Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass Talk ‘Biosphere’

Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass star in Biosphere. The film, which Duplass also co-wrote and produced, is now in theaters and available on VOD.

Billy (Mark Duplass) and Ray (Sterling K. Brown) are lifelong best friends, brothers from another mother – and the last two men on earth. Their survival is largely due to Ray, a brilliant scientist who designed a domed structure with all the systems necessary to sustain life on a planet that could no longer support it. Their custom biosphere is outfitted with basic necessities and creature comforts that make it possible to retain a sense of what life used to be like. A hydroponic garden provides fresh vegetables and a carefully managed fishpond supplies essential protein. Recently, however, fish have begun dying at an alarming rate. With a mere three fish remaining, Billy and Ray face an ominous future. But life may yet find a way.

IFC Films

“I mean, for me, the biggest inspiration besides my lovely collaboration with Mel and with Zackary Drucker and fleshing out the story, but in terms of the kernel of the idea is I grew up in the South, I grew up in New Orleans. I went to an all-male high school where we were told and taught that we were the best and brightest, and we were set to take over the world and we should do it with strength, power, and confidence,” Duplass shared. “That had a deep effect on me and I’ve been unwinding that for many years now and continuing to find new blind spots, so that was sort of the impetus of how to fall into this story.”

Brown then told me, “Being from St. Louis, being raised in the church that has a great deal of homophobia within it was sort of like — I was sort of charting my own evolution, I think, in a real way if I’m being perfectly honest, of being someone who I think was fairly closed-minded in their youth and then left St. Louis to go to California for college, and then went to New York for grad school and having their mind sort of be expanded as to the value of all people and not having to love people with a caveat, right? Like, not have to love them and be like, ‘But I’ll pray for your soul because you’re confused,’ just accepting them as they are. So I would say that my journey very much sort of parallels Ray’s in a real way.”

IFC Films

We discussed why the story resonated with them, how the project challenged them, and where they found inspiration.

Watch my interview below: