Interview with Sergio Di Zio – Star of Root of the Problem

Interview with Sergio Di Zio

We were lucky enough to be able to talk to one of the stars of Root of the Problem, Sergio Di Zio. I want to send out a personal thank you for giving us the time to discuss the upcoming movie.

Without further ado, here is the interview

Hello Sergio, thank you for taking the time to answer a couple of questions about your new movie Root of the Problem.

Q1. What drew you to the project Root of the Problem?

A1. It was a story that reminded me of the family films I liked when I was a kid when my entire family would sit in the den on Sunday nights around the big 1980s TV. I loved that feeling of the whole family enjoying something together. So for me, this was a chance to offer a kind of tribute to that time.

Q2. Paul shows a selfish side to having infinite money source, if you could have one item of luxury from a money tree, what would you pick?

A2. I’m feeling pretty grateful right now with what I’ve got but I could use a new laptop.

Q3. Being involved in Hollywood for a couple of decades now, do you get to feel like a mentor, when you are working with younger actors like Leslie Benn or Ty Loupelle?

A3. I think I was a bit protective of them when we’d chat between setups. It’s so great to get the opportunity to do what you love if you love being an actor. But it’s important to remember that it’s show “business” so I’d encourage them to keep grounded so it stays fun and not put much import on the celebrity side of it. I found all that celebrity stuff rarely feels any good it just looks good on tv or on your phone.


Q4. Who inspired you to become an actor?

A4. I loved movies when I was a kid so there were so many. Christopher Reeve’s Superman, and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Al Pacino was a big deal for me.

Q5. I see that you starred in ‘The Lookout’, one of my personal favourite films, how did you find that experience?

A5. The Lookout was one of my favourite experiences. It was our director Scott Frank’s script and his first feature and it turned out really special, I thought. Our lead Joseph Gordon Levitt was such a generous actor. He was so present when the camera wasn’t on him for his scene partner (me) and that was a big lesson for me at the time, for an actor to be that there for the actors he’s working with. It was very gracious and ultimately very smart. He taught me how that’s part of the job in film and I try to never forget it.

Q6. You have had the chance to work with some of the big names in Hollywood, is there anyone you would either like to work with again, or have a chance to work with?

A6. A beauty of this job is how many blind dates you get as an actor. And when it’s someone I admire I try to put that away and show up just prepared to work which is like having a really great date. The experience often lives up to the hope when you focus on the work. 

Q7. Is there a movie you always recommend to people, that not many people have heard of?

A7. I’ve been thinking a lot about Dead Poet’s Society lately. It was a really right movie at the right time movie for me and Robin Williams was just wonderful in that. Very inspiring, both the acting and his character. I used to have a poster of it framed in my childhood bedroom. It’s still there.

Q8. Do you have any projects you would like to say a few words about in the pipeline?

A8. I’ll be appearing in a new series for Netflix called Grand Army. It takes place in a high school and it’s much more mature subject matter but there are some really salient and timely messages in it about about some of the difficulties high schoolers go through growing up right now (and that was pre-pandemic, right now.) 

And once we can all start working again we’ll have to see what comes up. Staying positive is what I’m focusing on these days, probably like just about everybody else.

If you would like to see more of Sergio Di Zio work, check out there IMDB.

I would like to thank Sergio Di Zio one more time for giving us the time to talk about Root of the Problem. Read the review here.

Interview with Scott Sikma – Director of Root of the Problem

Interview with Scott Sikma

We were lucky enough to be able to talk to director Scott Sikma, whose latest film Root of the Problem is coming to streaming platforms on the 7th July. I want to send out a personal thank you for giving us the time to discuss the upcoming movie.

Without further ado, here is the interview

Hello Scott, thank you for taking time to answer a few questions about your upcoming movie Root of the Problem.

Q1. What drew you to the project of Root of the Problem?

A1. I was drawn to this project originally after reading the novel Root of the Problem and loved the passion and light in its messaging. I knew from that point on, that I wanted to turn it into a screenplay to share with the public.

