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Darren Eisnor on playing Tom Addison in Holiday Joy

Dr. Albert Mehrabian is known for his breakdown of human communication into the following three components: 7 per cent spoken words, 38 per cent tone of voice, and 55 per cent body language. While several subsequent psychologists have disputed the specific numbers, the general consensus is that nonverbal communication dominates the majority of human interaction. For an actor like Darren Eisnor, this notion is indisputable. From the outside looking in, one of the most challenging aspects of being an actor is having to memorize lines. For Eisnor, however, memorizing lines is often the least of his worries. His true skill set shines when he masters the various tones and body language movements that comprise an interaction between his characters and their counterparts.

“There are certain tones and expressions that underlie a character’s dialogue in such a way that can drastically change the nature of an interaction. For instance, tone can be the difference between a compliment and a sarcastic insult. Acting brings aspects of human communication to life in a way that that resonates with a variety of different audiences. Whenever I can establish that connection between my character and my audience, I know I’ve succeeded,” describes Eisnor.

With a passion for acting as profound as Eisnor’s, and an unprecedented drive to rise to the top of his industry, it is no surprise that he has been a crucial addition to every project he has lent his talents to. He is well known for his roles in television series such as Netflix’s original series, Anne with an E and Skal, as well as films like Early Release. In 2016, he also played a pivotal role in ABC Family’s Holiday Joy where he played Tom Addison.

The film portrays the life of Joy, a high school teen from a dysfunctional family who dreams of belonging to the seemly “perfect” family across the street. After a freak accident, she winds up living in an alternate reality where she is the daughter of the family she has always dreamed of being a part of. At school, she is ecstatic to find out she is dating her longtime crush, Tom Addison. Her new world leads her to learn that the life she has idolized for so long is nowhere near as perfect as she once thought, especially when it comes to her boyfriend, Tom. Eisnor had the distinct pleasure of embodying the transition in Tom’s character from being the boy Joy has always dreamed of dating to someone she doesn’t even care to know.

For the film, Eisnor had to bring his audience on a journey that unravelled Tom’s egotistical exterior to reveal the insecure, vulnerable person that he truly is. To portray such a dynamic character requires an advanced skill set that not every actor is equipped with. Eisnor’s natural affinity to act, however, allowed him to do so with ease. For the talented actor, playing characters like Tom come naturally and he does so for the thrill of learning about his characters as he explores a well-written script. He thrives on the opportunity to grasp each and every unique personality trait that composes a character and subsequently using them to play his role in the most organic, authentic way possible when the camera is rolling.

“I had a fun arc planned out for Tom Addison, taking him from the protagonist’s dream crush to a crazed egomaniac. That is a wacky progression in itself, but with the heightened dramatics of a family-oriented film, it allowed for a very pronounced, chaotic explosion as my character spiralled into an insecure madness. It was important for me to really sell Tom’s earlier scenes as a token romantic love interest in order to heighten the change in his character when his dark, crazy side comes out later on in the film. I wanted his transition to be jarring and shocking for the audience. It was almost as if I was playing two different characters and I had a ton of fun with it,” recalls Eisnor.

When watching Eisnor’s performances on screen, it is easy to understand where his success comes from and his co-stars consider themselves privileged to see this first hand when working with him. Kolton Stewart, who acted alongside Eisnor for Holiday Joy was impressed by Eisnor’s dexterity, both on screen and behind the scenes.

“Working with Darren was an absolute pleasure. Every single day he arrived on set with a smile and an energy that was infectious to the entire cast and crew. He is always fully prepared to excel in his role. I have no doubt in my mind that he was a key factor to the success of Holiday Joy. Beyond that, what makes him such a phenomenal actor is his drive for success. He is evidently very knowledgeable in the field and he has tons of experience on and off camera. I know that he will continue to be a major part of his upcoming projects because of his authentic portrayal of his characters,” tells Stewart.

Such praise for Eisnor’s work is not unheard of. Anyone who works with him will tell you that his talents are unparalleled. For Eisnor, however, his pride extends beyond the recognition he received for his incredible performance as Tom Addison. The true honor of the role derived from portraying Tom’s chaotic journey from high school heartthrob to extreme narcissist. Not every character embarks on such a drastic transition and Eisnor loved both the comedic and dramatic elements of his personality.

The role added a certain flavor to Eisnor’s acting experience that will benefit him as he takes on new roles and embraces the promising future that his career holds. He intends to continue to grow his talents as an actor for the better of each new role he takes on and aims to embrace each audition as a new learning experience, regardless of the outcome. Judging by his vast amount of achievements to-date, however, it is likely that his successes will continue on the incline that they have thus far in his career.

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