What can you tell us about your new movie Terminal Legacy and
your character in it?
Terminal Legacy is a unique take on
the sc-fi thriller, focusing on the events leading up to the apocalypse
rather than after. My character, Jordan is really just a pawn in the
entire scheme. He ends up being a victim of an illegal human experiment
which inevitably leads to the end of the world as we know it. Jordan is
just an ordinary man put in an extraordinary situation.
How did you prepare for your role
in Terminal Legacy, and to what extent could you rely on
Playing Jordan was interesting for me because I was so involved with
the character through the script phase of the production. Brian and I were
together for every draft of Terminal Legacy, so I was very familiar with
Jordan and his motivation.
When I act, I tend not to rely on method acting too much. I feel that if
used too often it can ruin that memory or desensitize me. I like to see
where the script leads me. I did rely on personal experience for one scene
in the film though, when Jordan and Lindsay find out they were subject to
human experimentation and the drug they were taking has had some profound
effects on their bodies along with other patients. In that scene I just
thought about one of my exgirlfriends and I was able to generate that
feeling of hopelessness and terror relatively easily. Haha!
You do not only appear in front of
the camera, you have also written the film's story together with director
Brian Kazmarck [Brian Kazmarck
interview - click here]. What were your initial inspirations, and
what was your writing collaboration like?
Initially we had
a Ten Little Indians-type story where one character gets
killed, then another and another and everyone is pointing fingers at each
other. But over time it developed into a larger story. We had to make some
large changes when we found out our initial location had fallen through.
Brian and I work well together. I attribute that to us having similar
tastes in film, not to mention we are friends. We really don't pull
punches when working on a story. I'll say, "that dialogue doesn't
make sense" or he'll say "that's a stupid idea" etc etc.
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to writing, actually in life I
think. That's really what made each draft improve over the previous one.
We were always brutally honest with each other about what we thought.
character in Terminal Legacy written with you in mind, and
how easy or hard was it to let go of your vision working on a script by
and being directed by Brian Kazmarck?
Jordan was written with me in mind. Both Brian and I worked on the
script, we had a very similar vision of how the character acted and
thought. Most of my scenes involved very little direction and when there
was direction needed, it was small variations. I think we really saw eye
to eye. Once I was "in character" I didn't take direction well
because Jordan didn't take direction well. So I think during a few scenes
it was difficult to take direction overall because I was so engrossed in
what I was doing, I couldn't just turn the character off to hear what
Brian was saying. So on occasion, I may have been a little
You have worked
with Brian Kazmarck before Terminal Legacy. What can you
tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did you two initially
Brian was actually my Teacher's assistant at the New
York Film Academy when we met. We quickly hit it off and somewhere
mid-second semester, he asked me to audition for his short film Dandi Lyon. I ended up being cast for a small supporting role
as the main character's husband. After that shoot, Brian and I
collaborated on a screenplay which I had initially wrote entitled Knock the Hustle. It was my first feature script and needed a
lot of work. That became the first time we actually collaborated on a
You are also credited with being the fight
choreographer of Terminal Legacy. What can you tell us about
that aspect of the movie, and also about your previous experiences in
Well all the fight sequences in Terminal Legacy are brutal. They also
get progressively better and more intricate as the story progresses. Brian
and I both had action in mind with this film so the fights are key in
making the story work. The climactic fight scene is between the head of
security (Sean) played by Michael Simmons and Jordan. Michael Simmons and
I have fought each other on screen more than once so working with him
again was great. Prior to Terminal Legacy, I had done fight choreography
for a couple of music videos and my own short film Salvation
Road. The climactic fight scene in Salvation Road pits Simmons and I
against each other. That fight was very different than the climactic fight
in Terminal Legacy. For Salvation Road two professional killers duke it out making for
a crisper fight. There aren't a lot of punches landed, way more blocks.
The fight in Terminal Legacy is much grittier. The dynamic is very different. Jordan is
a mechanic fighting and ex-professional soldier. Basically it just involves
Jordan getting his ass kicked. Very lopsided. I won't tell you how it ends
up, you'll just have to see the movie.
