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Actor Elimu Nelson talks about his new films ‘Bleed’ and ‘In Extremis’

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
Actor Elimu Nelson talks about his new films ‘Bleed’ and ‘In Extremis’
Elimu Nelson (Photo: Varela Media)

Hailing from Milton, Mass., actor Elimu Nelson has been steadily making his mark in Hollywood for the past 10 years. He’s had a recurring guest role on the Showtime series “House of Lies,” opposite Golden Globe winner Don Cheadle, and has also appeared on VH1’s “Hit the Floor,” BET’s “The Game” and CBS’ “Criminal Minds.”

In 2013, Nelson starred in director Charles Murray’s (FX’s “Sons of Anarchy”) independent feature film “Things Never Said” alongside Shanola Hampton (Showtime’s “Shameless”) and Omari Hardwick (Starz’ “Power”), and last year he appeared on two ABC series: “Modern Family” and “Castle.”

This year finds Nelson starring in two films: the horror flick “Bleed,” opposite Chelsey Crisp from ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” and the psychological thriller “In Extremis,” directed by Don E. Fauntleroy.

The film “Bleed” (released on VOD on March 25) is about a group of friends celebrating Sarah (Chelsey) and Matt’s (Michael Steger) new marriage, new house and baby on the way, only to find the celebration short-lived when a ghost hunt turns deadly as the group explores the remains of a burned-out prison. The movie, which was shot in a former prison in Atlanta, provided just the right amount of unease and spookiness. “The whole vibe was crazy,” says Nelson by phone from California, of shooting in the prison.

Nelson stars as Dave, one of Sarah and Matt’s friends celebrating their good fortune. Of his character in the film, Nelson was drawn to the role because he’s “believable, totally likeable, very forthright and kind.”

Later this year, Nelson will star in “In Extremis” with Tobin Bell (the “Saw” trilogy), Adrienne Barbeau (CBS’ “Criminal Minds”) and Lesley-Anne Down (CBS’ “The Bold and The Beautiful”). Nelson plays the character Randy O’Connor, who’s one-half of an interracial couple, and whose stepson is going through a very hard time dealing with the loss of his father, against the backdrop of the Catholic Church.

“I’m definitely like the backbone,” says Nelson of Randy. “Dads will be able to relate, kids will be able to relate. He holds the family down while the craziness happens.” The film “makes you think,” adds the actor. “There’s a lot of tension, and a slow-build. It’s a really good story that has a lot of heart to it.”

Next up for Nelson is the project titled “Me n Z.” He wrote the script, and will also star and direct the film he describes as “an unconventional love story,” this fall in Los Angeles. It will be produced by Spitfire Studios, the company behind “Bleed.”

The drama is based on a very special relationship in his life. It’s about two single people who happen to be out late one night, who meet, have an instant connection, and soon find themselves in a relationship, struggling to make it work. He likens “Me n Z.” as a “cross between ‘500 Days of Summer,’ ‘The Notebook,’ ‘Marley & Me’ and probably ‘Brown Sugar.’”