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FlickDirect Talks To Abduction Star Tim Griffin9/19/2011 8:30 PM EDT
Tim Griffin: I get a chance to chase Taylor Lautner all over the country-side just like a crazed, stalking predator. Everybody is pursuing him and are all converging on him; and everyone has their own vested interests.
FlickDirect: So we don't know if you are a good guy or bad-guy -- right -- it is an exciting movie. Unfortunately, I will not get to go to the premier because I'm filming.
FlickDirect: Those are the problems you want to have! What was it like to work with him?
Tim Griffin: Exactly…he is such a nice guy. He is incredibly grounded and very generous with his time. Obviously, he is a phenomenon; and he is so young. I don't know if I could have handled his level of fame with such professionalism.
He is one of those people that have a natural quality of his own. I did a movie with Chris White who directed New Moon talking about how all the "kids" were so well grounded. I think he is ready to carry that level of fame. This is a big deal for him, and I think this shows people he can [do things other than Twilight]. He is great!
FlickDirect: You have a recurring role in Prime Suspect?
Tim Griffin: Starring.
FlickDirect: I wasn't sure how to parse that.
Tim Griffin: You are right. I was trying to figure out how to put it myself.
This is the first time it has happened. I have done a handful of pilots that never made it out of that stage. I have been on shows where you can back-door your way into the greatest job in the world, such as Gray's Anatomy. I was hired as TR Knight's brother, and over a few seasons you become part of that family; and you are part of that legacy. It is a legacy to be a part of that. But this is the first one where it has happened to me!
FlickDirect: What did that feel like?
Tim Griffin: It is definitely surreal. Peter Burg is our Director. He did the pilot, and you can't find anyone like that - he is legendary -- Friday Night Lights. It could win the Emmy. That is a validation for Pete and his team. A lot of people on our crew are part of the Friday Nights family. Part of his aim was to make Friday Night Lights incredibly accessible, but it struggled to find its audience. He and his people got together looking for that vehicle -- something his sister in the Mid-West would watch. Prime Suspect came along, and they jumped on it. We had incredible cooperation with NBC, and gave him the reins to cast whoever they wanted -- he hand-picked us all.
FlickDirect: That has to be a great feeling.
Tim Griffin: Incredible -- I figured I would first work with him in film, and this could be the most special thing any of us in our careers have done. This is huge for us. It is a dream come true.
FlickDirect: You are playing a detective by the name of Augie Blando. What do you bring to the role?
Tim Griffin: This is what I think is brilliant about the show. Alexander Cunningham who is the person that obtained the pilot script is also our show runner and leader. When the script got passed around, it was recognized as one of the greatest pilot scripts going. That is why Pete and NBC jumped on it. But the script by itself doesn't make a great series. The cast behind it does -- everyone has such a distinctive voice. The writers have tailored things to our natural personalities --one of my traits is I am a little bit of a cut-up. I might not sound hilarious right now (I just got off work at 6 AM), and it is a thrill. We are doing a one-hour police drama. Pete didn't want to create a static, overly earnest show. This should be fast and have life. The real people who do this are incredible characters, so I get to improv and cut lose. We are all having great chemistry, and it seems to be a well-oiled department when Maria comes in. People assume we have been together forever. Maria and I actually have, but we have to create that; and we just hit all the right notes. We are all in similar places in life. We all have families. It is an amazing cast.
They picked a lot of people you may have seen in commercials or other places but might not recognize the actor.
FlickDirect: You are in Carjacked too which will be coming out. What should we know about Carjacked?
Tim Griffin: What you should know is when that came to me it was in development in New Orleans, and Maria was doing that movie. I came in to read a climactic scene which was great, and I wanted the opportunity to work with her. Then I went off to do a movie in Atlanta and Prime Suspect happens -- and there she is! It is a smaller indie, very gripping drama.
FlickDirect: What did Matt Damon do after he broke your nose in Bourne Identity?
Tim Griffin: Matt is one of those people I love to work with. People who have worked with me have more than once gone on immediately to win an Oscar -- it happened to George Clooney. Matt Damon. It is not my doing, but it is cool. I was a huge fan of Bourne, so when I got the call to do the second one I was really thrilled. Bourne is James Bond for our generation, and Matt really does a great job with that character. And as you have heard, he couldn't be nicer, and he is very intelligent. He is really accessible. We were talking baseball and stuff. He remembered me from a show with Ben Aflack years ago. He also remembered he used to come to our sets to eat our food because you were supporting our rent!
FlickDirect: After he hit you, what did he do?
Tim Griffin: We kept going. The best thing is that we made it on film. Greenglass is an eccentric British Director (he does the accent). He had no idea anything had gone wrong, so he kept rolling; but Matt did and the fight coordinator did so as soon as he said "Cut" it was "MEDIC!!" It was a happy accident that it made the shot - I am glad we kept it.
FlickDirect: You were in Texas Ranger?
Tim Griffin: That is going way back.
FlickDirect: I had to look at the very bottom of IMDB.
Tim Griffin: Walker Texas Ranger was a huge hit at the time. I was so excited, and I was like, "I'm going to Texas!" I was playing the kick-boxing championship of the world. I am bringing one of them to the Prime Suspect Directors, so if they want to mock me, they know how. It was crazy! I loved that job because I think everyone comes from something that no one remembers. Clooney was on Facts of Life. So these are the proving grounds. Anyone who pretends otherwise is a complete fake. I take pride in those jobs.
FlickDirect: Do you train martial arts?
Tim Griffin: I was a little guy coming out of Chicago. I grew up later, but I was approximately 5'7" when I was 19. I took Muai Thai -- it was unheard of then -- it was just the dirtiest form of street fighting I could find. There was this guy teaching it; now it is this big thing because of MMA. It was really nice to use the skill-set. Ironically, when they hired me for Texas Ranger, they never tested me to see if I knew anything. I was working with Chuck Norris, who for all of the jokes, is the real thing. I was like "Wow--you guys did well, this is looking great." They were surprised too. They never checked.
FlickDirect: Did you get to movie-fight with Chuck Norris?
Tim Griffin: No, I was the kick-boxing champ with the evil trainer, and Chuck had his protégé. It was wild.
FlickDirect: It looks like you are on-target for some big things here. We will have to come back for another interview in a couple of years.
Tim Griffin: I will have become completely insufferable. I have got to get to that diva level!
FlickDirect: Thanks for the interview.
Tim Griffin: You are welcome.
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