BLOOD” ACTORS TRENT CULKIN & DASH CONNERY

Trent and Dash played brothers in the most recent Twenty One Pilots Music Video “My Blood.”

In this interview, the two actors talk about their experiences on set.

 Photos by  Erik J Berry

Photos by Erik J Berry

So, you're the brothers from the Twenty One Pilots "My Blood" video. Tell us about your experience filming it. How was working on this video?

Dash: This video was such fantastic experience! I couldn’t have asked for a better Crew and Cast. Obviously my big brother Trent Culkin and I worked really well together and I think because of how well we got along, the relationship looked really genuine on camera. The director Tim Mattia ran a tight ship when he needed to, but was such a lovely and kind presence on set that I really felt at ease, and his direction felt very natural as well. All in all, I’m seriously excited and honored to be in such a great production and would work with anyone on that crew again anytime. 

Trent: Yeah, I second all of that - everyone involved was profoundly talented, and an undeniable pleasure to work with. We shot it all in two days, but there wasn't a second wasted during those days. It was constant and sometimes exhausting work, as you see in the more physically rigorous scenes, but it was all comfortable and fun and efficient and of course safe the whole time. We got to work with James Lew, the legendary stunt coordinator on the fight scene stuff, which was probably one of the most technical scenes to get, and so much fun - but yeah, it really was a great experience from beginning to end. 

How was working with Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun from the band? 

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Trent: Great, they were super nice, super cool, down to earth and down to do the work. Probably exactly what you'd expect: cool, professional, talented of course, just generally awesome. And even though I'm wearing the skull mask that whole scene that was really me hopping around like a skeletal mad man in the party scene, crashing into people, chugging fake beer. I'm in Tyler’s face on the mic and he's pushing me back. A lot of that action got cut, but it was a lot of fun to shoot. They were really down to just do it for real, and make it as believable as possible. It really felt like a house party. Reminded me of midwest punk shows - I was yelling total craziness into the crowd to get them pumped up. It didn't matter what I said because we weren't capturing audio, so I was just screaming the weirdest stuff I could think of, like "f--- society, the world is ending in 2019!!" 

Dash: Yeah, I of course knew and liked Twenty One Pilots music already, so it was really exciting but also definitely a little nerve wracking knowing that a lot of people are going to see it, so I definitely wanted to be perfect and make sure I captured what the band and production team’s vision. I’ve played music my whole life, and love hanging with other musicians, so It was really great that when I met Tyler and Josh, I could immediately tell that they were great guys and super laid back. The band came in on a night shoot and like Trent just said, we basically just had a big party. They were so cool and into it, that if I didn’t know I was in a music video, I would’ve thought I was really at a dope house show! 

You two seem pretty close. Did you know each other before working together?

Trent: The incredible thing about working on set is that you're sort of forced into an accelerated experience of getting to know people. I feel like you really get a glimpse into the core of who someone is or what they're about, by working alongside them on creative projects. Dash and I met at the fitting for this video at Universal Studios two days before shooting, and just sitting in the hall waiting to try clothes on or whatever, we clicked right away. He was like instantly in the role of my brother it felt like haha. Going to work together instantly made that bond stronger. Our chemistry is great, all the laughs, and smiles and goofing around with each other was totally real.

Dash: Exactly! Me and Trent met on this project and I’m so glad that we did. We clicked right away and definitely want to keep working together from then on in. I see me and Trent putting something out this year together, be it music or a short film or something new, we got what you NEED.

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Dash, does your family have any influence on your work, or do they help you with it in any way?

Dash: They definitely have a big influence on me and my life, I mean, all family does for anyone, but I definitely got interested in film and the entertainment world from them. I think having my family definitely makes me want to be the absolute best actor I can be, because the last thing I want is for people to think I only got a part because of my name. It’s also a big help knowing that if I’m struggling with a role, I can always turn to family for advice. This video has been my first professional acting job, and my family could not be more supportive. I’m very lucky to have them. 

Where has acting taken you so far?

Dash: This might sound real nice and cheesy, but acting has taken me to the best place in my life. I only started to act as a career in the last year and a half, but it truly feels like I should have been my entire life. It feels good in life to find your passion and follow it. What else can we do?

Trent: Yeah, I'm with Dash on the "best place" thing - although our experiences have obviously been very different, when I think of where acting has taken me, I don't think so much about where it's taken me professionally, although I'm proud of the work I've done so far - I think more about where it's taken me as an individual on a path in my life. Pursuing art as a lifestyle has permanently changed my life for the better in such an extreme way.

Anything you're working on now you can to talk about?

Dash: I’m always working towards my next role or next project and I’m really excited to see where the rest of the year takes me! Especially now that I’ve met Trent, I think the next couple of years we’re going to be able to put out something we’ll be really proud of. 

Trent: I'm in the final stages of post-production on a short film I was writer, producer and actor on under the working title "Silence is Kindness", which is subject to change. I'm attached as lead actor on 2 features in pre-production right now. One titled 'Between the Moon and You', and the other 'Halloween Club.' We are also in the final stages of mixing/ mastering on a first EP for my rock n roll band Le STRANGE. I'm always writing, I'm constantly auditioning and in class studying, and there's always a possibility for collaboration with other artists, so it feels like I'm always in conversation about a new project or something. I think Dash has talked me into giving improv at Groundlings a try, so I think I'm going to start that next month with him as well.