The $64-question of course: When and
where will the movie be released, tentatively?
shooting for a release in the late spring of 2012. But that of course is
subject to change.
back to the beginnings of your career: What got you into acting in the
first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
My story is long and complicated. In summary, I graduated from the
University of Delaware in 2004 and shortly thereafter I bought a local
eatery called the Korner Diner. I did well there, but when the time came
to renew my lease, my landlord wasn't straight with me and I ended up
having to walk away from the business. As soon as I realized that my
landlord's plans included knocking down half the building and cutting
seating and parking space by twenty percent and increasing my rent, I was
forced to make a life decision. Film had always been a passion of mine and
I always felt I wanted to get involved, I just didn't know how. I just
happened to be in NYC that summer before we closed and I saw a sign for NYFA. I went to their website and found out there was going to be an open
house and I decided to go. After the open house I realized not only that I
wanted to be in film, but I wanted to be an actor. So I took out a
ridiculous student loan at 10% interest and enrolled for their one-year
conservatory acting program in Jan 2009. It was one of the best decisions
I made in my entire life. My calling is truly to acting which I have
accepted and I'm here to stay.
can you tell us about your earliest experiences in front of a movie
My first experience on camera was playing an angry
guy in a commercial for Heinz. I think it was back in 2007. Two of the
customers (Albert and Own Kelly) at the diner wanted to enter the Heinz
Commercial Contest that year so they asked if they could use the diner to
shoot. Of course I said yes. The shot three commercials in total. I ended
up being cast because one of the actors didn't show up. Here's a link to
that, its actually pretty funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16efNf0-pFw&
Before Terminal Legacy, you have
acted in quite a number of movies, mostly shorts. Why don't you talk about those for a
I've done a crazy amount of short films. When I was in
NYFA I did about 60 student films. By doing so much work while I was in
school, I was able to apply things I was learning in class almost
immediately. It killed my social life, but I don't regret one short that I
worked one. It also really helped me once I was in the real world. I ended
up getting cast in Gary King's What's Up Lovely. I was cast in
an Aventura music video, El Malo, which I did the fight
choreography along with playing a skinhead. It was also the first
opportunity for Michael Simmons and I to "fight" each other. I
feel like the Aventura video was really a turning point. That was when
career engine really started to rev.
What can you tell us about your short Salvation Road,
which you have also directed? And what made you decide to try your hands
Salvation Road, the story of a hitman with a
last minute crisis of conscience. It was my first attempt at running a
production and I'll tell you, I am damn proud of it. I think it turned out
pretty damn well considering I had to put the whole movie on my credit
card. I honestly decided to do it because I really enjoy the physicality
of acting and I always felt being a former golden gloves boxer that I
could handle action roles. So I wrote a part for myself and Michael
Simmons. I really wanted him and I to have a meaty fight scene. Salvation
Road was another writing collaboration with Brian. I had a much grander
vision of what I wanted to shoot and he helped me hone it down and create
the story that we shot. I decided to direct it because I just wanted to
take my career into my own hands. I hadn't really been cast in anything
the way I wanted to be cast. I directed it because I felt like I could do
it. It wasn't complicated, I just thought "Why the hell not?"
This is the link to our official trailer...
You can download the whole short at
Is directing something you have grown fond of/would you want to ever direct another film?
loved directing. I would love to direct again.
future projects you'd like to talk about?
I don't have
anything specific in mind other than another film I've written entitled
Cursed Land. Think of it as From Dusk til Dawn meets
how do you approach a character you are given to play?
My approach to playing a character is pretty simple. I read the script.
Most of the time, all the information about the character is given to you.
So I make choices according to what my interpretation of what the writer
roles you'd just love to play, no matter how improbable?
James Bond or
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Actors (or indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Daniel Day Lewis. Nuff' said.
Your favourite movies?
... and of course, films you really deplore?
not a big fan of big budget animated 3D movies or romantic comedies. I
respect their place in the world, just am not a fan.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
My website is
www.kazytauginas.com which is currently under construction, but should be
up and running in time for the new year. You can follow me on Twitter at
kazytauginas. I'm the only one. Or look me up on Facebook, Kazy Tauginas.
I'm the only one. I like being unique.
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
seen the rough cut and I'll tell you, our movie looks like a million
dollars. I think people are in for a treat.
for the interview!
Thank you sir! It was a pleasure.