Topic: Neil D'Monte, Actor - Pirates of the Caribbean (Read 386 times)
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Neil D'Monte, Actor - Pirates of the Caribbean
« Thread started on: Jan 3rd, 2011, 9:52pm »
Interview with Neil D'Monte, Actor
Interviewed by Paul Dale Roberts - President - www.jazmaonline.com
General Manager - www.hpiparanormal.net
Question: Neil, you are a young guy, but already you have lived such a full life. I am amazed at some of your accomplishments. Anyway, let's get to basics. How was it like to be raised in Chicago, did you ever have any problems on the mean streets of the Windy City?
Answer: Thank you, Paul! Young! Me!! Hahaha!!! That's a
compliment as I'm almost 40, but I do thank you! It's funny because I STILL can't believe it; I feel like a 21-year old kid! It was fun being raised in Chicago as I made a lot of friends there and it's a beautiful city which is so culturally diverse and artsy. My neighborhood (Andersonville) was pretty mellow and we all got along with our neighbors - everyone knew each other.
Outside of the occassional bully, I had a pretty fun and light-filled
Question: Your parents were exceptionally musically talented, I know they were a great influence on you. Did any other family members or family friends influence your life while growing up?
Answer: Thank you. Actually, it was my Mom and Dad who influenced me the most growing up. My Mom played piano and my Dad played the guitar - both were pretty amazing at performance but also with music theory. They knew I was not interested in sports so they never pushed me into it. They did know I was into the arts, so they were very nuturing when it came to me wanting to learn and play an instrument.
Question: Your first role was in the pilot An American Dream. Did you become addicted to acting after getting a taste of it in An American Dream?
Answer: I was taking acting classes at the time when I got cast in the An American Dream pilot so I was already commited to it. If anything, I learned that it was fun being on-set even though the hours were long (we were filming at the Field Museum of Natural History in the middle of winter at the time). Learning lines from a script when you theater is a lot more challenging as it's live so you have to be on top of your game if you flubb a line (which I obviously do a lot,...hahaha!). Doing film and TV, you do
get a few takes and usually have to learn lines from a much smaller script but that has its set of challenges as well. Acting is fun and a great way to express myself, which is why I like doing it. I never feel like I am "working".*
Question: When I was growing up, my dad forced me to play guitar. I hated it. Were you ever forced to study and play the concert piano or any other musical instruments?
Answer: I'm sorry, Paul. Yeah, being forced into having to do
something you do want to do does and will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
No, I was never forced into learning any musical instrument. My sister started taking piano lessons on her own and I wanted to give it a try too so my Mom signed me up. My teacher, Josette Behrend, was a sweetheart and really got me interested in music. I fell in love with the sounds that the piano makes and it was a really good instrument to learn on because you can adapt to learn others if you have a basis in piano, I think anyways.
Question: What was it like to play for some punk bands?
Answer: In a word? UN-****ING-BELIEVABLE!!!!! I'm hyper to begin with but playing in punk bands when I was growing up was a spiritual experience for me. It really helped me get out of my shell as I was pretty shy. It's almost like reaching a state of nirvana when I play and I feel so free.
Really just being on stage or even playing with friends is so freeing!
Question: You have done everything from creature designs for Universal's The Mummy, conceptual designing, storyboard artist. What do you like the most and why?
Answer: All of those gigs were and are fun in different ways but
conceptual design is my favorite. I like coming up with costumes, vehicles and technology that are based in their own reality. When I was in architecture, I learned about 'contextualism' and how a building should fit into its environment when it is designed. I apply that idea when I go about designing elements and characters for projects that I work on. It's very challenging.*
Question: We have a mutual friend Angie Bouche - Psychic. Angie is part of my paranormal team with www.hpiparanormal.net - Angie says that you might enjoy a little bit of paranormal investigating with us, is that true?
Answer: Yes, in fact we were introduced through Angie Bouche! And yes, I would LOVE to come out on an investigation with you all. It might help me get over my fear of ghosts or start up a whole new one,...hahaha!
Question: What was it like to work next to Johnny Depp on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest?
Answer: A`pretty amazing thing in my life! I was already a huge fan of his and he is one of the actors I do admire. He always takes on roles that are challenging and dear to him and I like how he, as he puts it: "Adds ingredients to a character.". When you have a scene with a performer of that caliber, you just have to go for it and not be scared. When he's in character, he's Capt. Jack Sparrow in and out. On breaks, he was very quiet and soft-spoken but approachable and friendly. I got to play with his son
Jack for a bit outside when we were on a break from the Tortuga Cantina scenes. I remember pulling off to the side of the road in my car and tearing up on the drive home (we wrapped at 4am). When you get to act with one of your idols, it's a pretty amazing experience so I just had to take it in. If anything, it proves that if you work real hard in this town, you can make things happen.
It's all about being prepared and going after it like a
****ing dog. If you get shot down, you get back up and do it again.
Question: What are some of your goals for the future?
Answer: I'd like to really keep working on my own projects in film and music and continue travelling, experiencing the different cultures which made me what I am today. My writing partner Neo Edmund and I have a few graphic novel/film properties we are developing that we would like to write/act/direct so that's my biggest thing right now and probably the most rewarding. As`a director, I really want to see if I can get what I draw on
paper up on a big screen. There's just something so exciting and
adventurous about that. Would still like to keep acting and playing drums too as that's fun for me! But most importantly, I do want to take care of my Mom and make sure that she is happy and enjoying her life to the fullest.
I want her to know how much I appreciate all of the sacrifices she and my Dad made to get me here. That is my REAL goal.*
Question: Before I was a paranormal investigator, I was a comic book
reviewer and published only one comic book called The Legendary Dark
Silhouette. I have a cousin named Bret Michael Hodson that published a comic book called Romance and Coffee by Angry Bret Comics and another cousin that was an artist for Damage Comics. So, I am in pretty much a comic book family. I was surprised to learn that you collect comics and you are right now working on a comic book. Can you please tell us something about your comic book?
Answer: Wow, that's cool!!!!! I did not know you were into comic
books! Sure thing, Paul. The graphic novel/film project Neo and I are doing together is called MACBANE/CLAN OF THE VEIN. We have a few pages of art done and are currently working on getting the finished film script and graphic novel-adaption done so we can take them to our contacts at the film studios and comic book companies. I am also penciling a book for screenwriter Jon Simon called TEMPLAR which is in development for a movie at this time. Feeling pretty good about both of these properties and am stoked
to be involved with them!!!!!*
Question: Neil, I want to sincerely thank you for this spectacular
interview. Are there any words of wisdom that you have for your fans?
Answer: Thank you, Paul. Honestly, the advice I would give anyone is to do it because you LOVE it and have a PASSION for it. I cannot stress that enough!!! There are times when you will have no money and will feel desperate but if you know in your heart that it is something you truly desire and something that completes you, then by all means...you just do it.
It will come to you and you can make it materialize if you focus! But one other thing is to always remember to treat yourself for your hard work.
Take life as it comes to you. For all of you hard work, you must always reward yourself. It could be treating yourself to a cup of coffee to a candy bar. Also never let someone tell you that you cannot do something.
It didn't stop Da Vinci or Stephen Hawking, did it?
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