Gary Moore discusses working with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey; filming the Concord, North Carolina made movie JIMMY
Greenville, S.C. based actor Gary Moore has been the voice behind the Ram for Stride Spark Gum commercials as well as the voice of Coffee-mate, Arby’s Jr., and many more, making a second career in voice acting.
Plus he has a growing resume of movies, which have led him to work with, “The Social Network” director David Fincher as well as actor Kevin Spacey. His latest, “Jimmy” was filmed in Concord, North Carolina and screens this weekend.
“Jimmy” screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at the 4th annual Modern Film Fest at the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, N.C. Tickets are $4 each or you can a ticket with a purchase of an after party ticket for $40. The after party ticket includes seeing, “Jimmy” plus hanging out with local actors from the movie at Forty Six Restaurant as well as getting to meet other filmmakers from the film festival. This year’s guest list for the after party include “Star Trek: Wrath of Khan” director Nicholas Meyer; Actors Burgess Jenkins, Keith Harris and Gary Moore from, “Jimmy”; Ken Wyatt, director of, “Colored Confederates: Myth or Matter of Fact?”; Neal Hutcheson, director of the Popcorn Sutton documentary, “The Last One” and “Atlantic”; Joanne Hock, director of, “Martin Hill: Camera Man” and “Redneck Roots”; and Jonathan Greene, director of the Cannon Mills documentary, “Stitched in Time.”
In, “Jimmy,” Gary Moore plays Gary Webb, one of the fishermen competing against Ted Levine during a fishing tournament. Moore talked to Modern Film Fest about his time on, “Jimmy,” working with Ted Levine, known for his roles in, “Evolution” and “Silence of the Lambs.” He also talked about celebrating the birthday of Bob Gunton, who played the warden in, “The Shawshank Redemption,”; working with Mark Freiburger, the director of, “Jimmy” and Gary Wheeler, the film’s producer.
MODERN FILM FEST: You play Gary Webb in, “Jimmy.” Can you talk about your role and how you developed your character?
GARY MOORE: “I grew up the first five years of my life on our family farm in Illinois. My Grandpa taught me how to fish one day and we caught a wonderful trout. I remember that in detail to this day, so, as many actors do, I incorporate my personal experiences from the past into the character I’m playing.”
“Gary Webb owns and operates a fishing pond and I’ve been to those with my Grandpa and remember the guys who run them. I thought the beard added to make that character more like the guys I saw when I was young.”
MFF: What did you enjoy most about working on, “Jimmy?”
GM: “I have an enjoyment of just being on a film set. I guess it’s like a fish being in water, it just feels great to be on set. I arrive early, I stay late, I get to know the crew, and it’s just great being around other people who love what you love. I also love working with friends like Mark Freiburger and Gary Wheeler. When you have to work hard and put long hours in, it makes it easier to work with friends who know you.”
MFF: How did you first get involved in acting and how has your career developed over the years?
GM: “My Dad gave up farming and we moved closer to Chicago when I was 5 years old. I have two older sisters who both were blessed with a different talent. My closest sister, Sandy, was given an amazing talent of music. My oldest sister, Debbie, was an actress and professional ventriloquist. She began to be invited to different TV shows and I would follow her there. One day my Grandma offered her acting lessons at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and I followed and caught the acting bug.”
“I pretty much grew up on stage in Chicago and even college, but when I got married and moved out to San Francisco I had to get a real job to support my wife and soon kids, so I took some on-camera acting lessons from Elite Modeling thinking I could act in some commercials cause they only take a day to shoot. I soon began booking commercials and then films, and I’m honestly not tempted to do any theater again. I love camera work.”
MFF: What was one of your most interesting experiences working on “Jimmy?”
GM: “Well, the first day I worked on set happened to be Bob Gunton’s birthday. This was the second time I had the chance to work with Bob and since everyone were such good friends on set, Mark (the Director) and Gary (the Producer) had a cake with candles waiting for Bob right after he wrapped his last scene. We all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him and it was fun to celebrate his birthday on set and that’s exactly what he said.”
MFF: Can you talk about your experience and just some of the behind the scenes action of movie making?
