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The Featured Presentation

Geno Segers

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Photo By: The Riker Brothers

Geno Segers is the kind of actor who, when faced with an opportunity, realizes he has a choice to make.

There are three things you can do with it,” he says in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “Walk past, pick it up and drop it, or pick it up and run with it.”

With his new series “Perfect Harmony,” airing Thursdays on NBC, Segers is heeding his own advice and embracing his latest career achievement while learning from talented castmates like Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp.

We recently sat down with Segers to discuss “finding zero,” on-set chemistry, and why training as an actor is different than training as an athlete.

TrunkSpace: We’re just a few weeks removed from the premiere of your new series “Perfect Harmony” on NBC. In an industry where so much is out of your control once you’re away from set, how do you emotionally handle premieres, because if a series hits, it could change everything over night, correct?
Segers: Absolutely, but that being said, change can be good. As long as it’s taken with a grain of salt. I have a southern mother who wouldn’t have a problem walking to LA and putting her sour feet up my backside if she heard my head had gotten too big for my shoulders. As for handling the emotional ups and downs, it’s just part of being in an industry that is ever changing. I call it, “finding zero” – when good things happen, and you’re on a high, find zero. When bad things happen that bring you down, find zero. For me it’s all about balance.

TrunkSpace: With that in mind, what is it about “Perfect Harmony” that you think gives it a chance to not only find an audience, but to retain it week-after-week in a world now dominated by streaming? What is the secret sauce that the show has?
Segers: I feel like “Perfect Harmony” is all about the characters and the fact that you wouldn’t see this group of people together outside of a Church choir. The show is a comedy with a lot of heart. You will laugh really hard, but you will be challenged at times to hold back your tears.

TrunkSpace: Comedy is sometimes difficult to pull off because setting a tone and feel for the series is everything. How soon into the process of shooting “Perfect Harmony” did it feel like that tone came into focus for you so that you fully understood what kind of show it was going to be?
Segers: I agree. But as soon as I saw the chemistry between all the cast members on day one, I felt like the tone would jump off the screen. The fact that these characters really do care for each other will be evident to viewers after the first episode.

TrunkSpace: In the series you play Dwayne. What was it about Dwayne that you first latched onto when you read for him, and as time went on, did you come to love different things about him that perhaps weren’t present in the early days of development?
Segers: I loved the idea of playing a role that doesn’t have to die a brutal death. (Laughter) But really, Dwayne and I have a lot in common and I do enjoy that aspect. What’s more fun is playing against my natural self. He’s a really shy and unsure big guy that has no idea how powerful he really is.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on “Perfect Harmony” thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Segers: I’ve learned so much about comedy from all the other cast members and I’ll take that with me for sure.

TrunkSpace: You have rich history in sports, including wrestling, football and rugby. Are there correlations between pursuing sports and pursuing acting, particularly when it comes to training and improving your skill sets?
Segers: No. Not even close. Sports is more about the more effort, the better the results. Acting is about working hard to be natural. It means doing less to achieve the best result.

© 2019 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

TrunkSpace: You decided to pursue the entertainment industry after a friend suggested you audition for some voice over work. Do you think you would be in a much different place in your life today had you not taken your friend’s advice and walked into that audition all those years ago?
Segers: Indeed I do. Life would be very different for me. I’d very likely still be living in New Zealand.

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in your career thus far that you find yourself applying to your day to day now?
Segers: Around every corner is an opportunity. There are three things you can do with it. Walk past, pick it up and drop it, or pick it up and run with it.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Segers: Being in my first network series on NBC.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Segers: No, because I really like surprises.

Perfect Harmony” airs Thursdays on NBC.

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The Featured Presentation

Mark Rolston

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This week we’re taking an extended look at the new movie “Glass Jaw,” chatting with the creative minds responsible for bringing the gritty drama to life. Arriving in select theaters and digital HD on Friday, the film is a story of redemption set in the world of boxing and stars Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Mark Rolston, Jaime Camil, Malcolm David Kelley, Vernon Wells and Steven Williams.

First up we’re chatting with Mark Rolston to discuss working in independent film, “Rocky” overtones, and what role he’d literally eat a shoe to return to.

TrunkSpace: “Glass Jaw” is not the first independent project you’ve worked on. As an actor, is there a bit of a leap of faith involved with signing on to work on an indie, not knowing when (or even if) a particular film will see the light of day?
Rolston: Well, in addition to “faith,” there is a lot of serendipity. I had been preparing for another film when the call came, so in addition to reading it first, I have to gauge what the character will require and ascertain whether I can pull it off. Of course, you never know what film will actually make it, but “Glass Jaw” had an atmosphere on set, and with Lee Kholafai and Korrina Rico being willing to fight for it; look where we are. Theatrical release is the icing.

TrunkSpace: What was it about “Glass Jaw” and the team behind it that gave you the confidence to jump into the work and take on the character Frank?
Rolston: Frank spoke to me the first time I read the script. I knew I could create a character. I didn’t hardly know anyone on the crew, but when I saw real professionals on set like Scott Eddo (Makeup and Hair) and Charlie Picerni (Stunt Coordinator), I knew the production was real.

TrunkSpace: When you first read the script for “Glass Jaw,” what was the initial draw for you in terms of wanting to be a part of the project? Was it the overall narrative? Was it the character? A combination of both?
Rolston: The script had a lot going for it. The dramatic tension was palpable. Of course, the narrative has “Rocky” overtones. But the story was unique with enough drama to sell it, to me anyway.

TrunkSpace: When it comes to independent films, is there more freedom for character discovery and trying out different ways of delivering lines or emotion within a scene, or does a limited budget mean a limited schedule and a breakneck pace that doesn’t allow for real time experimentation?
Rolston: Independents by nature allow for a lot of creativity, because you have to create on the spot and respect that you don’t have all day to shoot three pages; YOU HAVE TO SHOOT EIGHT TO TEN! The indie atmosphere is one where you have to just bring and throw down. Like a boxing match.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the work you did in “Glass Jaw?”
Rolston: I am most proud of my character. I found the perspective of the character. I found the space to just let Frank talk.

TrunkSpace: For the audience, the finished work – the end product – is usually the most memorable aspect of a film. For actors, we assume it is the experience of making it. What is a memorable moment during the production of “Glass Jaw” that will stick with you?
Rolston: It was the set up of the pivotal scene between Frank and Travis. Our DP – legend Jeffrey L. Kimball – created a magnificent tracking shot that lands on a very intimate scene between the two men; and Lee/Austin and myself/Frank just talked like real people. Did I say it was Friday night and we were shooting until midnight after a full day? Glamorous, huh?

TrunkSpace: You’ve been acting professionally for decades. Do you still love it as much today as you did when you first stepped onto a set to start your career?
Rolston: Absolutely! I want to follow in the footsteps of the great French Dramatist and Actor, Moliere, and die on stage or on a set for that matter. (Laughter)

Rolston in “Saw VI.”

TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest surprise of your career, the thing that younger Mark who was starting out his career would be extra psyched to hear about in advance?
Rolston: Without question; being called at my home, to be told by writer/director Frank Darabont that I had landed the role of Bogs Diamond in “The Shawshank Redemption.” I thought I had lost it. Frank was my angel, and fought for me to get the role. Indebted Forever, Frank!

TrunkSpace: You’ve given life to so many great characters over the course of your career. Are there any that you wish you had more time to spend with and explore even further?
Rolston: All of them really. Shooting a film is fleeting. You shoot and it’s over. So the rehearsal and preparation – “the work” – has to be done beforehand.

TrunkSpace: We’re suckers for “Supernatural” here. When you first signed on to play the demon Alastair – a character who plays an integral part of the overall series lore – could you have ever imagined that the show would still be chugging along a decade later and that you’d be asked about it?
Rolston: That was one of the most enjoyable characters I ever created. I will never understand why I was replaced. I would literally eat a shoe to play Alistair, “Demon of All Demons,” once more. May the show chug on forever and I will get the chance!

Glass Jaw” arrives in select theaters and on digital HD this Friday.

You can also hear Rolston as Norman Osborn in the new Spider-Man game for the PS4!

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