Interview with Actor Brandon DeGroat

Brandon DeGroat

ED- During a recent trip where The Eerie Digest attended the birthday party of East Coast producer, Carlos Roman, we had the chance of meeting a number of actors from the Washington, DC area. Many of these we had the pleasure of providing interviews on for our readers to get to know during the last few months, but we would now like to introduce and exceptional actor to you that that provided a Memorable moment for us all. Actor Brandon DeGroat, is not only a fine actor, but he is a stunt man as well. Brandon, what got you interested in acting in the first place?

BD-Jackie Chan! (laughs) Actually that’s completely true. Growing up I wanted to be a stunt man. Now I know that sounds crazy but I promise you, if you ask my Pre-K teacher she’ll tell you the same thing…yes, you read that correctly. When she asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up, you of course got the typical answers…fireman, policeman, doctor, ect. But one lone weirdo in the back of the class answered STUNTMAN! What 5 year old says that? (laughs again) anyway, so later in life I discovered a Jackie Chan film and loved every minute of it. After a bit of research, I found out he was an Actor who Did his own stunts. It was in that moment, at 15years old I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, just had to figure out a few other things first….

ED- During the party you appeared in an outfit that fooled many a party-goer, including us, at first. Even those who later saw pics of you were confused. Who provided the excellent make up in which you disarmed so many there.

BD-LMAO!!! I think you’re referring to the Dj for the Evening, Ms. Nyla. Well, to answer your question I do my own makeup, so I do thank you for the compliment. I must say though, that I cant take full credit alone, while I did do my own make up I used teqniques I learned from a very dear friend, Tracy Roman, and a VERY talented guy I discovered on youtube a while back, and have been a longtime fan, so to Josh a.k.a. Petrilude, big thanks! Keep being amazing! (http://www.petrilude.com/)

ED- We understand from the other actors that you are an excellent stuntman and a qualified wrestler. Please tell us about this aspect of your career.

BD- It’s funny most Wrestlers end up acting, I may be wrong but I do believe that myself, David Arquette, and Will Sasso may be the only Actors to go from acting to Wrestling. But I have my grandmother to blame for this one. She got me hooked on wrestling when I was 5 or so and I’ve watched it ever since, in 2005 I heard there was a Pro-Wrestling school opening in Manassas VA,  needless to say I was excited, after a bit of research I found out I would be attending the KYDApro  training school. The same school that trained the likes of WWE’s Mickie James, TnA’s Sonjay Dutt, Christian York, and Joseph Brooks. And here we are six years later, and I don’t regret a thing! I just love to entertain!

ED- In 2003 and 2004 you played roles in ‘Ladder 49’ and ‘Head of State’. Tell us about these films and the themes behind them.

BD-Ladder 49 was a Drama filmed in Baltimore MD. The story focused of the Men of Ladder truck 49. If you haven’t seen this film yet you should be poked in the eye! It was a very touching film and done extremely well! The production company actually restored an old fire house for the film and donated it after they wrapped. Head of State is at the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s a comedy from Chris Rock in which he plays the common “everyman” who becomes the first black president…..wonder if Obama’s seen it?

ED- What roles did you perform in them ?

BD-In both films I had only Bit Parts, but unlike some people out there I don’t try to “jazz” this up or make them sound more awesome than they were. Truth is they were awesome! I learned a lot and had a blast every time I do it, besides, you never know who you’ll meet on set…or what can happen for that matter. We all have to start somewhere, and I met a lot of great people and gained some valuable knowledge on the sets of these films. I definitely encourage anyone starting out in this industry, both in front, or behind the camera, if they get the opportunity to be on set in ANY fashion, DO IT!

ED- Your next film was a Roman Picture’s production titled ‘Signals’ where you played The Underboss. Please describe this film and the story behind it.

BD-Signals is the Si-Fi brain child of Writer/Director Carlos Roman. Personally I love the story cause I’m a HUGE geek at heart and Signals blends several Si-fi/ Fantasy elements into one story that still seems real. The story is Centered around Nick Marconi (Carlos Roman) who in the 1950’s was a U.S.  POW, during his capture Nick had several test and experiments run on him. Eventually he escaped but found he now possessed certain abilities. Now it’s the present and several factions are trying to find Marconi for one reason or another, some good, some bad….you’ll just have to watch the film if you want to know the rest.

ED- Your role as the Underboss was a significant one. Please tell our readers about it and how you interacted with the rest of the cast.

BD- Signals was my first venture with Roman Pictures. I had been helping behind the camera in various aspects and Carlos eventually trusted me with a role…or got tired of me pestering him for one, I’m not sure which (laughs) I honestly cant think of one person that I didn’t get along with. Now I’m not saying I was “BFF’s” with everyone on set but there seemed to not be any tension on set with anyone…even when a co-star punched me in the eye….

ED- Tell us something about Roman Pictures and how you first met with them.

BD-Fate, Destiny…. who knows… (laughs) I used to work in a photo processing lab and I went in on my day off to cover for my co-worker, I had just gotten to work when Tracy Roman (Carlos’s daughter) walked in my shop and was looking for something, I honestly don’t remember what it was. She noticed my keychain (it was a comedy and drama mask) We got to talking about film, and acting and god know what else. Eventually she told me who her dad was and invited me to set that upcoming Saturday to meat her father. Saturday came and I made sure my schedule was clear. When I got to set I met Carlos and he Immediately put me to work.

ED- You are in another one of their films, ‘Time Refugees’, and we understand that it is in the ‘post-production’ stage. Can you give us a sneak preview of the film?

BD-hmmmmm, all I can say is TR is pushing the boundaries of what “small scale” production companies can do. And I don’t just mean the stuff you see on screen either. When the Roman Pictures Family gets together and has one of our brain storming sessions I honestly get goose bumps. But with as many awards Signals racked up at various contest and festivals, I think with everything were putting into TR, we’re gonna need more shelves!

ED- What other genre films would you like to play in and where do you see your career going in the next five years?

BD-This is always a tough question for me, there are so many great roles out there, aside from my expected geek answer of Jedi and superhero (which i would LOVE to do) I would love to do some voice over work on cartoons and video games. After that I would say Fagan from “Oliver!” there is so much fun to be had with that character. But no matter where I go or what I do, Roman Pictures is my family, that is not a word I use lightly, It is a sacred bond,  one in extremely proud to share with everyone at Roman Pictures

ED- Brandon, you have a lot going for you, and we wish you luck in all that you do. Thank you for your interview with us and please stay in contact and keep us up-to-date on all your career moves.