An Interview with Jasper Cole
Jasper Cole is an actor, producer and radio host. With over 112 Film and TV credits, Jasper is known for his work on MacGruber, Everybody Hates Chris, American Horror Story and Westworld. I spoke with Jasper about his first experience on a film set, the best advice he has received from directors, and his upcoming projects.
Did you always want to pursue a career in acting, and how did you land your first role?
I always secretly wanted to act but didn’t actually pursue it till after high school. My first time on a film set was an indie film Tennessee Stallion, shot in my hometown of Athens, GA. I was an extra who got upgraded to a speaking role. From then on I was hooked. Soon after I moved to Atlanta and began studying acting and doing theatre. I moved to LA in 1987 with a play I co-wrote, co/started on and produced called Willow Springs Now. That was the beginning of my long Hollywood career.
Is there anyone in the industry who has particularly influenced you?
I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing people over these past 35 years from directors, producers, to writers to actors. I had the pleasure of working with icon Sam Elliott in 1997 and he gave me so much sage advice and watching him work was like a master class. His big advice was to take the work serious but not myself. Acting isn’t brain surgery and we aren’t curing cancer so keep it all in a healthy perspective.
What’s the best advice a director has given you on a film set?
Directors are so different in their approach to dealing with actors. Each one works in their own special way. The best directors will cast the right actors first then let them do what they’re hired to do. It’s a collaboration but ultimately I’m there to serve the story and help the director get what he needs. Once on a commercial shoot early in my career a young director said “Remember Jasper the camera doesn’t lie. If you really believe what you’re saying we will believe you too.”
Do you ever find yourself working with actors who have very different approaches to your own, and how does that affect you?
One of the best things about this business is getting to work with different actors and to see how they work. We all have our own “method to the madness”. Ultimately at the end of the day we all wanna hit our marks, know our lines and get home in 12 hours. It’s a job that involves hundreds of hard working people. I try to respect every actor’s process and let them have their space.
You’re also a producer. Could you tell me more about this?
I love producing for many reasons but mainly because I like being a part of the whole process from finding a script to hiring the director, producers, the crew and casting the actors. It’s great to get to hire people I love and trust. As I get older it’s all about working with people that are easy and fun. Life’s too short to deal with unnecessary drama. I’m blessed to have several TV and film projects in the works now.
Are you currently working on any projects?
I’m currently playing “Cory Black” on the hit Viacom/BET drama series The Family Business opposite Ernie Hudson and an incredible cast. We just wrapped Season 3 which will be premiering soon. I also shot the film The Fall directed by Scott Mann (The Heist) starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
I have a cameo in the new film Sallywood starring Oscar nominee Sally Kirkland and lastly I’m part of a great ensemble of the new film Kombucha Cure starring Tamara Braun, Denise Boutte and Jennifer Bassey. I play a real eccentric military veteran.
My radio show ONE ON ONE WITH JASPER COLE now in its tenth year is available on itunes, iheartradio, Spotify, Spreaker, Stitcher and Blogtalk Radio.
My website is www.Jaspercole.com
Twitter and Instagram @jaspercolesays
Facebook: Jasper Cole fan page