Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Talking With Timothy Cox About Acting Part 2

The many faces of Timothy Cox- Actor

This is the second part of my talk with the great Timothy Cox from last December. (If you haven't read Part One go here)

Here our discussion shifts away from the stage and focuses more on working in film.

As this part concludes I want to again than Tim for taking the time to speak with me  and for his patience in the long road it took to  getting this interview up.

Tim: All I've ever wanted to be is a working actor. If I could leave here and go rehearse a play, perform a play, go to a film set, that's heaven.

To be a working actor, I think that's what most actors really want.

And you have to stick with it. Nothing is going to happen overnight. You have to stick with it and you have to be relentless.

And most importantly, it has to be about the work. Whether it's a web series or a film or a play...work is work.

Steve: You’ve made well over 125 films. I know you've produced some of them, you've written some of them. You haven't directed anything. Why don't you direct?

Tim: I'd be terrible at it. I directed a one‑act play in college and it wasn’t the right fit for me. It’s not where I belong. I also don't have the patience and the temperament to be a director. I marvel at the patience of many of the directors that I have worked with in the theater and on film.

Steve: There's a friend of mine who does short films. He's trying to get some features stuff done. But he'll act in some of his films. But he's got it like in his head, and he's like you do this and this... And I’m like, "How do you do that?" He knows what he wants.

Tim: Sean Meehan, who I've worked with many times since 2010 does the same thing. He edits the film in his head as he goes. He knows exactly what he wants, goes in, gets it, and moves on.

Steve: How do these projects come to you? As I said, you’ve produced some. You've written some. How, you know, does people just come to you say, "I want you to do this," or how do you...

Tim: Most of the time, it’s hitting the pavement, every day, and auditioning. There are times though, like in the case of Total Performance where Sean sent me the script to read, as he had a part in mind for me. I read the script, loved it. I thought it was so unique and different. I read the part of Walter and I told Sean that I clicked with that character and he said, "That's the part I wrote for you." It’s just a tiny part, but the character jumped out to me when I was reading the script.

And from a producing standpoint, I assisted with auditions as did my wife Jamie.

I first collaborated with Ross and Matthew Mahler on a 48‑hour film project called Dark Romance and we developed a really good working relationship. When Matt was putting both To Be Alone and What Jack Built together, he sent me the scripts and I jumped on board of both right away and I’m glad I did as they are two films that I am incredibly proud to be a part of.

Steve: That was something I wanted to ask you about, in light of What Jack Built and, and To Be Alone... where Michael Caine said that you can make any performance real, but you have to get it in your eyes. You have to look like you're there.

And, it's like that's what you have when we watch some of the films. It's like you're there. You're occupied. You see the character's occupying you. You're not just, "Well, I'm walking through this." You know it's not just a paycheck job or whatever, you know?

Tim: It’s all about immersing yourself in the script and into the character. It’s about going to those places that force you to challenge yourself...mentally, physically and emotionally.

With To Be Alone, it came at a time not long after my brother Kevin had passed away. Like the character of William in the film, my own faith, my own doubts about religion were challenged after Kevin’s passing. You see this man crumbling under the weight of his doubt. It was therapeutic to play that at that time.

Steve: How long does it take to shoot a film like that?

Tim: We shot that over two days. Matt moves fast, because he knows what he wants. Like Sean, he goes in, gets it and moves on.

Steve: You're one of the biggest advocates for short films that I've run across.

Tim: Yeah.

Steve: I mean, I know you're in a lot of them. But not all. How did you become such an advocate for all these films?

Tim: I think it's my relentless nature. If I've done a film, and it gets put out on YouTube and Vimeo and if it's something I'm proud of, I want to get it out there. That’s the purpose in sending the film to critics. Getting it seen. If they like the film, great. If they don't like it, that's fine, too. But getting the film seen, that’s what is most important.

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