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David James Elliott - Talks about The Storm

David James Elliott podcast on The Storm. (Click on image to play)


S)    Shawn (Interviewer)
D)    David James Elliott

Operator)    Shawn, I have you on line with David James Elliott.

S)    Hello, David James.   How are you, Sir?

D)    Good, thank you.    How you doing, Shawn?

S)    I'm fine.  I've always been a big fan of your work, obviously from JAG, but you're a terrific actor in everything you do.  So congratulations.  It's an honor to speak with you.

D)    Thanks ______.

S)    You're welcome, you're welcome.  So, I really liked The Storm, the first part, last week, and its terrific.  You're doing a great job. And the scenes, I mean, between you and Treat Williams.   I know you're not in the same room, but very powerful scenes.  Congratulations.

D)    Well thank you.  I had a good time doing it.  I was always a big fan of Treat Williams, so I was thrilled to work with him.

S)    And General Braxton.  I know a lot of people on the boards at NBC say,  Oh he's kinda -- he's evil, he's....and I said, well -- and I don't know -- he's a military man.  I mean, he sees this technology as something to -- like you said during that, uh --

D)    General Braxton is a patriot.

S)    Yeah.

D)    Hey listen, wouldn't you rather we had the power?  Someone's going to have it.  So we might as well control it.  That's what I've always thought anyway. 

S)    That's right, yeah.  And that's what he said to the Joint Chiefs.  I mean, you made your case.  I mean, I know at the beginning of the film, those scenes made me feel -- oh he's evil, he's in with it with Robert Terrell -- but then he gave that presentation and I go, well yeah!  I mean, would we rather have it or (name your rogue state) to have this technology, right?

D)    Right, exactly, So, I'm voting for us.  (S.laughs).  General Braxton's a patriot.  He never went at it in any evil ways.  Things just got out of hand, and then it was about -- how do you cover your tracks? -- how do you clean up the mess that's happened? -- where do we place the blame? -- how do we side step the agony of failure?

S)    That's right, that's right.  So when he came to you with this project, what did you think?

D)    You know, I thought, I knew it was in good hands.  I knew the director very well, Bradford May.  So I knew, if anyone could bring this thing to life, he could, because he's just great with action.   And it was a great cast.  So I jumped at the opportunity to be in it.  And you know, I watched it, and I never watch!   I watched this last week, and I thought it was terrific.  I can't wait for Sunday night.

S)    I mean, it's amazing.   At least you're not out there in the rain.  Some of the cast is out there getting soaked.  Are you going to get in the rain on Sunday?

D)    I don't get in the rain, man.   I'm the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.   I'm in the limo (Shawn laughs) and it might be being rained on.  But, thank God -- I've been in enough miserable weather on shoots, that this was my time to sit under the canopy and watch, while others suffered. 

S)    (laughs)  Good for you.

D)    Listen, we're all (how does [that] go?) -- we're all method actors, until it's time to get wet.

S)    That's right, that's right.  I mean, it makes you think.  I mean, uh, you gotta wonder if there's a government out there, maybe ours, or some other governments out there, working on this technology, 'cause you know -- 'cause obviously --

D)    There are.

S)    There are?

D)    Yeah, so get ready.

S)    It really does make you think, and you see what kind of desparate measures, uh you know, different parts of government or military -- how far they'd go to protect or even steal this technology.

D)    Exactly.  So let's hope that we get it first.  Because we'll only use it as a last measure.  Other governments might be a little more liberal in its use.  So, if we get it first, then I bet we wind up okay.

S)    Well, let's hope we wind up okay, right?

D)    ______

S)    Sunday, of course, is the conclusion to this.   Anything you can say what's going to happen on Sunday?

D)    Well, you're gonna see a lot of storylines you got hooked on last week sewn up, a lot of great action, and some big surprises.   So if I told you what they were, I'd have to kill you.   (S.laughs).  So tune in Sunday night, NBC, The Storm!

S)    It's going to be a great conclusion.  So when are we going to see you back on a series, Sir?

D)    Well, you know, I'm looking at some stuff now.   You don't want to just leap into the first thing that comes along.  So I've got my eye out, and I'm actively developing things at the moment, and I'm out there.  So hopefully soon.

S)    Very good.  Also you were great in Impact as well.  So  congratulations on that.   I saw that.

D)    This is my year for disaster miniseries.

