Saturday, February 23, 2013


John Cullum listens, and responds to Emily Frankel, his wife's questions about how he chooses a role to play.

As Emily pretends she's his manager, John re-enacts his thought process, when he was offered a role, recently, spur of the moment. It was a juicy role, in a movie that was going to be start shooting tomorrow.

The way John examines a character, what he's looking for, will interest any other actors.


Anonymous said...

Very good advice and an informative clip.

Linda Phillips said...

I so admire John's integrity!

Fantastic Books Publishing said...

I completely agree!

There are many soap actors that suffer real bullying, pain and heartache from the general public in their real lives because of the personas they play onscreen. In this example, paedophilia, John would be exposing himself to some of the smaller minded individuals who would condemn him for even playing the part.

A famous example in London was a group of thugs torched a doctors surgery in the middle of the night because the brass plaque outside said he was a paediatrician. As if a paedophile would proudly display his preferences on a brass plaque!

We are currently carefully considering a manuscript that contains lots of racism and race hate issues. Some stories need to be told and obviously in the film industry actors/actresses need to tell them using themselves as conduits. An example that springs to mind is that of Charlize Theron playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster'. A powerful and much acclaimed role, though not a character you would ever 'wish' to play.

I guess it's just down to how you, as the actor, feel about the role. If you don't feel comfortable, you won't act comfortable and that will come across in your performance.

Keep up the good work and Kudos for the integrity there John!

All the best,


Carola said...

I'm trying to remember the redeeming qualities in the character John played on Mad Men. Although those shows were so much fun, I bet John relished that role.

Unknown said...

I can imagine it would be near impossible to play such a role. I think in any role you’d have to put some of yourself into that role and some of the role would impact on you. So glad John could see past the money and the superficial pluses and hang on to his integrity. Smart man :)

Sociedade Lunar said...

Thank You Lovely <3 You Welcome :D

Louise Sorensen said...

This is a fascinating insight into the mind and career considerations of an actor. Thank you Em and John.
A villain needs to be not only as strong, but stronger than the hero. These are the best stories, because the worse the villain, the more heroic the protagonist in his triumph of good over evil.
A story where some pathetic villain is being whaled on is best made into a videogame, and not even a good one, because people who would play it would only be interested in acting out violence. So it's not even a good idea for a videogame.
I think a story such as John described is poorly written and sad, as it missed the opportunity to be so much more. Most actors relish playing the villain occasionally. But think of the powerful, multi-dimensional villain in Silence of the Lambs, not a stand-in straw figure for goons to beat up.
I think you made the right decision, John. It's too bad the character was so one dimensional. To be realistic, even the worst villain needs to have some redeeming feature. And relating to real features of the villain in even some small way, helps an audience connect to the character, giving the story more impact.
Wonderful piece. You knocked it out of the park! : )
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

JD Holiday said...

Wow! I can only hope that if it were me picking a role like that, that I would do the same as John.
When I was YOUNG,:D I would not have been so thoughtful where money was concerned. Wonderful advice! EM, you have such great discussions!


Mary Russell said...

Thanks for the fascinating insight into John's thought process as an actor and what criteria he uses when choosing a role. Not only is he a great character, he's a man of integrity too. :)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this one because John made a very good point. I agree with you John. However EM is right and made good points in her conversation about the script. John you have a good lady by your side, you two are wonderful. John would you like to read a script? lol. I advise people to watch and listen to your videos and learn from them.