Swiss-born filmmaker Anthony Jerjen started out making short films before making his feature film debut in the upcoming indie drama Inherit the Viper, which revolves around three siblings who are dealers in the opioid business. The film is coming out in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on January 10 from Lionsgate.

WorldFilmGeek had the chance to talk with Jerjen about his feature film debut.


Anthony, thank you so much for taking the time to talk about Inherit the Viper. This was a really good tense drama and it’s quite impressive for your feature film debut.
Thank you for the kind words.

What inspired you to direct the film?
Well, I didn’t know much about the opioid crisis because in Europe, we don’t have anything like that, but we do hear about it a lot in the United States through the news. I was quite fascinated by it as well as when I read the script, the dramatic elements. The combination of the crisis and the drama was what really pushed me to take on the film as director.

Anthony Jerjen on the set of Inherit the Viper

The film boasts an excellent cast including Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva, Owen Teague and the legendary Bruce Dern. What were they like on the set?
Oh, they were great. They are all seasoned actors and they were very generous and gracious. They did the film because they wanted to do it, even after reading the script. They were great to work with and it was really a team effort. Everyone worked together so well and I have only good things to say about them.

Kip (Josh Hartnett) and Boots (Owen Teague) in Inherit the Viper (Lionsgate/Barry Films)

How long did shooting take and were there any obstacles you faced during production?
It was an 18-day shoot, which for this film is pretty short. We came across the usual project obstacles, involving time and budget. However, one major obstacle involved the weather. At one point, during our shoot in Alabama, it unexpectedly snowed. But, we made the most of what we were dealt with.

Josie (Margarita Levieva) waits in her truck in Inherit the Viper (Lionsgate/Barry Films)

Do you have a favorite scene in the film or did you enjoy the film overall?
I’ve seen the film already so many times (Laughs), but if I had to choose a favorite scene it would be the conversation on the porch between Josh and Margarita’s characters. I felt it was an important conversation and it was a pleasure to shoot this scene.

Finally, are there any new projects in the works that you can talk about?
I am a huge fan of drive-in movies and I am planning to work on a sci-fi film next. I do have other projects in mind and I hope that down the road, I can get them made because it would a dream come true.

Inherit the Viper comes out on January 10. This is a really tense thriller that brings a sense of realism to a serious issue in today’s society. This was an excellent feature film debut and I hope to see more of your work in the future Anthony. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about the film.
Thank you so much for liking the film and taking the time to talk to me about it.

A Special Thank You goes to Katrina Wan PR and Anthony Jerjen for making this interview possible.