 Q2. If you had your own money tree and could treat yourself to something luxury, what would you pick?

A2. Well as long as it wasn’t the same consequences as my movie I would either buy myself a train locomotive for the backyard to turn into my office or buy my own movie theater to enjoy movies with my friends and family everyday….. when I’m off set.

Q3. We get to see the Porsche be a major point in Paul’s crazy spending, was that the only choice of car, or did you get to try out a few different options first?

 A3. We did have a few cars in mind when looking at the script but in the end the who doesn’t want a Porsche?

Q4. Are there any genres of film you would like to get your hands on in the future?

A4. I love all kinds of genres and have worked on a majority of them throughout my career, but I have come to fall in love with family dramas that inspire and deliver a good message at the end of the day. I hope to continue making films in this genre. Having said that, I am always keeping my mind open to new adventures.

Q5. You were lucky enough to work in Interstellar, what was it like working on a Christopher Nolan movie and how much did you learn with this experience?

 A5. It was an absolute honour to work on Interstellar. I worked as a cast assistant which allowed me the opportunity to be onset where I could watch and learn from Christopher, the cast and the crew. That experience taught me alot about structuring scenes, pacing and bringing characters to life. To this day it is a highlight in my career, as is learning and growing from each project that I take on.

Q6. Which directors inspired you to get involved in the movie industry?

A6. I grew up watching movies with my grandfather and loved everything from Alfred Hitchcock to Guy Hamilton. I fell in love with their styles and storytelling and I knew from an early age I wanted to work in film one way or another.

Q7. Do you have a movie recommendation that you don’t hear many people talk about?

A7. I have many movie recommendations, a few that come to mind is the 1960 Swiss Family Robinson family drama and Finding Neverland. They both are “feel good movies”, with wonderful storytelling.

Q8. Are you working on any projects you can talk about in the future?


A8. Yes, my next film that I will be directing in early 2021 is Christmas By The Book. A seasonal comedy about the author of a best selling holiday memoir who becomes entangled in tinsel when she and her kids are dispatched by a TV talkshow to an isolated rural town, where she is given just a few weeks to recreate the magical childhood Christmas described in her book.

If you would like to see more of Scott Sikma work, check out there IMDB.

I would like to thank the director one more time for giving us the time to talk about Root of the Problem. Read the review here.

Interview with Ja’ness Tate

Interview with Ja’ness Tate

We were lucky enough to be able to talk to one of the stars of Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery Ja’ness Tate. I want to send out a personal thank you for giving us the time to discuss the upcoming movie.

Without further ado, here is the interview.

Q1) What drew you to want to star in Hidden Orchard Mysteries and how much of Lulu do you see in yourself?

A1) When I first saw the casting call and read the description I thought the storyline was overall awesome! Then I began to read the character description for LuLu and I felt like I could relate to her. I felt like we were a lot alike. I wanted to tell her story, so I worked on my self-tape with my sister and when I got the part I was so excited!

Q2) You have excellent chemistry with Gabriella, how natural did the friendship come between the two of you?

A2) I feel like the moment we met we instantly became friends. It’s so funny how we are so alike! We just clicked. Playing her best friend in the movie was easy. I felt like it was normal like we did this for years! 

Q3) Do you have any favorite sleuth detectives you looked to for inspiration in the role? 

A3) I absolutely loved Nancy Drew and Scooby Doo growing up! I’ve always been a big fan of mystery and adventure movies. Even now I am rewatching The Sherlock Holmes Series. I absolutely love these kinds of movies and I am so grateful that I got to do my own!

Q4) You got to show off your musical talent early on in Hidden Orchard Mysteries, how big of a part of your life is music?

A4) I love music! I grew up around music as my whole family is musically inclined. We are all artists and pursue our art. Music has always been apart of me since I was very little. If I am not on set and reading a script, I am singing and performing!

Q5) If you could appear in a musical either on the stage or on film, which ones would you like to perform in?

A5) I always dreamed of being in a TV musical like Glee so if that ever comes back or some kind of spin-off comes on I will be the first to audition!  If I were to do a musical play, I would absolutely love to do Wicked. I love the music! And it’s a fun story I would love to play!

Q6) Which genres of movie would you most like to star in next? 

A6) Honestly, I want to do it all! But the genres I’m really interested in is drama, horror or even a coming of age story! I love all genres, but those would be really awesome to work in! 

Q7) Who are the people you look to as inspiration in the world of acting?

A7) I really look up to Viola Davis, Jada Pinkett Smith and Taraji P. Henson. Growing up I just admired their careers and how they made a name for themselves. They are so incredibly inspiring. I pray to inspire people just like they inspire me!

Q8) One of the key locations in Hidden Orchard Mysteries, is the cupcake shop, which leads to the important question, what is your favorite flavored cupcake?

A8) I love CHOCOLATE!!! with Sprinkles !!! 

If you would like to see more of Ja’ness Tate’s work, check out there IMDB.

I would like to thank Ja’ness Tate one more time for giving us the time to talk about Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery. Read the review here.

Interview with Gabriella Pastore

Interview with Gabriella Pastore

We were lucky enough to be able to talk to one of the stars of Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery, Gabriella Pastore. I want to send out a personal thank you for giving us the time to discuss the upcoming movie.

Without further ado, here is the interview:

As a fan of detective movies that have a lot of fun along the way, I enjoyed Hidden Orchard Mysteries, bringing back the memories of Scooby Doo, Psych and Jonathan Creek.

Q1) What drew you to want to star in Hidden Orchard Mysteries and how much of Gabby, do you see in yourself?

A1) I knew I wanted to star in Hidden Orchard Mysteries because I had worked with Ms. Joyce and Mr. Brian a couple of times prior and I absolutely loved working with them. When they presented the idea of HOM to me, I thought the story and the characters were amazing and I knew I wanted to be a part of this wonderful film. I really liked how diverse the cast is. My character is actually very similar to me. For starters, we have the same name. I can be a bit of a perfectionist, especially when my heart is set on something. Like Gabby, I’m also not a very impulsive person, I like to think through all the details and make my decisions from that.

Q2) You have excellent chemistry with Ja’ness. How natural did the friendship come between the two of you?

A2) Thank you! It actually came very naturally, which was really nice. They had us video chat before meeting each other in person, and we mostly talked about our interests and HOM. We seemed to click pretty quickly from when we first met. It felt like we’d been friends for years.

Q3) Do you have any favorite sleuth detectives you looked to for inspiration in the role?

A3) Yes actually! I love detective shows, I used to watch them all the time with my mom when I was younger. Two of the detective shows I looked to for inspiration was Monk and Psych. Both shows had the mystery element that’s characteristic with all detective shows, but they also had many moments of comedy and community among the characters. I also was inspired by Elementary, for the more serious parts of HOM.

Q4) Who are the people you look to as inspiration in the world of acting?

A4) I have many actors and actresses I look up to for inspiration. Two of them being Zendaya and Rachel McAdams. I love how they display a wide variety of characters in their works and they do an amazing job at displaying each of these diverse characters.

Q5) In the past you worked on voiced a character in a Resident Evil Game, would you ever like to revisit the franchise in the future, be it game, live-action or animated movie?

A5) Ooh great question! Yes, to all three! I loved voicing my character, it was an amazing experience working for Capcom. It was an honor being a part of the Resident Evil series, especially from playing their games when I was younger. I’ve had a few people message me to tell me they really liked my work in Resident Evil, which was so sweet. Some have actually said they wanted to watch HOM when I posted about it, so shout out to them for being amazing!

Q6) Which genres of movie would you most like to star in next?

A6) I would love to star in a sci-fi movie or a drama movie! I’ve always been a big fan of the sci-fi genre, both in acting and viewing. As much as I like doing comedy, I’ve also always enjoyed doing dramatic scenes.

