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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

My interview with James DuMont...actor in numerous roles in film and television.

James DuMont, whose been acting in film and television since 1990's with over 110 acting credits , and with numbers like that you can bet he's one of the busiest performers in and out of Hollywood. In film, his most recent supporting role was in "Dallas Buyers Club" as Rayon's father opposite Oscar winner, Jared Leto. He was in the film " Lee Daniel's The Butler" portraying Chief of Staff Sherman Adams opposite the late  Robin Wiliams' Dwight D. Eisenhower. On the small screen, he's been in two seasons of the F/X series "American Horror Story"  as Foster in this season's "American Horror Story-Freak Show" and was in "American Horror Show Story-Coven" as Dr. Morrison. 
James attended Boston University for New York City and worked steadily in theatre, and he made his Broadway debut in "Six Degrees of Separation." Later he moved to Los Angeles, where he produced award winning plays, and he started booking roles in "The George Carlin Show" and "Desperate Housewives." 
I spoke to him over the phone one night, and we talked about everything from his roles in film and television, his acting in theatre and as a producer as well, and his life as a Buddhist. 

My chat with James DuMont.......

Maria- Where are you from?

James- I was born in Chicago. Due to my parents' divorce, I was raised in two incredible cities, New York City and Chicago. Both cities are a supporter of the arts. In New York, there's the theatre and Central Park. In Chicago, the symphony.

Maria- Did living there influence you to become an actor?

James-Yes, it's why I'm an actor today.

Maria- Your first role was in Blue Brothers?

James- Yes, I was the kid dancing in the street.

Maria- You've acted in shows from "Grey's Anatomy" to "American Horror Story", "Halt And Catch Fire" and "Mad Men", do you have a favorite show that you've acted in?

James - "Men Of Certain Age" starring Ray Romano which was on TNT. It was an incredible cast to work with.

Maria- As many roles you've been in on TV and in film, I'm sure you've had some roles that you weren't picked for. How do you handle that? Some people would consider it rejection, but I'm learning as I talk to actors who has been in the business awhile, and they don't see it as that.

James- I don't see it as a rejection. I see it as not selecting, they are picking what's best for their project. In this business, you have to build a strong resilience. I could have 300 auditions, and out of that I could only get 10 jobs (that's a good year). This business isn't for the weak, and you  have to have a strong sense of self. This business is unpredictable, and you have to work all the time. There's no reason to be arrogant.

Maria- I watched "Dallas Buyers Club" back in March,and decided I would re-watch the scene you were in with Jared. The part where you say "God Help me", and Jared's character, Rayon says "He is helping you. I have Aids." That scene really got to me and moved me, I felt for Rayon and for your character as the Dad.
What was it like performing in that scene?

James-It was my 50th movie role, and I decided I would change how I usually approach it. I usually like to meet with the actor before we go in our scene, but I decided this time I wouldn't. Even though the scene was simplicity, there was so much emotion that could be felt .The scene was heartfelt. We did the scene maybe twenty times, and we improv a little in it. It was an incredible experience, and the script was amazing.

Maria-I know you'll be in the film "Trumbo" playing the supporting role of J. Parnell Thomas opposite Bryan Cranston, which is directed by  Jay Roach. This film is about a screenwriter who is blacklisted for being a Communist in the 1940's. What is your character's part in film and what was it like to be in this film?

James- My character, J. Parnell Thomas, is the one who calls Dalton Trumbo to Washington as a Communist. I help end his career as a screenwriter. The cast was incredible and director was amazing. I see this move as an Oscar contender.

Maria- Any actors or actresses you would like to be in a film with?

James- Melissa Leo and Kathy Bates are two actresses I would like to work with. I would also like to work with Tom Hanks and Ed Norton as well.

Maria- What are your hobbies?

James - Coaching my son's baseball team, going to concerts. I recently went to see Taylor Swift with my daughter. I love music ,and I used to be a DJ.

Maria- Any advice you would give to someone who is wanting to become an actor?

James- Be the big fish in your small pond first. I mean do everything you can locally first before you go anywhere. The good thing,shows are filming in cities like Atlanta, New Orleans and it's not just New York or LA anymore. I would also say maximize everything where you're at. Be a student of film, Youtube, and web series. Also, pull upon life experiences,and be that person in your community that's done everything. Act in the local theatre, read a play, read books and be creative.

Maria- Who are your biggest supporters?

James- My wife, children, and family are my pillars, and I also have the support of friends. Being a Buddhist for over twenty-five years has been a great support system as well. I'm learning to govern my life by cause and effect and learning to let go of negative and poisonous relationships.

Maria- I always like to share quotes with my readers, do you have one?

James- "Two things define you when you think or perceive you have nothing at all and when you have everything." You know, do you  have the patience in the tough times?
Are you appreciative when you have everything? Can you be humble when you have it all? I believe that your patience defines you when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything. That's what I think about in life, and I would want others to think about as well.

Maria- One final question, you describe yourself as Bayou Coastal?

James- I'm currently living in both Los Angeles and New Orleans, so I'm Bayou Coastal. I love New

Follow James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamesKDuMont

James is currently developing feature films with producing partners in New York , Louisiana, and Los Angeles.  

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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