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An Interview with Frank Bernard Smith jr III, Star of Bag of Tricks

by Mike Haberfelner

Novemer 2020

Films starring Frank Bernard Smith jr III on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Bag of Tricks - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?

 

Bag of Tricks is about the revenge that a mysterious “kid” named Timmy seeks on Ryan – a handsome, muscular, Adonis-like figure played by me – who jokingly scares the crap out of the Timmy while he’s trick-or-treating. As Timmy haunts Ryan, we, the audience can’t help but to hope that Ryan’s girlfriend Tiffany, played by the beautiful Jenna Nolen, can somehow solve Timmy’s riddle and save her and her boyfriends’ lives.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Frank Bernard Smith jr III can we find in Ryan?

 

Well there’s a lot of Frank in there, since I love pranking kids, my girlfriends, and my family members - that part of the script was easy for me to deliver. The harder part was delivering my monologue towards the beginning of the movie since I had to tap into my creepy/freighting side to pull it off. For that scene to work I had to really scare Jenna, or Tiffany, so first I had to play like I was really afraid myself, and second I had to deliver the lines in a way that scared anyone else who was listening. I tried very, very hard to scare the camera operators at the same time as scaring Jenna. To prepare for the scene I watched scenes from “Hannibal Lector” in Silence of the Lambs and “Huck” from Scandal as inspiration.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

I know the producer Raymond McCann from a mutual friend we have that I met in college. We all connected years ago because we all liked making films. Ray naturally fell into the producer role for all our small skits (he’s got some actor credits too) and larger projects we did and he has turned his passion into his career. Ray reached out to me to set up a few interviews for me to meet with the director, Michael Coulombe [Michael Coulombe interview - click here], about a potential casting me as the leading role in his short film project. Michael seemed to like me and invited me on to play Ryan.

 

To what extent could you identify with Bag of Tricks' approach to horror, and is horror at all a genre dear to you?

 

I love horror films, and Bag of Tricks definitely does a great job in reminding viewers of the classics we all grew up watching. Brantley J. Brown [Brantley J. Brown interview - click here], the film’s writer, does a great job in building suspense throughout the script, so the entire film you are trying to predict what will happen, but you never could predict what actually happens – well at least I couldn’t. The film also ends in classical horror film fashion, leaving viewers with some of their questions unansweredm which I absolutely love because it gets my mind wondering about the plot of a part 2.

 

What can you tell us about Bag of Tricks' director Michael Coulombe [Michael Coulombe interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?

 

Michael Coulombe is brilliant in my opinion. I’ve worked with tons of directors and creatives before, so I appreciate when directors are able to balance the process of creating while also maintaining the professional side of the business while on set. I love how Mike was able to control the entire set and was still able to foster an atmosphere of freedom and creativity that remained within scope of what he believed the project should look like.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!

 

Imagine coming to a place where no one takes themselves too seriously, but everyone is serious about the job we are there to do. Michael Coloumbe created an atmosphere on set where you were encouraged to share your ideas about the script, the lighting, the set décor, and the costumes and you felt heard, while maintaining a level of professionalism that I appreciated greatly. A lot of my ideas ended up coming to light in the film, which is contrary to the norm; as an actor I’m usually told to keep many of my ideas in my head and just read the lines, but under Mike’s leadership I felt the complete opposite feeling.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I’ve got a music video coming out maybe the end of 2020 or early 2021 with an artist named Natalie Volkodaeva, directed by Nihat Odabasi. In the video I play another lead role as Natalie’s sinister boyfriend. You’ll have to wait to the end of the video to see if I let her live or not... Besides that and Bag of Tricks, I’ve also got a short film out now on Amazon Prime called On the Run written by Dante Spears where I play a lead detective, you can also catch me in a couple of ads coming out this year and next year most likely on digital platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you recieve any formal training on the subject?

 

I’ve wanted to become an actor ever since seeing Tyler Perry’s live taping of Madea’s Class Reunion. I went to the taping when I was about 8 years old and ever since then I fell in love with acting, whether it was on a stage or on a screen. Since then I’ve done numerous plays, hosting gigs, and short films until I eventually was signed by multiple talent agencies. The training I received first starting out was from BGB Studios and The Audition Lab with Phaedra Harris.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Bag of Tricks?

 

I’ve had a relatively decent career in entertainment thus far. My most screen time has been with VH1’s Hip Hop Squares where I did 15 episodes. I was also in an episode of The Affair on Showtime, I was in the film Lilly’s Light on Netflix, and I was in The Morning Show on Apple TV. I also played an officer in the film I Got the Hook Up 2 with Master P and Romeo. I’ve also been in lots of commercials including Samsung and McDonald’s and I’ve done tons of print work everywhere from Asics to David’s Bridal.

 

How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your character to life?

 

I would describe myself as the next coming of Will Smith. I believe I’m just as charismatic and charming as he was in Hitch or Independence Day, and I can also play a deeply troubled or moving character like he was in The Pursuit of Happiness. I believe I can play both very well, but I definitely aspire to be as intense and as real in my scenes as Will is in his. I’ve definitely got a long way to go however.

 

Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?

 

Will Smith, Tyler Perry, Al Pacino, Kerry Washington, Amy Poehler, Ryan Reynolds, Sandra Bullock, Ashton Kutcher, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Omari Hardwick, and Issa Rae.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Set it Off, Scarface, First Blood, Crazy Stupid Love, The Notebook, Bag of Tricks.

 

Your website, social media, whatever else?

 

Instagram: @teamfrankthemodel

Twitter: @frankthemodel

 

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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed by you. Follow me if you want to come along with my acting and modeling journey! Watch my stories and posts on Instagram to see what I’m up to and what its really like for a young working actor and professional model in Hollywood. And definitely, definitely check out Bag of Tricks by Horror House Media on YouTube!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD