Recently, Jim Parrack has been seen acting on the east coast in New York with his friend James Franco in the play “Of Mice and Men.”
NOTE: There have been rumors that Jim might return to True Blood. He posted two words on Twitter recently, “Bon Temps” which, of course got the fans all excited thinking that Hoyt Fortenberry might be in the finale season. We have no further information about that, but sure do hope that Jim will be in Bon Temps this summer! If we learn more, we’ll be sure to let you know.
In the interview below, Jim reveals that he has moved to the east coast permanently and plans to open an acting school in Brooklyn with his good friend, James Franco.But, whether Jim does return to True Blood or not, below is a portion of an interview that Jim gave with Gotham Magazine where he discusses moving to New York, starring in Broadway’s Of Mice and Men, and opening a “Brooklyn Lab” with his friend.
You’re so busy. You have this play, a slate of film projects, your own production company…
JIM PARRACK: I’m starting an acting school in Brooklyn.
JP: Yeah, in Fort Greene, we’re looking at different locations.
And you’re going to be on the ground running it?
JP: Yeah, yeah, yeah. James [Franco] and I both studied at a place called Playhouse West, and the founder of the school asked me to start teaching about four years ago. One of the reasons I wanted to move out here was to extend the school out here and start the Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab.
So James is in on this, too?
JP: Yeah, yeah, we’re combining. Originally that wasn’t the thought, and then he started the Studio 4, and now, I think you’re the first person either of us are telling this, but we’re going to have his Studio 4 and my Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab combine and be one acting school out here on the east coast. It’s going to be, like, a repertory theater, a place for people to try out their own plays, because with [Franco’s] school there’s going to be writing labs, filmmaking workshops, theater directing classes, acting classes.
Sounds like a big undertaking. What sort of spaces are you looking at?
JP: The place I chose to live in is big enough that it can host it for now. It’s kind of this big 2,100 square foot loft . . . and I picked it specifically so that I could teach out of it until we found a place. But we’ve been looking at some places, like, over at Pratt Institute and BAM. And then there’s this great, old theater called the Paul Robeson Theater. I would love for that to be restored and for that to be home base.
You’ve done films with James, as well as some theater in L.A., but Of Mice and Men is your first time on the New York stage. Did James turn you on to the role?
JP: I heard about the production when he told me that he was going to do it, and I’d heard of Anna Shapiro; because she’s probably the most respected theater director we have in this country. So I was in England doing a movie and told my reps, like, ‘Look, I really want to get in and audition for that.’ At the time there was a lot of bad TV stuff coming my way and I thought, I don’t want to do that, I want to do theater, and so I came back out this way and originally auditioned for a different part. They wanted Slim to be an older guy. I asked [Anna] if I could just read it, and had prepared it, and she said, ‘Of course, hit it,” and uh, she said, ‘Okay, I see, it makes sense.’ It’s as exciting as anything I’ve ever done.
Is it a different kind of nerves, acting on stage?
JP: Yeah, yeah, in a good way. It’s electric. In a nice way it’s a familiar thing. It’s been a long time since I’ve been nervous about acting . . . The first time we did this play it was for invited guests only, but there were about 300 people there. I wasn’t nervous before but I got out on stage and suddenly felt this current of adrenaline and self-awareness, like, ‘Oh, shit, this is nuts.’
How does it feel now? Is it different every night? Do you have any sort of routine?
JP: The play itself is different every night and I count that as a blessing because if the play were a routine, I think we’d miss a lot of the life in it. But I do have a weird little routine now where I go to the theater before anybody else shows up, I go out on the stage, say a little prayer, and put on some hip-hop music and, like, shadow box in this big empty theater by myself and just get excited.
I think I saw a picture of you doing that on your Instagram. I also saw that you’ve been catching up on your co-star Leighton’s old show, Gossip Girl.
JP: [Laughs]. See, that’s getting caught. I don’t know if anyone has come in watching me shadow boxing to A$AP Rocky, but Gossip Girl is getting caught. Well, I met [Leighton] at the table read and thought she was just a sweetheart, so I was like, let me go just check this thing out. You know, I made fun of it through the whole [episode], but by the end I was like, I’ve got to get another one right away. I kind of did that with the whole first season . . . Leighton’s really good on it. A lot of the other people, I don’t know, but she’s really good on it.
What else are you working on right now?
JP: This movie I’m directing, Black Curry. It’s about what happens when you turn a good thing into an ultimate thing. It follows this Amish girl who’s forced into the public school system by the state and she’s a total misfit and total outcast, and I play a schoolteacher who’s an army veteran with PTSD. So I’m around these kids trying to get my life back together . . . but instead I kind of lose my mind a bit and we both come under this supernatural influence that turns things scary pretty quickly.
And you’re producing that through your company, 120 Productions?
JP: I’m producing it, directing it, I wrote it. I’ve got this unbelievably talented group of my students that are in it. There’s also some pretty awesome people from Hollywood in it as well.
Read the entire interview with Jim by going to: gotham-magazine.com
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