Tag Archives: legend

In Memory of Robert Forster: Nate’s Top Ten Performances

Robert Forster passed away yesterday and the realms of Hollywood, television, exploitation and indie features will never be the same. This was a guy you knew even if you didn’t know his name, a pillar of supporting performances for decades, a man who radiated talent and charisma even if he was only onscreen for three minutes of any given production. My buddy saw him in an airport once but couldn’t think of his name for months and it drove us both nuts for awhile. He described the fellow as a “world weary detective type with kind eyes and a vaguely sad demeanour.” We eventually figured out who he meant when I kept showing him a rogues gallery of IMDb profile pictures to try and solve the conundrum, but my point is that this was a guy whose essence and persona just sticks with you no matter the role or project. I will miss him dearly and revisit many of his excellent performances again but for now here are my top ten favourite:

10. Steve Yendel in the Nelms Brothers’ Small Town Crime

The ultimate pissed off dad, Steve takes quirky revenge on the assholes who killed his daughter in this violent but good natured black comedy, teaming up with a persnickety pimp (Clifton Collins jr) for some off the books war games. “I wanna tie them to the back of my Bentley, drag them around a bit.” His delivery of that pithy little sentiment is both droll and priceless.

9. Marshall Sisco in ABC’s Karen Sisco

Not the first Elmore Leonard adaptation on this list sees him playing father, mentor and friend to Carla Gugino’s badass federal Marshall Karen Sisco in this televised version. Dennis Farina and Jennifer Lopez played these roles in Steven Soderbergh’s Out Of Sight and rocked it but Robert and Carla find their own laidback, easygoing groove and have terrific chemistry. Word of warning though this show was never released onto DVD and is absent from any streaming services anywhere (which someone should really do something about) so basically your only hope is chopped up versions on YouTube.

8. Burt in Elizabeth Chomko’s What They Had

Forster frequently finds himself in gritty genre stuff so I always get in line when he does something gentler like this hilarious and heartbreaking family drama. He’s brilliant here as a patriarch whose wife (Blythe Danner) is slipping into dementia. He’s nonchalant about it while his kids (Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon) unravel. His refusal to admit that she’s slowly losing herself is sort of sad and funny at the same time and the performance is perfectly pitched between the two.

7. Detective Murphy in Paul McGuigan’s Lucky Number Slevin

His character here is only onscreen for a minute or two but he’s got the biggest monologue in a film already thick with dense dialogue, and the dump truck level of exposition he delivers is something to see as he nails it while giving his idiosyncratic NYC cop role attitude to spare even though none of the dialogue is even about him. If you’ve seen the film you know what a brilliant, labyrinthine house of twists it is and he gets to impart the final wisdom that brings the narrative home, subsequently leaving a lasting impression amidst many other quirky performances.

6. Detective Harry McKnight in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr

Another quick cameo but one of the finest moments of eerie gravitas in the film. As a horrific limo crash kicks off the films inciting incident, Harry and his partner (Brent Briscoe, another Lynch favourite who is no longer with us) stand by the roadside and look out over the nocturnal LA dreamscape, wondering just what happened. The quiet, contemplative look in his eyes suggests many mysteries to come without saying anything, and his scene remains one of the films most atmospheric and memorable.

5. Arthur Petrelli in NBC’s Heroes

He always rocked the kinder roles but did some wicked nasty villain turns too, here playing the utterly evil and sociopathic ringleader of the troubled Petrelli clan. Not above terrorizing and murdering his own family for incredibly nefarious gains, he heads up the mysterious corporation that is pretty much responsible for most of the shitty things that happen on the show. Underplaying for chilling effect, he was essentially the big bad of the entire series run and wielded it wonderfully.

4. Scott Thorson in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants

Another aging family man looking after an ill wife, he plays father in law to George Clooney’s grieving real estate tycoon in a wonderfully emotional and intimate interpersonal drama. He doesn’t approve of his son in law and makes it very clear in a series of wry commentaries that lead to a confrontation that the actor gives the power of an open wound.

3. Sheriff Frank Truman in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return

Taking over the character in spirit from Michael Ontkean but also playing a new rendition of the upright lawman archetype, Robert plays Frank as a straight arrow who has begun to dim and get a bit weary. He’s a thoughtful man, a tired husband and you can sense a spiritual crisis in him when things begin to get weird because this is Twin Peaks and they inevitably must. One of my favourite scenes in the entire Peaks saga is a pine rimmed computer popping out of his desk so he can skype Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) on his fishing trip about vital information and share pleasantries while he’s at it. It’s such a lovely scene full of light and goodness, Robert’s contribution to the Peaks world is really something special.

