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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Interview with Garrett M. Brown..An actor who is living his dream.

Recently, I had a very interesting and inspiring conversation with Garrett M. Brown. He's an actor with over sixty-three acting credits. He's been in TV shows as recent as "Scandal" and "Masters Of Sex" on Showtime as Chancellor Fitzhugh. He's also been on the big screen as well in "Kick-Ass"and "Kick-Ass 2" as Mr. Lizewski. The latest film he's starring in  is "Hello, My Name Is Frank" which features Frank, played by Garrett, a sufferer of Tourette's who has spent most of his life in seclusion. Frank is thrust into the real world  when his caretaker dies, leaving him with the caretaker's teenage daughter, Laura (Rachel DiPillo). After seeing that Frank is despondent, Laura drags a reluctant Frank along on a road trip with her girlfriends- Alisa (Hayley Kiyoko) who is a wild and free spirited girl and Kim (Mary Kate Wiles) who is a sweet and naive teen. This movie is a modern-day "The Wizard of  Oz" meets "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Rain Man" which starts out as a tragedy and ends up as a life-changing  journey. 
You'll be surprised what one of his first jobs was, and read more to find out which actor and director he would like to work with. During the interview, he did mention he was in the movie "Uncle Buck" with John Candy. Garrett played Bob Russell in the film, and he mention that John Candy was a delight and down to earth.  

Introducing Garrett M. Brown............

Maria- Where are you from?

Garrett- I was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, but I grew up in Connecticut.

Maria- Was it your dream to become an actor as a child?

Garrett- I thought I would be a doctor, but I changed my major in college. Although, it wasn't my dream, I can say I am living my dream.

Maria- How did you end up in acting?

Garrett- I moved to New York in 1972, and worked as an orderly in a nursing home. After that job, I then went on to be a waiter in an executive lunchroom while also working another job in Manhattan. On a lark, I decided to take acting classes in group theatre, I was intrigued by acting. I started going to auditions, and I got a role. I even took Stella Adler's class in New York.

Maria- You've been in numerous TV shows like "Criminal Minds', "Big Love", "The O.C." and "Scandal", do you have a favorite TV show that you've been a part of?

Garrett- The show "Sisters" which I played John Whitsig, an accountant who had a  nervous breakdown. It was on from 1991-1996.

Maria- What did you love about "Sisters" ?

Garrett- It was a treat to be part of the cast, and they hire a wonderful group of people. The writing was really good.

Maria- You've also been in commercials. About how many have you've been in?

Garrett- Over 200

Maria- How did you prepare to play the part of Frank in "Hello My Name is Frank" ?

Garrett- I watched a documentary on John Davidson who has Tourette syndrome. I watched videos, read a lot of books in particular "Motherless Brooklyn",  and did Alexander technique to help with the role. I took classes by Larry Moss (an acting coach), and he advise me to learn the whole script before getting on set. I also build up a repertoire of tics which are physical moves which Carl Synder coached me in.

Maria- Was it difficult to play Frank?

Garrett- It was difficult.  At some point, I decided I would take a leap...I'm going to become Frank. I started acting like Frank in public. I wanted to see the reactions of those around me. Once I got on set, I relaxed into it. I even wrote poems in Frank's voice.

Maria- What was it like to be part of  "Hello, My Name Is Frank" , and have you worked with Dale Peterson, the writer of the movie before?

Garrett- It was a passion project.  I had worked with the writer, Dale Peterson before in "Hard To Come By." It began our collaboration, and then friendship by working on that film. The whole experience was fun. The actors are very talented, and a high quality crew.

Maria- Besides movies and TV shows, any theatre work?

Garrett- I've been involved in Ensemble Theatre in LA and New York.  I write plays as well.  One of my first acting roles was a job with Exxon which was a musical.

Maria- What are some of your hobbies?

Garrett- I enjoy so much....painting, drawing, riding a bicycle, playing basketball, swimming, and I also like to body surf.

Maria- Any actor or director that you would like to be involved with in a movie?

Garrett- I have several.  George Clooney who is a great guy. I would also love to work with Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, Robert Duvall, and Meryl Streep. I also would like to work with Woody Allen again, and I would like to work with Mike Bartlett (an English playwright).

Maria- Any favorite movies?

Garrett - "Stealing Beauty" and "Man On A Train" which is a French movie.

Maria- I love ending my interviews with a quote. Do you have anything you would like to share?

Garrett- Aspire to be present , treasure the moments, love the journey. Trust being immersed in the work, and that everything else will take care of itself. Also, never get caught up in big stuff. Allow the joy of the experiences of life lead to the next joy.

What an awesome interview I had with Garrett. There was so much I could shared with all of you, but I wanted to share some of my favorite parts.

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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