Your new movie The
Laughing Mask - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you
tell us about your character in it?
is a horror film about a gentleman, Jake Johnson who
is trying to track down the murder of his wife and daughter. That killer
is known as the laughing mask. It's filled with a lot of twists and turns.
It's kind of a thriller horror. I play Alejandro Cardova who is one of the
lead investigators tracking down the laughing mask killer.
Your character is
pretty much an asshole in more ways than one - so what did you draw upon to bring him to life,
and how much of Gabriel Lee can we find in Lt Cordova?
I guess you could say that. He's not really a nice guy. It's kind of funny
because I typically get cast as the antagonist character. You will not
find any of Gabriel Lee in Cardova. Of course I get cast for a lot of the
nice guy roles but I think I find it easier to relate to evil
characters because as even a kid, I always found it fun to pretend to be
the bad guy. There is just more character to build usually.
did you get involved with the project in the first place, and to what
extent could you identify with the movie's horror theme?
actually auditioned for the role of Jake but ended up being cast as Cardova.
I was really excited and a little nervous since this was the first time I
would be playing a Latin person. In independent films there are a lot of
horror movies. What I liked about this project was it wasn't your typical
bloody slasher horror movie but it was more of a horror movie that had
aspects of a thriller. As a viewer it really keeps you interested in the
story to try to figure out what is going on and who the killer is.
can you tell us about your director Michael Aguiar [Michael
Aguiar interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?
Michael was great to work with. He knew what he wanted but he
was still open-minded to listen to input from the others. We were
under really tight timelines and he was able to get everyone to pull
together and get the project done. Even after so many setbacks and people
falling through, he always had a great attitude. I hope I have the
opportunity to work with Michael again in the future.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the
On-set was great! We really did have a
great team that pulled together to make this film happen. There were a lot
of long days and everyone really had fun being around each other. I still
keep in touch with a lot of the cast and crew from the film and consider
them my friends.
Any future projects you'd like to
Future projects, ahh wow! There are a couple. I am
in the middle of producing a feature film titled Black Pills
and slate of 10 other projects in various stages. Black Pills is filled
with thrills, dark mystery, drama and suspense around every corner. The
story follows a group of dysfunctional heroes as they discover a miracle drug
with the power to change their lives. However, like all drugs, it has side
effects of monstruous proportions. I do have a role in Black Pills as well
as a couple other films I am co-producing on. Another project I worked on
last year with Rob Schneider, Real Rob, will be premiering on
Netflix this December.
You started acting at a very early age - so what
can you tell us about your early days as an actor, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
mother would tell you I was always a little entertainer. I think I started
doing grade school theater productions in about first or second grade. At
that time and through high school, the only training I really had was
drama club. Since then, I have completed the Meisner masters program at
Truthful Acting, many workshops, and continue to study twice a week with
the Actors Group Orlando. As an actor training is very important and you
should always be in class. I really enjoy the Actors Group Orlando which
is ran by Bob Caso. He really understands what makes people tick and knows
how to get you to feel the core of the character.
done both stageplays and movies, how does performing on a stage compare to
acting in front of a movie camera, and which do you prefer, actually?
they are both so different and both so fulfilling in different ways. I
really enjoy film because of the intimacy with the camera and I think you
really get to develop and become the character more. It is just more of a
visceral feeling. The stage is great but I have not been on it in over 15
years. I would love to but the time commitment with rehearsals and
production just doesn't work for me right now. With the stage you get that
excitement as soon as the curtain raises and the instant gratification
when they all applause. The added pressure to perform while everyone is
watching you is also exciting. My main focus is film though and I hope to
be doing this for a very long time.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The
Laughing Mask I think I had done about 24 or 25 film projects.
Features and shorts. Really a variety of different role and characters. My
first lead was in a short film where I got to play a alcoholic single
father who was grieving over the death of his wife and about to lose his
daughter to child protective service.
How would you describe yourself
as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
an actor I would say my best work is still ahead of me. I actually stole
that from Robin Williams I think. But I really like that line because I
think we really need to continue developing and growing as an artist so
our best work will always be ahead of us. I really try to empathize with
the character no matter good or evil. Put myself in their shoes and figure
out what I'm fighting for. Once you understand the psychology of the
character then you can start layering on the other parts that make it more
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
There are a ton!
Kind of expanding on the above, I really like actors who are subtle and I
have been working on that myself. Tom Hardy is the best at that. I really
like Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Christian
Bale and the list could go on and on. I really do enjoy everyone's work.
Same with actresses really. Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie
Portman and many others.
My favorite movie right now is Inception. Another
one of my favorites would be Inception and really any of those other
cerebral thriller type movies. It's hard to say my favorite really though.
I just love watching movies. I think there is something good in every
movie because it is an art form.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
was going to list some films that I guess I would deplore but then I would
sound like a hypocrite from my answer before. So I'm just gonna leave it
at every film has something to offer.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Please check out
You can find me on Facebook and Twitter at Gabriel Lee.
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
course, I would just like to say I would be interested in speaking with
other directors, producers and actors about collaborating on future
projects. Give me a call!
for the interview!