"Straight to DVD" is no longer a ghetto where good actors and bad movies go off to die; it's a fertile world of creativity where performances and personal stories elevate material beyond its low budget or bad marketing. Wrong Turn at Tahoe is a new film starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Miguel Ferrer, and while it's not quite The Departed, it demonstrates how smaller films can find a place thanks to memorable, even powerful turns from its stars -- particularly from Ferrer, the longtime character actor who here settles easily into the role of Vincent, an aging mobster who finds himself engaged in a turf war.

Cinematical spoke to Ferrer via telephone late last year to discuss his work in Wrong Turn at Tahoe. In addition to discussing his collaboration with Cuba Gooding Jr. and the challenges of lending humanity to the hard heart of his character, Ferrer reflected on his vast, eclectic career, and offered a few insights about one of our favorite of his former roles, FBI Agent Albert Rosenfeld from David Lynch's iconic TV series Twin Peaks.

Cinematical: The character you play in Wrong Turn at Tahoe reminded me of some of the other characters you've played in that he's kind of a hard-ass but he's got some real palpable humanity. How do you figure out where that balance is going to be?