Monday, December 01, 2008

Interview Series - Night Before the Wedding's Producer/Actor Gregor Collins

Producer/Actor Gregor Collins on the set of Night Before the Wedding

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one really knows?

I used to be a really bad seed. Your average high schooler might TP a house here and there, maybe egg some cars, but I took it to levels I’m not proud of. I actually ended up in jail for doing something really stupid. But you can’t get to the top of a mountain without reaching the rock bottom of a valley, so I’m glad (and so is my mother, God bless her) I got it out of my system early. Not to say I haven’t hit rock bottom many times in other ways after that, and plan on doing it many times more before I leave this earth.

How did you get your start in film?

I majored in Media Production at Florida State, and I moved out to Los Angeles to be a television producer. After a few years of financial abundance yet creative deprivation, I stumbled into an acting class, did David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”, was convinced I’d bombed, but the teacher insisted I had natural talent and to stick with it. The encouragement was all I needed to get serious. Stage is close to my heart but I soon realized film was where I ultimately belonged.

Have you worked with any name actors or directors? Elaborate.

I had the honor of working with Steven Soderbergh on “Ocean’s 13”. My scene with Brad Pitt was cut from the film, but I had 12 days with a guy I consider one of the most versatile directors of our time. He’s got everything in his head. He’s like this quiet genius. One day during lunch we had a nice, normal conversation, and I’ll never forget the joke he told me: How do you get 20 Canadians out of a pool? Hey, guys? Can you please get out of the pool?

How did you get involved in “Night Before the Wedding”?

David Branin and I share a day-job together. I barely knew him when one day he approached me and told me he had a role he thought I could sink my teeth into. Eight months later, here we are.

What is your role in this project?

I’m a producer, as well as one of the main characters. I play a guy named Bronco. His past is dark, his present, mysterious, his future, ambiguous. He has this persistent melancholy that no one can figure out, including him. He refuses to face his faults. But he is intensely loyal, has a big heart, and deep down is crying for help from someone.

What were your thoughts when you first read the script?

The first time I read the script I thought it had the potential of being ‘Blair Witch meets a bachelor party.’ David and I initially discussed this, and we figured we’d get real life porn stars and people might think it really happened. That soon got squashed, and we were pleased it took on a tone we hadn’t really planned on it taking.

What attracted you to working on this film?

Two things: Being offered a role, and working with a director I considered to be interesting, talented, and professional.

Actor John Keating, Director David Branin, and Actor Gregor Collins collaborate

What was the most challenging thing you had to face with this project?

The most challenging thing for me was to produce, as well as be a major character in the film. As it got close to shooting, I was fearful I wouldn’t be able to pull my weight. But David and Rose Coleman, the other producer, really stepped up and helped us finish it and be proud of it.

What did you love most about being involved with this production?

Seeing my first film from start to finish. I was on set one day, and I excitedly turned to David and I was like, “This is why we’re here!”

Is this a film for women to see?

I’d say the first half of the film is for guys, and the second half is for women, give or take a (racy) scene or two.

Will you share this film with your Mom?

The first TV show I worked on as a producer was ‘Blind Date.’ I sent her the first episode I was involved in, with a proud note that read, ‘Hey, Mom, this is what I’ve been up to!” She called me a week later and told me she didn’t know I was working for a pornographic organization. So I figure if she reacted like that to a fairly tame show, I’m definitely going to try my hardest not to have her see this film.

What does this film have that you will not find in a big Studio release?

Those subtle moments with friends we take for granted… the main character is thrown into a situation we can all relate to… a real-life porn star.

What makes this a ‘must see’ movie?

None of what you see feels recycled. It has an original tone. The entire film takes place in one house the whole time. Within this house we are flies on a wall to what really goes on at a bachelor party. And there are tender moments in the last half that should hit home with a lot of people.

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