We continue our UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series today with Jason Klingensmith.
The role Jason played in UNWAVERING is Man in Doorway. As the name of the character states, he is the barrier and enforcer of the terrorists; no need for an actual name. As soon as Jason stepped into the auditions his size alone was an intimidating factor. Standing at 6’2″ and a solid, muscular build, he definitely had the look. He delivered his lines and I immediately knew he was the person for this role.
During filming, we were mostly in a warehouse with no AC and the temperatures outside were around 95 degrees. With the gear the terrorists were wearing sweat poured out of their sleeves when they would lower their guns. These guys were troopers!
Jason’s performance was incredible and he transformed into this sly, intimidating tyrant that kept everyone on their toes.
Jason also enjoys screenwriting and has a webseries called “Rivals.” You can watch the hilarious episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOOJ2T4I3f9YqjSya2mkz_w and check out his IMDB page
Here are the questions we asked Jason:
MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?
Jason: It certainly wasn’t the wardrobe in the warehouse, but I think I lost a few pounds that week. There were so many wonderful, talented people that it was a pleasure to be on set with. We had a lot of fun behind the scenes, between takes, talking about our favorite movies, our goals and ambitions, etc. I’ve been on a handful of indie sets, and this was by far the most professional, efficient, and well organized set I’ve had the pleasure of working on. I also gained several new friends. Kind of hard to top that.
MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?
Jason: I don’t have one particular favorite role. I try to learn something from every role I play and improve myself as an actor. I did enjoy playing Man in Doorway, though, and it was nice to be able to lock into the character and film it in succession in a relatively short amount of time. I’ve had roles in the past where I’ve played one character, but it’s been stretched over the course of a summer, filming every couple of weekends, and it can be difficult to get back to that character to you were on set 3 weeks ago. Especially if you’ve done any work in between.
MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?
Jason: There may not be a better, more inspiring, piece of inspiration than the Jim Carrey speech from the MUM Commencement Address in 2014. There are a lot of actors that inspire me, and that I admire a great deal. Some of my favorites are Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, and Terrence Howard.
MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Jason: A couple all time favorites are Monster Squad, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, and the original Halloween, as I tend to watch more comedy and horror than anything. But my all time favorite film is probably Forrest Gump.
MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?
Jason: I love to play sports, any sport really, baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, softball, tennis, etc. and I’ve gotten into mud runs in recent years, which are a lot of fun. I also enjoy watching movies and playing video games. And I love screenwriting. I’ve completed three features, one short, and several episodes of a web series, and have several more in the works.
MPF: What made you interested in acting?
Jason: I always wanted to act, but really had no idea of how to go about it, especially living in Ohio, and I was too shy to try drama in high school. Fast forward to adulthood and I’m getting laid off from a job as Treasurer of a steel mill where I’ve been for almost 6 years. That layoff led me to go to the open call for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I ended up getting cast as a background SHIELD Agent, and a fire was lit. I truly caught the bug. I started doing more extra work, started working on student films, and eventually started booking indie films. I have a long ways to go to get where I want to be, but I have truly fallen in love with acting and filmmaking, and really found my passion in life in the process.
MPF: Favorite color?
Jason: A tie between blue and green, with purple a close third.
MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?
Jason: I think any of the girls in captivity. It’s easy to root for them. In the face of adversity, they could have just laid down and given up, but they chose to dig deep, find the courage within themselves, and fight their way out.
MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
Jason: Perhaps the best acting advice I ever got, I didn’t even realize until a couple years after I got it. A director of one the first films I worked on, Cleanland, told me “don’t act… be”. It hit me a year or so down the road, when I realized what exactly he meant. If your character is angry in the scene, don’t act angry, be angry, if you character is sad in the scene, don’t act sad, be sad. Use whatever you have within yourself to bring those emotions to the surface. I would also say, if you want to be an actor, practice every chance you get. Act out scenes from your favorite movies, take drama class, audition for student films, don’t be afraid to do extra roles in major productions just to see what it feels like to be on a big set, and really just never give up. There is a lot of rejection in the process of acting and trying to become an actor, but treat every job, every audition, as an experience from which to learn something.
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