Justin Long, star of the new movie “Literally, Right Before Aaron,” sat with Moneyish to discuss his first jobs, stealing lobster claws, and that time he encountered a serial killer.
When Justin Long was an undergrad at Vassar College, he used to drive a shuttle around Poughkeepsie, New York, to earn money. His shift would end at 2 a.m. and he’d often stop at McDonald’s afterward.
“There was a guy who used to sit there all the time. A big guy, massive,” the actor, 38, recalls. “He turned out to be a serial killer.”
The man, according to Long, was Kendall Francois, who was convicted of killing eight women from 1996 to 1998, and later died in prison of natural causes. Long never spoke to Francois, but he immediately recognized the man when the arrest and conviction made the news. “He lived not too far from campus,” Long says.
Long shared the spooky memory while chatting with Moneyish about his new film, “Literally, Right Before Aaron,” which premiered last weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival. In the movie, written and directed by Ryan Eggold, Long plays Adam, a heartbroken man whose ex-girlfriend calls with a strange invitation: She’s marrying her new beau, Aaron, and she’d like Adam to come to their wedding. Against his better judgment, Adam attends — hijinks and unhealthy obsessions ensue.
“I could unfortunately identify with this character,” says Long. “I had gone through something not quite that dramatic, but in the neighborhood, involving an ex a couple months earlier. I had a lot at the time to draw from, but that’s what’s great about acting — you get to exorcise some of those emotions.”
He adds that he’s “in a better head space right now” and hopes his performance — filled with tears and lingering close-ups — is an honest one.
“When I read the script, I felt very connected to it,” he says. “Everyone goes through stuff like that in trying to get over relationships.”
He’s come a long way from that modest job of driving a shuttle, having starred as the “Apple Mac guy” and in films such as “Live Free or Die Hard.” But Long still enjoys some of the free perks that come with his acting career. He says he usually gets free haircuts and clothes, for example. “I’m a sucker for free,” he says. “This is really douchey — I like free talk show mugs.”
“Literally, Right Before Aaron” is currently playing at the Tribeca Film Festival. For more on Long, watch the video.
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