AJ Buckley

Before the Scene: Devon Sawa

by AJ Buckley on September 8, 2014

2104480_big-web photo by Ben Mark Holzberg/CW

This article originally ran in the 2014 September/October issue of Scene Magazine.

Devon Sawa is a veteran actor from Vancouver, Canada. His feature film credits include Final Destination, Idle Hands, Casper, Little Giants and the Baton Rouge-shot actioner The Philly Kid. On television, he recently finished his role as Owen Elliot on Nikita. Sawa can next be seen starring in Punk’s Dead and The Exorcism of Molly Hartley.

What made you want to become an actor?
I was acting as a child. I was on stage and I really, really loved that, but for a different reason than now. When I first started on stage, it was just a way to channel my energy. Then as a young teenager at thirteen, fourteen years old, I started seeing movies like Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Apocalypse Now, Dr. Strangelove. All these great films with these great actors and it’s something that I wanted to do. I just wanted to do what they were doing: the Pacinos, the De Niros and the Jack Nicholsons, the Dustin Hoffmans. It just appealed to me. I just wanted to do it.

What was your biggest fear?
I didn’t have a lot of fears. Not being able to perform well, maybe. I was quite fearless as a young man. I think that’s why I succeeded is because I was so fearless. I would go into a room, an audition or whatever, with no care in the world. I think that’s why I was able to be successful early: the lack of fear. Which has changed so much! If I could go back to the way I was as a young man, as a teenager, with no cares, no family, no rent, no nothing like that, and walk into some of the rooms with that feeling? I’m sure I would do a lot better in there! It’s crazy. I did that movie called Idle Hands and I had to audition for the studio. I walked into the studio and threw myself over a table and into a wall, using my hand like it was possessed. To think about doing that now in one of those rooms is ludicrous. It’s insane. There’s more!

{ 1 comment }

Justified star and Scene Magazine partner AJ Buckley received more than one challenge to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. He met that challenge. Dressed as a penguin.

Buckley challenged Game of Thrones director David Nutter and his team on North of Hell: Katherine Heigl, Jordana Brewster, Kevin McKidd, Jim Belushi, Chi McBride and director Anthony Burns.

{ 0 comments }

Before the Scene with Doug Ellin

by AJ Buckley on July 9, 2014

ellin_doug_high_res-web

Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness just before the limelight.

Doug Ellin is veteran writer, director and producer. A graduate of Tulane University, Ellin is best known as the creator and executive producer of HBO’s Entourage, for which he earned three Primetime Emmy nominations over the course of eight successful seasons. He is currently in post-production on the highly anticipated Entourage feature, set for release next year.

What made you want to become a writer?
Lack of skill in any other field.

What was your biggest fear?
Starvation. For real. I didn’t know a single person when I came out here. I had no connections in the business whatsoever. I had no idea how I was going to make a living, so those were real fears. I wasn’t poor. My parents gave me a little financial help so I could survive, which was great, but I ate spaghetti and ketchup at least three or four days a week for a couple of years.

What was your lowest point?
My lowest point was, surprisingly, after I had some success. I didn’t really struggle for a while. I got into film school early. I made a movie that cost nothing that was picked up by a studio and released worldwide. And then did a second movie and the same thing happened. I made a living for a while. But after that second movie came out and didn’t make money, even though it was such an exceptional independent movie that Universal released it as a big studio film, I couldn’t get a job for the first time in a decade. I mean any job. That was my low point after having pretty good success. And that was right before Entourage.

What was it that kept you from walking away?
I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s one of those things. They keep teasing you with success. There would always be something that led me to believe I should still stay here. You can make a movie for $100,000 dollars that you think is never going to go anywhere. I would be out of money for eight months. And then, someone comes in and says, “I’m going to release it around the world.” It comes out and it doesn’t really make any money. But you just keep going. Little things keep happening that made you think things would be good at some point.

What did you have to walk away from?
I can’t think of anything I’ve necessarily walked away from. This business is one of those things that you just have to keep adapting to. Early on in my career, it really looked like I was headed for big success and then it just evaporated. After making significant progress and money, buying myself a house and living out here at thirty years old, I was thinking about going back to law school. I didn’t know what the hell to do. I was like a pariah.

Who was your closest ally?
Probably my German Shepherds. They’re the ones who have taught me the most!
There’s more!