Q7) One of the key locations in Hidden Orchard Mysteries, is the cupcake shop, which leads to the important question, what is your favorite flavored cupcake?

A7) Oooh I love this question! I would say anything with chocolate and sprinkles. We actually got some cupcakes from the location we filmed at to enjoy after filming. I got this one with a chocolate batter, chocolate filling, and chocolate icing with a piece of chocolate on top. I was in sugar heaven!

Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions and I hope people get to enjoy Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B&B Robbery, for themselves.

Thank you so much for asking me your questions! It was an honor!

If you would like to see more of Gabriella Pastore’s work, check out there IMDB.

I would like to thank Gabriella Pastore one more time for giving us the time to talk about Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery. Read the review here.

Interview With Johnny Greenlaw

We got a chance to speak to Johnny Greenlaw the writer, director, producer and star of the hugely entertaining award winning comedy drama Mommy’s Box. We would like to thank Johnny for taking time to answer these questions.

 Johnny Greenlaw Picture

Q. Mommy’s Box gets released on September 30th, in theatres and digital how excited are you to see your film get a released?

We are thrilled. It’s been a long, hard fought road to get to this point. Both our cast and crew gave everything to this project, so I could not be happier to share this we them all.mommy

Q. Being involved in every aspect of a film how did you find handling each part of the film?

I felt  as an actor I was ready for this. I had just done four plays the year before and felt really strong from an acting stand point. And having written the script as well I felt very close to the character and material. Producing was the biggest task because every decision revolved around me, on set at times it took me away from my creative duties. Directing was incredible and I was lucky enough to have an amazing cast and crew, along with a super talented director of photography, John Rosario by my side. The next film I direct, I hope to do a little less producing.

Q. Were there any films that inspired decision making for the story?

No, not really. I was just trying to stay as true as we could to the original material that was written.

Q. Working with fellow up and coming stars like Bill Sorvino and Carly Brooke compared with more experienced names like Joseph D’Onofrio and David Harris did you get to learn as an actor by working with a mix of experience?

It was an amazing experience working with all the actors. The veterans can always teach you a new trick or two while the up and comers keep you on your toes. The work we all did in rehearsal was an amazing bonding and learning experience for us all.

Q. How many of the characteristics of yourself are in the Nick character?

As an actor there will always be some of my characteristics in any character I play. From a writing standpoint there were a few but Nick is a much bigger jerk than I am. Which makes for a fun character to play.

Q. Your next project sees you re-teaming with Bill Sorvino, are you looking forward to getting to work on your next film?

Yes, we are. It’s titled “The Empty Handed Painter” written by Laura Fay Lewis. A true story about an amazing man and artist. Love telling True Stories.

Q. Would you have any advice for any aspiring film makers out there?

You have to love this. If you do not love it you will not last. Perseverance is the key. Draw up a plan and work your butt off.

Q. Which Films, Actors and Directors helped inspire you into the film industry?

I’m a big fan of Martin Scorsese. I recently watched Raging Bull, that is a masterpiece. I came across Goodfellas the other day, another masterpiece. The guy is incredible. There are not many filmmakers out there that are even close. I am inspired by Mr Scorsese and his filmmaking and hope that some day I can make films that are as powerful as his.

Q. Would you prefer to continue making smaller projects or move onto big Blockbuster projects?

Why not both? I would like to continue making films my way and would also love to direct a big budget Hollywood film. I know I am ready for it.

Q. If you were given creative freedom on any film franchise, which one would you like to sink your teeth into?

I am a huge fan of the Rocky films. So inspiring, so powerful, so emotional and fun too. Ryan Coogler has done a nice job with Creed, I’d love to take a shot at the next one. Hey Sly give me call!

Q. Are there any actors you haven’t worked with that you would like to one day direct in a film?

I’d love to work with Adrien Brody, Aaron Paul and Jessica Chastain to name a few.

Darren
Talking Stars Podcast