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December a film by Gary Dresden

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Jeremy King’s Interview

Jeremy King  (Bobby Carter)

What have you been working on since you shot “December.”?

I’ve actually been pretty busy since working on December.  (Time to toot my own horn i guess, huh?…..)  After December, I worked on a WW2 submarine movie called “U.S.S. Seaviper” . Which was interesting because I was playing the Antagonist role in that one, which was a switch from December. We filmed in Alabama on an actual WW2 sub called the USS Drum. I also recently filmed a Horror movie called “Terrible Things”, and had a reshoot for a Sci-fi comedy called “Waste of Space”. In between these projects I signed with a new Agency that I had met through last year’s Sunscreen Film Festival. The Diamond Agency has been great about sending me out for Auditions on commercials, television shows, and films. I have done a few commercials, and I’m still trying to break into the bigger T.V. shows. Recently I signed on to do a Horror movie with Director Joe Davison called “As night Falls” That will begin shooting in January 2010.

 How did you feel about your role in December?

 Any time you can play such a complex role it’s a great challenge. When I first started doing film work I usually only got “Cocky Guy” parts, or the very comedic roles. This was my comfort zone, and what came most naturally to me. It’s been refreshing to start to branch out into roles that really expand my range, and take me out of that comfort zone.  Working alongside such a talented cast made it a much easier task.  Although, I would have to say, I didn’t always agree with “Bobby’s” choices, and had trouble wrapping my head around some parts of the script originally.

Which people did you most relate to on the set?

That’s a tough question, because there were so many people I related to on this set. It sounds like a cheesy answer to say “Everyone” , but it feels like at different times during the shoot I really had the chance to connect with most of the people on the cast and crew.  I actually still keep in contact with most of the cast and crew, and many of us have gone on to work on different projects together.

How do you feel about the film and the message that it sends?

 To be honest, I have mixed emotions about the message the film sends. Bobby gives up on his dreams to take care of his dying father. That is a wonderful message, and I believe family should come first. His father telling him the whole time that he needed to stop screwing around and do his part by working in the family business, I don’t necessarily agree with.  I think Life should have a dynamic balance between chasing your dreams, and taking care of your responsibilities. I hope I never come to a point in life where I say, “Well, I tried to reach my dream……now I’m going to be a grown up…where’s my suit?!”  My favorite theme in this movie is of a father and son coming together after years of not seeing eye to eye.  I think too many times in life people only realize the relationships they could have shared once it’s too late.

Did you find the director gave you enough rope to put your own signature on the character that you played?

 Who was the Director again?…….Gary…….oh yeah, Gary Dresden. I definitely feel like Gary was very open to letting each one of us find our own character. Gary and I both come from a very sports oriented background, which has a lot to do with Bobby’s character. There were so many things with this character that I really identify with, and I can also see much of Gary’s life written into him.  So, from the very beginning I think we had a shared vision of who Bobby really was. I was fortunate enough to have parents who supported me in whatever I have pursued, so it was especially interesting to play this character who never had that. I feel like I also learned a lot off the set in talking with Gary about his life experiences.He has become a good friend, and I realize there’s still much I can learn from him.

What did you walk away with from the experience? 

The greatest thing I enjoy about working on films, is that everyone (cast and crew) is there because it’s what they are passionate about. On the acting side, I was able to work with, and learn from some amazing people. Jeff Mackay really took me under his wing, and shared many of his professional experiences and insights. It really grew to feel like a true father and son relationship. I only wish I would have had more time to get to know him better. Millie Shipe came in playing my girlfriend and did and absolutely amazing job. She was very natural, and really let her true personality shine in every scene. I knew Tony Armer before this film, but usually worked with him on the other side of the camera, having met him doing one of his films.  I asked him to audition because I knew he would be a great fit for Don Carter.  He came in a little rusty acting wise and slightly timid, but like the consummate professional he is, he worked his @%$$ of in rehearsals and did a great job. This was also my first experience watching my brother Jason acting in a film, which was a trip! I was really proud of him and the performance he turned in as the Banker. I only hope he steps out again and pursues his path. Every single person on this project brought energy, passion, kindness, and a willingness to learn from others. That’s always a great experience to take away from a film.

What did you feel about working with Jeff Mackay?

 Words can’t express how happy I am to be able to have worked with Jeff. Like I said earlier, we formed a really strong bond.  He taught me a lot, not just about the acting profession, but also about what is important in life. He shared with me not only some of his triumphs, but also about many of the mistakes he had made in life. He was never afraid to tell you he was proud of you, or to thank you for doing a great job in a scene.  I’ll never forget when he put me on the phone with one of his old “Magnum P.I.” co-stars John Hillerman “Higgins” and John said, “Oh, Jeremy…. yeah, he brags about you all the time.” It was an overwhelming feeling to know someone who had worked in Hollywood all of his life, was telling people about the work I was doing.  We also had a lot of fun times on set. Jeff was always telling jokes and making people laugh.  During the hospital scene, at the end of a very long day, I remember we both started having laughing fits and couldn’t get through two sentences. If I would keep it together…he would end up losing it, and vice versa!! The crew must have been a little annoyed, but it was a great time.  It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of Jeff’s last film. Much like in the film, the world lost Jeff
Mackay way too soon. I’m sure most of us from the set wish we could have more time with him.

After the basketball, did  you really want to smack Tony in the mouth?

Why would I need to smack him around after the basketball, when I smacked him around so well DURING the basketball scene?!!!! In Tony’s defense, his character wasn’t supposed to be good at basketball….so maybe that’s why he couldn’t make a shot…..  Just kidding of Course!! Tony is a great guy, and we’re actually pretty good friends.  We still go out and play beach volleyball once or twice a week together now.  Half the time we’re on the same team, half the time we’re not. I think we’re both fierce competitors and always want to win. There’s been a few times on the volleyball court when I may have wanted to smack him in the mouth before…. Just like after the basketball scene though…it’s all left on the court. Maybe we could tape a real game of one on one basketball and see who would win without it being scripted?!!!

Who in the crew impressed you the most? You can name a few people.

Let me first start by saying, everyone on this crew was great. It was a wonderful atmosphere to work in every day, and I always looked forward to coming to set. The person on set who probably impressed me the most was Wendy Wells.  The the sheer enormity of her 12 jobs on set would have driven most people crazy. She did set design, props, wardrobe, pretty much anything you could think of, and she had to deal with us every day!  My character alone had probably twenty-some wardrobe changes.  Not to mention the party scenes where she was producing all of the props and checking continuity on things.  Theresa frankel (1st A.D.)ran the set like a drill instructor……which I must admit scared at first!  She showed great leadership qualities, kept things running smoothly and on time, and actually turned out to be pretty nice. (But don’t tell anyone, she’ll kill you!)  Greg Baldi did sound, and also was the one who contacted me about auditioning for the role…..so I guess I HAVE to mention him. Did I mention he went on the show “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”………turns out he really should have set his sights a little lower, and gone on the show, “Are you nearly as smart as a 6 month old?” It would have been close, but he may have actually won some money! Toni Jo did a great job on Make up, and was also a great person to be around on set.  khris Colgate impressed me with his continuity tracking skills. Normally the continuity person would correct you if a glass switched hands between two different takes.  Khris would actually tell you if an eyelash was out of place, or the placement of your hand on a glass was off by .08 micrometers….he was amazing. All kidding aside this was an amazing crew, and I’m glad we could all work together!