Cold Brook stars William Fichtner (who also co-wrote and directed the film) and Kim Coates as buddies Ted and Hilde. The inseparable pair work together, live next door to each other, and spend their nights out at a woodsy cabin together drinking beer and shooting the shit. They have the type of reliable friendship everyone hopes to experience.

However, Ted and Hilde’s completely ordinary – if not a bit complacent – lives are disturbed when a mysterious stranger appears one night unannounced. It’s a jarring experience neither of them can explain. But after a series of fantastic events follow, things become clearer to the men. It turns out their destiny is intertwined with the stranger’s and they must do anything they can to help him.

ScreenPicks spoke with Coates about what it was like to act in and produce Cold Brook and about being on- and off-screen besties with Fichtner.

ScreenPicks: How did the project originate, and how did you get involved as both actor and producer?

Coates: Billy [Fichtner] and I knew of each other before we started filming “Black Hawk Down” but had never met. This guy, he’d blown me away in the best possible way in “Go,” “The Perfect Storm,” and “Armageddon” – they were all around that [same] time. I remember thinking this guy, that’s as good as it gets! And he later would say the same thing about me from “Waterwold,” “The Last Boyscout” and so on.

So, I land in Morocco [to film “Black Hawk Down”] and he and one of the lead guys, Eric Bana – we’re all such close friends now – and I spent five months together on that movie.

Then, [Fichtner] comes back to LA and is like, “That’s it, man. I’m writing a movie for you and me.”

And I go, “Do it!”

As you probably know, it takes about 10 years to make that fruit of labor, brand-new story, not from a book but from your brain. He got [co-writer] Cain DeVore, my other BFF, involved – I love Cainy – and it took them about 10 years to get it written, the notes, the this and the that. At that time, 2011-2012, I was on “Sons of Anarchy” and that didn’t end until 2014. So, by the time we were actually ready to go with this movie, I was off “Sons” and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I put on my producer hat and got the script to Sara Shaak and Shayne Putzlocher up in Canada, they got it to some incredible Canadian investors, the ball started majorly rolling … and then we got some more Buffalo investors involved, and before you know it, we were casting and ready to film for the summer of 2017. And we did it! We shot this fucker in 20 days!

ScreenPicks: You and Fichtner feel so real as friends in the film. The fact that you’re off-screen friends isn’t a surprise at all.

Coates: Billy and I – you can’t make that chemistry up. We’ve heard the comment from people who have seen the movie that it’s like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” charisma, like a buddy movie they’ve never seen before. … We had no rehearsal. What you see on the screen is our friendship and the past 20 years of us growing up together. Billy and I, much like the characters, have been hanging out pretty much our whole adult lives together, so that kind of rehearsal wasn’t needed. And to see what happened on that screen and how funny, scary and heartwarming it gets was a real feather in our caps. I’m just so proud of this film.

ScreenPicks: There is an instance where you guys are captured on someone’s cellphone but other than that, there isn’t really much technology used in the film. Was that intentional to make the world quieter, more insulated, where something magical could take place?

Coates: I’d actually never thought of that! … We did have a cellphone [in the movie] but we don’t use them. You know, we box our lunch every morning, we take care of an incredible school [for work], we’re fixing stuff, changing lightbulbs – it’s a simple life, isn’t it? And I can’t tell you how many times I, Kim Coates – and yes I tweet … and I’m grateful for the support of my fans – but I gotta tell you, I’d rather be in a cabin. I’d rather be golfing in St. Andrews. I love the outdoors. I love non-social media stuff. So, that world that Ted and Hilde are living in … that’s fabulous. No green screen required. It was just a joy.

ScreenPicks: Without giving too much away here, a character in the film, Chip, ends up hurting Ted and Hilde. He is the “bad guy.” But it is such a nuanced performance. I think we all know what it’s like to have this one thing that is our world. And his job as a security guard is his world and he takes it very seriously, and when your characters encroach upon that, it rubs him the wrong way. So, I want to know if you believe Ted and Hilde would have forgiven Chip in the end.

Coates: You know, I met Gary Oldman in the early 80s on Broadway as I was in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and he was about to just explode with “Sid and Nancy” … and I remember asking him, “Do you worry about these dark, dark characters that you’re playing?”

Without missing a beat he goes, “Coatesy, I give good creep. I give good creep.” And I knew what he meant by that.

So, Brad [William] Henke who got into character 100%, had to play a guy who does a real dank move and changes an entire format of how we think of friendships in a small town, but where he came from – all the bad guys I play, they don’t think they’re bad or they are doing something for a reason – and Brad did the same thing as Chip. [That said,] what he does at the end, we, as the viewer, should feel for Chip. And I’ll tell you honestly – and I don’t know how Billy would answer this – but the way that movie ends, without giving anything away, I have no doubt … the next time they saw him, Ted and Hilde would say, “You want to go for a beer, Chip?” They’d just throw it out there. People need to survive their day, week, month, year and Chip, you feel for the guy!

ScreenPicks: The film has so much heart. It felt like a step out of time, like a good 80s or 90s movie.

Coates: Isn’t it good? There are no movies like that made nowadays about friendship and doing the right thing. Small guys, small town, stranger comes to town – oh my god, what is going on? It gets a bit scary and they’re taking chances with their livelihoods and wives and kids and doing something for a stranger.

ScreenPicks: There is a magical realism component, too. These are real guys, real families in a grounded world but then there’s this fairy dust magic sprinkled in.

Coates: You understood it! You got it!

ScreenPicks: And it’s fortunate that this film about love and friendship and goodwill is being released around the holidays. What would you like audiences to take away from this film when they see it?

Coates: I just want the people to be able to go into the theater or to watch it on video or on demand. We’re in this very precarious time with movies like Marvel or DC or some of these other big ass [franchises]. And I’ve been in them, so I don’t want to be a hypocrite! But these beautiful indie movies like “Cold Brook” … I just want people to see them. … Guaranteed, they’ll have never seen a movie quite like this. … So, basically, I don’t worry about what people are going to feel because I know what they’re going to feel if they’ve got any feelings at all in their body.