An Interview With MacGruber's Jasper Cole
FlickDirect: You are in a summer blockbuster that has all kinds of action, machine guns, and stunt work. What is the coolest thing you have to do on the MacGruber set?
Jasper Cole: The opening scene is an action packed homage to the 80's action movies: That day was pretty intense. We are out in the desert, and I am on top of a big army tank all padded up. I did a good bit of stunt work in that scene. Later there is a big shoot-out, a kind of Reservoir Dogs thing. It is like kids playing cops and robbers.
FlickDirect: So it was really physical?
Jasper Cole: Yeah...definitely, for sure -- Pyro and bombs and stuff. Stunt doubles -- it was great. I loved it.
FlickDirect: How do you feel about getting cast as 'the bad guy'?
Jasper Cole: I am extremely grateful to be playing these villain roles. It has taken me many years to get there because you go through phases. [He thinks...] After I turned a certain age...I got more roles. Now I play a lot of creepy drunk addicts and homeless guys. Playing a lot of creepy guys is fun.
FlickDirect: How was working with Val Kilmer? I understand he lives on a ranch and raises Bison.
Jasper Cole: He did drive in from his ranch, I know that. He is a really cool guy, and his character is one of the funniest guys I have worked with. His character's name is Cunth. and, he really just plays the whole thing dry. He was fantastic. I have been a fan of his for years, and he has done some incredible movies; so it was great to work with him. It was good to see him doing a comedy.
Same for Ryan Phillippe who is also great and also hasn't done a lot of comedies.
FlickDirect: Were you on Saturday Night Live?
Jasper Cole: No, the Tonight Show. I played...a creepy prisoner. What a stretch.
FlickDirect: Do you have a favorite role you have played?
Jasper Cole: My favorite stuff comes from the stage, but I did Prom Queen where I played this bad guy (or something); we didn't quite know who he was. I got to do an arc over 15 episodes, and that was cool. At one point, I was dead, but came back. Now, when I die, I always think -- maybe I could come back. It doesn't mean I am really dead. That role also got world-wide exposure, which was really cool.
FlickDirect: You have done some of your own projects, yes?
Jasper Cole: Written and produced. I had two plays, one published. One is being re-published on Kindle. I have written for television and produced films and TV. Acting is my passion though, my first love. It has been nice to do it all, though, and stay in the business; it has made me a better actor.
FlickDirect: Is there a dream role for you?
Jasper Cole: At this point in a career, if I could do 2nd and 3rd runs for a few years and some stuff that supports the main character, I would like to have the stability of a long-running TV show. I have been doing a lot of comedy, and a sit-com would be ideal because of the hours and the live audience. It is like theater with cameras.
Gary Odom is one of my favorite actors, and I would like to continue on the path and the kind of things he does. Sidekick roles are fine with me too, not that I would turn down a lead.
I've been looking for longevity and want to be working all the time. I wasn't into it for fame; I am happy to be employed, especially now.
Oh, and I do commercials too. I have this crystal meth PSA that has been running for six years. It was by Tony Kaye who did American History X. He did this in 2004, and it has been running ever since. Thank God for crystal meth -- it exploded all over the country!
FlickDirect: Who do you play in the PSA?
Jasper Cole: I play...let's see...the creepy drug dealer leading the girl into the woods.
FlickDirect: Do you ever wonder why you get all those roles? Do you ever wake up at night and go, "What is it about me that gets me the bad-guy roles?"
Jasper Cole: I try to be pretty funny in my life, but they say all comedy comes from drama. I think it all starts with the look...you have to go with what the look is and work from there. I think we all have filters; we can't just act out all day long. That is what is great about playing these parts --you get to, and you get paid for it!
FlickDirect: If you wrote a role for yourself, would it be a bad guy?
Jasper Cole: I like the characters that aren't so on-the-page villainous -- the ones that are more two-sided. "Wow, he seems so nice..," and then he is a serial killer. You get to do both -- good and bad.
FlickDirect: Ever worked on a green screen? For MacGruber?
Jasper Cole: Not in MacGruber - I have done that for commercials though. I did one for Liberty Mutual and...another one a couple of times, but not for MacGruber.
FlickDirect: Was it weird?
Jasper Cole: Sort of. You have no idea what it is going to look like, and you are in the director's hands. It was a reenactment of the battle of Troy, and it came together and looked great. You feel like, "Don't make me look stupid though." You just have to hope.
FlickDirect: You have gotten to do a lot of cool stuff. Stuff most of us will never get to experience. Is that cool?
Jasper Cole: Sometimes I leave auditions, and I think, "Wow! This is what I do for a living!" In some ways, it is like kids acting out - it is all imagination. I say they pay us for the waiting-around-time, and we would do the acting for free. We probably get paid more for waiting - it is hurry up and wait. The acting is fantastic. Also, it is not brain surgery; and it isn't ditch digging, so I'm not complaining.
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