Exclusive Interview: David Sullivan – star of Primer & Skateland. He’d love to be Preacher & Kim Kardashian tried to kill him
Posted by LiveFor on December 8, 2009
David Sullivan was one of the main actors in the excellent, 2004 time travel film, Primer. It was written and directed by Shane Carruth and I highly recommend you watch it as it is probably the most realistic portrayal of time travel yet seen.
David has also appeared in various episodes of CSI, Criminal Minds and Boston Legal. Coming up he stars opposite Jeffrey Combs and Brian Austin Green in Urgency and the Ashley Green coming of age film, Skateland.
He is also on Twitter.
He was kind enough to agree to an interview with me. Without further ado let’s get to it.
Hi David thanks for taking the time to do this.
First of all, I am honored that you have taken the time to come up with some questions and have the interest in sharing my answers with your followers. It really means a great deal to me knowing that people care about what I say. Hope I’m not too boring!!
We’ve recently had Halloween. Who or what did you dress up as?
I really don’t dress up too much for halloween. I mean, I dress up, but it’s usually pretty general or homemade. This year, my girlfriend and I went to the costume shop a couple of hours before the party and came up with Captain Hook and Tinkerbell. She already had a green dress, so I bought a pirate hat and a hook, and she bought some wings, a wand and some hair glitter. Pretty lame, but we pulled it off. And, yeah, I somehow lost the hook and she lost the wand halfway through the night.
How did you become an actor? Was it something you always wanted to be or did you fall into it?
I can remember when I was like 4 years old in San Antonio with my grandparents and saw this little kid filming Cloak and Dagger. There were all these people around and he was getting so much attention. I loved the fact that everyone was just watching this little kid run around and have fun. I asked my grandparents what was going on and they told me all about it. It soundend awesome, but not realistic. I really don’t think that I had decided that it was a life choice, or at least something I wanted to pursue fully until after Primer though. I didn’t really think that you could make a living at doing it, so didn’t wanna waste my time, but after seeing the amazing response from Sundance and from people who would pay me to act, I really knew that I could devote my life to it and honestly love what i do.
Primer was your first feature film. How did you prepare for the highly complex plot and how do you think that film set you up for subsequent roles?
I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. I had done a couple of one act plays in high school playing 60 year old men, so the kind of acting that was necessary from Primer was something that I was completely uneducated on. I had read the script a number of times and though, very short, it was very wordy and complicated. I knew that the only way we were going to pull this off is if we sounded like we knew what we were talking about, and played it very natural and conversational. This is the total opposite from how one would act in a play. I studied the script literally night and day because I had just been laid off from my job and had little else to do. I would go to Shane’s place every day and run lines and build props and do all “preproduction.” (I learned that word much later.) We got to know each other very well in those two months! As far as prepping for subsequent roles, I think it actually hindered me, not my work ethic but how to approach auditions. For at least a year, I would approach auditions very conversational, and had no stakes or point of view. It wasn’t until I actually got involved in a class that I learned how to approach it with a strong POV and a purpose.
Could you ever see a sequel to it?
No. I honestly don’t think Shane would allow it. I would love to do one, but unless he’s offered millions, I honestly don’t think he’ll do it.
Apart from Primer what is your favourite film / book / TV show involving time travel?
Honestly, I never was a big fan of time travel, except for Back To The Future. I know that sounds really cheesy, but until I did Primer, I just saw movies as a type of entertainment. I never really looked at film as art or as a message or really anything other than an escape from real life for a couple hours. I began to watch movies differently after that. I really began seeing in to movies and trying to really understand why actors and directors do what they do in telling a story. I have come to enjoy movies now for a variety of reasons as opposed to just be entertained.
Do you prefer working on TV shows or feature films?
Honestly, until you’re a household name, you don’t really have a choice. I would love to do movies for the rest of my life, but I know that I have to climb the ladder, and usually that means doing a lot of TV. If there were tons of filmmakers out there who would like to employ me throughout the year, I would much rather do that. I would love to spend weeks studying a role and figuring out nuances and how he would think, then shoot it for a month, then start on the next. I am a logical person thought and I know that that is a ways down the road.
If you were killed by a movie monster which one would it be and what would your final words be?
A movie monster?? Wow, um….He would have to be a misunderstood monster, or at least one that I could see why it was doing what it was doing. I just can’t say Jason because he’s messed up in the head. It would have to be someone like Kevin Spacey in 7. He had a purpose and he thought that what he was doing was right. I would just say to him, “It’s ok. You can be loved if you allow yourself to be.” I think that’s what all monsters want, just to be loved and understood. Goodness! I just reread what I wrote and it sounds so stupid!!!
What have been your favourite films of 2009 so far?
Inglourious Basterds is the front runner, but I also enjoyed a number of others including: The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air, Star Trek, Moon, freaking Paranormal Activity (it was so scary; i was smiling the whole time!) and The Hangover. I honestly didn’t see as many movies this year as I would have liked.
Comic book films are big business these days. Are there any comic book characters you would love to play?
I don’t read comics, but if I did get my choice, it would be Preacher. I think he’s a badass from East Texas who thinks he’s doing the Lord’s work. That’s kinda me in a nutshell!!
What film do you first remember watching?
Wow, good question. Growing up, we weren’t allowed to watch tv. My dad actually put our TV in the attic a couple of times a year to keep us away. Funny side note, my mom fell through the ceiling twice sneaking up there to watch it! The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was probably ET. I remember liking it and having way too much popcorn.
Which actor dead or alive would you most like to work with?
Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I would love to just stand there and react to what he would be giving me.
Your have a couple of films coming up. What can you tell us about Urgency and how was it working with genre giant Jeffrey Combs?
Urgency was a very low budget film that we shot around Christmas in LA. My trailer was very small and very cold. I remember being miserable the majority of the time. The couple of days I got to work with Jeffrey, I had a blast. He is such a nice guy and such a giving actor. I can see why so many people like him. I had a lot of fun with him.
Then there is Skateland, a coming of age drama set in the 80s. What role do you play in that and did you have to skate?
This movie just got in to Sundance last week, so I am very excited about that. I do know how to skate. I actually grew up going to Skateland, and the movie sorta reflects what it was like in small town Texas. I was so excited to work on this movie and to have the opportunity to go back home. We shot it less than an hour from where I am from. I think I get to be the comic relief in this film. I have worked with the writer/director [Anthony Burns] before and he really let me just improv a lot. I had a great time being the hardware store manager trying to help the young kid get additional work after the skating rink may be shut down.
After those films have hit what will we be able to see you in next and do you fancy directing your own feature?
I will be in CSI:NY on December 16th. There are a number of reality people in the episode for some reason. Kim Kardashian actually tries to kill me. I have been offered a couple of smaller movies to be shot this winter but haven’t really committed to anything. As far as directing, I have a long way to go. I love working with actors and trying new things out, but as far as the job of being in control/responsible for a big group of people, not sure if I’m ready for that yet. I have a lot to learn, and am excited about doing so.
David Sullivan thank you.
What do you think about David playing Jesse Custer in Preacher?