Dominic Bogart [Interview]

It has turned out to be a HUGE summer for all sorts of things that we love and enjoy hear at Trainwreck’d Society. Two beautiful albums are out or coming soon, a huge premiere is happening in New Jersey that I would personally give my first born to be able to attend, an intense Kickstarter campaign has rolled out and started to form some new interesting kinships….and now there is a summer movie coming that we are damned excited about! It almost feels like too much, but we are so happy to attempt to handle it!

Today’s interviewee is a brilliant actor and musician who will be appearing in what we are hoping will be the hit film of the summer, The Glass Castle. His name is Dominic Bogart, and while he is already a star in our mind, his performance in this film is sure to kick his career into a whole new gear. The film also features the always perfect Woody Harrelson and Oscar winning actress Brie Larson, our modern day Grace Kelly. It looks to be one of the finest films of 2017. Note: After you have read through Dominic’s amazing responses, check out the trailer for The Glass Castle below!

And Dominic Bogart also brings us back a bit to our music roots as he is the brilliant frontman for the band Canines, that most of you will recognize as the cats who brought you the wonderful sound and story behind the cult classic film I Am Not A Hipster. Mr. Bogart is a multi-faceted human being who we are so honored to have join us during this surreal time at Trainwreck’d Society. We are honored that he has agreed to join the TWS family and share a few words with us today.

So ladies and gentlemen, the great Dominic Bogart!

I always love to hear stories about Middle American kids falling in love with acting for one reason or another. So, as a young man growing up in Dayton, Ohio, how did you first come to realize that you wanted to play pretend for a living?

I grew up 40 miles north of Dayton on a 90 acre thoroughbred horse farm ten minutes down the road in every direction from lots of small towns and I had a highschool teacher that fostered the interest in music and theatre performance in myself and my three brothers. Two older brothers ventured into theatre and I followed them. I saw them excel at it and I thought it looked fun. They had something to wrap their hearts and minds around that pushed them hard and I watched as them grow as people in the make-believe world that engaged them as much or more so than sports had done. Acting was a way out of the academic world (which for me was insufferable), the manual labor force (which I knew well from an early age and feared as a trap), and performing offered me a replacement for what football had been. I saw my older brothers move audiences in collegiate and professional theatres and I thought I could be for me too.

And when did the music come in? Has acting and music always been sort of synonymous to your livelihood, or are they entirely different ventures in your mind?

I started playing guitar and singing at an early age. I learned to sing by listening to and emulating Axl Rose, Frankie Valle, Lane Staley, Chris Cornell, Smokey Robinson, Keith Sweat, and my brothers. My first professional ventures were in musical theatre and I worked on shows like Rent and Jersey Boys. When working in musicals you tend to try to fit the bill, and I attempted to give the powers that be what had come before. But that approach can often lead to disappointment. As a musician I’ve always toiled because I thought that I had to say something unique. I’ve the same instincts as an actor, and it’s difficult to figure and cultivate your narrative or niche. Though I work as a singer and songwriter, I’ve had challenges doing both. I have my limitations, and I’ve tried, failed and succeeded as a musician. I don’t know why, but Dominic the Actor seems to win out in the fight. There’s always been more infrastructure established, but I’d be equally fulfilled if I could touch people via music.

You have had a wonderful career as both an actor and musician, with your group Canines, being the musical centerpiece of the film I Am Not A Hipster. While I assume both creative processes have their benefits, I am curious to know which one would you consider yourself to be as a focus? Between music and film work, which one brings you the most joy, and would overpower the other if given a choice to do only one?

I think I covered this. I don’t ever want to stop singing and making music. I want to get out of my own way and get better at it. Creating the band Canines and the original music for Hipster was a dream come true. I was flanked by greatness: Joel P. West and The Tree Ring musicians Darla Hawn, Kelly Bennet, and Douglas Welcome. We recorded a full album of original songs, performed live in the film, at ASCAP at Sundance, and nationally throughout the festival circuit and release of the film. We continued to release music online. I hope we get to do more Canines in the future.

I’ve learned that you have some appearances coming up on the hit series Fear the Walking Dead, alongside our old friend Colman Domingo. So what lead you to want to join the world of zombies? Have you always been a fan of this genre?

I had the pleasure of working with Colman Domingo on The Birth of A Nation. He is vulnerable and fierce in the film and I had a great time with him as we shared the Sundance experience and was impressed by him as a representative of the film and it’s message throughout its release. I didn’t have any scenes with him on Fear The Walking Dead, but I’m a fan of his work on the show. I am thrilled to have taken part in something that so many people have connected to on such varied levels. People are equally wild about its violence and its humanity. I think that if you’re able to tap into the affairs of the human heart in the world of zombies you’ll have a hit. If it was just hokey characters, walkers limping, bleeding and eating flesh all the time, viewers would not engage. As an actor, when you get a high stakes situation that’s life and death and family, you’ve got an ideal unpredictable and compelling situation in which to play.

I understand you joined an extremely talent-loaded cast in the upcoming drama The Glass Castle that looks to be absolutely fascinating, and one of the most anticipated summer releases this year. So how was your experience on this project? There were some heavy hitters to contend with, was it an overall pleasant experience? Any fun anecdotes you can share with us?

I was thrilled to share the screen with Woody Harrelson and Brie Larson on this film. I can’t thank my friend, Destin Daniel Cretton, enough for the opportunity. Having grown up in the same area in Ohio as Woody had in his teens, I always felt a kinship to his nature. But that’s the strength of his magnetism-don’t we all feel that coziness toward him? It’s a reason among many why he’s wonderful as this colossal character, Rex Walls.

Arriving to set overly prepared and anxious, my first scene with Brie was a nightmare for me. Brie played the scene a different way than I had anticipated, and I had to call lots of audibles on the spot. It was a great learning experience (You were right Willem Dafoe: “You don’t plan it. You experience it”). It’s supposed to be uncomfortable. That’s compelling to watch. But I went back to my hotel that night considering retirement and words I’d write in apologetic emails to the director and producer. But the Montreal sun rose again and I went back for more. Brie, director Destin Daniel Cetton, director of photography Bret Pawlak, and I got rolling nicely with a vernacular that we’d all developed from years of working together on films like Short Term 12, I Am Not A Hipster, Deacon’s Mondays, and numerous other shorts. We had improvisation, we played loosely with the lines, and staging, and the light and heavy elements/dynamics of the scenes and characters’ relationship I think came together nicely. I started to feel better and haven’t retired yet.

What else does the future hold for you? Where can our readers plan to see you next?

The Glass Castle releases August 11th. In October I’ll be on Season 6 of the CW’s DC Comics superhero tv series, Arrow. I’ve auditioned for the show a few times. Apparently the 9th time is the charm.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Last week I was home spending time with family and friends, singing at a wedding, seeing my childhood friends married with children, riding horses, the farm, nature.

Check out this trailer for The Glass Castle featuring Dominic Bogart, Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson, Max Greenfield, and Naomi Watts in theaters today!

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: