Hollywood actor, famous for his role in the TV series ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation‘, talks about his career, favorite directors and impressions of Phuket.
From the look of your filmography it seems you like to keep it varied – from romantic comedies to “Alien” and so on. Which genre would you say is your favorite?
Science fiction. I also like period dramas and a mixture of comedy and drama, or so called – dramedy.
How did your acting career start?
I think my father had something to do with it. He, lovingly, pushed my sister, my brother and I into the arts. He put us in music classes, painting programs, you name it. We all went to theatre school. I started attending when I was about 12 or 13. That was the first few baby steps towards a career in acting. After that I kept on doing little commercials and plays here and there, mostly in New York. Eventually I moved from Philadelphia to New York and had a bunch of gigs. I was mostly acting in theatre to begin with but I soon got a job on a TV show with Debbie Allen. She directed me in that show. That’s how it all started. Before that I didn’t think that I could be an actor.
What directors have you most enjoyed working with?
I really like Jean-Pierre Jeunet. I worked with him on “Alien: Resurrection“. He is magnificent; my favorite director. I also love Quentin Tarantino – he shot two episodes of CSI. And my third choice would have to be Charlie Correll, but sadly, he passed away. He directed me in CSI and gave me so many opportunities.
How do you adapt to a new role?
I think the first big step is observing the behavior of the character. That’s the number one thing. You have to find the atmosphere and the environment of where the character is from, understand his back story. If you ask almost any other actor they’ll give you a similar response, like Robert De Niro, for example, he’ll spend weeks and weeks studying how people move. If I play a boxer I go with the fighters and see how they move and I see how they carry themselves. That’s my secret. From there you develop your own intuition and how you want to play the character.
What is the difference between filming in a TV series and movies?
A series is a movie that never dies. I did it for 8 years. So, every week you’re shooting the same movie. And the movie lasts for 2-3 months and then you leave that behind and move on to something completely different. The series is continuous; every week you have to be the same character. So after about 5 years you go, “I’m tired of being this character; I want to do something else”. And movies give you the opportunity to be a completely different character every time.
Why did you decide to come to Thailand? What brought you here?
My trainer in New York, who is a Muay Thai boxer, kept on telling me about Thailand, about these camps where he trained. And once he said that if I want to take my training to another level I should take two weeks and just go to the camp. So my birthday came, December 11, and I decided that this was going to be my birthday present to myself. I called my agent, called my manager and told my family and kids that I was going to focus on training. And it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.
What do you think about Thailand and Phuket?
I’ve been trying to get to Asia since I was 13, because it was around then, that I started training in MMA. I was freak for everything that came from Asia when I was young, ask my family! It’s amazing to finally be here. I really like Surin Beach because the place is so tranquil. I’ve been to Patong, but it’s a bit too much for me. This (Maikao Dream Villa Resort & Spa) is the most tranquil place I’ve been in my life. And I plan to come back next year with my two kids and spend at least a week here. I meditate every day for at least 25 minutes and it seems like I’m in the right place for this. The energy is good. So, I’m definitely coming back.