I recently got the chance to talk to Tom Kruszewski about his role in ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’. Here, Tom talks about how he got involved in the project and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Tom. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’.
No problem, Matt. It’s my pleasure.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The movie picks up six years after the last movie. Harold and Kumar have grown apart, but are brought back together after Kumar receives a package addressed to Harold. The contents of the package end up ultimately burning down Harold’s father-in-law’s Christmas Tree. The movie is essentially their journey to find a new tree.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I don’t know if you can really classify me as a character, but I am credited as ‘Teen’. Haha. Kumar’s friend Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld) is trying to hook up with a girl, Mary (Jordan Hinson) who happens to have a Christmas tree. The two, along with Harold and Harold’s friend, Todd (Thomas Lennon) go to a party at the girl’s NYC penthouse to get the tree. When they arrive at the party, Adrian approaches three ‘teens’ asking where Mary is. I am one of those teens who warn Adrian to stay away from Mary.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
My agent got me an audition for a small part which was initially for a ‘guy fingering a girl’ at a party. I was actually on vacation when my agent called me telling me I had gotten a different part, several months after my audition. This was my first supporting role in a major film, so I was pretty excited. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson said that my audition made him crack up, so, I guess that’s how it happened!
What are your thoughts on companies using 3D technology nowadays? How would you say that 3D enhances this film?
3D technology is pretty amazing to me. Anything that makes the audience feel as if they’re more a part of the film works for me. I wouldn’t say that 3D enhances ‘HK3D’ in a way that it enhances a movie like ‘Avatar’, but it definitely makes some funny scenes even funnier. Pot smoke filling the air in the theater, eggs flying at your face and certain claymation body parts are pretty entertaining in 3D.
The film stars Patton Oswalt, Isabella Gielniak, Kal Penn, John Cho and Neil Patrick Harris – with Todd Strauss-Schulson onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Like I said earlier, this was my first big movie, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The crew and set were amazing. Being waited on hand in foot in my own trailer was pretty nice. Everyone was incredibly nice as well. Todd was a great director to work with. Kal Penn was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Amir Blumenfeld was even funnier in person than he is on camera. John Cho and Thomas Lennon were great to work with as well. I unfortunately didn’t get to work with NPH, but maybe in the fourth movie!
Let’s talk a bit about you Tom. What made you want to get into the world of film in the first place?
Throughout high school and college, my friends and I always had a video camera with us. We were big fans of ‘Jackass’ and did our fair share of stupid stunts and skits. I always liked being behind the camera and editing more than acting. But when films started coming to Michigan when I was in college, I decided to be an extra to see what a real movie set was like. I was studying architecture at the time, so I figured it would be a fun ‘distraction’ from school. After a few movies, I fell in love with every aspect of being on a movie set. I started taking classes, got an agent and the rest is history.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
I’m still accepting advice as well, because a career in the industry, is a tough one. It’s hard finding consistent work to make a living on. But my advice would definitely be to practice, practice, practice. Anyone can be an actor, and I mean anyone. But you have to practice the craft, just like any sport or talent. Be in student films, local films or even film yourself. Just get in front of the camera as much as you can.
If you could invite three guests to dinner – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Definitely a tough question. There are so many people who I admire in life, but I guess I can try to pick three…
First of all, I’d have to invite Leonardo DiCaprio. He is my favorite actor and a very talented one at that. I would love to pick his brain about his experiences as an actor and life as well.
Second would be Chris Osgood. Most people are probably asking, who?? He played goalie for the Detroit Red Wings from 1992-2011. I was seven when he was a rookie and he quickly became my favourite hockey player. I am a goalie myself, and modeled my style of play after his. I would love to just sit and chat with the guy.
Finally, I would invite my girlfriend, Candace. She is the love of my life and a very special person. There’s never a dull moment with her. We love cooking together too, so it would be hard to have a meal without her!
If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?
First of all, I would have to have my camera. Negating the fact that I would need a power supply, I never leave home without a camera. I love documenting events that happen in my life…and what better to document than being stranded on a desert island!
I would also need a large amount of candy; I love my sugar. I can pass on anything chocolate, but sugary candies like sprees, starburst, bottle caps and Skittles I can’t live without!
Finally, I think I would have to have a comfortable bed. I love to sleep, especially napping. I figure if I’m out exploring the island all day, building shelters and hunting animals, I’ll need a comfortable place to sleep. In the end, let’s hope I get rescued.
In your opinion, what do you think was the most important news story of 2011?
Unfortunately I don’t think of myself as very knowledgeable in the world of news. If it doesn’t involve sports or movies, I usually don’t hear about it right away. But I would have to say the most important news story of the year though was more recent with the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. I was actually on vacation when it happened and had to hear the news from some Canadians. With many friends and family members who serve our country, its great news to have some of them coming home, and preventing some of them from having to go in the future.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I’m hoping for big things in 2012, that’s for sure. I play a football player in ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson set to come out sometime this year. I am filming ‘A Dog For Christmas’ sometime in early 2012, where I’ll be playing an ice skating jerk. And I also have an ongoing YouTube web series called ‘Life With Jeb’.
Thanks for the interview!