By Matt Schantz (@Schantzman87)
Sam Quinn has a pretty solid year ahead of him. He’s only starring along side Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Joel Edgerton (all three of which are ex-Star Wars actors, look it up, I’ll wait), Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, William Fitchner and Liam Hemsworth. Not too shabby, huh?
But wait, there’s more! Not only is Quinn starring in two huge movies this year, but he also has been on numerous TV shows and enjoys performing improv. Let’s take a look behind the curtain with Mr. Sam Quinn:
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us a little bit about ‘Jane Got a Gun’ and the character you play, Slow Jeremiah.
‘Jane Got a Gun’ is a pretty straight forward and true western with a feminist twist. Jane is the protagonist, played by Natalie Portman, and Joel Edgerton plays her long-lost love and sole hope of protecting her family from a gang of outlaws, the Bishop Boys, led by Ewan McGregor. That’s where my character comes into the picture. Slow Jeremiah is a member of Ewan’s Bishop Boys posse. He’s a lecherous, tattooed-face thug, who’s on the prowl for Jane’s dying husband, played by Noah Emmerich. ‘Jane Got A Gun’ will likely appeal to action junkies as well as those with a taste for romance.
Are you able to pickup things to add to your craft when working with talented performers like, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor?
Watching them work was definitely inspiring but I think I picked up more lessons from them in regards to being a big time celebrity and still maintaining a sense of humility and professionalism in the work environment. They were both very kind and encouraging during the whole process. The experience gave me loads of respect for Natalie, Ewan, and Joel; they’re such sweethearts.
You’ve worked within a multitude of movie genres – from horror, to comedy, to drama. Which is your favorite genre to act in?
That’s a hard one. I mean, they all have very unique differences. Working in comedy provides a more playful atmosphere on set and super funny people to go along with the experience. In horror, you get to put on weird make-up and stretch your imagination to wild and terrifying places. But, if I had to choose one, it’d be drama, because in drama you get to flex your acting muscles in a very honest and satisfying way.
What is it like to have the chance to be in ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, the sequel to a beloved summer blockbuster from the 90’s?
It’s baffling, really. ‘Independence Day’ came out when I was about 10, and I absolutely loved it. I think Jeff Goldblum is so wonderfully strange and brilliant, so I was just over the moon to have the opportunity to work alongside him and to be a part of such a legendary franchise. Let’s just hope I don’t end up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Haha.
You have also starred in a few TV shows too. ‘Better call Saul’, ‘Night Shift’ and the upcoming ‘Graves’. What is the biggest difference when preparing for a TV role and preparing for a movie role?
I’ve found that TV shows are more spontaneous and work at a much faster pace than film. While film scripts generally remain pretty set in stone during production, TV dialogue may change-up to a minute before the director yells “Action.” As an actor, that kind of improvisation and urgency drives me to really know my character inside and out, but not become too attached to scripted dialogue, that way if they change a line at the last-minute, I’ve already done my character development homework and can rely on my instinct to say any new or improvised lines. In film, you have more time to plot out how you want to deliver lines, which can be great, but with extra time sometimes comes over thinking, which can start a whole downward spiral for an actor’s process.
You have a background in sketch and improv comedy, working with the group ‘Comedy?’. Which do you find more nerve-wracking; improv, TV tapings, or being in a film with the likes of Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, etc.?
Well, I’m newer to improv than to stage and film acting, so I’d probably say that improv is a little scarier. If I know my lines and am well-rehearsed, I can just rely on my muscle memory to do a lot of the work, and will usually feel confident with what I’m about to perform. It’s like, I already got the part and they liked it at the audition, so I just need to replicate that. A lot of pressure has already been lifted, you know? Whereas, with improvisational comedy, you are flying by the seat of your pants, trying to create earnest scenes and hoping something funny or interesting comes out of it. The success rate is far less certain and so the performance holds way more pressure for me. On that same note, when an improv scene lands and you know you’ve just made something special, albeit ephemeral, that might be the most satisfying feeling of all three.
We’d like to thank Same Quinn for his time and the photos he provided, courtesy of Brandon Soder. We’d encourage you to follow Sam Quinn on Twitter.