Kristoffer Polaha Talks Buried in Barstow, a Journey to Cannes, and His Essential Work Preventing Trafficking

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It is at all times a pleasure once we get the chance to speak with Kristoffer Polaha.

He is a really busy man with a task within the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion movie and Lifetime’s Buried in Barstow, during which he stars with Angie Harmon.

We talked with Kristoffer about these initiatives and the quick movie he lately premiered on the Cannes Movie Pageant.


Kristoffer is taking full benefit of the world opening up once more. The final time we talked, he shared how a lot he managed to perform throughout the COVID lockdowns, and now he is getting on the market selling that work.

We talked simply earlier than Cannes, and Kristoffer could not conceal his pleasure about his movie.


“A bit movie that I directed, referred to as “The Work of Artwork,” was one among eight movies chosen at Cannes do the impression of rising filmmakers showcase; we have been chosen to be part of this pageant,” he mentioned.

“I am actually enthusiastic about the way it turned out. And once more, that was all blissful byproduct of the pandemic and the quarantine,” Kristoffer mentioned. He labored carefully along with his editor to get the movie proper the place they wished it. “We took it from 23 minutes, all the best way all the way down to 17 lean, tight minutes, so lovely.”

He described it as an anti-suicide movie with a good looking message ensuing from a teen and her uncle discussing life.

As a father himself, Kristoffer is aware of a factor or two about such talks. He realized when he was solid on Life Surprising how highly effective the expertise was along with his work.



“I believe that being a father has actually been an enormous additive for me as an actor as a result of it is given me a particular energy that I believe a whole lot of different actors do not know easy methods to convey to the desk until they’re fathers.

“So with Brittany on Life Surprising, there was a extremely cool father-daughter relationship as a result of I had younger sons, and I knew easy methods to take care of youngsters. And I believe with Sylvie [Maris, his collaborator on A Work of Art], I used to be in a position to speak to her and nurture her as a director as a result of I have been speaking to my youngsters for thus lengthy and know easy methods to.”

Kristoffer is a proud father, and with one among his sons going to Berkley College of Music for per week and one other appearing in New York Metropolis this July, he is received rather a lot to make him proud.

Yow will discover him speaking about his household regularly on his Instagram account, and he shared his pleasure about his son’s appearing gig there. Kristoffer mentioned his son was bitten by the appearing bug years in the past, however he wished him to have a life earlier than taking something too significantly.


“He is gotta wait and have a life and develop as an individual and a human being first — get fascinating. After which he may act if he has one thing to get again. However within the meantime, I would like him to love actually practice, so he is been extraordinarily productive.

His son, a sophomore, was solid because the lead in a play with a senior woman, a two-person present about somewhat woman who wanted a liver transplant, and the boy who reveals up at her college. Whereas engaged on a venture collectively, the boy tells her about seeing somewhat boy die on the basketball courtroom that day, they usually focus on how one thing like that ought to make you are feeling.

“After which, hastily, he finds out that she wants a liver transplant, and he is the boy who’s died. And it is like this bizarre, kind of existential, transcendental, and it is actually lovely.”

Kristoffer mentioned his son grew to become an actor within the course doing that play, which had an emotional impression that made grown males sob. “He went from desirous to do it and questioning if he may and questioning whether it is one thing that he has the chops for to really possessing a present and with the ability to drop in and get out of the best way to inform a extremely superb story and have an viewers react.”

“And so he desires to do it. However I informed him, ‘Pay attention, you gotta learn to edit. You gotta learn to direct and easy methods to do all of it.’ So he is simply taken his time with it.”


The leisure enterprise has modified considerably since Kris broke into appearing 21 years in the past, when there was a continuum of nice actors from Charlie Chaplin to Cary Grant to Marlon Brando to Robert De Niro to Johnny Depp.

“And in the event you have been fortunate sufficient to get pumped up into that line, then you definately’d have this actually strong, great profession,” he mentioned. The identical went for administrators, however that manner of Hollywood development has lastly been disrupted.

“I believe it lastly received democratized the place anyone from anyplace, in the event you’ve received one thing to say, and you’ll say creatively sufficient, you have got a shot at getting your tales informed.”

Kristoffer realized rather a lot about filmmaking with A Work of Artwork when he did a lot himself as a director, producer, and actor. “It was actually form of superior to see who I wanted, what the collaboration actually appears to be like like, what’s important and what’s not important” as a result of he can switch that information to all of his different work.

Kristoffer received concerned with Buried in Barstow as a result of he labored with director Howard Deutch on Life Surprising and Ringer. “He is only a mensch. And he is any individual who’s been in my life ever since we labored collectively the primary time.


