Another Monte Carlo interview!

And another video we can’t embed. But you must watch it, because it’s absolutely awesome.

You can’t hear the interviewer’s questions, even with the sound up to the max I had trouble understanding what she had to say because there was a lot of background noise, but I think with Jack’s answers you get the gist of them. I transcribed again, though it’s not dubbed over, some longer interviews definitely deserve a transcription!

I am a little sad that not one of the Jack Coleman Fangirls Of Europe (ie: most of his active fanbase on the web) was able to get to Monte Carlo. Hopefully there will be a next time in a city where a hotel room doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. :P

Also, if Mr Coleman wants to practice his French, I’m sure I could help. Trust me, I’m a teacher. (yes, really)


Q: Did you grow up in a French household or something?

A: No, no, you know what, we came here and we spent the summer when I was little and I just – was like seven – and I just absorbed it like a sponge, by the end of the summer I was, you know, beach club with other kids, I was… it was St Jean de Luz and that was gorgeous.

Q: [...] as a kid as well [...] it’s locked in there somewhere. (from the gist of it: she’s saying she also had a language absorption experience in her childhood and the language is still there)

A: Yeah, as if. I’m trying to access that chip in my brain. If you don’t use it though it does go away.

Q: So we don’t do this interview in French.

A: It would be the world’s shortest, least interesting interview.

Q: “Bonjour” (hello) and then “Au Revoir” (goodbye).

A: [laughing] Ah, yeah.

Q: Okay, so you had… Welcome to Monte Carlo.

A: Thank you.

Q: Have you been here before?

A: I’ve only been by Monte Carlo. I actually shot an epic production of the Love Boat back in 1985 in Nice. I played a cyclist, like a Lance Armstrong type, and I was up in the hills in Nice with professional French cyclists who were very kind to me. They made sure I did not die and I had the best time here, it was so much fun.

Q: So knowing what Monte Carlo represents, you know being here and spending a week here, talk to me what about how you would describe this place.

A: Well, you know, it’s so beautiful that you really have to once in a while stop and smell the money– uh, the roses. I mean it’s… what can you say about Monte Carlo that people haven’t said? It’s gorgeous, it’s impressive, it’s intimidating. It’s the only place in the world that makes Los Angeles look like a used car lot. I mean every single car is worth about $250’000 and they’re all three weeks old… And, you know, look at this… it’s actually, it’s not dissimilar to California. What I don’t understand, I’m gonna have to have someone, some native explain to me is how the climate changes so dramatically from say here to Paris, which is not that far… and it’s a completely different, like, ecosystem and the climate is completely different, and even in the winter you come down from Paris and it’s warmer here and it’s just… I dunno, it’s amazing, it’s gorgeous. It does look like California, except the water’s bluer.

Q: Heroes was a wonderful show [...] the show you’re [...] (from the gist of it: she’s asking which show he’s representing at this festival)

A: Well, it’s so funny, I mean, I’m kinda here as a free agent. I did the Vampire Diaries, but I did all of five episodes and they killed me off and that was always the understanding. Julie Plec who’s executive producer on the show called me, we’d known each other for years… [dog barking in the background] Is that annoying at all? That dog? That… friendly pooch.

Q: [something about "my dog said it"]

A: Who else can I bark at? That dog’s worth a quarter of a million dollars… um okay so. So Julie Plec who I have known for years called me up and said “D’you wanna come do a few episodes, probably do about three episodes and we’ll kill you off. You’re going to be Candice Accola’s dad”. I said “yeah, sure that sounds like fun”, and then they liked it and they decided they’d add a couple more episodes and they’d give me a heroic death, which they did, and you know it was great fun. Also it was great fun for me – cause I went to school in the south – to go to Atlanta and shoot. Although I have to say the first time I was there was in August and there was this restaurant I wanted to go to and I walked a mile and a half from the hotel to this restaurant and I passed two other human beings and I had to take a cab back. It was 98°F and 95% humidity and I had forgotten what the south is like in the summer and that’s daunting, so these guys, you know, cold winters and hot summers, when they’re out there at night and they always are, shooting, I take my hat off to them.

Q: Since you’re here like you said as a private agent, you’re out meeting the fans and talking with [...] here, how do people most recognise you? Loveboat, Heroes, Dynasty?

A: Yeah yeah yeah, no, from Heroes. From Heroes, by far, the most people recognise me from it. It had a huge following. We actually came here five years ago to the world tour, like a publicity tour, we went to Munich and Paris and London. It was like being in a Hard Day’s Night, it was crazy, the show was just breaking and it was huge. Heroes was in like 250 territories around the world, it was only on for 4 years but it did make an impression and people do remember that. A lot of people are afraid of me because I was a bad guy… or a scary guy and they think they have to be afraid, but…

Q: [...] you hear about a lot of TV actors say that when you’re shooting you’re sort of in a vacuum, working in a vacuum…

A: Right.

Q: … so what is it like to come out [to a] festival and meet the fans and meet the people?

A: Well it’s fantastic, and especially out of the States because you realise that, you know, as you say, we’re working in a vacuum, you go into a dark sound stage and it’s 6 o’clock in the morning and the grips are yawning and everyone’s exhausted and you realise that these things you’re doing and these images you’re creating are going out all over the world. And it’s often very hard to remember that when you’re doing it, and it’s probably a good thing not to remember that when you’re doing it cause it takes a little but of the edge off when you’re not thinking about the millions of people who are gonna be seeing it. It’s really fun to see people who have been watching the shows you’ve been doing and enjoying them. It’s very humbling actually.

Q: Talk to me quickly about your time on Vampire Diaries, I know you hear stories about the cast, there are really vamp fans losing their minds.

A: Yeah.

Q: So what was it like being on that set, are you a vampire fan [...] that role?

A: I was never a huge vampire fan, but once Julie called me and I said “let me start watching the show”, I got hooked, I mean, it’s really well done and for a story that’s so big and sprawling they’re quite disciplined in how they break story and how they keep story going. It was fun to watch and we’d be on location in some small town in Georgia and there would be women from Germany and from England who had travelled there just to get a glimpse of Ian or whoever it was on the show, and yeah… I mean vampire fans, sci-fi fans in general are pretty fanatical and actually Heroes was quite a bit like that too, because there were always paparazzi and fans around and you know mostly for Milo and Hayden and the youngsters… as usual. You know, they get all the glory… they have all the hair and get all the glory, it’s… so unfair. I had all that hair once.

Q: Tell me what’s coming next for you, what are you working on?

A: I’m continuing on the Office as far as I know, that’s what I’m hearing or starting to understand. That’s been tremendous fun, it’s the polar opposite of something like Vampire Diaries or Heroes, not just because it’s a comedy but just technically, Heroes in particular was so painstaking in how things were shot. You know “you’re here, you’re in focus, you’re here, you’re out of focus, this is good, that’s no good”. And on a show like the Office, it’s shot very documentary style and the camera basically finds you. So you just go in and you do your thing and they have like a spy cam across the room and you may see them, you may not. And you’re doing your scene and you’re not even sure that anybody was filming it. It’s fantastic, it’s incredibly liberating. I mean of course sometimes they’re right up in your grill with the camera, but a lot of times you’re not even entirely sure where they are, which is amazing cause I used to do all these things with a swing-and-tilt lens on Heroes where this great lens which can keep something in extreme focus close and also in focus in the background, and it’s very disorienting cause even the human eye doesn’t work that way. But if I had to raise something up like this, they would have a C-stand and my hand would have to stop right there or it was no good. And I’d be there for two hours doing [sigh] just incredibly pain– and it looked amazing and when it was over you forgot all about that because it looked great. But I mean that’s the different in this sort of technical production value stuff and there is something very liberating about about saying “you know just go there, we’ll find you.” “really? ok, I trust you… is there any film in, are you shooting this?” So that’s been great. And of course it’s so well written and everyone’s so damn funny, and being funny is the hardest thing to do on film.

Q: Is it really?

A: Oh yes! Absolutely, absolutely, and yet comic performances are completely overlooked year after year after year. I mean if I’d had a vote back, you know, somebody like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters would have won an Oscar, because as he said you tell a joke in April and you hope they laugh in December. You know, I mean, you’re completely… there’s no audience, you’re completely divorced from any… and he’s funny in every frame. It’s easier to be dramatic than it is to be funny. Who was the great English actor on his deathbed, someone said you know “how are you, how is it?” and he said “dying is easy, comedy is hard”. And that’s, er, you know I think that’s true. I’m hoping not to find out about the first part for quite a while but I can tell you that comedy is hard.

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