Interview: Actor Logan Lerman

Logan Lerman is one of the finest actors in the industry that many still don’t know about. Most probably know him best from the Percy Jackson films, but he’s had numerous quality films and roles since Percy Jackson. It seems that everything Lerman is featured with is a home run. The latest gem Lerman stars in is The Vanishing of Sidney Hall. I spoke to Logan about the film and what he looks for in a role, he also shares his favorite movies of 2017 and much more. Listen to the audio below:

REAL TALK:

This was the second time I had a chance to speak to Logan. The first time was in Chicago when he was joined by Sarah Gadon during their press junked for Indignation. I found Logan to be one of the more enjoyable people to talk to. He’s quirky, soft spoken, but not quiet. He’s also very humble and low key. It’s as if he doesn’t realize how good of an actor he is. There is this charming shyness about him also. What I particularly enjoyed about him when I spoke to him both times is how forthcoming he is and how he likes to engage the person he’s speaking to. It’s not just Q&A, but he turns it into a conversation, which I greatly appreciate.

So many interesting points Logan shared. I found it very interesting about his decision to take on a role and the factors that go into it. He stressed physical appearance as one of the big ones when he decided if he’s suitable for a role. That’s an interesting point, because it seems he envisions the look of the character and if he’s fitting for it. He’s an actor that’s done a variety of very different roles. I found his role in Sidney Hall to be difficult and so did his director Shawn Christensen, due to him having to play a single character through three different stages in life.

The fun part was when he shared his favorite films of 2017 and really championed about the non-Oscar nominated films that he enjoyed, such as The Florida Project and The Beguiled. Both fine films. I appreciated how in depth he went and how passionate he sounded. Seems to me that Logan is a person that walks to the beat of his drum, which personally I respect a whole lot.

Once again he’s tremendous in his role and credit to him for picking interesting films such as The Vanishing of Sidney Hall. My interaction with Logan has been great. He’s always polite and just a normal relatable guy. You don’t sense any star attitude about him at all. At only 26 he has the world ahead of him and has a real chance to be mentioned among the greats if he continues doing what he’s done.

THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital

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Interview: Actor-Wrestler John Hennigan

John Hennigan has achieved worldwide fame. You may know him as Johnny Nitro, John Morrison, Johnny Impact and Johnny Mundo. Hennigan went by many aliases throughout his wrestling career, but has made an impact (no pun intended) at whatever organization he’s been a part of (WWE, IMPACT Wrestling, Lucha Underground, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide). Currently Hennigan is spreading his talents among pro wrestling and acting.

Hennigan was most recently seen in films such as Sharknado 5, Boone: The Bounty Hunter and Never Leave Alive. I had a chance to speak to the multi-talented Hennigan about his latest film Never Leave Alive and of course his in-ring wrestling work over the years. Check out the audio for this unfiltered and insightful interview from Hennigan.

REAL TALK:

I really had a blast speaking with John. He was candid and forthcoming about the wrestling business and his life. John was very gracious with his time and answered every question I presented him with. I found him to be a thoughtful guy who had really interesting honest answers for every question I posed to him.

Some really interesting stuff he shared with me, in particular, about the wrestling industry. I was interested to hear his take on the safety of the industry and a wrestlers thoughts on the precautions that are being taken. John seems to be a pretty smart guy and fully realizes the dangers he takes when he steps into the ring and if you’ve seen him wrestle you know he gives it 100% every time with some of the high-risk moves and bumps that he takes.

I always felt his in-ring mic skills were very solid, it seems like they may have helped in his acting also. It was interesting to note when he mentioned about needing to town down his facial expressions initially when he started acting. It’s the opposite on film as it would be in a wrestling arena with thousands of people. In that way, wrestling is a lot like doing a stage play. It’s not the easiest of transitions to tone it down for the camera, but John has done a great job adjusting.

I really have enjoyed his film work. He’s definitely putting himself out there and getting better with every film. No doubt he has a chance to join the likes of a John Cena and Dave Bautista as a mainstream guy. He has this cool charisma to him that’s suitable for many roles. I feel John is already more polished coming into the acting world than Bautista was initially. Bautista grew exponentially.

Kenny Omega is the biggest star in wrestling that hardcore WWE fans seem to know little to nothing about. John speaking about him sure brings validity. I would have liked to delve deeper if time was permitting as to who he’d like to work with and his biggest up-and-comers he’s excited about. Maybe I can get him for a podcast to talk more about movies and wrestling, as well as the upcoming WrestleMania.

