Your new movie Maturing
Youth - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
Youth is a coming of age film, albeit one where the hero is coming of age
a little bit on the late side. Roger, played by Sean A. Kaufman [Sean
A. Kaufman interview - click here], has
led a pretty directionless life, heading into his mid-thirties, but still
stuck in a teenager mentality. When confronted with the unexpected
reality of his being a father, and then becoming the care-giver for the
boy Junior, played by Joshua St. Leger [Joshua
St. Leger interview - click here], when the mother, named Sadie
played by Kim Paris, leaves the child in his care, Roger is totally
unprepared for this kind of responsibility. A Mysterious Doctor,
named Dr. Riccard played by me, arrives, supposedly to attend to the sick
child, but actually, to focus Roger and cause him to face the truth about
himself, and help him to "cross the bridge" into adulthood.
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life? And how much Terrence Keene can we find in
Having been a teacher (both high school and
grade school),as well as a director and acting coach and teacher, and
also the president of my own company, taking large groups around the world
for cultural events, I have often been in the role if the
"authority" or the "leader". My character knows his
mission and he rather enjoys the task before him, like a teacher who
enjoys imparting knowledge to his students. So, there are definitely
elements of my life that I think became a part of my character. However,
Dr. Riccard is a bit "trickier" than I would probably have
been....it is not only that he enjoys his mission, he REALLY enjoys
playing with his subject (Roger) and both teasing him and taunting him
into self realization.
How did you get
involved with the project in the first place?
I saw the
notice for the audition for the film in one of the trades (Backstage, or
other). I submitted my video clips and resume and was called into
audition. We were not given the sides in advance. I just had
10 minutes or so to prepare the audition. I have to say, it was one
of those situations where I just knew exactly what I had to do. It
happens once in a while. Sometimes you just immediately know how
this character should be done and who he is. I immediately saw the
humor that was the most active part of the persona of the character.
I think I threw myself into the "eccentricity" of the part,
almost without thinking about it. I felt a good deal of satisfaction
with the audition, although I can't claim that I saw any evidence of
having "wowed" the monitors. They were quite cool and
professional. But I was very pleased to be offered the role a few
days afterwards. I later found out there had been some call backs
for most of the other actors, but I was not called in for those. I
met all of my fellow actors at the first read through.
you tell us about your director Divoni Simon [Divoni
Simon interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Divoni is a creative young man, who threw his heart
into this project. He seemed very appreciative of what I was trying
to bring to the part. In the final version of the script, he cut
something that I thought had been a very funny item in the audition sides.
I asked him to put it back in, and he agreed, with some reservations.
At the rehearsal for that section, just before filming, when I got to that
part, the whole crew burst out laughing. So I am glad we left it in.
Divoni kept after me about a certain quality he wanted for the character,
which he described as "passive aggressive". I had trouble
getting that, and told him I didn't think that was something I could act.
However, I continued to think about it and to work on it and suddenly I
understood how to make that work. It definitely added to the humor
and eccentricity of Dr. Riccard, and, together with my co-star Sean, we
worked to show how that dynamic helped impact on Roger as well.
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
always known that I wanted to be an actor. As a child, I made made
marionettes and gave puppet shows. I wrote plays that were presented
for the whole school. I did my first professional job at sixteen,
acting in a melodrama/revue in Cripple Creek, Colorado for an entire
summer. I went to the University of Denver on a voice scholarship,
with a major in music and minor in theater. Every weekend and in summers I
acted professionally in various theaters. After I moved to New York,
I studied with amazing teachers for many years, including Terry Schreiber,
Michael Shurtleff and Vivian Matalon. An actor is always learrning,
always working on his craft, discovering new things...
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Maturing
All my life, my focus was on the stage.
I did many productions such as Generation with Eddie Bracken, I was on the
national touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar... I did regional
in plays such as Edward Albee's The Goat. I also got sidetracked a
few times from my theatrical endeavors as I was running my own company,
involved with cultural events, travel and working in a special
relationship with the Kirov and Bolshoi Theaters of Russia. I never
really thought that much about film. I did do a short film that was
written for me, actually, many years ago, A Better Day, but that was kind
of a fluke. In the last three years, however, film has been the
focus of my career. I did a black comedy, Broken Faces, where I
played a gangster-like character called "The Messenger". I think the clip
from that may have been responsible for my being called in for Doctor Riccard. I have done a number of short films, student films as well
as several television shows in the last couple of years. I just
finished filming my own project, Joaquin and Luke, which I wrote,
produced, directed and starred in, along with my partner, Nicolas
Conde. We are really excited about this project which will hopefully
release early this winter. I went to Philadelphia to film a feature
film, The Birth of Deceit, in which I have a starring role.
How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of the techniques you use to bring your characters to
I have tried to combine all of the strong points of
the teachers I studied with, to devise my own "method" of
acting. While I definitely believe in the personalizarion techniques
of "The Method", I'm also very driven by concentrating on exactly
what the actions are....I am always asking myself "what am I
doing?" on almost every line, and trying to make myself come up with
a specific answer, not a wishy washy one. I believe that acting is
"doing". I also always try to look for humor in
almost everything I do, whether it is a comedy or not. I like
working with colleagues who are really interested in exploring the moments and working together to make something work. Again, my
colleague Sean and I worked on our own for many hours to get the best out
of the Roger/Doctor Riccard scene. I love that kind of detailed
Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Grant (what an amazing array of roles he did, and he was great in so many
different genres), Ingrid Bergman, Vivian Leigh, Barbara Stanwyck,
Loretta Young, Lawrence Olivier, Peter O'Toole, Danny Kaye, Alain Delon.
Gone with the Wind, North by
Nortwest, Psycho, Auntie
Mame, Ben Hur (1959), Lord of the Rings,
Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Terrence Keene Jablonski
Website under construction.
Follow the film here:
for the interview!
All images courtesy of R&F Entertainment.