TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine is very excited to introduce an actor who had become a familiar face in many popular films and television productions. Edward Gillow is very familiar to most of us, and has scored roles in many well known films. Edward, we have many new actors, as well as students of the Arts, who seek guidance in their chosen careers by using our magazine as a reference point. What influenced you the most to become an actor, and what training did you undertake to achieve your success?
EG- Thank you very much TAEM for your interest in interviewing me. I really appreciate it. I was most influenced to be an actor back in the 60s as a kid growing up; I watched a TV series called “Route 66”. It was about two buddies that rode up and down Route 66 in their ‘Vet looking for adventure. At that moment, I said to myself, I want to be an actor and do that kind of stuff. So that started my journey to become an actor. As for training, my whole working life (before acting) was acting. If you know what I mean? When one starts in acting, you really don’t have a clue what to do. So I started out with the basic acting school to learn a technique. Once you get down the road with that, then you study auditioning/cold reading skills, then you move on to scene study…. What you find out is that each level you reach and gain proficiency in reveals to you the next training you need. The list of what I haven’t taken is easier to do than what I have taken.
TAEM- In 1999 you first appeared in the television series ‘Brimstone’. How exciting was this initial starting point for you, and what fond memories do you have of it?
EG- Wow, that goes back a few years. Well as you can imagine I was pretty jazzed to be on that show. Being my first appearance on TV, I was pretty nervous because the last thing you want to do is mess up. It was one day of shooting and my role was playing a Neighbor to Peter Horton’s character and was a supporting role. But I was treated pretty well by everyone. I enjoyed working with Mr. Horton. The shoot went well. I went home that day thinking that I was definitely in the right profession and ready for the next role.
TAEM- The following year you racked up appearances in such popular shows as ‘The Pretender’, ‘7th Heaven’, ‘Family Law’, and ‘Angel’. Please tell us about your roles in these and how they built your confidence in your acting abilities.
EG-In The Pretender, I played an NSA that was after Michael T. Weiss’s character. In 7th Heaven, I played a bank teller helping Mary (Jessica Biel) get a loan. In Family Law, long story here, but for now keeping it short, I played Jacob’s (Michael Gross) aid in a scene with Kathleen Quinlan and Michael Gross. In Angel, I played a Vampire Hunter that got to beat up on Angel (David Boreanaz). Just like anything in life the more you do something, the more confidence you get. When you work with people (like the above named) you can’t help but realize that you are living your dream and you can do this. I felt like I ‘held my own” in the scenes with these actors. As I look at my life, I never lacked in confidence.
TAEM- You soon appeared in a spate of productions including ‘DAG’, ‘The Immortal’, ‘Gideon’s Crossing’, ‘ Jurassic Park III’, and ‘Ali’. This was a great accomplishment for someone early in their career. What can you attribute this to?
EG-I attribute it to a couple of things. First thing is that you never give up in this business in marketing yourself. Yes, I have an agent, but it never hurts to help them, help you. Second thing is that as your resume builds, success breeds success. I guess a third thing would be there is some luck involved in all this. It is just making the most of it when it shows itself. Last thing, it that you never stop studying your craft….. Training, training, training. Did I mention training?
TAEM- In 2002 you were also busy and could be found in ‘The Chronicle’, ‘Wolf Lake’, the television series ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, and ‘S1mOne’ . Tell us bout the themes behind these productions, and the roles that you played in them.
EG-In “The Chronicle” I played a pig catcher. The theme behind the show was it revolved around a group of tabloid reporters who get into dangerous situations. In the episode I was in, I was trying to set a trap to catch Pig Boy (Curtis Armstrong). In Wolf Lake, which was about Werewolves taking over a suburb in Seattle. Lou Diamond Phillips and Tim Matheson (two of my favorite actors) were the leads in the show. I played a gunman who comes to that part of town to rob a bank and basically gets torn to shreds by Matheson’s character. In “The Bold and the Beautiful” which is a long running daytime soap (hard to put a theme to it) I played a Funeral Director that was trying to consol two of the series regulars (Justin Torkildsen and Adrienne Frantz) after the deaths of their two babies. On “S1m0ne” I played a reporter that doggedly chases Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino, another favorite) to find out where his new Actress is. The theme of this movie was a desperate man (Pacino) trying to get his Studio back on track by inventing a cyber actress.
TAEM- After this you played in the television series ‘What Should You Do?’ soon followed by other appearances in ‘Threat Matrix’, ‘JAG’, the documentary ‘Breaking Vegas’, and ‘The Heartbreak Cafe’. How did you separate the many personalities for the various characters that you portrayed?
EG-For all those shows, it was pretty easy to separate the many personalities. “What Should You Do” and “Breaking Vegas” were re-enactment series, so basically I was playing the real guys. You get a “breakdown” of the individuals and go from there. In the others, the roles were all very distinct characters that ranged from a dumb production guy (Heartbreak Café) to CIA Agent (Threat Matrix) to Captain Jack Dawson (JAG), military pilot. I have friends that happen to be in those professions, so I just modeled the character after them. Not saying my buddy in production is dumb, he’s not.
TAEM- Tell us of some of your experiences in these shows, and about some of the actors that you played along side of.
EG-I could write a book about the experiences. Some of the actors I have already named before, plus: Jennifer Garner, David James Elliott, James Denton (also from Pretender) Will Smith, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles, Ron Silver, Sam Neill, William H. Macy (who I meet on set of “West Wing”) Delta Burke, David Alan Grier and Lorenzo Lamas. I guess the common thread of the experiences is that one day you are sitting on your couch in your living room watching these guys on TV or in a movie. And then some years down the road you are working with them. It is really like a dream.
TAEM- You played in many short films following this as well as other productions such as ‘Montana’, ‘Alias’, ‘Seal Team VI’, and one of our favorite genre films, ‘1881 Zombies’. Tell us about some of the more recent projects that you worked on.
EG-The latest are “KingBreaker” and “Reckless”. I play a despicable character in both. Both coinincidently named Walter. In “KingBreaker” the character is a mafia boss and has a run in with his hit man. In “Reckless” my character is an agent (could be CIA, NSA, who knows?) and is pursuing our hero(Reckless) to put him away to tie up some lose ends, which involves drug trade in pre-apocalyptic LA. These are episodic projects so they will be ongoing.
TAEM- We also learned that you have begun producing films with your initial film ‘Blonde’ in 2004, and your most recent work ‘Cowboys & Indians’. Can you tell our readers about this film and when they might see it?
EG- “Cowboys and Indian” is about a typical western town that contains some interesting characters, one of which, a gambler, is trying to get the Calvary Colonel (played by myself) to start a range war with the local Black Claw Indians and wipe them out in order for the gambler to mine his claims which are on the Black Claw lands. Enter our hero Bugle to save the day after the heroine of our movie is captured by the Black Claw. We are currently trying to obtain distribution on this movie and we are hoping to have it on DVD and on shelves everywhere within six months.
TAEM- Edward, it was wonderful to be able to have you interview for The Arts and Entertainment Magazine and we want to thank you for sharing your story with all of us. We wish you much luck in all that you do, and hope to hear more about you in the future.
EG: It is my pleasure and I thank you for these great questions and your time and interest.