You can follow John Hennigan on social media:

Instagram: @JohnHennigan 

Twitter: @TheRealMorrison

NEVER LEAVE ALIVE is out now on DVD and Digital

Watch Johnny Impact on IMPACT Wrestling on POP TV Thursday nights at 8/7c

Interview: Actor Massimo Dobrovic

You’ve probably come across Massimo Dobrovic on-screen at some point. Whether it was on a reality show or a movie, he’s that unique actor with the cool European accent that catches your attention. He’s a fast riser in the industry. I spoke to Massimo about his career and how he got his start in acting. He really opens up about his life and views. Listen in to the interview and get to know Massimo Dobrovic. He has some great perspectives and is very passionate and inspiring individual.

Growing up in Europe how did acting become a part of your life:

MD: Yeah, I was born on the border between Italy and Croatia. My mom is Italian and my dad is Croatian, so I grew up bilingual. I spoke with my mom in Italian and my dad in Croatian. I became a member of the national theater when I was young, it’s all about theater there. Then I moved to Rome and did a lot of theater there. I traveled the world on different productions in English. I grew up as an actor in the theater. 

How was the acting in Europe for you and how did it prepare you for what you’re doing now:

MD: I grow up in theater and doing three shows a day. I used to do a lot of Disney musicals when I was young, like, The Little Mermaid, Lion King or Alice in Wonderland. A lot of these big musicals you’re performing for schools at 9 am, at noon and then the evening show for three or four months straight. That gave me a lot of education and strength as an actor because I really formed myself as an artist on the theater stage.

REAL TALK:

The first thing that really stood out to me is how well rounded, cultured and well traveled Massimo is. It takes an individual with a lot of drive and guts to travel the world and study acting all over the world at a young age. He talked about coming from a simple family, but the support he received must have been crucial in his pursuit.

He came to LA at a young age of 18. Personally I couldn’t imagine moving to a place like LA at 18. Not to be scared or intimidated by it is a heck of a mindset, but he credits his world travels at a young age. What really struck me was when Massimo talked about the pure love for acting and never giving up. He followed it up by learning how to accept rejection and maintaining positivity. His positivity isn’t an act, it’s real and I could completely believe it just by the passion in his voice.

Massimo emphasizes passion. You can easily tell how big passion is in his life and for acting. I remember seeing him a few years back on a reality show called Euros of Hollywood (Google it). I remember he stood out on that show. He was entertaining and seemed authentic.

What’s really cool about him that I appreciated is that he was well-spoken, had a opinion about all the questions and topics I asked about. I really enjoyed my conversation with him and look forward to bringing him on the Reel Talker podcast. Stay tuned.

Check out Massimo’s site for more info on him

Interview: Actor Chase Pollock

Chase Pollock is a young actor on the rise. He recently starred in Santa Stole Our Dog: A Merry Doggone Christmas! and will be seen in the upcoming Mount Liptak. I spoke to chase about his role in Santa Stole Our Dog and about what he likes to do in his free time. The entire audio of the interview with Chase can be found below the excerpts.

How did the movie theme and role relate to you:

CP: Yeah, so Christmas is me and my family’s favorite time of the year and I love dogs too, so it was best of both worlds, a really nice combo. 

What’s the message of the movie that you initially saw: 

CP: It’s a really good family movie. It’s about a family coming together to get their dog back. Throughout the movie it drives their family  together. It’s about these two kids struggling parents divorce and their parents kinda fighting over the kids.

REAL TALK: 

I want to apologize for the sound issues. There was an issue with a background noise when Chase spoke. Now, I don’t interview kids and teens often so it was a little different approach for me. I had to bring the energy and try to relate, even though Chase is pretty well-spoken and fun to talk to.

This being his first feature film, he did a solid job. I was actually surprised that he saw and loved War Dogs. Doesn’t strike me as a movie for teens, but he liked it and so did I, so that was a bit of a bonding thing we share in common. He seems like a cool kid, so it will be interesting to see where his career takes him in the next few years.

Follow Chase Pollock on Twitter @Chasepollock21 and Instagram @chase_pollock21

Interview: Actor Richard Short Talks ‘Crazy Famous’

Actor Richard Short is certainly not crazy, but he was bold enough to take a role in Crazy Famous. In the movie a group of misfit escape a mental hospital in hopes of finding Osama Bin Ladin (presumed dead for over a decade) in hopes of becoming famous. Well, if they can discover Bin Ladin alive I can guarantee these guys would be famous. So no one found Bin Ladin, but Richard and his castmates found a lot of laughter on the set of Crazy Famous.

Short said that the movie is a bit of a throwback in the mold of comedies from the 80’s where humor comes from the characters reactions and interactions.

