An Actor Prepares

Musical Score By: Tony Morales

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


               In the comedy, An Actor Prepares, Jeremy Irons is Atticus Smith, a man as famous for his acting as his alcoholism.  After surviving a heart attack, Atticus finds himself traveling cross country with his estranged son Adam (Jack Huston) on his way to his favorite daughter’s wedding.  But can the two survive the trip with each other?

               The musical score of An Actor Prepares was created by Emmy Award-winning composer Tony Morales.  Beginning his scoring career as a staff composer with the commercial division of Hans Zimmer’s Media Ventures in 1998, Morales worked along with and learned from such notable composers as John Debney, Harry Gregson-Williams and Brian Tyler, contributing to such notable film scores as Iron Man 3, Fast Five, Unstoppable, The Town, Hatfields & McCoys and The Change-Up.  Since then, he has worked solo on a number of film and television compositions like Bloodline, In Your Eyes, Enemies Closer, and Hide Away.

               In preparing the score for An Actor Prepares, Tony Morales decided to define the emotional dynamic between father and son: “My approach, and what I felt that the film called for, was a score that set the tone of the film rather than a score in a traditional sense. It works more like a song would over traditional underscore…An Actor Prepares is a pop score at its core. The ensemble is that of a rock band: guitar, bass, drums. For added texture, I used a string quartet for cues that needed a little more emotion as well as electric and acoustic guitar textures to build padding to keep the tone warm.”  In fact, Tony Morales played most of the guitars himself.

               Tracks featuring acoustic guitars seem happy and fun.  Red Carpet is a rather dramatic track with some synths and guitars giving way to a dramatic piano piece and cymbal rolls.  Tracks like Highjacked Bus feature a much faster pace and electric guitars.  Synths make their way into the score often accompanied by acoustic guitars.  The overall score of An Actor Prepares is quick and quirky and I automatically assumed it was a comedy long before looking at the liner notes.

               I can honestly say that I enjoyed the soundtrack of An Actor Prepares.  The music is quite enjoyable and the short, but not overly short tracks, made for an enjoyable experience that I couldn’t help but listen to multiple times.  Definitely a score worth listening to.


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