I recently got the chance to talk to Jared Cyr about his role in Disney’s ‘John Carter’. Here, Jared 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 Jared. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘John Carter’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The film tells the story of former civil war military captain John Carter, who, after being stripped of his family and his belief system, embarks on a quest for the lost spider cave of gold and is unexpectedly transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly entrenched in a war amongst the inhabitants of two rivaling cities, Helium and Zodanga. Soon after meeting Princess Dejah of Helium, he realizes that the survival of the planet and its people rests in his hands and he finds himself confronted with long suppressed feelings of duty, honour and love.
Tell us a bit about your involvement in the movie…
I play a rowdy who hangs out at the Fort Grant outpost where I drink rotgut whiskey and talk s##t in a feeble attempt to drown out the pain of a mother who didn’t love me and other things that I can’t even remember anymore because the rotgut has fried my mind.
Our scene was like any other day of debauchery at the outpost until John Carter comes in looking for supplies. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to make fun of him and his search for the evil spider cave of gold. Naturally, John Carter takes an exception to this and puts a hero style beating on my ass.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I was very fortunate to be called in to read with casting director, Marcia Ross, for an on camera audition that was sent to Andrew Stanton. About a week later I got the call from Marcia’s office that I booked the part of Rowdy #2. I immediately called my mother, “Kathy The Saint”, and began erecting statues in honour of Marcia and Andrew for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a huge production and obviously my biggest opportunity yet.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
The foremost thing that makes it different it is that it took almost a hundred years for it to find its way to the silver screen. In the meantime, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ‘John Carter’ series inspired a wide range of people from astronauts to film makers such as George Lucas, James Cameron and obviously Andrew Stanton.
The film stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Williem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and Mark Strong – with Andrew Stanton onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
The whole shoot was really a surreal experience for me at the time due to the scale of the film, the people involved, and the location of the shoot. Everyone I worked with at the Kanab location including Andrew Stanton, Taylor Kitsch, Tommy Gormley, Mayes Rubio, Don Stark and the entire cast and crew were extremely friendly and supportive from start to finish. That’s no bulls##t by the way, they really were. Plus, it was definitely a thrill working on a western set outside of Kanab, which was dubbed “Little Hollywood”, due to the amount of westerns that have been shot there including John Ford and John Wayne’s ‘Stagecoach’ and my favourite western of all time, ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’. A couple of anecdotes I have to share both involve local people offering to lend their cars without hesitation. The first occurred when I went down to the convenient store from our hotel to load up on beer and supplies. As I was loading the Polygamy Porter beer and supplies on the counter I told Ron, the guy working there, that I was trying to figure out how much I could actually carry back to The Comfort Inn in one trip. He then offered to let me take his car as long as I brought it back. He insisted that people are really friendly around Kanab and that it was no problem. I thanked Ron and told him that his gesture was much appreciated, but he and the car both seemed a little creepy, like there might be a dead body in the trunk of Ron’s car. As I made like a pack mule and headed out the door to the hotel, the only traditional Mormon family I saw the entire time walked in the door as I exited with my Polygamy Porter. The second occurred the day we left Kanab and arrived at the Page airport several hours early. Fortunately for us, Loraine was working the desk for Great Lakes airlines that day. She didn’t feel it was right that we were stuck at the airport for so long with nothing to eat or do, so she let us take her Suburban into town in order to get something to eat.
Let’s talk a bit about you Jared. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
Like anybody who grows up with their world burning around them, you have to search for those things that will give you comfort, strength and inspiration, so you can escape before you get burned yourself. I found those things in the performances of great actors and actresses, whether they be on stage, television or film. I found I needed them and their mediums more than I needed anything a doctor could ever prescribe, so I decided to join the circus as they say.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry as a whole?
First I’d say that this has to be life and death to you, period. You have to have that Charles Bronson mind-set and I am not talking about ‘Death Wish’ or ‘Chato’s Land’ Bronson. I am talking about Bronson taking down the giant in the bar scene from ‘The Evil That Men Do’. Second, if you have a “Plan B” or are only giving yourself a certain amount of time to “make it” then this definitely isn’t your kind of fight. It’s best for you and more importantly, best for the rest of us out here on the edges and ledges, if you stay put where you are and do some community theatre and torture your local fan base instead of us. Third, I would have to suggest reading Charles Bukowski’s poem ‘Roll the Dice’ then nailing it to your wall and reading it on a daily basis. Fourth, find ‘Maya Angelou – Rainbows In My Clouds’ from Oprah Winfrey’s master class on YouTube and listen to it on a daily basis.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
Way too many things to list and will kick myself later for leaving things out but a few go-to favourites are:
- Lightnin Hopkins – Awful Dream
- John Lee Hooker – I Cover The Waterfront
- Hank Williams Sr. – Alone And Forsaken
- Waylon Jennings – Lonesome, Ornery And Mean
- Bruce Springsteen – Iceman
- The Commodores – Sail On
- Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel
- Etta James -I’d Rather Go Blind
- Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
- Willie Nelson – Help Me Make It Through The Night
- Elvis – minus most movie soundtrack songs
- All of Johnny Cash.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three ‘personal’ things could you not live without?
As much as I fantasize of solitude, a deserted island would be the end of me, so it wouldn’t much matter what I took. With that being said, I would have to bring my gold-plated brass knuckles that have L O V E imprinted across the knuckles. The thought of some random person finding my skeleton at some point with my L O V E knuckles stuck to my skeletal fingers and the WTF factor that would have to cross their mind, somehow makes my lonely, miserable death on a deserted island a little less depressing.
What is your favourite word?
Pretty much any word that Frank Booth says in the movie ‘Blue Velvet’, any word Travis Bickle says in the movie ‘Taxi Driver’ and any word Jackson Fentry says in the movie ‘Tomorrow’.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I will be working a couple of days on ‘General Hospital’ next week. After that, just waiting to hear if a couple of projects I am involved with get the green light for 2012 shoots. If nothing gives, I will unfortunately be forced to go H.I. McDunnough style and pull the pantyhose out.
Thanks for the interview!