{ 0 comments }

Before the Scene with Tina Majorino

by AJ Buckley on June 26, 2014

136603984JL134_2012_TCA_WINThis interview originally ran in the August/September 2012 issue of Scene Magazine. Majorino starred in the  fifth season of HBO’s ‘True Blood’

Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness just before the limelight.

Tina Majorino is a veteran actress who started her career as a child with memorable roles in When a Man Loves a Woman, Corrina, Corrina and Waterworld. She returned to acting as an adult with roles in 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite and on television in Veronica Mars, Big Love and True Blood.

What made you become an actor?
I used to watch The Wizard of Oz everyday at the same time when I was a baby. There was something magical to me about Judy Garland and the idea that I could reach people the way she was reaching me. I knew from the get-go that acting was what I was meant for and it was what I wanted to do with my life.

What was your biggest fear?
Fear really didn’t become an issue for me until I got older. It never entered my mind that things wouldn’t work out. It wasn’t until I had been acting for twelve years and decided to quit, and then decided to come back four years later that fear really set in. I think it was mostly because, by that time, I had a different understanding of the world and people. My ears opened up to people’s comments at that point and insecurities I had learned over the years took a toll on my confidence. I started to question myself a little bit, wondering if people were right. They’d say things like “You’ll never make it back in. You quit.” Somewhere inside though, there was still that voice of reason, however quiet it may have been, that kept my hope and faith alive. While the business may have changed and my outlook on it may have altered, my reasoning for wanting to do it and my attitude about it hadn’t changed a bit. I knew no matter what anyone had to say about my decisions or about how hard the business was that I had the will and the drive to make whatever I dreamed of come to fruition. Fear is definitely something you learn as you grow. It makes things harder. But it makes everything more rewarding when you don’t let it stop you. It doesn’t matter if you feel that fear. It only matters that you push through it. It’s not brave if you’re not scared first. There’s more!

{ 0 comments }

aquaman_entourage_nosologeeksBatman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the strangely titled DC Comics follow up to Man of Steel, continues to fill out the costumes of its super famous superheroes. Henry Cavill reprises his role as Supes, Ben Affleck will put on the cowl for the first time as Batman, Gal Gadot will fill out Wonder Woman, and last week, it leaked that Jason Momoa is Aquaman.

HBO’s Emmy favorite Entourage famously cast the fictitious Vinny Chase as Aquaman in a big budget film directed by James Cameron, who guest starred on the show. Scene recently spoke with Entourage creator Doug Ellin about Momoa landing the role in real life.

Scene: Were you excited or disappointed when the rumors about Jason Momoa started circling that he will be Aquaman?

Doug Ellin: (laughs) I mean, I can’t tell you how much I love that the “movies” we have come up with on Entourage have turned into movies. The Pablo Escobar movie hasn’t happened yet, but you know when Oliver Stone was quoted saying he got the idea from Ari Gold? I don’t need anything more than that! It’s exciting that it happened.

And Aquaman… actually they made a reference I think on Smallville to us. They brought Aquaman on and they said he was on Entourage or something. I love that we’ve come up with these things in a vacuum that we never expected to make it into a movie and some of them have actually come to fruition. It’s pretty cool.

Ellin, a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, is now in post-production on Entourage, the feature length film that will reunite the HBO show’s cast. Ellin is directing from his script. Look for Scene‘s full interview with Ellin in the July/August issue of Scene Magazine.

Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa remains coy about his new role as the underseas overlord but he more or less confirmed the casting on Jimmy Kimmel last week. See for yourself in the clip below.

{ 0 comments }

Fast/Furious Star Jordana Brewster joins ‘North of Hell’

by Jena Dardar

The Fast and the Furious franchise star Jordana Brewster has joined the cast of North of Hell, alongside Katherine Heigl and Patrick Wilson. The dark comedy from Darko Entertainment started shooting in New Orleans yesterday. Brewster will play Dusty, a hot new hire who seduces a married man, played by Wilson, and then threatens to […]

Before the Scene with Craig Robinson

by AJ Buckley

Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness […]

Before the Scene with Kim Coates

by AJ Buckley

Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent  sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness just before the limelight. Kim Coates is a veteran actor who has starred in […]

BEFORE THE SCENE with Mark Wahlberg

by AJ Buckley

Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness […]