Your new movie Batman:
Dante - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
Dante is about
the power Batman has to inspire people to change. My character, Dante, is
a junkie with a dead end life--until a chance meeting with Batman causes
him to clean up his act.
What did you draw upon to bring
your character to life, and quite honestly, how much of Robert T. Young
can we find in Dante?
I've had friends who were addicts,
and I've peeked into a couple of AA meetings. There was also a bit of a
character I played before, a terrorist who rationalized his actions. Dante
is a man who has a lot of excuses, who finally changes when someone sees
that he is capable of more. I've never descended into drug addiction
personally, but I have felt at times in my life, as Dante did, like a
nobody. Thank God that I've had people in my own life rescue me from that
kind of darkness.
How did you get involved with the project
in the first place, and are you at all into Batman
and comicbooks in general, personally?
I am a huge Batman
fan--comics, animation, film! I knew of the director Chris R. Notarile
R. Notarile interview - click here]
reputation--we've both posted on
when we were working on comic book films. I directed my own take on Batman, called Batman: The Final Victory, which you can see here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ntn3urusaQ--though it's not a perfect film, I had fun including topics like politics,
race, and the legacies of family relationships. Of the
"official" cinematic Batmen, I prefer Michael Keaton--to whom
we've paid homage in Batman:
What can you tell
us about your director Chris R. Notarile [Chris
R. Notarile interview - click here], and what was your
Chris is a driven, yet also easy-going
guy who is a one-man filmmaking machine! Director, cinematographer,
writer, audio engineer, editor... the list goes on. I admire his work ethic
and productivity, and I wish him continued success with bigger films!
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
presided over a professional, yet fun-filled environment, both in the
Narcotics Anonymous scenes and the scenes with Batman. I will say that he
put us all through our paces with stuntwork--crawling in a dank alley for
twenty takes is not my idea of fun--but one must suffer for good art! (The
bad guys that Batman beat up got it worse.) Our Batman, Zack Santiago, was
a true trooper, wearing a 1989-style full rubber Batsuit, enduring sweat
and the inability to turn his neck just like Michael Keaton did. Zack was
a phenomenal martial artist and brought a true danger to the character.
future projects you'd like to share?
Director Rory J.
Gamble and I will soon be exploring the darker side of super powers in Telepath,
and I'll be part of a rogue cop story in Jay Frost's Black and Blue.
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
been acting since I was three--albeit, only for my family on ancient home
videos. I attended Interlochen Arts Camp and made a connection with an up-and-coming director, Michael B. Chait
who had me star as a 70s Shaft knock-off. I continued performing
and studying throughout high school and college, and took private lessons
in New York with Mr. Stanley Harrison. From there I worked in a sketch
comedy group, did stand-up, and continued to study great actors of the
past and present.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Batman: Dante?
been rewarding--personally, if not monetarily! Besides my work with
Michael B. Chait, I've been lucky to have been cast in several Detroit, MI
films (that's my home city), playing diverse roles such as the manager of
a restaurant, a coke-snorting film exec, a detective, part of a gang that
creates serial killers... it's always been fun and I would look forward to
working with any of those filmmakers again.
Besides being an
actor, you have also worked as a director on quite a few projects - so
what can you tell us about those, and about Robert P. Young the director
to begin with?
Thank you! I've mainly stayed in the lane of
comedy, such as the political satire of Reagan Returns
back the Gipper and making his arch-nemesis his illegitimate black son; or
web series The Live at Home Hitmen
in which slacker killers take advantage of still living in Mom's basement.
As I mentioned before, Batman: The Final Victory was another
directorial effort, though that blended more drama with comedy. I work
low-budget, I love having martial arts in my films, and you're gonna see a
morally-dubious hero. One last thing: a real treat I had as a director was
meeting with inspiration Spike Lee several years ago.
would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
I'm good at playing people
with attitude. Great character actor. I like to mine the script for clues
about how to inhabit my character's life--what he says about himself, what
others say about him, what the stage directions say. To get into the mood
of a guy, I'll watch the masters--Pacino, De Niro, Morgan Freeman--and try
to steal whatever puts them over. I've customized clothes that I thought
the character would wear, I think about what he carries in his pockets and
wears around his neck, and I work with the other actors to make sure that
our relationships come through clearly on camera.
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
As I said before,
Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman. Also James Earl Jones, Helen
Mirren, Ian McKellen.
Your favourite movies?
Tango In Paris, Mar Adentro (a wonderful Javier Bardem
performance), Licence to Kill, Robocop... and of course, 1989's
and of course, films you really deplore?
I couldn't sit
through Jurassic World. Just boring. Batman v. Superman could
have been so much better. The Legend of Tarzan--seriously, who
gives a damn about a white guy being King of the Jungle in 2016? That
passed its expiration date eighty years ago.
Facebook, whatever else?
Actor website: http://rpyoungiii.wix.com/actor
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely
forgotten to ask?
Everyone, keep supporting independent
film! Certainly Chris R. Notarile's and my own, but keep asking to find
out about other up-and-coming artists! Write and direct your own stories!
You can make it if you keep at it!
Thanks for the
You're very welcome.