Describe what we're up to before you were cast in Boyhood.
Well, every actor needs a "day job." And sometimes that day job is a full time job until another role comes along. My passion is acting and music. I've done both for over 20 years. But often, you passion can't be your career. Acting jobs come and go. There are times I work back to back projects. Then there are times I go months and months without booking a single job. I love the work, and the challenge of auditions, but it is a difficult process to get the job. So I found a career in restaurants. I've always been in the hospitality business in one form or another. My first job was a bar back at a restaurant bar in South Carolina when I was 15 years old. I was a host at California Pizza Kitchen at 18 in Studio City. (wore the vest and tie....the whole set up!! hahaha) I've been a General Manager, server, bartender, buss boy and dishwasher. So I've done it all.
When I moved back home to Dallas in 1996, I helped grand open the Ghostbar at the W Hotel Dallas. I was the VIP Host and took care of celebrities, athletes, and some of the biggest DJs in the world. From there I met a few investors that ventured out with me to open our own venues. We opened a night club, 2 restaurants, and most recently a mechanic shop themed sports bar called the Chopshop Sports Garage. So over the years I was filming Boyhood, these were my "day jobs" in before and in between shoots. I worked several of the shows that were filming in the Texas market at that time as well. I had roles on Prisonbreak, The Chase and The Good Guys.
At what point of the 12 years did your casting take place ?
I shot on Boyhood for 3 of the 12 years. so I came in around year 6 or 7. It's actually difficult to remember exactly when it all happened. When you shoot a movie over such a long period of time, it feels like trying to remember something from high school. When I auditioned for the role, what seems like, forever ago. It was very relaxed.
Rick is one of the most organic and real directors I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He just wants you to be natural and let the character come out through you. So we chatted and got to know each other for a few. He brought me up to speed on what his vision was with Boyhood.
He told me where they were at in the storyline of the movie and he said he wanted to introduce a new character in for Patricia Arquette's character. He said "she needs a good guy." The previous husband had been very physically and verbally abusive. So we discussed the role of "Jim." There were a lot of elements of Jim that I could relate to or parts of my life that I knew I could bring to the role. The only part of Jim that wasn't familiar to me was the fact that he was a soldier. That was something I would have to research to keep it authentic.
From their stories I learned that there are 2 lives...the one you live while serving and the one you have once you return.
At the end of each take Rick would come over and say "that was really good....let's try it again, a little less Scarface." We got a good laugh out of that.
Every award that was won, no matter where it was and what it was for, was a win for the film. It was a labor of love for all of us.
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