S)    Well, you know, I mean it's great.  'Cause you know what? -- They're fun.  Obviously it's summer, so maybe some fun escapism.  But again they make you think, and you can't say these two films, these two miniseries, have been rehashes of something else.   They've been fairly original.  I don't remember anything similar to these two. 

D)    No, and it was a great learning experience for me, too -- especially Impact.   I learned a lot on that one.

S)    Hmm, yeah.  But, uh really, I mean you, uh you -- I know a lot of people said they liked your performance so much in The Storm, you know maybe you could play a character similar to, uh, Braxton on a -- on a series -- I mean, some kind of military base set series or something like that.  I don't know if you're interested in that.  But I mean, if it's, uh, because you do --as soon as we saw you and that music played, it was, 'Wow, what's going on with this guy' -- you know what I mean?

D)    Yeah?  Well, cool.  ______ Well, you know what, if it's good, I want to be a part of it.

S)    Absolutely.

D)    I don't know how we would do Braxton, but it's a bit of a stretch for me to play a military man, I realize.  (S.laughs)  But you never know what the future holds.   And I'm a big fan of our military men, let me say that.  So any way if I can lend a hand in how we view our military in a positive way, then sign me up.

S)    Very good.   So what's your thoughts about the current state of television.   I mean, you've been on TV for years.  I mean, what are your thoughts.   I mean, seems like this coming season we're shaking off the lasting effects of that strike.

D)    Well, you know, with the strike and then the almost strike of SAG, which was basically a strike, because nobody could be sure of any projects, it's been a rough two years.  And then the economy downturn, things got shaken up, on top of reality TV, so television has changed enormously.   But hey, listen, there is always opportunity in these down moments.  More cable television, less stringent rules that you have to adhere to, like standards and practices, which they had on the networks.  So for everything -- for the loss of time to reality television on the networks, more opportunities are arising in the cable division.  So, you know, I think it's been slow for a while, but hopefully it's not the end of scripted television -- I don't think so.  Paycheck might be smaller, but in the end, its about the work.  I'm getting a little sick of reality TV, but it's definitely here to stay.  I think everyone needs to find its niche.  I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that, thank God!, there are a lot of television networks.  So they're all looking for programming.  It's no longer that hour from 7 - 10.  It's 24/7 now.   And we live in reruns, too, right? -- you see reruns five to six times a day.

S)  That's right, that's right.  Also, I'm here in Vegas, and we're pretty close to California and LosAngeles, and I'd really like to see the LosAngeles TV production come back to life.  You hear stories about that prop house having to go out of business, beause there's not as much movie production going on in L.A.   It's a shame.

D)    Yeah, well I guess Schwarzenegger is supposed to be doing something about tax incentives.  You know, we need to realize you can't tax the hell out of people.  If you're a producer, you're looking for the best bang for your buck, and wherever that is, that's where you're going to go.  Right now there are places like New Orleans or Boston which are giving greater incentives, so that's where you're going to go.  It's a business.  A lot of things need to change.  I'm not certain that I have all the answers, but I do know it's a business, and it's run like a business, and where you're going to get the best bang for your buck is where you're going to go.  So if that's Canada, or Europe, or New Orleans, or Boston, then that's where the production is going to go, and L.A. may need to consider that. 

S)    Well, hopefully Schwarzenegger is going to pull this off.

D)    Hopefully, he's going to do something.

S)    Yeah, it's a shame.  You see so many industries dependent on television production and movie production in LosAngeles going belly up.  But like you say, it's the cost of doing business now.

D    Yep.  Everyone's gotta lower the price.  I know our prices have been lowered for these two years.  Everybody's making less.   It's costing more, and we're making less.  Something's gotta change.   But this is America.  It's a great country, and we're an intrepid people.  So we're going to come out the other side, and it's going to be okay in the end, I think.

S)    Absolutely.

D)    You have the down periods to make the up periods that much more enjoyable.

S)    There you go.  There you go.  Well, I mean, when you get in your next show, it will definitely be an up period for all your fans, and everybody out there enjoys your acting.  So let's hope you get a regular series pretty soon.

D)    Thanks, brother.

S)    I'll let you go, Sir, and congratulations on all your success.   We'll be watching you Sunday on The Storm on NBC.

D)    Thank you.

S)    Thank you, Sir.   Bye, bye.
There you go.   That was David James Elliott starring in The Storm, which concludes Sunday on NBC.