I recently got the chance to talk to Matthew James Gulbranson about his role in ‘Ninjas Vs Vampires’. Here, Matthew talks about how he got involved in the project, and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Matthew. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘Ninjas Vs Vampires‘.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The general plotline for ‘Ninjas Vs Vampires’ is much like it’s predecessor, ‘Ninjas Vs Zombies’ – except in this film they encounter a clan of local vampires. The ninjas also add a new member to their flock, played by Jay Saunders.
The film is labelled as an action horror comedy. How would you say this film is different to say, another action horror comedy like ‘Shaun Of The Dead’?
The film is campy and witty with some good lines and very good special effects. I especially like the references to ‘Twilight’, e.g. “Did the ‘vampires’ sparkle?”
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
My character is one of the fighting monks that take on the ninjas during the big battle in the woods. I am the tallest one, but concealed by a mask.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I got involved in the movie thanks to another local film maker, Michael Merino, who also does horror films – http://www.mcmfilms.net/companyinfo.html. I am slated to play a serial killer for him soon in ‘Dismal Creek’. We’ve already shot the trailer. Anyway, Mike Merino put out an announcement out on Facebook that Endlight Pictures needed volunteers for the fight scene, So I volunteered.
The film stars Jay Saunders, Daniel Ross, Devon Marie Burt, Elizabeth Taylor and Melissa McConnell – with Justin Timpane onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
The cast and crew were great to work with. They had great food as well. The director, Justin Timpane, worked very quickly and efficiently the day I filmed – which was great because it was very hot and humid – near 100 degrees farenheit.
Which would you rather be – a ninja or a vampire – and why?
I think I would rather be a vampire – but one that avoids trouble – and hangs out with the likes of Bella Swan, dresses nice and drives nice cars!
Let’s talk a bit about you Matthew. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I’ve always enjoyed acting. I started out in theatre and progressed to movies and TV when I was stationed in Los Angeles with the Army. I like having the ability to play different characters and personalities. It’s like I have permission to be someone else than who I naturally am – kind of shy, quiet, and a loner by nature. It’s a lot of fun to see my different characters come to life!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
My advice to anyone who wants to get into acting is to pursue your dream aggressively. I would go to as many auditions as possible to get work and build up experience and confidence. I would not spend time and money on classes, workshops, and fancy headshots. Acting is basically behaving naturally – as you would do in any given situation. So you learn to ignore the cameras and lights and just be yourself with your different emotions engaged to suit each character and situation. The more work you do.., the more work you get!
What does a Matthew James Gulbranson day usually consist of?
A typical day for me is hanging out with my kids, working out, watching or playing golf, doing housework, and searching for my next acting job/audition or rehearsing for upcoming jobs.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
The most interesting thing lately was the earthquake we experienced here in DC – I think it was 5.8 on the Richter scale. I also felt a nice aftershock last night at midnight – it was 4.5. Now we have Hurricane Irene bearing down on us!
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I have been very busy acting since I retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army in Feb 2010. I have worked in about 20 or so TV shows and films! I’ve just finished three feature films. ‘Zola’ – where I play an inept DEA Administrator named Todd; ‘Malice’, with Eagle Films, http://eaglefilms.com/, where I play the hero guy, named Jed Spry, who has to battle a creature and memories from his past and also ‘Frozen Peas’ – http://frozenpeasthemovie.com/Frozen_Peas/Home.html – where I play a sexist a-hole lawyer named Brad, a guy who is constantly harassing Jesse – a gal who works for him. In this movie we are trying to get evidence against William, a guy who claims he has severe injuries from a car accident. My character is comical and detestable at the same time:) I’ve also recently auditioned to play Congressman William Radford in ‘Lincoln’, starring Daniel Day Lewis. The movie is set to shoot in October, near Richmond, VA.
Thanks for the interview!