BEHIND the scenes of ‘The Pursuit Of Happyness” :
This was a fun movie to work on. Wrestling with Will Smith was sort of odd and in a way it surprised me how Physically Strong he was, especially after seeing quite a few other star names work out in various gyms I’ve been to in san francisco and in l.a. and noting that many have trainers that indulge them or seem to be going at 1/10th power probably to avoid injuries that could stop a career or production. There were a lot of real locals in that shoot and they were sort of star struck by Will Smith. Still it’s sort of a Paean to Capitalism and I have a problem with that sort of Rags to Riches story.
BEHIND THE SCENES—‘Sweet November’:
Keanu’s a nice guy…sort of Laconic…This small role made it to the TV Promo and could fit into a funny group of scenes in which I’ve played street people. “Pursuit of Happyness”, “Sweet November” and “Knife Fight” with Carrie Anne Moss to name a few …I may edit together a mini reel from those roles and call the character Bruce Tommy Rodney or something something…haha…and send it to some talk shows. Of course I don’t mean to sound disrespectful of those who are on the streets. Many in this country are a paycheck away from homelessness and the fact that the richest country in the world allows people to have to live without shelter or food is a crime.
Oh..I could not get a good feel for Charlize Theron since she was in character heavily and a bit distant, but then I did look pretty grimy on that one. She was Tremendous in “Monster” though
1) Do you feel you pick the parts you play or The parts pick
A little of both. I prefer darker fare and drama but an occasional comedic role surfaces that is irresistible to turn down. Like the film I did with Estella Warren. I’ve always thought her to be genetically one of the most beautiful women in the world. Not to sound too creepy but It was a blast to do a scene in a hottub with her. Though, Prior to, I was wandering around on the set without my shirt on, (back when I was really built or yoked, as they say,not as buffed now), before anyone except the director and producers knew who I was, and her asst and bodyguard were like ‘who is that freak’ …haha
2) Are you NICER than most of your roles ?
Well…I try to be nice…but if You mess with me I may cut you up and
cook you in a stew pot
3) BEST of ‘So FIne’ On/Off set ?
Well I don’t really answer to that name….with the ‘so’ in front of it for fear of being confused with the Ryan O’neal film of the same name, (“So Fine”), where he markets jeans with a plastic window over each buttock. So I’m not really sure what You mean.
If You mean what recent productions Am I happiest to have been involved with I can cite these few. Ulrich Thomsen’s “In Embryo”. Ulrich is an international star and director from Denmark. He starred in “The Celebration” which was a hit on the international art film circuit. He’s also worked with Nic Cage and in a bond film etc. I was ecstatic to get the chance to work with him and the two leads, Kristen Hager from “Being Human” etc and Ross Mccall from “Band of Brothers”. I did that film last month in l.a..
Then I also got to do a comedy recently which was a change of pace with Comedic Actor, and John Candy’s son, Chris Candy. It’s called “Bar America” also starring actress Michelle Boyd and directed by British Writer/Director/Actor Matt Jacobs who has written for Lucas and also for the Doctor Who franchise.
And I was stoked to work on Carolyn Cavallero and Sergey Bodrov’s “Garden of Eden” which is a 60’s sex, drug, rock and roll and hippy/beatnik ethos infused film about a famous burlesque dancer of the late 60s era in san francisco named Carol Doda, starring Eric Roberts, Elizabeth Rice and Evan Williams. A side note is that I actually spent an evening with that dancer in the 80s as she took me back and forth from the bar called Tosca’s to her Show at the Club across Broadway in San Fran. Kind of an enjoyable evening. The Strippers showered me with attention but the patrons were like ‘why is HE so special?’ haha….
Anyway that film is going to be a smash Eric Roberts and multiple other cool actors in that one. I play a character based loosely on a beat poet who still is around and vital. In fact I had a girlfriend…one of the loves of my life…who’s father was a great friend of that poet. More than that I cannot say as we were living a very illicit lifestyle back in the
middle of the 80s.
And one last recent film I got a tremendous kick out of was “Knife Fight” which was at Tribeca last year and got picked up by IFC films. I got to work opposite Carrie Anne Moss from ‘the matrix’ series in that film. She was in “memento” too of course and many others. I’ve always had sort of an appreciation for her shall we say. She’s beautiful but in a different way than Estella Warren for instance. AND Carrie Anne is a Very Nice Person!! Anyway I got to slash her in that one in a hostage situation and will soon put that scene in my main reel. But the last year has been so full of great footage such that I will likely make a spin off reel to represent the young bloods I worked with.
4) WORST of ‘ So Fine’ On/Off set ?
Not for publication…in other words if I told you I’d have to….
5) One Sentence Descriptions
Robert Picardo —Professional
Will Smith ———-Kind to his Fans,
Robin Williams —–Good Guy and not an asshole
Charlize Theron —–transcendental and ethereally in another world.
6) Ever wanted to Write or Direct ?
Writing? I rewrite or add onto or subtract from just about everything I work on as most scripts are skeletons…I’ve also written several scripts but they are not commercial
as they are too full of antisocial and politically unacceptable material.
I can use them as writing samples but have no interest in fighting the upstream battle to get them made.
Directing? Well any actor who has worked a bit knows enough about directing to make suggestions. If a director whom one is working with is not super experienced then that can help…but it’s also
cool to run into directors who know exactly what they want, or who have
a better idea from the get go, or who come up with great ideas
spontaneously. I like that.
7) Known to be pro-union,Will you still make ‘The Little
Guys’ films ?
Acting wouldn’t be worth doing without the Guild. But there is plenty of leeway for directors who are working with Microbudgets to work with guild members. The way I look at it is that the labor movement is something I feel patriotic about. People before me suffered at great cost and danger to themselves to win better wages and working condition standards for all workers; not just for those covered by union contracts. a
And I think that was a tremendous sacrifice akin to the sacrifices made by those who sacrificed themselves to build the american republic with it’s consitution and bill of rights. However I have no problem with films happening that go completely non-union due to cost concerns. I just can’t be involved with them. And I abhor fi-cor for it undermines the collective bargaining process.
8) POE film looks like a breakthrough,You happy with ?
POE was hardly a breakthrough. The production values were low and it hurt everyone’s performances. The production owes me $$$$. I’ve done many, many better films and had many, many better performances. Though I did get a kick out of the Director.
9) Any Romances ???
hundreds…but you’ll have to wait for my book or comic book…I won’t name any of the women who’ve been paramours…some have died and some have burnt out and some might deny it now. Let’s just say I learned early enough though that too many notches on one’s gun belt leaves one with no gun belt.
10) Give us that quote,That shall be recited …Here On ?
“Art is all about suffering…But it doesn’t have to be in a Garrett
or on a Gallows”
“But Art is also the most fun You can have on Two Legs”