GM: “Well, as I said, I love to be on set, but anyone who has not been on a real set will really wonder why. It is far from glamorous and really down right boring most of the time. As an actor, you arrive for the day, go to your trailer, someone gets you and walks you to makeup and wardrobe. You go back to your trailer and wait….and wait…..and wait. It’s normally not anyone’s fault for all the waiting, it’s just filmmaking. It takes pain staking time to set up a shot, change angles, make sure sound is good, etc.”
“Then the trick for actors is to be ready at any time to perform because you never know when they will need you. Sometimes the weather changes and they have to shoot different scenes so you have to be ready.”
“There are so many things that can go wrong in a day on set that as an actor you just don’t want any of those ‘things’ to be you.”
MFF: What advice do you have for actors who are just getting started?
GM: “Some of the greatest advice I was given was to experience life! Be a people watcher and study how people behave normally. Acting for the camera is all about being normal not acting. I think it was Spencer Tracy who said, ‘Acting is great, just don’t let anyone catch you doing it!’”
“As far as getting started, take all the acting classes you can take and be in all the plays you can be in, and read all the books on acting that you can. My all time favorite book for camera work is ‘Acting for the Camera’ by Tony Barr and Eric Kline because they approach it from stage actors who want to get into on-camera work. When you’re starting out you have to beg people for clips of what you did for them, but don’t give up, beg until you get them because you’ll never have an acting reel if you don’t get your clips.”
MFF: Any future projects coming up that you can talk about?
GM: “Well one of the highlights of this year, was being directed by David Fincher and acting with Kevin Spacey on the set of the upcoming series, ‘House of Cards.’ It won’t be out till next year, but the experience was life changing. David is all they say about him, a real actor’s director. When Kevin said his lines to me, it was so real that I forgot I was on a set speaking with an actor. There’s a reason he has two Oscars.”
“My next film is called, ‘Seven Nights,’ and will be shot up in Ohio. I play a Real Estate Agent who loves life a bit more than others.”
MFF: It looks like you have worked on several faith based movies, including, “Jimmy” and “The Trial.” Can you talk about what draws you to those type movies?
GM: “Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I grew up being pretty bad in my younger years in Chicago. I stole things, sold drugs, and took plenty of them also, got in trouble with the police and was in a street gang. My Mom dragged me to some Ladies Missionary Meeting one night and this little old lady named Kay Fredrickson fascinated me with her stories of being in a prison camp in the Philippines during WWII.”
“She also told me how I could know this same Lord Jesus that brought her and her family through this terrible ordeal. I did what she told me to do and accepted Him into my life that night. I wish I could tell you that I’ve lived happily ever after, but I’m far from perfect and never will be till I’m in Heaven. So, that’s why I favor films that have a message.”
“I’m not against secular films or projects and have done some, but there are plenty of films and TV shows that have terrible messages and leave people with little or no help or hope. I like to be in projects that offer hope and help. Life is hard and that’s one reason people like certain films because they can relate to them or it lifts them up and puts a smile on their face.”
MFF: What was it like working with talent like Ted Levine?
GM: “Like a lot of people, I loved the TV series, ‘Monk.’ Ted plays Captain Stottlemeyer in that series and he told me one day at lunch that he was so proud to be a part of a great series like, ‘Monk’ because the whole family can watch it together. The funny thing is that my first day on set, I saw this guy looking all grungy sitting in the holding area and thought he was one of the extra fisherman that day. He sure looked the part. I sat and studied my lines and it wasn’t until he sneezed that I heard Captain Stottlemeyer’s voice.”
“I went up to him and introduced myself and we ran our lines together after that. He was fun on set as he would come up to me between takes and tell me different things he was going to do to make it different from the last take.”
MFF: And what was it like working with Bob Gunton?
GM: “As I said, this was my second movie with Bob Gunton and he’s just such a pro in this business. As most people, you picture Bob as the warden from, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ in what should have won him an Oscar in my opinion. I’ve run into Bob in LA from time to time and he always greets me with his big smile and asks me how I’m doing. When you work with really great actors like both Ted and Bob, it only brings you up and makes your job so much easier.”.
MFF: Any good/fun stories about hanging out with those actors on set?
GM: “Well, I’ve told you my stories about Ted and Bob but I’ll tell you how fun it was to work with Danny Vinson. Even though we’ve been in two of the same movies now, this was the first time we got to be on set working together. Danny is not only very talented and funny, but he’s a great fisherman! In between takes he was really catching fish and having a blast!”
Find out more about Moore’s career at www.garymoore.me or visit IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2744525/