Troy Ruptash [Interview]

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I came to enjoy the work of the very talented Troy Ruptash when I first saw him perform as Marc Maron’s brother on Maron, which we talk about a bit in the interview. But, as I began to research more of the man’s credits, I soon discovered that he has a plethora of amazing work out there to be enjoyed. And I also learned that he has a very great story of perseverance and having to overcome so much to make it to where he has today in the world of film and television. He did some amazing work in films like Tortilla Soup and A Marine Story. Also, he will be appearing in the new HBO Original Series The Young Pope, coming the states soon. He is an amazingly talented man who can work in so many different realms, and definitely somebody to follow if you aren’t already.

So with that being said, let’s check out a few words from the great Troy Ruptash. Also, as a delightful added bonus, Troy has agreed to share with you fine readers a collection of some of his AMAZING art work. The boy also paints, as the old saying goes! Check it all out!

 

I have come to learn that you were once a thriving figure skater who came up just short of being on top…on purpose. And for some very dark and sad reasons. Would you care to tell our readers about what happened, and how did it eventually shape you into being the great person you are today?

I guess you’re referring to the time when I was ‘outed’ in the skating world. I was a competitive figure skater from the age of 9 or 10 until the age of 16. I was really beginning to excel in the sport and was competing at a high level ( 3rd in Canada in Novice Men’s, 2nd in Junior Men’s in Western Canada).

There was/is a lot of homophobia within the competitive skating world. I was a young… kid, really… coming to terms with my sexuality. Something happened where a few of my ‘close’ skating friends caught wind of a budding (clandestine) romance between me and another skater. Let’s just say they were not kind about it and basically decided that I was no longer worthy of their friendship. It was a very difficult time for me. I felt.. and was… incredibly alone. I didn’t have the fortitude at that time to face that kind of rejection from a world that was the only world I knew… and had been my ‘home’ for many years. Trying to cope with the amount of pressure I was now facing because of the level I was competing at .. together with that rejection from my ‘skating family’ was too much. I wanted out, but didn’t really know how to go about doing it, so basically I faked an injury during the 5 minute warm up before the final portion of a National competition. For those of you who have watched skating on t.v. .. it’s the 5 minute warm up you see that immediately precedes the actual competition. I came out of a jump… a well executed jump.. but then faked a back injury and withdrew from the competition. I never went back. I now say that it was the beginning of my acting career.
As difficult as they can be when they are happening, I believe that ‘dark nights of the soul’ are an integral part of shaping who we are as artists. One of my acting mentors once said… don’t relish or indulge your pain. Feel it… acknowledge it.. and then turn it into art.

And when did the acting come along? Was it something you always wanted to do? And what keeps you motivated and yearning to continue on as an actor?

I was in my senior year of high school. Living in Vancouver, BC. All my life I had been on the track of ‘competitive skater’. I hadn’t ever really thought about what else I would want to do. I never really thought beyond skating. I can’t even remember where I got the idea from.. but halfway through my senior year of high school I decided to audition for Ryerson Theater School in Toronto, which was/is considered to be on of the best schools for Theater training in the country. I had no experience…. I wasn’t one of those people who had acted since they were a kid and knew it was what they always wanted to do… I just … for whatever reason… decided that I was going to audition for Theater School… and I got in.

I think what keeps me motivated and yearning to continue today is craft. I once had a teacher tell a group of us students that it takes 20 years to become an actor. And that meant twenty years of studying… working… not just … 20 years of saying I’m an actor. In the last few years I feel like I’m really beginning to understand the wisdom and truth of that statement. I feel a connection to the craft of acting .. and a desire to continue to develop my craft as an actor in a way that I’ve never felt before. I’ve always been disciplined (largely in part because of my background as a competitive athlete) as an actor. I’ve always continued to take class… but in the last few years my understanding of what it means to have craft as an actor has hit a new level of excitement and appreciation. I thrive on it. I think it’s also the people who I’m now connected with (my artistic community) that keep me motivated and pushing on. I feel very grateful for the artistic community I am a part of.
You hilariously portrayed Marc Maron’s brother on his IFC Show, aptly titled Maron. As far as you know, where you playing closely to his actual brother? What was Marc’s direction in your performance?

