Erick Avari [Interview]


Today’s interview subject is the real damned deal, Folks! This man is a master of the acting craft, and a legend in the theatre! Now, granted, I became initially interested in speaking with Erick Avari because of his brief appearance in a Pauly Shore movie, but that is because I am an uncultured monster. So, please excuse me for that. But, I believe this also just proves his versatility is absolutely amazing! Avari is the type of talent that everyone recognizes and respects, and should get far more credit than he does.

Seriously folks, whether it is a silly little role on a film like Encino Man or it is Shakespeare, This man is one of the greats. He just does it all! From over a 100 television appearances, the recognizable voice of Master Rahool in Destiny & Destiny 2, to whatever you can think of! His work ethic is amazing and deserves to be honored. And I hope we can do a little bit of that here today.

So ladies and gentlemen, please stand up while you are reading these amazing words from the brilliant actor, the master of his craft, Erick Avari!

P.S. You don’t really have to stand…..or do you?

What was it like for you coming up through the American cinema ranks to become the acclaimed actor you are today? You’ve been at it a long time, and definitely earned your stripes! But did you have any lower times you can tell us about?

Well before I even considered doing film or tv I struggled mightily to legitimize my theatrical career on stage. It took 3 very long years to get my equity card and the prospects of doing so were more than daunting for a non equity actor from a little state school somewhere across the tunnel, let alone being from India! However I was extremely fortunate to finally get cast in one of the many, off off Broadway plays moved to an Off Broadway contract and more importantly, I went with the show in a role of a lifetime. Unfortunately the production didn’t live up to the hopes of the producers and it was short lived. New doors suddenly opened for me once I became an AEA member and although there were slow times between paying, albeit next to nothing but looking back on my career I’d say that was the most daunting hurdle I had to overcome. Beyond that was gravy.

You have an extremely varied, and impressive, list of credits to your name. From Pauly Shore/Adam Sandler fronted comedies to dark horror/thrillers to serious groundbreaking dramas. In your personal opinion and obvious experience, what would you say is your favorite genre of film or television to work in?

I do love film for sure. It’s the next best thing to theater and often times can prove just as exciting and fulfilling as any theater experience. The pace lends itself to digging a little deeper into the character and being a Directors’ medium one gets to collaborate with some great talent and experienced professionals.

You are also no stranger to the world of theatre. I always love to hear what it is that theatre performers love most about this craft? What is the most exciting thing about working on a play that you can try to explain to those of us who would never have the courage to put ourselves out there as you do?

Perhaps because I have done theater from a very young age I find theater easier than TV. And even film to some degree. I relished the rehearsal process and loved being consumed with the character, the play and the production itself. Not only do you have the luxury of time but also opportunities to try different things, look at the role in as many different lights as would strike my imagination etc etc. As opposed to film or especially TV, where you only have the one day to execute and you better bring your a game or you missed it.

You appeared in Woody Allen’s only television movie to date, Don’t Drink the Water, which was phenomenal. What was it like working under the guise of a legend like Woody Allen? In your personal opinion, what do you believe it is that sets Woody’s directorial style apart from others you have worked with?

It’s hard to talk about someone like Woody Allen in just a few sentences for one and all I can say is once I got over the parallels from being star struck I learned more about acting on camera during that 4 week period than 6 years of college! He very much trusts his actors and he has the ability to nudge the performance from his actors. It was an education I couldn’t afford given to me and I was and still am deeply grateful for the opportunity.

You had a great reoccurring role on the HBO series The Brink during it’s sadly short run. This show was so much fun, and I was sad that it didn’t continue on. But given it as it is, how was your experience working on such a unique project? Was there anything about working on this series that set itself apart from other gigs you have worked on?

Yeah, two words, Jack Black!

He even let me play his Gibson Dove, in candy apple red nonetheless!

In your obviously expert opinion, what would you say has been the biggest change to the world of acting since the insane advancements in technology over the last 20 years or so? Do you believe the times are now better or worse in the acting world?

Camera equipment and computer editing software have made it incredibly easy to make content! The bad news is that the market is saturated with content and the good often gets lost in the shuffle. But heck, it sure is nice to be able to have the tools to actually go and a make a film for peanuts if you pull together a resourceful team all working toward the same goal.

As a man who has had a brilliant career both on and off screen, what type of sage like advice would you be willing to give to younger artists trying to start out in the world of acting in this day and age?

Get your Equity card even if you have to buy it! Being well versed in the Theater is like learning your scales for a musician. But if film is what draws you then go out and look for a great script! If you find that great script you will get a great director and actors and then you’re off and running. Of course, easier said than done but my point is it all starts and ends with the script! Write, buy, try not to steal a good script!

What do you have coming up that you would like to share with our readers? Anything to plug?

I am traveling the country in my Motor coach and my dog in search of beauty, kindness and oh yes, King Lear. Basically I’m on an extended sabbatical but I did get to play with Nick Nolte on Graves in a fun part.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My dog, Tootsie. 5 minutes ago!

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: