Your new movie Bloodrunners
- in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your
character in it?
a Prohibition-era crime drama with two very different love stories,
bagmen, whores, a few laughs... all the elements of the human condition.
it's really about
What did you draw upon to bring your
character to life, and did you write him with yourself in mind?
of us have a tragedy that shapes us and we make certain choices that
define the rest of
our lives. As frail human beings, we don't always make the strongest ones
and we try to look
away. If you're lucky, life has a way of bringing you around, shaking you
up, and giving you
a second chance to redeem yourself. Jack and I have very different
stories, but he is me.
did you get involved with the project in the first place, and was it
always intended for you to have your hands in writing, production and
2011, I answered a casting notice to audition for Dan Lantz's [Dan
Lantz interview - click here] feature film, Into
The Lion's Den. I
won't go into specifics, but the rigors and requirements of that character
must have given him
the confidence in me to carry Bloodrunners
square on my shoulders. I had
set about sketching
the characters of Jack and Chesterfield (Ice-T) almost a year before we
When we pitched the idea to Ice, we didn't even have a script, (we made
of that fact) so when he agreed to work with us we just hunkered down and
a screenplay over the course of the next five months or so. As far as my
duties as aproducer
are concerned, with a limited budget, everyone is spread so thin that you
just have to
wear whatever hat the day requires. I had connections in Marcus Hook, PA,
where we shot
some crucial scenes. The Star Hotel, The Borough Council, and Marcus Hook
P.D. were just
fantastic in facilitating our every need.
Michael with Ice-T
What were your sources of inspiration when
a history nut, so WWI photos of the boy-soldiers in the trenches with the
look in their eyes begged the question: If they survived, what became of
them? How did
they go on living ordinary lives after experiencing such unimaginable
horrors? That was the
inspiration for Jack's backstory.
were the major challenges making Bloodrunners
from a producer's point of view?
and foremost, it's a period piece. So right there you are besieged with a
host of logistical
challenges that will drive a grown man to tears. When constructing our own
sets in a
controlled location, it was just a matter of how much sweat we put in.
However, when you move
outside to practical locations, everything factors in: Architecture, cars,
clothing... and even when everything works out, you spot modern touches in
that have to be digitally removed. Dan spent countless hours doing just
that. The Devil is in
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
been fortunate enough to win some co-star roles on TV this year on
networks such as CBS,
HBO and VH1. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to portray Jimmy
Hoffa in Tigre Hill's bio-pic American Zealot chronicling the life of civil rights
activist Cecil B. Moore, going
into production later this year.
What got you into acting in the
first place, and did you reveive any formal education on the subject?
good notices in the local paper for elementary school plays certainly
played a part in
giving me the “acting bug”. But it wasn't until I was in my twenties
that I gave it any serious
thought as a career. I studied for a year in the acting program at
University Of The Arts
before moving to New York and signing up for Bill Hickey's acting class at
HB Studio on Bank
St. in the West Village. The best advice he offered in my years of study
with him were two
things: 1) Always find what is sympathetic in your character, no matter
how horrible they
may be. He would boil it down simply to “Even Hitler loved his dog.”
and 2) What is missing?
I use that to this day in preparation for both auditions and gigs. I'll
tape my work and
pull it apart to find what's missing and just add that layer. It's a
system that has served me
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Bloodrunners?
be honest, I wasn't on anyone's radar before Dan gave me a shot in Into
The Lion's Den
in 2011. Most of my film credits were just good roles in low to no-budget
affairs that gave
me footage for a reel. I didn't have an agent. I didn't even know how to
go about getting
one. When I was doing stage plays in New York back in the 90s, I would
mass mail postcards
to every agency in the city in the hopes they would trek downtown to
off-off Broadway venue I was performing in. They never came, and I can't
And when I got back in the game six years ago, the business had changed so
much that I
felt like Rip Van Winkle. In other words, I am deeply indebted to Dan
Lantz [Dan Lantz interview -
filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?
Wilkinson and Christopher Walken are two actors that come to mind right
away. I'd like
to believe that I'm infusing some of their best qualities into my own
favorite writer/filmmaker I'd have to say is David Mamet. He can reduce
the human condition
down to the bare essentials of language and raw emotion without leaning on
of music or cinematic trickery to manipulate an audience. He never cheats
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
is my personal site and
is our film's site.
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Mom! She's a saint and my guardian angel.
for the interview!