Quinn Lord Takes on the Y2K Apocalypse in Ike Boys

Trick 'r Treat and The Man in the High Castle star Quinn Lord's latest film, Iké Boys, drops him (almost literally) into an anime. In the movie, Lord plays Shawn Gunderson, one of two teens who are obsessed with Japanese pop culture, until one day they are dropped into an anime and have to face monsters and save the world.

In Iké Boys, best friends Shawn Gunderson and Vikram 'Vik' Kapoor escape from the drudgery of high school life in Oklahoma through their obsession with all things Japanese. When a mysterious anime film transforms them into its superhuman characters, they at first think that their wildest fantasies have come true. But when ancient monsters threaten to unleash the apocalypse on New Year's Eve of 1999, Shawn and Vik must look to each other to become the heroes they were always meant to be. Joining their adventure is Miki, a Japanese exchange student whose determination to go on a Native American vision quest puts her on a collision course with both Shawn and Vik and their foes...and whose destiny may determine the fate of the world.

Lord joined ComicBook to talk about his role in the film, and the challenges of filming an elaborate indie film during the pandemic.

How difficult is it putting together a believable backstory for people who have supposedly known each other for years, on an indie film budget?

We didn't necessarily have extended, extended prep time, but we definitely had some prep time about a week, week and a half. Ronak and I -- I play Shawn and he plays Vikram -- we ended up arriving in Oklahoma a week or so early, so we just hung out and got to know each other. 

The way that the director, Eric McEver, ended up casting us worked, because we were so close with our own personalities to the actual characters. So he and I, as just two dudes connecting, ended up laying the foundation and groundwork for the actual characters' connection. Of course, it was definitely a bit of a stretch, because getting to know one another in one week, to then portray it as if we've known each other our entire lives, it's still a leap.

And then of course, Christina [Higa] flew in, and it was kind of like "life imitates art," where Eric had told her to put on the Miki character right away. So, when she came in from the airport, she was playing it like the character, where she didn't speak English very well, and she's speaking fluent Japanese. Of course, Eric being the translator, and he's fluent in both, he translated what she's saying. So it was kind of like the airport scene, for me, it was... not exactly reality, but it was like 60-70% there when we first encountered each other, which is pretty cool. 

This is technically a "period piece," because it's set in 1999. As a younger actor, was it fun to revisit the Y2K "apocalypse," which every TV show seemed to cover back then?

There's definitely a lot of things that I took away from that, it was really cool. It checked a lot of boxes in my book, so I was thrilled to go down to Oklahoma and take on Shawn, and all the other stuff that came with it. I was kind of longing to do a 90s movie as well, because I'm crossing the different decades off a list. 

I'm currently filming Firefly Lane season two, and it takes place in the '70s, or at least my character portrayed is like the younger version, who is in the '70s. I did Man in the High Castle, which took place in an alternate 1960s, but still in the 1960s. So, I can cross off the '60s from the list, and Iké Boys, those are the '90s. So I'm really looking forward to crossing off the '80s and 2000s. Genre-wise, I haven't quite done a superhero before, so it was definitely something that I really was interested in doing, and oh my! Some of the green screen work and harness work, oh, so good.

Everybody wants to be Batman or Superman, but was it kind of fun getting to do a superhero story without the expectations of more well-known chracters?

Yeah, actually. I liked how it was really original, but then I was also almost living my dream as it were, because... you could probably figure this out from the IMDB stuff, but...it was kind of like my dream, because I grew up watching a whole bunch of Transformers and Robotech

I grew up with that, because my dad grew up with those TV shows from the '80s, and he sort of passed it down, and I really enjoyed Robotech, so I was like, "Hey, it's pretty close to playing [Robotech's] Rick Hunter." And then of course, all the anime references here and there and the other thing, it was really cool. It was a blast to film.

What was it like doing a project like this with genre veterans like Ben Browder and Billy Zane?

It was a blast to meet Ben Browder and Billy Zane.I've also watched a hell of a lot of Farscape, and to see them in the flesh is like, "Whoa." Without the beard that he was sporting for Iké Boys, it was almost like he never aged a day from the show. It was nuts. 

Because you're doing essentially a indie superhero thing here, would you want to do a mainstream superhero down the line?

That would be pretty awesome, to be a recognized superhero like that. It's definitely an opportunity I won't pass up, but there's so many slots already filled, like the X-Men, and Justice League and all that. There's all the different slots that are already being filled with cast that have done an amazing job. So there's definitely a high bar being set there. It's kind of like you were saying, having to live up to the expectations of the previous ones, if I were to get lucky enough to have the opportunity, right? But it is definitely, it's kind of a dream.