I recently got the chance to talk to Jack Gwaltney about his role in ‘Safe’. Here, Jack talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and which three people he would invite to dinner…
Hey Jack. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Safe’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
A man’s life is taken from him…he loses everything. When he is about to give up his will to live is returned to him by a little girl who could use his help.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
One of a crew of bad cops. Jason’s character exposed us for the less than human ways we conducted our affairs.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
Douglas Aibel and his company, it’s an outreach program for actors.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
Jason Statham and Catherine Chan. Jason keeps getting stronger playing modern heroes and Catherine Chan makes an impressive debut as a lead actor. It’s a fight for their survival, and you want to see it to the end.
The film stars Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, James Hong, Anson Mount, Chris Sarandon and Joseph Sikora – with Boaz Yakin onboard as director - what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
From Boaz Yakin to Lawrence Bender to Jason Statham and to his stunt crew, it was leading edge action movie making for us cop guys. The stunt department was an incredible team, such pros, such fun toys, very good teachers and very talented. We even trained with the Philadelphia Police Department Tactical Squads. Being trained, rehearsed and ready with options make for easier days of shooting.
Let’s talk a bit about you Jack. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I started as a kid actor in a dinner theater in my home town. I auditioned for them and they kept me busy for a while as one of their leads. I was kind of a shrimp and it gave me a voice and experience working with adults. Honestly, it gave me a passion of my own to cultivate as I grew.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Study everything…write…produce your own work…try to build good teams, not much is done alone. Don’t do it just to become famous…have a point of view…see what’s coming…stay human.
You’ve had a number of roles in different films and TV series – which actors have been your favorites to work with so far and why?
I have been so lucky…got to play hoops with Michael Jordan doing bits on ‘Saturday Night Live’. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn – both great guys…Gary Sinese gave me my first shot in the biz understudying a play he had directed…then to reconnect with him on ‘CSI-NY’ was one of those gifts you get in the biz. Watching John Mahoney, Swoosie Kurtz, Christine Baranski and Patty Clarkson as I’m waiting to make my entrance in ‘The House Of Blue Leaves’ taught me so much about consistency in the theater, timing, technique, comedy…it makes me excited to think about what may be next. There are so many people I have had the chance to work with and learn from, like I said, I am very fortunate.
If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- Louis Jordan, the Band Leader, for that era of music…
- Eugene O’Neil, I hope he would be in a good mood.
- Alexander Hamilton to talk about freedom, and what it actually means.
What is your favourite word?
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I wish I knew brother. Hard work and hope…
Thanks for the interview!