I recently got the opportunity to talk to Nick Jandl about his role in ‘Green Lantern’. Here, Nick talks about the film, what it was like working with the cast and crew and what’s coming up for him in 2011…
Hey Nick, thanks for taking the time out to speak to me. ‘Green Lantern’ is currently in UK cinemas right now. For anyone not fully versed in the DC comic book series, what is the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Green Lantern’ is about a test-pilot, Hal Jordan, who is bestowed with supernatural powers when he joins an intergalactic corps of beings who protect the universe from evil. His life changes quickly when Earth itself is threatened by a new super-villain.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the film…
I play Hal Jordan’s brother, Jim, the youngest of three boys. He admires his brother’s courage and strength, but Hal’s recklessness leads to some tension between them. Jim tries to be a voice of reason and serve as an earth-bound reminder of Hal’s humble origins.
Did you have any knowledge of the comic book franchise before you signed onto the project?
I had almost no knowledge of the ‘Green Lantern’ comic before signing onto the film. The name rang a bell, but that was about it. I quickly learned just how huge a franchise it is and how long it’s been around. I feel very grateful to be a part of the first real attempt to bring this to the big screen.
How would you say ‘Green Lantern’ is different from other comic-book films such as ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’?
To me, ‘Green Lantern’ is different from other comics like ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ in that a lot of it takes place off-planet. Whereas other comics seem to take place mostly or entirely on planet Earth, in very human environments and with other human characters, ‘Green Lantern’ inhabits this massive universe of other species from light years away, harnessing powers that are almost like the Force in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. It’s on about a big a scale as you can imagine.
The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard and Temuera Morrison – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Most of my scenes were with Ryan Reynolds and Mike Doyle (the other brother), both of whom I had a blast working with. Ryan is the complete leading man package, plus he’s funny as hell and a complete professional when it comes to the nuts and bolts of a scene. Mike was also a mentor for me on set since we spent a lot of time shooting together, and I learned a lot by watching him and talking with him throughout the shoot. Sadly, I didn’t get to work with Blake, Peter, Mark, or any of the other stars, but I thought they delivered great performances and hopefully I will get the chance to work with them in the future.
‘Green Lantern’ has the ‘3D element’ to it – what are you views on all the major film companies taking this technology on-board for use in their blockbusters? You hear loads of criticism about the technology – does ‘Green Lantern’ take the technology a step further?
I enjoy 3D movies and was happy to see that ‘Green Lantern’ was also given a 3D release. I think new films like this, like ‘Avatar’, etc, all make great use out of 3D since they’re shot with top production and post-production crews and are accompanied by the most cutting-edge CGI. In a film as visually out-there as ‘Green Lantern’, I think the 3D technology fits well.
If you had Hal’s ring – what would you do with it for a day?
If I had Hal’s ring for a day, I would fly. All day. I don’t think I’d land once. Maybe to whip up a huge meal or a smoothy or something, but if I had the ability to fly across the universe, I think I’d want to go exploring as much as possible.
Let’s talk a bit about you Nick. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I got into acting over time. I was first drawn to it in elementary school and high school, but never quite had the guts to audition for anything. Once I started attending Tufts University, I took an acting class and never looked back. At Tufts, I met Ben Samuels, one of my best friends and an amazing director /writer /actor, and he was the first person who took me off the stage and introduced me to the world of film. We would spend our nights shooting wild historical epic short films when we should have been studying for finals. After college, I worked for a year in Chicago doing film, theatre, and improv, and then I moved to LA in September of ’08.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
Advice for those looking to get into acting? Patience. And never rest. There’s always something to do to move yourself forward, keep your acting chops up, meet the right people to help you progress. Just keep your head down, work your butt off, and be true to yourself and what you want out of it. And definitely be sure to keep yourself healthy. Just getting out of the city and going camping is usually a good remedy for me.
What does a Nick Jandl day usually consist of?
My days usually consist of squeezing some fresh OJ, doing yoga, reading up on industry news, and preparing for whatever auditions I may have or scripts I’m working on. And then spending whatever time I can with my girlfriend and friends and watching my favorite shows and new movies that are coming out.
What has been the most memorable moment or experience of your career so far?
My most memorable acting experience thus far is a tie between my experience shooting ‘Asylum’ and the day I arrived on set of ‘Green Lantern’. On GL, I arrived at an abandoned airport and saw about 200 crew members all shooting an exploding experimental fighter jet. It was a “Wow, I’ve arrived” moment. Such a huge operation co-ordinating a scene like that. ‘Asylum’ was an incredibly gritty, low-budget film shoot at a fantastic location – (an actual abandoned mental asylum). The terror of wandering the buildings and knowing the horror that occurred there, plus shooting with such a skeleton crew, really brought me into the moment and into the character.
You’ve just finished work on two projects – ‘Asylum’ and ‘The Sibling’ – what can you tell us about these?
‘Asylum’, like I mentioned, is a low-budget horror that my college friend, Ben Samuels, wrote, directed, and starred in, and he wrote the role with me in mind. It was done for very little money, and we pulled off a beautiful-looking film. It’s a gripping story, gorgeously shot, and we’re hoping that it gets picked up for distribution soon. One of my fullest and most rewarding leading roles that I’ve played so far. ”The Sibling’ is another horror film, starring Mischa Barton, Michael Clarke Duncan, Devon Sawa, and myself. It’s a terrifying trapped-in-a-building thriller with some great drama and non-stop scares. I play a major role as the high-school bully, and it was an exhausting but amazing shoot. There’s still a little work to be done before it’s ready to move into the cinemas, but get excited!
Thanks for the interview!