I recently got the chance to talk to Michael Beasley about his role in ‘Contraband’. Here, Michael talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Michael. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Contraband’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Chris Faraday (Mark Wahlberg) once smuggled illegal items or contraband into the country on freighters. He left that life behind, got married has a family and went legit. But his brother-in-law got involved with a drug dealer and can’t deliver. So Chris has to go to Panama to smuggle some counterfeit currency to save his brother-in-laws life.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
My character is Customs Officer Davis. I am sent aboard the freighter that Chris is on to see if I can find the contraband. I get a tip from the Captain that Chris may be doing some illegal activity on the freighter.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I auditioned for several roles and ended up booking Davis.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
It has some unexpected twist in the movie. The movie keeps you in suspense throughout.
The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale, Robert Wahlberg and Ben Foster – with Baltasar Kormakur onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I just worked with Mark Wahlberg and J.K. Simmons for the most part. It was fun being able to play off both of them because there was a lot of improv in the dialogue.
Let’s talk a bit about you Michael. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I was always interested in acting, I did a couple of plays in high school but I wanted to focus on playing professional basketball, which I played mostly overseas in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Chile, Mexico, and Argentina. Once my career was over I decided to re-invent myself as an actor. My father, John Beasley, is a film and TV star and watching him gave me the bug to try it.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Don’t do it for the money. Do it for the love. I would play basketball for free but getting paid is a bonus. I feel the same about acting. You also have to define what you want to be and accomplish in the industry otherwise you will have no direction on reaching your goals and you will wake up 20 years later without accomplishing anything.
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV series – who have been your favourite actors/actresses to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
I have been blessed to have had great experiences with everyone on all of my sets so far. But experience wise it was awesome to get on the job training from Denzel Washington, who also casted and directed me in the movie ‘The Great Debaters’. I got to work with Denzel again in a movie called ‘Flight’ and be in the same scene with Don Cheadle, John Goodman and Bruce Greenwood. I was able to see these guys who are at the top of their craft work. I was running to the video monitors to see what they were doing and the choices they were making. You can’t get that in any acting class. So that was pretty awesome.
What is currently on your I-Pod?
Jay-Z and Kanye West, Rick Ross, Jill Scott.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- President Obama – because I would love to meet the most powerful man in the free world and discuss why he wanted to run for the presidency even though no other minority had ever won and how does he handle all the scrutiny, disrespect, and just the task of running the country.
- Wallace D Wattles – about the science of getting rich.
- Jesus – to see how to stay on a positive vibration at all times.
What is your favourite word?
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I am currently working on the remake of the movie ‘Steel Magnolias’ with an all-black cast of Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad, Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard. I play “Spud” who is Jill Scott’s (Truvy) husband. I am also recurring in the TV show on Starz called ‘Magic City’, which is airing now. I am guest-starring in a TV show on USA network called ‘Necessary Roughness’. I have several movies coming out 2012-2013…‘American Reunion’, ‘The Bay’, ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’, ‘Hero’, ‘Papa’, ‘Flight’, ‘Unconditional’ and ‘Arthur Newman Golf Pro’.
Thanks for the interview!