Thank you for the kind words. Playing Josh Maron was one of those roles that really stands out for me in terms of my work experience. Up to that point I was always being cast in dramas. I love comedy and I especially love smart comedy… which I think Maron was. Josh was such a well written role. Every time I got a new episode I couldn’t wait to see what the hell was happening to him now. It was a great set to be on and working with Marc was really fun and rewarding. He actually didn’t get that involved in the direction of my performance. He was definitely involved and continued to tweak the writing of the role.. even while we were shooting, which I loved. As far as how close Josh was to his actual brother? It was never discussed. All I remember hearing Marc say in an interview once was that the show was a fictionalized version of his life.

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Your episode at the corporate gig was one of the most heart-warming yet hilarious pieces of television I have ever seen. What was it like to shoot something like that? Did it get emotional?

That was definitely one of my favorite episodes. I thought it struck such an incredible balance between funny, funny stuff… and heartbreak. I thought it was extremely well written and so much fun to do. The ‘truth circle’ and the whole color coded Hawaiian shirts bit was very funny! That episode was a blast to shoot and yes… it did get emotional at times. I think that’s what made the writing so good.. and that episode contains my favorite line Josh ever got to say when he says to Marc, ‘I’m not interesting enough to make money talking to people in my garage’

We tend to get a lot of Soap Opera stars on the site (not sure the coalition, but it’s cool). You did a good stint on General Hospital recently! How was this venture? Was it different than working on a primetime show?

You know when General Hospital came along I had never auditioned for a Soap Opera before. I didn’t audition for GH either. It came as a ‘straight offer’… which was definitely fun to get… even though at first I thought… ‘did my manager leave a message for the wrong client’?? Suddenly, out of the blue, I get offered a Soap Opera??

I had a blast doing it… and I’ve probably never been so stressed out in my life. I had heard how quickly they move in terms of how much material gets covered in a day, but I really HAD NO IDEA! Holy shit!! And I shot my 6 episodes over 1 week and as the week went on I got more and more behind in terms of being prepared with the next day’s material. I had one real nightmare of an evening when I got home late… was reviewing my material for the following day… and then, at about midnight realized that earlier in the week I had somehow only printed out half of the material that I was shooting the next morning. Suddenly I had about 20 pages of dialogue that I had never even seen… and I was shooting it in the morning! I literally thought… I have no idea how this is going to happen. I am going to be fired!

So when you aren’t working, what can we find you doing? What do you do for a bit of “Me Time”?

I love to hike with my partner and our two dogs. I love working on our house. We have a craftsman bungalow that was built in 1923 and it truly is my sanctuary. I love looking at art and reading. I love to cook for friends… and I love watching ‘my stories’, The Fall, The Night Of, Night Manager. So much good television being made these days. I also like to draw and paint.

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What would be THE role you would really want to do, but haven’t quite gotten to do?

I would love to play some historical figure. I’m too old for it now… but I always wanted to play Egon Schiele. (he died when he was 28… so… I think that ship has sailed). I love the research aspect of the work and I love transforming….. so the idea of researching and transforming into someone who actually existed is something I really long to do.

So, what is next for the great Mr. Ruptash? Any projects you would like to shamelessly plug here?

Always up for a shameless plug… so Yes! Actually I have several things that I’m very excited about. I’m in the upcoming Paolo Sorrentino HBO Series The Young Pope. I come into the series in the final two episodes. I think the series is going to get a lot of attention. Paolo is pretty remarkable.  http://www.hbo.com/the-young-pope

I shot a film in NY called Wildling with Liv Tyler and Bel Powley. The film is written and directed by a very gifted German filmmaker, Fritz Bohm. They are finishing that up now and it should be hitting the festival circuit at the beginning of next year. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5085924/?ref_=nv_sr_1

I did a small film a couple of years ago that I really believe in. I think it’s a very well made film by Hunter Adams called Dig Two Graves. It’s getting a limited theatrical release the beginning of next year. You can read a bit about it and check out a trailer here. https://digtwograves.com

And then I just finished shooting a very fun guest star on the new CBS show Training Day with Bill Paxton. Very fun role. That will be airing some time in March of 2017 I believe.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I have a morning meditation practice. I used to sit on the floor when I would meditate but the last while I’ve been practicing a mediation that requires me to sit in a chair with my feet flat on the floor. It’s a pretty involved meditation. Lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. I was doing it the other morning and at the end of it when I slowly opened my eyes.. one of my dogs had quietly crawled underneath the chair and was quietly sitting between my feet… I guess meditating with me.

 

And now for a little extra special treat for you find readers/viewers, Troy has been kind enough to share some of his amazing art work for us. It is truly incredible stuff, and deserves to be admired. So please enjoy, the art of Troy Ruptash.

 


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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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