In the movie Short plays Smith, one of the main braintrust behind the escape from the mental hospital facility in search for Bin Ladin. The concept itself is easy to make you chuckle and the cast was no different.

“We had so much fun. The funniest things happened when we weren’t filming. We laughed more off-screen than on-screen,” Short said.

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(Gravitas Ventures)

This is the kind of fun that’s evident when you watch the movie. It’s silly, but it carries a message that’s more than meets the eye.

“Of course the movie comments on fame and our obsession as a society over it.”

When it comes to Short’s individual fame and accomplishments, he credits perseverance as a key factor in his fortunes of being a successful working actor.

“It’s about doing the work honestly and keeping at it. That’s the main thing that’s kept me moving along in the industry.”

This is the kind of advice that can not only be applied to actors, but to anyone in life and their individual path or industry.

Short says that he had the best memories and laughs from working with these actors, director and crew. If you see the movie, it won’t be hard to tell why.

Crazy Famous is out now on VOD, Digital HD and DVD from Gravitas Ventures

Interview: Actor Josh Wiggins

Josh Wiggins hasn’t been around the Hollywood movie scene for a long time, but since his 2014 debut in Hellion. Wiggins has risen fast in the industry, starring alongside Aaron Paul, Josh Duhamel and now Matt Bomer in Walking Out. I spoke to Josh about working with Bomer and the challenges they faced in filming Walking Out.

What did you like about this story:

JW: I’ve always liked this survival kinda stories. It is that underneath this awesome story of father and son, estranged father and son. Through their terrible experience they grew their relationship, so that was unique. You don’t always see survival stories that are that intimate, so that one of the the big reasons I wanted to do the part. 

How did the location play into your character and overall feel of the movie?

JW: We shot at Big Sky and the mountain areas around there. In the movie you’re supposed to be miserable and hating the environment in ways it wasn’t very hard to act, because you have great disdain for the mountains elements, but also for the respect of everything it contains. In itself it’s definitely a character in the story because it brings so many different elements to the table. It’s a pretty complex character.

REAL TALK:

There was a lot to take away from the discussion with Josh. Obviously the conditions shooting the film were pretty reflective of the conditions in the film. Even though he’s from Texas, him saying those were the coldest weather conditions he’s ever had to experience while shooting.

It was fun to hear how he bonded with Matt on set. Hard to believe that Matt went to the same high school as Josh’s mother! What are the chances of that happening? They basically grew up in the same town, now that’s a bonding thing in Hollywood.

Josh said some interesting things that I took notice to. He prefers working in a smaller cast, that’s an interesting tidbit, my feeling was that actors would prefer to work in a larger group, at least from my experience in acting. He was pretty realistic and candid about the possibility of having to “take one for the team” roles. He’s had a nice run so far with quality roles and movies.

What was I thinking assuming he was a Houston Texans fan? Of course he’s a Cowboys fan, who isn’t in Texas?

Walking Out releases on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on February 6, 2018

Interview: ‘The Gracefield Incident’ Director Mathieu Ratthe

The Gracefield Incident is a fun and intriguing indie horror film that’s out now. I spoke to the film’s writer/director and star Mathieu Ratthe. Mathieu discusses the concept of the film. The challenges that he faced filming and he answers why we don’t see the monster earlier in the film. All that and more. Here is an excerpt from the interview and the full audio below:

“We shot this film in 13 days, so fast, really fast. I was like how are we gonna do this? So that’s how the conceptual idea of the eye came in. It wasn’t in the script in the first draft. I wasn’t going to be able to do any camera set-up or anything so I was like, alright, I was going to have to put the camera on my shoulder.”  —  Mathieu Ratthe

MY TAKE:

Mathieu is an interesting guy to talk to. He exudes passion for filmmaking. I was surprised to hear a few things he had mentioned. First was that the film shot in 13 days. Even if you aren’t in the know about filmmaking, that sure is fast, or short amount of time to make a film. He started shooting movies since he was 10-years-old, this month marks his 25 year doing this, that’s impressive. I’m amazed that you can become a successful filmmaker without film school, which Ratthe didn’t attend.

I loved the fact that he told me that the reason you don’t see the monster in the film is because he didn’t have the funds to put in in earlier and feature it more in the film. I liked his honesty. I enjoy when filmmakers tell me about stories from the set, in Mathieu’s case, one of them being him switching between the acting and directing which lead him to keep the hat on-screen and even speaking in a different language to the actors.

I enjoyed The Gracefield Incident. You should give it a try. It’s simply in context, but rich on execution and presentation.

‘The Gracefield Incident’ is out and available now in select theaters, Digital HD and On Demand

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @TheReelTalker