Your new movie Polypore
- in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your
character in it?
I play Dr. Berry Tomten a Scottish Doctor who is involved in developing
a new drug for the Rein Corporation. Things run afoul and I am
forced to hide out with another Doctor Jégado. We are constantly
moving about the world to hide from the “cleaners” from the Rein Corp.
What did you draw upon to bring your
character to life, and seriously, how much of yourself is in Doctor
There is not much of me in Tomten, aside from the
Scottish Accent. Both of my parents were born in Scotland, I have
two kilts and play at playing the bagpipes.
How did you get involved with the project in the
I honestly don’t remember how director Jesse
Barack [Jesse Barack interview
- click here] and I met, but assume it was through one of the casting sites. It
was fortuitous as I met Marshall Berenson [Marshall
Berenson interview - click here], who plays Jégado. We had
lots of fun on set and have become good friends as a result. He had
the hard part as he was required to speak in a number of different
languages – French, Turkish, Japanese, English! I just had to
worry about doing a Scottish accent!
To what extent can you identify with the
film's message and underlying conspiracy theory?
I have a
history of never really understanding a film’s message. In Polypore, a large corporation gets its hands on a drug that can change the
world and begins to take advantage of that. It is not good for
things like that to happen. Polypore, I think, explores that.
about your collaboration with Polypore's
director Jesse Barack [Jesse Barack
interview - click here] for a bit!
Jesse was great to work
for. He guided us to create a character that fit into the story and
was comfortable with each of our interpretations of our character.
What can you tell us
about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
shoot took place throughout the world over many months. There are
many folks in the film that I know from other projects, however, none of
us were aware of each other’s participation as the scenes were very
segmented. Marshall and I were pretty much always in scenes
together, but rarely saw the rest of the cast or their scenes as they were
being shot. Actually, a number of scenes were shot in our home.
A rather bloody murder took place and to this day there is still blood on
the ceiling in one room. We keep it there as a reminder of Polypore!
If someone asks “Is that blood on the ceiling?” we respond
the subject matter, the atmosphere on set was always loose and fun.
There is a scene where Jégado and I are sitting on a couch with a Turkish
escort and discussing payment. When I read the script I thought,
“oh, a Turkish escort”, as we were traveling around the world trying to
hide from “the cleaners”, I thought the escort was a tour guide or
such. Christine Hunt plays the escort. She was wearing street
clothes while we rehearsed the scene. Then changed into her costume
for the scene. When I saw here wearing a pink nightgown and
fishnet stockings, suddenly realized that there might be a different
future projects you'd like to talk about?
the moment, the only thing I have in the works is a small film where I play a carnival magician. I make wonderful things disappear and
light 20 dollar bills on fire. Lots of fun
What got you
into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about your
training as an actor?
I was planning to prepare for my “retirement job” and thought that I
would take a shot a voice over work. I went in search of an agent,
only to find there were none in the Boston area. So, signed on with
Boston Casting and New England Actor. They produced the first
projects I ever did. No formal training, just BS. Amazingly, I
got the first three parts for which I auditioned – two featured extras
and one featured part. So, into acting I went!
Do talk about your filmwork prior
to Polypore for a bit!
did a student film for an Emerson College student. I was an old guy
who slipped on a banana! Did my own stunts! That was followed
by The A Plate where I played an old guy in a nursing home who partakes of
laced brownies. That was a big deal, got a credit (my first) and
actually got to sit in makeup with the stars. And since then I’ve
been in over 20 films, even got paid for a few. Some major
ones and some not so major. It is fun, but so far, I have not quit
my day job. There are bills to pay.
making movies, you've also done quite a bit of work as a voice actor. Now
how does that compare to performing in front of a camera, and which do you
Voice over work is very interesting. And can be fun. I have a studio
in my home and have been heard throughout the US, UK, Germany and New
Zealand. Amazing for someone who lives in Maine! I have done
two audio books, and many children’s books. I am fortunate to be
liked by two publishing companies and some studios in Boston. Thanks
to Cybersounds and Soup2Nuts, kids all over can hear me. I am also
doing some product descriptions for a company in Connecticut. It is,
however, acting and not always exciting. There’s a world of
difference between being the voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat and
describing proper techniques for performing a dental examination!
Hey, we can’t all be Don La Fontaine. I like working in front of
the camera and in front of the microphone. I guess it’s just
the ham in me.
How would you describe yourself as an
actor, and what are some of your techniques to bring your characters to
a friend once said to me “nobody plays you like you do”.
I’m not sure that’s good or bad. But it is what I bring to the
Actors (or indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Wells, what a set of pipes!
laugh, but as a sailor I like anything that has to do with the water.
I have rather odd tastes. Number 1 favorite – Wind and number 2
would be Silverado. I told you I was weird.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
don’t like to be scared and blood and gore are of no interest to me
although I would love to do a zombie film! And, I have killed a few
people on the screen.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
have a very unattended website www.jtracksler.com.
However, more of my stuff – voice over and films is at
I also have a very small listing on IMDb, very small!
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
knows? For someone who acts in films, I rarely go to the movies.
My wife, Joyce, writes novels and I’d like to play the character she
wrote about me some day. She calls her books Romance Mysteries.
I call them Chick Flick Beach Reads. She spins a good yarn and
LOTS of people get killed.
also if you know anyone who needs a Santa. Don’t lose my number!
for the interview!