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An Interview with David James Elliott
Starry Constellation Magazine - Jan 2, 2007
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HOST/LISA): Hello. I'm Lisa Steinberg, and I'm the Editor-In-Chief for Starry Constellation Magazine. I'd like to welcome you to my podcast. Starry Constellation Magazine started back in 2003 as a small ezine, and now it has blossomed into an amazing web site. Thank you so much for your support, and thanks for playing among the stars!
LISA: Well I was wondering if you could tell me some of the recent projects that you've had the opportunity to work on?
DAVID: Well, I'm doing the show "Close To Home", and let's see, that's what I've been doing recently since last July.
LISA: And what can you tell me about your character? Is there something new going on with him, or are you just a recent addition, is that correct?
DAVID: Yeah, I just joined the show this season. They were on for a season, and they're changing the show up because they weren't getting the success with it that they were after.
LISA: And did I read correctly that they're in the search for someone to play your daughter on the show now?
DAVID: Yeah, this episode my daughter appears. I haven't met her yet, but she's in the script. We just started this episode, or I did. They started 3 days ago, I started yesterday. I was in the Bahamas over Christmas.
LISA: Well, that's a nice vacation.
DAVID: Yeah. I have a house down there and a boat. I go there whenever I can. It's like a second home. Actually, closer to like a first home. My father is Bahamian, and I'm a Bahamian, too, since I've been going there all my life.
LISA: Are you a dual citizen?
LISA: That's nice.
DAVID: Well, I'm Canadian and Bahamian. America doesn't recognize dual citizenship, but Canada and the Bahamas do. So I guess as far as Uncle Sam's concerned, I'm only an American, but as far as the other guys are concerned, I'm.....
LISA: What made you really want to be a part of the show, "Close To Home"?
DAVID: Well, as told to me, it was an interesting character, and I thought, you know, it might be fun to play.
LISA: Speaking of the character, has anything been challenging for you about it?
DAVID: The first episode was really good, you know---the introduction. The season is still playing out, so we'll see.
LISA: What do you think it is about the show that really continues to draw in so many viewers?
DAVID: I don't know. They used to ask me that on JAG---you know, why the show's so successful. And I go, 'Well, I guess it speaks to some people'. I don't know what it is. I couldn't say. I mean, it's hard to put your finger on these things, I think. The shows that you feel are going to be a huge success, sometimes aren't. And then often shows that people think are just a bit of fluff, become hugely successful. So who knows. I don't know. And if somebody really knew, it would make it a lot easier than it is.
LISA: And hopefully they would clue you in on it.....
DAVID: I think people---an odd business, this business, you know---people tend to play it safe. Nobody really knows, as evidenced by every Pilot Season. These shows that come out of nowhere and are big hits. Then the next Pilot Season you got like fifteen copycat shows that ultimately fail. But they do it every season, because I don't think anybody really knows. I mean, the public, it speaks. And who knows. Who the heck knows. They were all about the CSI's for a long time, and then everyone copied the style of the shooting of those. It worked for them, and then it didn't necessarily work for other shows. I don't know..... It's ________. You go with whatever's working. You try and put your best foot forward, and beyond that it's out of your control.
LISA: Well you seem to have such a flair for drama, and I was wondering about, what this genre really makes you so passionate about it?
DAVID: About drama?
DAVID: I don't know. I'm emotionally available, I guess. I like everything. I just happen to be doing this. I did JAG for a long time, but JAG had a lot of other elements in it. It could be comic at times and action packed at other times. You know, as an actor you're not always out there going 'Yeah, I think I'm going to do this next week. I think next I'll do a comedy'. You don't really necessarily have that choice. As a gun for hire, I'm a writer, and I direct, and I've produced. So you just try and do whatever you can to stay active and to stay out there. And you keep working that muscle, you know. I hope to go back and do some theater soon. I got an offer to do some theater at the Pitt Theatre in Pittsburgh, and I'm trying to make that work.
LISA: Well, speaking of doing the writing and directing and producing aspects, I was wondering if there was something else that you would really like to try your hand at?
DAVID: Yeah, I'd like to..... I've written some films. I wrote a film---I lost my brother recently, and I wrote a film which I've dedicated to him. So I'm working on getting that produced at the moment.
LISA: And I had read in your bio that you had worked on a film called Sixty Minute Man?
DAVID: That was a pilot for ABC.
DAVID: It was a great script, and the show really looked good. But for whatever reason, ABC didn't feel it was right for them, and it didn't get picked up.
LISA: Do you have a really memorable moment from your time working on the show "Close To Home"?
DAVID: On "Close To Home"?
DAVID: Hmm.....I don't know. You know, I was talking to the producer about that the other day. They go 'what great thing happened on the set?' 'Well, I don't know, man. It's like, nothing really that is that memorable yet'. I mean, you go in, you try and have fun, and have that get onto the screen. You just try and groove and go with it. Because the show has a dark subject matter, it doesn't always lend itself well to a lot of levity around the set. And the lighting was very dark, and the subject matter was somewhat dark. So I just try not to let that effect my personality. I don't know---nothing overly memorable at the moment. But we're still early in the (season), and I'm still new. Sorry!
LISA: Oh, that's okay. It's such a new show for you, that, you know, you're just adjusting to everything, and there's more to come.
My last question is just---what would you like to say to all of your fans and supporters?
DAVID: Thank you for sticking by me, you know, through the good and the lean years. It's really great to have a loyal following, and I'll just continue to put my best foot forward and to try and put out work that's worth watching.
From the Website:
Q. What are some of the recent projects that you've had the opportunity to work on?
A. Well, I just doing the show "Close To Home " and that's what I've been doing recently since last July.
Q. What's going on with your character on this season of the show?
A. Yeah, I just joined the show this season. They were on for a season and they changed the show up and they weren't getting the success with it that they were after.
Q. I read that they were in search for someone to play your daughter on the show; is that a correct?
A. This episode my daughter appears, I haven't met her yet, but she's in the script. I just started this episode, they started a few days ago. I was in the Bahamas over Christmas.
Q. What drew you to wanting to be a part of the show?
A. As told to me, it was an interesting character and I thought it might be fun to play.
Q. Has anything about your role been challenging for you?
A. The first episode was really good, the introduction. The season is still playing out so we'll see.
Q. What do you think it is about the show that continues to draw in so many viewers?
A. I don't know. They used to ask me that about "JAG," but I guess it speaks to some people. I don't know what it is, I couldn't say. It's hard to put your fingers on these things. Shows you think will be a huge success sometimes aren't. Who knows, I don't know, and if somebody really knew, it would make it a lot easier then it is. People tend to play it safe, no one really knows, as evidence as every pilot season.
Q. You have such a flair for drama. What is it about this genre that really makes you passionate about it?
A. I don't know, I'm emotionally available I guess. I like everything, I just happen to be doing this. I did "JAG" for a while, it had a lot of elements to it. It could be action packed and comical at times. As an actor, you're not always out there going, "Yeah, I'm going to do this during this week." As a gun for hire, I direct, produce and write and you try to stay out there and be active and keep working that muscle. I hope to do some theater soon, I got an offer to do theater, I am trying to make that work.
Q. Speaking of writing, directing and producing; is there anything else you'd like to try your hand at?
A. Yeah, I've written some films. I wrote a film, I lost my brother recently, I wrote a film dedicated to him. I am working on getting that produced.
Q. What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A. Thank you for sticking by me through the good and the lean years. It's great to have a real following and I'll continue to put my best foot forward and to try and put out work that is worth watching.
credit to Starry Constellation Magazine