SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Steven McDonald: My name is Steven McDonald. I am an actor living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I do mostly screen acting but also some stage work. I have been a songwriter for 30 years and release albums with my band Einstein’s Wardrobe. I am learning to direct and devise screen and stage plays just now and would also love to write novels in the future.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Steven McDonald: I was used to performing on stage as a musician but was persuaded about 7 years ago by a friend to have a go st musical theatre. I realised quickly that I enjoyed being on stage and after having finished acting in a production of Bugsy Malone, I started auditioning for lead roles and found myself being cast. I decided in 2016 to turn pro and started screen acting in 2017. I was involved in about 25 screen projects last year. The Reach was one of the highlights for me.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The Reach Dollar Baby film?
Steven McDonald: I saw an advert by Landon Kestlinger and immediately contacted him. I am a huge Stephen King fan and already knew the story from Skeleton Crew. I wanted to play the part of Alden as I thought it would suit me. And it was an honour to be involved.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Steven McDonald: A lot of people think Stephen King is all about horror. But that is far from the truth. This is a touching story about relationships between people who care deeply about one another. There is a supernatural element of course which adds Stephen King’s unique signature, however the sentimental journey of the characters for me makes it special.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Steven McDonald: I applied online and sent a CV with links to my previous work and some headshots and stills from other film projects.
SKSM: You worked with Landon Kestlinger on this film, how was that?
Steven McDonald: He was great. A pleasure working with him. He is a talented and driven director and I loved the script for The Reach. I felt it facilitated very well the transition from book to screen. The last lines get me every time emotionally.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Steven McDonald: Some really special moments, mostly because I was working with great people. The cast and crew were lovely to work with. I knew Carrie already so the fact we were playing family friends felt pretty natural. And it was the first time I had worked with Freda but the scenes together were really enjoyable. I hope I can work with both actors and crew again.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Steven McDonald: Yes. I keep in touch with Carrie, Freda and Landon.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Steven McDonald: I have some screen projects coming up, including two short independent films, a feature film called Trigger Happy and a couple of episodes of a comedy series called Sons of Spielberg. I still like to do some stage work so I have a play called Lilies I will be working on with a Polish theatre group called The Mirror of Stage. The version I will be doing is in English and is based on Polish folklore. I am also going to be playing live gigs over the summer with my band Einstein’s Wardrobe.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Steven McDonald: Yes. Huge fan. I usually download his audiobooks as he narrates a lot of them. My favourites are classics like The Stand, It and The Shining but I also love the recent Mr Mercedes trilogy.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Steven McDonald: I am a qualified lawyer. I practiced full time for 20 years before I turned pro as an actor.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Steven McDonald: I really appreciate being asked and if you want to follow what I do or keep in touch I have a Facebook page. See www.tallboyperformingarts.co.uk for updates. I am also found on Instagram under tallboyperformingarts
My band are also on Facebook. See www.einsteinswardrobe.co.uk or you can find us on Apple Music, Spotify etc.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Steven McDonald: Thank you again for asking me to do this. And a huge thanks to Landon for asking me to play Alden. I really appreciate it. And a shout out too to Carrie, Freda and the crew. Hope to see you all soon.