“I bear in mind assembly his daughter Zoe when she was like a freshman in highschool or one thing. And he is the man who’s like, ‘Come over to my home, have lunch, we will speak. We will do that.’

“We tried to get a venture off the bottom collectively after I had a complete deal at CVS years in the past. And he referred to as me and mentioned, ‘I’ve received this function for you. Are you ?’ And I learn the script. I mentioned, ‘Completely. I did not have to. I might like to work with you once more.’ And it occurred.

“When Thriller 101 was scheduled to shoot in November, we have been able to go for quantity eight, and one thing at Hallmark switched, they usually pushed it to January, and immediately, they’ve this window and Buried in Barstow hopped proper into it.”

Buried in Barstow provides Kristoffer and Angie Harmon darker roles to sort out than viewers could count on.

“Angie performs this mama bear to such an superior diploma,” Kristoffer mentioned. “And to assist her, particularly as a producer, I imply, that is actually her present. So it is one thing that she dropped at the desk, so serving to any individual understand a dream like that’s superior.

“It is enjoyable. And to play a man you do not know the place he is coming from and you do not know what his deal is like, all of that, it was an thrilling job to do.”



There are a number of twists and turns in Buried in Barstow that, with lessor actors, may need been straightforward to identify. However you develop so connected to the characters so shortly that you simply’re immersed of their tales, which gives ample room for the sudden.

Kristoffer and Angie, as Elliott and Jane, have a palpable chemistry that steams up the display screen and offers Kristoffer the chance to disrobe, proper all the way down to his derriere, which can or could not make it into the ultimate model of the movie!

“Yeah, there’s a whole lot of actors who take a whole lot of satisfaction of their our bodies and work out on a regular basis. I am not that man,” Kristoffer laughed. “I’ve at all times spent way more vitality on my craft than my abs. So, at any time when I’ve to take my shirt off, I am at all times, frankly, insecure.

“I am like, ‘Oh, man, I hope I do not appear to be a dad.’ But it surely’s okay. I believe that is actually horny. So possibly I am going to shift public opinion. Hopefully, I do not know. Possibly I am going to get sufficient to take my shirt off. I do not know.”

Do not be alarmed when the film ends on a cliffhanger as a result of everyone seems to be on board and able to soar into extra materials.



“I do know that there was a author employed in January. And I heard dates bandied about for late summer season, however I do not know something. There isn’t any like, tickets, or something by but for our remaining vacation spot.

“However I do know that there’s curiosity in telling at the least 4 tales in whole, and possibly extra relying on the viewers response. And I believe all of us concerned are in for the lengthy haul. I might like to maintain telling these tales as a result of I believe our story is simply getting began.

“Firstly, my character and her character are undoubtedly simply getting began. So there’s much more territory to discover and story to be informed. It looks like they might each convey out one thing in one another that may get them in bother however may additionally steer them in a unique route,” he mentioned.

Kristoffer is in awe of the unimaginable group that they had engaged on Buried in Barstow.

“Howie Deutsch, he is a giant deal. He has directed superb motion pictures. And he introduced collectively a group, like our gaffer, or like our lead mild hanger, works on all of Oliver Stones movies, our Director of Pictures, went world wide with YouTube, did effectively at dwelling, and has this unimaginable resume of function movies.


“And I believe, the best way that the market is, the trade, you have received lots of people who had large, lengthy, huge careers in cinema, and now they’ve determined to do tv as a result of tv, like with streaming and this ‘golden age of tv,’ the place actually there are not any boundaries anymore between movie and tv.”

They filmed on an actual, practical, working barbecue place, and Kristoffer remembers strolling into it for a scene with Angie that was lit with pinks and purples so fantastically. “It was like being on a film set, like an actual big-budget film set. You count on tv movies to be somewhat faster, somewhat cheaper, somewhat dirtier, simply working down our 9 scenes in a one-day shot.

“But it surely was a unique angle with this, and we’re nonetheless breakneck tempo. We’re nonetheless getting a whole lot of stuff performed throughout the day, however we have been taking our time with actually lovely pictures. And, I believe, inform a narrative that is stunning. So I believe, aesthetically, part of what you’re seeing and feeling is simply that it was shot so fantastically.”

Kristoffer additionally has Jurassic World: Dominion popping out this month. ” what? That is gonna be a enjoyable film to be part of. I can not wait to see individuals’s reactions to that. It is going to be cool.”

However if you wish to know extra about Ryan Huntley, Kristoffer’s character, you are going to need to see the film.



“If I informed you who I used to be, it might wreck a storyline. You would be like, ‘Oh, I knew that,’ and all of your readers will know. So, sadly, I am certain to an NDA.”

However he did share somewhat bit to whet our appetites. “It is a smaller function. But it surely’s this cool little half that performs an integral function.

“Within the film, it is the outdated guard. So it is the entire Jurassic Park actors like Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. They usually’ve received one storyline. After which there’s the Jurassic World solid, which is Bryce Howard and Chris Pratt. They have a storyline. After which these storylines intersect. If it is a five-act film, within the fourth act, they intersect.

“And so my character is part of Chris Pratt’s storyline. So I’ve up into the intersection, you see me at first of the movie up into the intersection. And yeah, what I’ll say is that we shot it throughout the pandemic.

“And I believe I spoke to you about that and my household; they received to dwell with me in London whereas we filmed it. And it was only a actually cool expertise. It was a extremely enjoyable, like a once-in-a-lifetime alternative.”


Kristoffer and Pratt have rather a lot in widespread, from their households to their charity work, with Kris calling him an “unimaginable human being” and “a lot enjoyable.”

It wasn’t solely the film stars on set that have been spectacular. Kristoffer additionally had great issues to say about Colin Trevorrow and his route on a set with so many particular results.

“Watching him perform on set and simply have $250 million at his disposal, which is so bizarre since you sit there and particular results know-how is so superior now that you simply’re not taking a look at tennis balls, you are not taking a look at a inexperienced display screen. You are simply wanting into area.

“And he is like, ‘Okay, now react. There is a dinosaur coming at you,’ and you are like, ‘Effectively, the place is it?’ ‘Fourteen ft excessive,’ ‘Yeah, that appears nice.’ ‘Okay, now you are like, it is marvel, it is concern, now smile,’ with you form of reacting to nothingness. And so I give a whole lot of credit score to the individuals who have performed that rather a lot.”

“I believe it is gonna be the most important film within the historical past motion pictures, in my humble opinion. I believe the world is able to get again into theaters. And I believe that the field workplace goes to show that.”


Relating to summer season blockbusters, Kristoffer is personally wanting ahead to Elvis as a result of he labored with Austin Butler on Life Surprising. “He is come a great distance. That is a extremely thrilling step for him,” he mentioned.

As at all times, Kristoffer and his household are working collectively to assist change the world, they usually ran a 6K for World Imaginative and prescient on Might twenty first.

Kristoffer can be sitting on the board of a grant tank referred to as the Jensen Mission. “We’re speaking about human trafficking and the intercourse commerce trade. And we’re attempting to place caps on legalizing prostitution.

“And it is a actually fascinating dialog about abuse, about spousal abuse, about intercourse trafficking, about pornography, and ladies’s rights, frankly, and we’re serving to ladies, and I say, we, there is a board. A lady named Janet Jensen, made some huge cash in her lifetime and has devoted her time to giving it away to grants.

“And thus far, she provides anyplace between $2 to $4 million away a yr. And the grants are for individuals who have been trafficked. Like, in the event you have been a younger lady who was trafficked, this was a extremely heavy factor, and it is darkish horrible stuff. However in the event you have been groomed into the intercourse commerce as somewhat woman, then oftentimes you are not registered; you have no identification.


“Whether or not you have been a younger woman, and also you had a bank card or a driver’s license, they steal that info, wreck your credit score. And so when the ladies are form of kicked out on the opposite facet of the intercourse commerce trade, they’re oftentimes with none credit score, with none identification.

“They usually find yourself changing into prostitutes as a result of there isn’t a different manner; they’re simply caught. It is mainly a slave commerce. And there are extra slaves on the planet at the moment than there have been again in 1865, throughout the Civil Warfare; it is an actual factor, and nobody’s actually speaking about it.

“What the Jensen Mission is doing is attempting to spotlight very small and grassroots organizations. However unimaginable issues are being performed. There’s this factor, a corporation referred to as The NOCSE, the Nationwide Outreach Heart for Sexual Exploitation, I consider, that’s pursuing locations like Twitter and Google and Amazon.”

Kristoffer famous that catfishing youngsters may wreck their lives ceaselessly. It occurs when somebody poses as a toddler and will get different youngsters to ship them images with nudity. He relayed one particular story a couple of younger boy who received caught up with a grown man pretending to be somewhat woman.

“They despatched materials forwards and backwards to one another, and it actually was a grown man. And he is utilizing all that materials and kind of blackmailing the child. The child lastly, on his personal, form of pulled out of the entire scenario, and was like, ‘Oh, my Gosh, I assumed it was performed.’


“After which what occurred was, this predator then downloaded all these pictures onto Twitter. And his classmates noticed it, and he, a highschool pupil, went to highschool. And Twitter would not take it down.

“They confirmed info that he was underage when it was taken, and it was not consensual, however then nobody would take it down and there is a honest quantity of entrance of the FBI, and the FBI received concerned and Twitter eliminated it.

“However there are such a lot of instances of younger individuals — women and men — who’re making silly decisions that are actually affecting them for the remainder of their lives as a result of we dwell in a unique world. And Amazon or Etsy? They promote intercourse dolls proper subsequent door to occasion favors.”

Kristoffer says they are not attempting to say none of this could exist however that “it simply must exist inside its correct place; it should not be available. And it definitely should not be a giant enterprise for individuals, which it’s proper now. And there is received to be extra. So we’re simply attempting to tug consciousness. So that is the Jensen Mission in a nutshell.”

Kristoffer worries that the incorrect individuals are on the hook for the intercourse commerce, particularly for the reason that first group to actually capitalize on the liberty of the web was the porn trade, which is generally flying underneath the radar.


“However in the event you’re in Louisiana and you are a prostitute, you are the one getting arrested, not the Johns. So there need to be authorized ramifications for each ends of that transaction. So I believe that is what we’re attempting to have a look at, like, how do you simply make it more durable to purchase one other human being?”

Kristoffer continued, “I am from Nevada, and Nevada is legendary for legalizing prostitution. And there is a large motion proper now with a pattern to legalize prostitution in 50 states. And there is the argument of, ‘My physique, My alternative,’ which is true. And that argument is legitimate, 100%. However what individuals aren’t conscious of is what prostitution is basically like.

“It is a actually unhappy, soiled sport. And when you get locked into that and the ethical ramifications — I imply, it is a actually huge dialog that is not nearly, ‘My physique. My alternative.’  It is about, ‘Yeah, however did you have got a alternative once you have been 13? Did you have got a alternative once you have been a youngster and groomed into the trade by these predators?’

“It is a actually darkish trade. And I do know, for the state of Nevada, they’re being sued proper now as a result of what appears to be a freedom is definitely a much more difficult situation. I do not know; it is a huge endeavor. So I am thinking about seeing the place it goes.

“And we’re such a small half, however we’re about to ramp up, getting consideration for the Jensen Mission and attempt to throw some cash at it to make a distinction.”


It sounded to me like an ideal alternative to work with Lifetime once more on a future venture, and Kristoffer mentioned that a part of his function within the Jensen Mission is to “assist them craft narrative as a result of they should inform tales that present all sides of the difficulty, like, what does it appear to be for our younger males who’re trapped in lust, and they do not know easy methods to love anymore as a result of they’ve objectified and kind of ruined themselves.”

Kristoffer mentioned it is so darkish and tough to debate, however he is already used the Polaha Chautauqua to spotlight some tales. “I devoted April to sexual abuse consciousness month. And I did three reveals the place ladies simply got here on and informed their tales.

“And it is superb what number of ladies have both been molested or raped or abused on some degree. And whether or not it was that, they have been babysitting, and the dad that they trusted was like, ‘I am going to offer you a experience dwelling,’ or, even worse, household. It is superb how many individuals it is affected.

“It is superb, the emotional and religious snares that come together with that form of expertise, the place there’s disgrace, and there is guilt, and you’re feeling prefer it’s your fault, even years later. And the way it transcends generations as a result of these ladies grow to be both ultra-protective of their youngsters or historical past presumably repeats itself.

“So having ladies come on and inform their tales was superb. And the entire level of a mind-boggling jigsaw is how do you inform your story? How do you get your story on the market?


“How do you’re taking a story that does not actually belong to you and take possession over it and discover energy in it and, finally, energy and the power to stop it from occurring once more and arming different individuals with a optimistic story that you have risen from the ashes?”

“And also you’re in a position to do that along with your life, and also you’re in a position to flip one factor into one other factor for good. It is actual stuff, and Janet Jensen herself, the one that’s answerable for the venture, has an terrible story, and he or she turned all that rage and disgrace into this actually highly effective basis. And once more, we’re simply getting tens of millions of {dollars} yearly to combat this.”

It is simple to throw your assist behind somebody like Kristoffer Polaha, and we’re right here to comply with him wherever he could lead. You should definitely comply with him on Instagram with The Polaha Chautaqua, A Work of Artwork, and on his private feed.

Jurassic World: Dominion is launched in theaters on June 9, 2022, and Buried in Barstow premieres on Lifetime tonight at 8/7.

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a employees author and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Selection Affiliation, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of tv and movie with anybody who will hear. Observe her on Twitter and e mail her right here at TV Fanatic.

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