Bob Sáenz [Interview]

 

Hello Folks, and happy Friday to you all! And to get the weekend started correctly, we have an absolutely wonderful interview with a wonderful inspiring man by the name of Bob Sáenz! Bob is an actor and writer, and happens to be the genius who penned the recently released film Extracurricular Activities, which many of our regular reader(s) may remember, we showcased here just five weeks ago in our Sunday Matinee segment. It is an absolutely wonderful film that has so much to offer the world of comedy, as well as the mystery and thriller world. I have since actually gone back and watched the film again, purely for pleasure, which is a rarity in this business as doing anything for yourself is basically “non-productive”. But, I really couldn’t help it. I absolutely adore this film.

And I was very excited that I was able to steal some time from Bob to learn a bit more about him. And fucking learn I did. I don’t want to spoil anything from the words he gives below, but, wow! What a damn story! As an aspiring “actual writer”, the way he kicks off this interview, I feel as though I may actually have the chance to get that novel out, sell that screenplay, what have you. Bob is had the sort of career that truly makes you believe anything is possible. He has done some amazing work, and I am so very excited that he was willing to grace our digital pages today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Bob Sáenz!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it an early aspiration you have had since a youth, or did you simply find yourself in this world one day?

From the time I can remember I wanted to be involved in film. Primarily as an actor. So, from the time I was about 16 to the age of 22 I was a professional stage actor, then I met my wife and gave it up. At 40 I decided, with the backing of my wife, to try acting again. Was told it was impossible and that I wouldn’t succeed. I said, “Why not?” and proceeded to get cast in films and on TV, landing a SMALL, as in tiny, recurring part on the CBS series Nash Bridges, with Don Johnson, for all 6 seasons. On that show, I started writing and realized I was a much better writer than actor and started concentrating on that. It’s paid off.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that you still use in your career today?

My very first paid gig was a stage show called The Streets of New York, a musical melodrama of sorts where I was the comic relief, at the Manhattan Playhouse in Palo Alto, California. I made 50 dollars a week. I got rave reviews in the local papers, it played to sold out audiences, and I was hooked. I’m still close, after 50 years, to some of the people in that show. No real lessons except it was that show where I learned to really relax and have fun on stage… and that continued to my attitude in front of cameras.

I absolutely LOVED the recently released film Extracurricular Activities, which you penned. It was ridiculously good, and such a delightfully demented story. So with that, where the hell does this story come from? What inspired you to tell this zany and brilliant tale?

Thank you, first of all. I appreciate your kind words. It was a labor of tenacity, hard work, patience, and love. It was my second script. I wanted to write something controversial, funny, different, dark, and twisted. I wrote it to be a sample of my creativity. Deep down, I never really thought it would get made. And… It worked incredibly well as a sample.  It opened every door I went through in Hollywood, was responsible for every job I got and every other script I sold. It was optioned by 8 separate production companies, producers, and one studio over 18 years. Then Jay Lowi, who directed the film, made it his mission over 10 years to get it made. He did, with the help of David Wilson who produced it. A long and winding road for sure, but damn if it didn’t turn out well.

 

 

And what were your thoughts on the final product that was your story? Was this a pretty true to script type of film?

It’s incredibly true to my original story. It’s like a dream, because it’s not supposed to happen this way. It’s the film I saw in my head when I wrote it. A dream cast. I pinched myself everyday on set. And cried a few times from pure joy.

 

If you were handed the opportunity to write the biopic of any historical figure in American history, who would it be?

Not a figure. A place. The Parker House in Boston. The oldest continually running hotel in U.S. History. It’s got an unbelievably storied past that needs to be told. 200 years of astonishing history and in my head, a phenomenally interesting story I’d love to tell.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

The future is hopefully getting to write more movies that get made. Extracurricular was number 14 for me. Number 15, a Christmas movie, just shot in Georgia. I’ve been so blessed with a wonderful career as a writer, met and worked with so many amazing people, it’s been better than if I’d scripted it. I’m writing a film now on assignment and if I believe what some people are telling me (and it’s always better not to until you see a contract) have a few others lined up after it. I have nothing to plug except Extracurricular Activities which is still out there on streaming platforms to watch and hopefully, enjoy.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This is the easiest question to answer. My 1 1/2 year old grandson, Guy. He’s smart, aware, and incredibly funny. He makes you realize what’s REALLY important in life. That everything else is just stuff. That family is what comes first. I can’t wait to be able to talk to him about movies and music.

 

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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