Fried Barry director Ryan Kruger talks about his experimental film as an homage to the ’80s and 90’s films we grew up with.
If David Lynch made E.T. it would look something like Fried Barry. A surreal adventure about a heroin addict that gets abducted by aliens and sees the darker and stranger side of humanity. Writer and Director Ryan Kruger make his directorial debut with his cinematic mind trip, Fried Barry.
We had a chance to chat with Ryan Kruger about his new experimental film. Kruger talks about wanting to keep the audience on their toes with the film’s unique tone and the surprising star of the film Gary Green, who has one of the most unique looks in Hollywood and isn’t a classically trained actor. However, Kruger needed that to create the blank campus for what transpires in Barry’s journey throughout the course of Fried Barry.
The Illuminerdi: Fried Barry is a mind trip and a half. I know ‘Fried Barry’ started as an experimental short. What inspired you to dive deeper into the character and make your directorial debut with ‘Fried Barry‘?
Ryan Kruger: Yeah, the funny thing was when I shot the three-minute experimental short in 2017, it was a success as a short film and there was never, ever a plan to make it into a feature. It was only later on where I’d all these scripts that I was choosing, which one of them I’m going to shoot to make a feature. And the one night I just got the idea, how would I adapt that three-minute experimental into a feature?
I’d just got the idea the one night. And three days I wrote a 50% scene, brief breakdown. And then a month later, we started shooting the film and it’s crazy the way I worked it and developed it and as time went on. So, it’s crazy how it actually came to life, so quickly.
Barry is our vehicle to this genre-bending film. It’s almost like we’re going on a trip with him and it makes you feel you want to take a shower. Can you talk to me a little bit about the challenge of capturing the unique tone in Fried Barry?
Ryan Kruger: I think the interesting thing about this film is that it’s one of those films where you either get it or you don’t. You either love it or you hate it. And as you said there’s a lot of depth within the film with the dark side of humanity and how crazy society is, and it’s not the alien, that’s crazy, it’s us. We’re the crazy ones.
Everything kind of goes hand-in-hand, whether it’s the way I shoot the movie in a sense of we are sitting in the driving seats, whether it’s a POV, or we’re sitting behind him over the shoulder and we’re going along for this journey.
This film is very much an experience where you go on this journey and by the end of it, a lot of people say, “What the fuck did I just watch?” And it’s very much that experience where I really try my best to not let it be predictable in any way. Because the majority of the days now, we watch films and it’s like, “Okay, this is going to happen or this is going to happen.” And it’s always one or the other.
So with this, I really wanted to challenge myself and keep the audience on their tiptoes where they have no idea what’s going to happen next. I think that’s definitely a big part of the movie and the feel and the tone of it. And especially with the music.