2. Jake Nyman in Paul Chort’s American Perkekt

This is a weird one but essential because the director wrote this role specifically for Forster and he’s absolutely fucking terrifying in it. Jake is a psychiatrist, or says he is anyways, but he’s on a demented road trip where every decision is determined by the flip of a coin, and with each flip he seems to lose his grip on sanity a bit more. The final act sees him completely go over the edge and terrorize a drifter (Fairuza Balk) into submission. It’s a very strange film with many characters and has that oddball ‘psycho indie road flick’ vibe but his performance is the sickened heart of it and he really lets that ripcord of uninhibited mania go.

1. Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown

The crown jewel of his career saw Tarantino revive his Hollywood career to play bail bondsman Max, a keen Everyman who is deeply in love with Jackie (Pam Grier) from the moment he lays eyes on her and determined to help her escape homicidal gun runner Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson). The pacing of both the film and particularly his performance really sells this story, you can watch the wheels turning as he observes characters around him interact, and the blossoming look of adoration on his face when he sees Jackie for the first time is truly remarkable.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your favourites from Robert’s fantastic career!

-Nate Hill

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Actor’s Spotlight: Nate’s Top Ten Gary Oldman Performances

Gary Oldman is both one of my personal favourite actors and an absolute champion of the craft, an adaptable master of any role thrown at him who can take words on a page and lift them to magnificent heights in his work. Intense, implosive, focused, hard working and super dynamic in front of a camera, he’s always an actor to watch and an undisputed master of his craft. I love each and every performance this man has given us so far in a brilliantly diverse career, but here are the ten characters that stand out the most for me:

10. Charlie Strom in Sin

Bear with me on this one. Like any actor, Gary has appeared in a few duds, and overall this happens to be one of them *but* his performance in it is fantastic. Ving Rhames plays a tough ex cop whose sister (Kerry Washington) is raped and brutalized on Oldman’s orders as some kind of underworld porn king. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues in which Rhames seeks revenge for the atrocity but discovers that Oldman targeted him for reasons of his own going back into both their pasts. It’s a decent script given the scrappy low budget treatment but Oldman’s tormented villain is worth sitting through for. He has a conversation with Rhames midway through the film that gets philosophical in nature and overall he just nails the haunted persona of this role.

9. O.W. Grant in Bob Gale’s Interstate 60

This is a playful role in one heinously overlooked hidden gem. Essentially an existential road trip movie with supernatural elements and enough cameos to launch a pilot, Gary plays a mysterious genie like deity who grants everyone he sees one wish by blowing green smoke from his monkey shaped pipe. He also has no reproductive organs, as a hitchhiking nymphomaniac chick hilariously discovers. It’s light, easygoing work from the actor who isn’t doing any heavy lifting with the performance yet still makes a terrific comedic impact and seems like he’s having a lot of fun.

8. George Smiley in Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

John Le Carré’s chilly Cold War thriller sees Oldman take on the role of an MI6 lieutenant embroiled in the treacherous search for a soviet spy amongst his own ranks. Restrained and opaque, one begins to see the keen scrutiny hiding behind the character’s initially withdrawn nature. When an event causes him to almost lose that composure, he expertly shows the emotions bursting forth and the efforts to keep them within, reaching a pitch perfect note of performance that gets better and more detailed every time you revisit the film.

7. Jackie Flannery in Phil Joanou’s State Of Grace

One of the great crime dramas he has taken on, this one sees him play a volatile, unstable Irish gangster in NYC’s brutal Hell’s Kitchen, stick between his mob boss older brother (Ed Harris) and childhood friend (Sean Penn) who is now an undercover cop infiltrating their ranks. With a mop of greasy hair and the mannerisms of an untrained dog let off the leash, this is a ballistic tornado of a characterization with childlike notes, a good dose of rambunctious restlessness and primal violent nature uncaged.

6. Sirius Black in Alfonso Cuaron’s Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban

From the moment we see gaunt, haunted eyed convict Black onscreen Gary makes him a magnetic, spooky presence to be reckoned with. Even before that we see him howling out of moving wanted posters in Diagon Alley and off the front page of the Daily Prophet. Oldman makes juxtaposed genius out of his work here and the shift from scary fugitive to compassionate friend and mentor to Harry is handled beautifully. It’s also nice to see him and fellow British thespian David Thewlis collectively chewing scenery, they have palpable chemistry and I’d love to see a buddy cop thing with them one day, or something like that.

5. Jack Grimaldi in Peter Medak’s Romeo Is Bleeding

The ultimate corrupt cop, Oldman’s Jack is a loose cannon dirtbag who discovers that his ways have consequences when his life is made into a living hell by terrifying femme fatale Mona Demarkhov (Lena Olin) and ruthless mafia don Falcone (Roy Schneider). He inhabits the sweaty, desperate neo-noir palette of this great film very well, especially in sly, mournful voiceover as he literally narrates his own story as if it didn’t happen to him.

4. Dracula In Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Francis Ford Coppola outdoes himself with this lavish, baroque piece of eye candy that for me is the best film version of Dracula ever made, likewise for Gary’s knockout performance as the titular vampire king. He has several incarnations here from armoured Transylvanian knight to skeletal senior citizen to dashing foreign prince to full on nine foot gorilla werewolf hell-beast thing and he rocks each one with full blooded embodiment and spectacular verve. Surrounded by solid players like Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Sadie Frost, Keanu Reeves, Cary Elwes, Richard E. Grant and Tom Waits in an encore as the lunatic Renfield, this is a magnificent dark jewel of a film and a horror masterpiece.

3. James Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises

The actor goes inward here for a fierce, gritty turn as the legendary police commissioner, giving the character all the salt of the earth integrity and brooding charisma we could hope to get. In a career full of extravagant portrayals and amidst a trilogy riddled with flamboyant villains and people who dress up in costumes, ironically he gets to play the most down to earth and level headed guy, comparatively. His Gordon is a straight arrow cop who is fallible, tactical and compassionate.

2. Drexl Spivey in Tony Scott’s True Romance

A white pimp who thinks he’s black, this has to be the single most impactful performance ever filmed that only takes up one five minute scene and another brief thirty second one. Dreadlocks, gnarly scars, a dead eye, leopard print housecoat, this guy couldn’t be more visually ridiculous but for all the flourish and swagger, it’s Gary’s mannerisms that shine through and win the day. The goal of his scene is essentially to circle and intimidate Christian Slater before pouncing on him like a pissed off coyote, and he succeeds in freaking him out plus the rest of the world watching on their screens. This film is filled with memorable moments scene after scene but his mad dog portrayal of this reprehensibly hilarious Detroit gutter-rat piece of shit stands out.

1. Norman Stansfield in Luc Besson’s Leon The Professional

I’m not sure what Besson’s direction to Oldman was in playing this spectacularly corrupt DEA agent but he kind of just runs off and does his own thing to the point where other actors in the scene look scared of him for real. Casually homicidal, easily distracted, highly unstable and so intense he frequently goes red in the face, this is a villain that would frighten most others into submission. Contrasted with Jean Reno’s and Natalie Portman’s more contemplative performances he’s the wild card of this tale and fills it to the brim with madness, firepower, dark humour and that trademark white suit that you better not get blood on or he’ll shoot you after he’s already killed you in a crazed tantrum of scenery chewing that only Gary Oldman is capable of.

Thanks for reading ! Please share you favourite Gary Oldman performances as well!

-Nate Hill

Canadian Virtuoso: A chat with actor Nick Mancuso- An interview by Nate Hill

My first interview ever, revisited three years later. Nick is still out there making great art, and this was a fantastic chat!

Recently I had the great honour and privilege to have a chat with legendary Canadian actor, producer and writer Nick Mancuso, an accomplished man of the arts with a career spanning over forty years in film, television and theatre. He has appeared in countless films, including the Under Siege series with Steven Seagal, Rapid Fire with Brandon Lee, Black Christmas, Ticket To Heaven, Captured, Mother Lode alongside Kim Basinger and Charlton Heston, Heartbreakers, In The Mix and countless hidden gem indies. Early in his career he starred in the popular NBC series Stingray, also appearing in shows like Totall Recall 2070, Wild Palms, The Hitchhiker, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The Hunger, Call Of The Wild in which he played John Thornton, The Outer Limits, The Firm, and more. He has also served as the artistic director for the Pier One Theatre in Halifax, during his epic career. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, some of which he was kind enough to share with me. Here is our interview:

Nate: You have a ferocious intensity and frenzy to a lot of your work, which is equal parts scary, and fascinating. How did you stumble upon that energy and rambunctious, unique vibe within yourself, and apply it to your work throughout your career?

Nick: That’s a good question. What are it’s origins? I guess I was born with it, but I suspect some of it comes from my early childhood experiences in the heart of southern Italy right after the war, in 1948. There was much suffering, much poverty and infant mortality was at 75 percent. These were terrible times, and I almost died from an intestinal infection at age 2. I remember vaguely fighting for my life,  battling to stay alive. In those days people were starving to death in my town of Mammola, and the great migrations for survival began, with almost 18000 people migrating to foreign lands like France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Canada, USA, Australia, Argentina, Brazil. We left in order to survive, in order to have a new life. My family was part of those migrations. I remember my mother, my baby sister and I came in a steerable in the belly of the troop ship the Vulcania from Naples to Halifax. I had to adjust to a whole new life, a new language and a new country. I very much sympathize with those poor people crossing the Mediterranean and dying trying to get to Italy. 7000 drowning every year, it’s a terrible plight of genocidal proportions while the world does nothing. I understand what it means to be an immigrant, to be rejected and to have to fight for everything in order to survive. I suppose those early experiences marked me with that ferocious intensity you refer to. To me the eye of the Tiger is very real. It’s ironic or somehow fitting that my town was also the birthplace of another man who gained world prominence. His name was Pepe Luca and they did a film about his struggles as a warrior in Vietnam, with Sylvester Stallone portraying him. His name was Rambo.

Nate: Thank you for sharing that Nick. You studied psychology early in lif. Did you find that helpful in your acting work, with forming characters?

Nick: I think the study of psychology is mostly a waste of time. As far as the craft and yes the art of acting goes. I refer to the work as psycho-physical labor, which is a misnomer because it implies dualism and really full engagement in the reality of the moment is all that truly matters. Acting is being nothing else. The true actor becomes and is transformed by the imagination, inspired by the vision of the writer, the screenwriter and the playwright. We all have within us the potential for all being and all states of human and yes, even non human consciousness. The actor has a duty to the truth, an impossible task ultimately. All children are natural actors. But we lose that ability as we grow up. It is as Einstein said, that he continued as a grownup to ask the same questions he asked as a child. It very much is child’s games with adult rules, as Sondra Seacat stated. Any knowledge that will fire up the imagination and cause it to manifest into Action is useful, providing it engages the imagination. This is what I’ve meant by Stanislavakian inspiration – to breathe in. Henry Irving, the great British actor of the last century, said of acting that it was a paradox. The actor is and is not himself. It’s the difference between the dry dead notes on the page and the living music of life. No, the study of behavioural psychology was of no value whatsoever as far as the art and craft of acting goes. I did however find the study of homeopathic medecine and Hahnemann’s Materia Medica to be somewhat useful, and Karl Jung very helpful. Very much it’s a child’s game with adult rules. It’s ridiculous to take any of it seriously, what is however necessary is what Constantin Stanislavsky referred to as “gladness”, a glad heart and lightness of spirit, which is easier said than done. Heart surgery is serious business, acting is not.

Nate: Black Christmas: Was that really your voice on the phone as the prowler? (which was terrifying by the way). How did that job find you?

Nick: Yes that was my voice. “Its me Billy”. I did it standing on my head to compress my thorax, but Bob Clark the director did some as well, and a Toronto theatre actress whose name escapes me (mugsy Sweeny?) sorry can’t recall, but I did a play with her by Des Macnuff (directed Jersey Boys on Broadway) at the old Toronto free theatre now, Canstage. I was a stage actor, I don’t even think I got a credit, and it’s ironic that that first little film became a cult hit. I recently did an interview and narration for the re-release by Anchor Bay. I think I made a hundred bucks and never a cent since then. Ain’t showbiz grand?

Nate: Stingray: How was it in a lead role for a television series? Did it shift things greatly in your career at the time?

Nick: Well yeah…it did.. I was starring in my own tv series for NBC…short lived as it was. Two years after it was cancelled they realized they had a hit and tried to reorder it, but I was starring in another short lived series called Matrix, weirdly enough with Carrie Anne Moss, who went on to do the hit movie The Matrix.  The two had nothing to do with each other, but my career had been filled with such oddities. By the way Stingray was based on a pilot I wrote, or at least improvised with Stephen J Cannell called Shack. Steve,  who was truly a great soul, let me write it with him when I was first put under option for ABC in 77. I will always miss Stephen J Cannell who was the Shakespeare of TV in the 70s and 80s, from Rockford Files, A-Team, to Hunter, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Wise Guy and 21 Jump St. A truly amazing creative force and it was an honor to have worked with him. He died young and is very much missed. …

Nate: You have an astounding background in theatre, including the Vancouver Playhouse. How does it compare to film for you, does your passion lie with one more than the other, or have both been equally good to you?

Nick: Theatre is sculpture, film is painting, it takes art and craft. In both cases but they are different mediums and demand different techniques. Brando was a great film actor, the greatest. So was Marilyn Monroe. Olivier was a great stage actor. It’s rare you find both in one artist like Michelangelo, who could both sculpt and paint. I use the analogy of the jet fighter and the astronaut. The stage actor is a jet fighter. He’s in charge. He’s flying the plane, and the film actor is the astronaut, he’s flying higher, he’s flying faster,  every one knows his name but he ain’t flying the pod. The editor, the director and the cinematographer are. It’s not necessary to be an actor to be a star, but it helps. Of the two mediums I like both. Neither have been particularly good to me, but to my mind acting is a vocation, not a profession. Like the priesthood, the true actor is called to it. He or she had no choice but to act…but it is as Brando stated in the end: “a mugs racket”. Would I have done anything else in a career that now spans almost 45 years? Nope. It’s been a great run. Actors are born, not made.

Nate: I’ve heard that you were considered for the role of Indiana Jones. Is there a story behind that?

Nick: Yes, I met with Stephen Spielberg 4 times for the role of Indiana Jones. He screen tested me alone, just him and a camera. One day I walked into his office, and there was a blowup of a check for 80 million dollars, his cut of Star Wars. When he and lucas were students they made a deal that they would share in each others successes and the check was his share. I was told years later that I was the top contender for Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford was a much better choice in my mind, and obviously in the mind of the world. It became one of the highest grossing movies of all time, catapulting Harrison Ford into the celestial heights of film. It’s like all our destinies turn on a dime. Had I gotten the role, my life would have been radically different, but then on the other hand I might not be here typing these words on an Android. Who knew Steve Jobs would create Apple, and that Facebook and Twitter would revolutionize the world we live in? How many steve jobs are out there who just happened to miss one tiny bit of the equation?

Nate: Do you have any upcoming films that you are excited about and would like to mention?

Nick: Yes I’m excited about a film I did called The Performance, beautifully written and directed by Stephen Wallis. It deals with an old stage actor (me) who returns to the theatre he began his career in 40 years ago. I don’t want to give the plot away but it’s the best work I’ve done since Ticket to Heaven, where I was submitted by MGM/UA for a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination. I’m also excited by a film I wrote and star in entitled Born Dead, a neorealustic feature shot on the cold wintry streets of Toronto, about an actor who decides to end it all …powerful performances by local Canadian actors Sean Mcann and Tony  Rosati, as well as a host of street lunatics, alcoholics and drug addicts. It’s in post, and directed by a very talented Armenian Canadian named Robert Gulassarian who to my mind has a real future in the business. On Sept 13 in Toronto at the Toronto Indie Film Festival my film on the life of the beat American poet Gregory Corso will screen at the Carlton Cinemas. I star and cowrote it, and it was shot in Rome, Los Angeles and Calabria, directed by very able and talented young Italian director Matteo Scarfo. I’m hoping to start rehearsals on my Play, Sinatra American Faust, on the life of Frank Sinatra, at the national theatre of Romania which has staged one of my first plays, Dumneu es unMafiot (God is a gangster). As usual I have a lot of irons in the fire and hope to continue doing this work as long as I am able.

Nate: Your work has been an immense inspiration to me in my own process as an actor. Do you have any advice for aspiring students in the craft? Not as far as making it, or finances or anything, more along the lines of honing the craft, creating the characters, and your process.

Nick: At the root of it all is inspiration …The act of creation has only two mortal enemies: seriousness and fear. These two qualities flatten the life force and the artists ability to leap and play. Don’t listen to naysayers and critics, because if they knew what they were talking about, they would be doing it, instead of sitting in the sidelines. Acting has one word in it: Act. Action, Motion, Movement. It’s all about getting off your ass and doing, with the sure knowledge that 9 out of 10 times that bull is going to throw you. I admire bull riders, because they have the qualities an actors needs. Flexibility, resiliency and the ability to brush yourself off with your hat and get back on. They also have two other necessary qualities: The ability to have extensive courage, and the ability to withstand great pain. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Nate: Wow. You have answered my questions and then some, Nick. I am profoundly grateful for this, it’s a wealth of information, and I feel honoured to have spoken with you, even over the cyber causeways of the Internet. Thank you so much for your time and words, it means a lot.

Nick: You’re welcome, Nate.

A Chat with Michael Biehn: An interview by Nate Hill

 
 

  I am unbelievably ecstatic to bring you my first interview in quite some time, this time with legendary badass Michael Biehn. Michael has played the fearless Kyle Reese in The Terminator, the cavalier mercenary Dwayne Hicks in Aliens, and appeared in countless other fantastic films including The Abyss, The Art Of War, The Seventh Sign, Stiletto, Michael Bay’s The Rock, Grindhouse, Tombstone, Mojave Moon, and many more. He is as iconic as he is magnetic on screen, a powerhouse of a performer with a legacy that I was honoured to quiz him on. Please enjoy our brief chat!
Nate: At what point did you know you wanted to become an actor? 
Michael: Since I was very little I was acting in school plays and community theater from productions like Pinocchio, rags to riches, Alice in wonderland and I just never stopped.

Nate: You have forged an impressive lineup of tough guys and take no prisoner badasses with your roles. Did you see yourself becoming that kind of Charles Bronson/Lee Marvin style, old school guy, or did the direction your career took surprise you? 
Michael: I really never had a plan for the direction my career would take, you really can’t control the roles you get when you start out. I was fortunate enough to keep getting cast in these roles. They just ended up being a consistent thing for me.

Nate: I’m trying to keep these questions about things you don’t normally get asked about, but I gotta bring up Terminator- how was that experience for you. You created a believable, vulnerable, visceral action hero that holds up today and is a classic dude in the genre. What was your mindset going into that role?
Michael: I read a book for my preparation. It was on the soldiers that had to fight for survival in the sewers against the Germans. And it took a very long time for the Germans to find all the soldiers and destroy them. This book gave me a mental investment that this role was about survival. It was the best investment I made for myself to portray that character.

Nate: The Seventh Sign- Always been one of my favourites, especially the devastating final scene in the hospital.. How was creating that character for you, your process, acting with Demi and especially Jurgen Prochnow? (He’s a favourite of mine as well). 
Michael: Demi, and Jurgen are great actors. They really have a good professionalism around them. We were really able to act with each other, present and in such truth. You can’t just go into this kind of movie reading the script and winging it. You really have to lay a foundation. And research your part to develop what you need. That’s what we all did.

Nate: Stiletto- a highlight for me in your roles, and a nice reunion for a lot of early 90’s action guys (Berenger, Forsythe, Russo, Sizemore etc, a dream cast). How did you get approached for that, and did you enjoy playing that lively psycho Lee? 
Michael: We had a lot of fun on set. There were a lot of serious scenes to deal with so its hard to break character and interact in-between. But it was still enjoyable.

Nate: You and Jennifer have quite a legacy these days with BlancBiehn Productions. How are you enjoying the work with that and the incredibly original lineup of films that you’ve been doing?
Michael: It’s a Blessing. Not only to have the ability to produce films we like but to do it together. It has made us stronger and the films are coming out great!

Nate: If you had to pick a few roles that you’ve played that you enjoyed the most for whatever reason, what would they be? 
Michael: I really enjoy all the roles ive played, and I really like working with Cameron. Anything I film with him has been amazing.

Nate: Another very memorable role for me was on Law & Order CI, in a heartbreaking role that went to some sad places and for me is a standout in your career. How was that experience for you. 
Michael: It was a difficult scene particularly because I am not a method actor and the emotions that I was working from were pulled from current situations and events In my own life. It’s always hard to open yourself up to such vulnerability but if you don’t you will not create and develop an honest scene and then it just looks staged. As difficult as it was I enjoy those character roles very much.
Nate: Thank you so much for your time Michael, it’s phenomenal to be able to chat with you. Best of luck in the future with all endeavours, including your fantastic work with the production company!