Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Video interview: Dallas native actor Glenn Morshower
Morshower's best known for his roles as generals, government agents, and straight-arrow police chiefs. Get ready for a glimpse of his wild and crazy side.
It was a real treat to welcome Dallas-born actor Glenn Morshower into the PegNews studios this week. Glenn -- who many will recognize as Agent Aaron Pierce from the TV show 24 -- will be an honored guest of the Dallas Producers Association at their Curse of It Came From Dallas spectacular this Thursday night (Oct. 15).
Glenn was invited thanks to his early acting role in a screen gem called Drive-In. He was 16 when he made the film, and it's notable primarily for the fact that ... well ... it came from Dallas, and the enterprising Gordon K. Smith found a consumer video copy of it he could slice and dice in order to extract a few of the juicier segments for his notoriously evocative, made-in-Dallas show reel.
Here's what I want you to know about Glenn prior to watching the interview video: He's a complicated, deeply thoughtful, emotional guy, not at all like the kinds of straight-laced military officers and chiefs of police he's portrayed through the years on television and in films (such as the two Transformer movies). Furthermore, he's sporting a beard as we sit down to speak, which really throws me off base. What the ... ?! It's as if Chad Clarke (the police chief/father Glenn played in the Friday Night Lights TV series) had lost his badge and let himself go slightly to seed.
I've participated in my share of pre-packaged promotional talent interviews, and this was not one of them. Morshower is spontaneous and speaks from the heart. In fact, speaking from the heart is his forte; his "The Extra Mile" motivational sessions are what really ring his chimes these days. Glenn considers his speaking career at least as important as his acting one.
Before we started the camera rolling, Glenn was telling us about his unique on-set relationship with Michael Bay. Bay's known for angry tirades, but Glenn claims he knows better than to pull that stuff with him. Bay and Morshower have a long-standing relationship of mutual respect; that's why you'll see Glenn's name in the credits of so many Michael Bay films.
Then, after we shut the camera down (prematurely, as it turned out), Glenn told a great story about his buddying up with Jeff Bridges while they were working together on The Men Who Stare At Goats. As Glenn put it, Jeff Bridges really IS "The Dude" (ref. The Big Lebowski). Between takes he enticed Glenn into playing Pass the Pigs with a set of tiny porkers that, Bridges earnestly and confidentially explained, had accompanied him all over the world.
I've split the video into two parts, the first being a more or less straightforward Q-and-A session, and the second offering a more lengthy series of anecdotes from Morshower's career and life. Towards the end of the second interview you'll get a taste of the positive, self-actualizing philosophy that drives Morshower. It's a philosophy he loves to share.
HIGHLIGHTS of the Q-and-A video:
* He was born in Baylor Hospital and lived in Dallas the first 18 years of his life.
* He married a Texan from Highland Park, and his mom still lives here locally.
* "I operate my life on a 'need to know' basis, and most of the time I don't need to know."
* "The only people who have done more military roles than me -- what they all have in common? They are dead."
* Glenn gives me the no-blink treatment that got him the role in The Men Who Stare At Goats.
* He has taught improv comedy in L.A.: "Comedy, oddly enough, is my background."
* He's hoping to bring a sitcom to the North Texas area called Kosher, TX.
* We discover the identity of Glenn's favorite actor.
* "I bet you I will have directed my first feature film in the next two years."
Glenn Morshower Q/A
HIGHLIGHTS of the anecdote video:
* "George Clooney is the cure."
* Glenn's tractor-accident silly face
* Glenn tells us "a great Michael Bay story."
* "I need you in Ridley Scott's office in one hour."
* "On my best day, I am Aaron Pierce."
* "Ever'body I know in Dallas (he drawls) that I'm friends with, they sound like this."
* "This business is loaded with people that believe their own press."
* Working with Jack Lemmon
* "I encourage people to live in the vibration of flow."
* "We outswam between about 450,000 and 650,000 competitors to get here ... and I didn't swim here to have a bad time."