SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Alan Levine: My name is Alan Levine. In addition to acting, I am a lawyer by trade. I’ve been happily married to my wife Dawn for 22 years. She’s a lawyer, too! Our son is a freshman in college. He’ll probably be a lawyer. It’s the family curse.
I’m in my seventh year serving on the Board of Education for Marietta City Schools. I play drums and guitar, enjoy barbequing, drinking good beer, watching sports, photography, and working on all manner of creative projects both collaboratively and alone.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Alan Levine: I started acting on stage late in life, after college, when I was a high school science teacher. The thrill of being on stage, inhabiting another persona, and pulling an audience into a story was and remains intoxicating. Though I left acting for several years, it never left me.
SKSM: How did you become involved in Rest stop Dollar Baby film?
Alan Levine: There was an open audition for the part of Douglas Grant. I taped my audition, was offered the role, and that was how I met the director, Stephen Dean, along with the rest of the wonderful cast and crew.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Alan Levine: Okay, so you’ll probably want to not ask me this question because I’ve not seen the movie yet, nor read the short story that it’s based on! But I am looking forward to doing so. All I can say is the obvious – that lots of people like to be scared – but within the safety of a movie theater or in their own home.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Alan Levine: I auditioned.
SKSM: You worked with Stephen dean on this film, how was that?
Alan Levine: Stephen was great to work with. As an actor himself, he has just the right touch giving direction without overdirecting. That way, he gets the performance he wants while allowing the actor to create within the limits of the character’s persona.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Alan Levine: It was just a great day on set. It was cold and snowy in Atlanta the previous day, which is a rarity. So there was the question of, with the icy roads, whether we’d get a full cast and crew in to work. But we did.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Alan Levine: I am friends with a couple of the cast and crew on Facebook and Instagram – Stephen, Ivy Nicholson and Jaymee Vowell, for instance. So, I get to see what they’re up to even though we don’t hang out. Also, a few of us are with the same talent agency – East Coast Talent.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Alan Levine: I just completed a short documentary titled ‘All My Exorcists Live in Texas.’ It explores the weird, unusual intersection of the law and the supernatural. The legal cases are real, involving hauntings, claims of demonic possession and more. Also, the great film company Hammer and actors Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Helen Mirren make appearances. It’s can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5a6hzSXAH0&feature=youtu.be
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Alan Levine: Yes. Though I’ve not immersed myself in his work, I have both read and watched The Shining, and read Pet Cemetery. Also, I saw The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me. All of the above were enjoyable. He’s an incredible and prolific creator. The Stand is on my list of books to read.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Alan Levine: Years ago, while I was working as a journalist, I spent an entire night alone, locked inside the famous haunted Atlanta restaurant Anthony’s. It was a stunt for Halloween. I survived, but it was very unnerving. Yes, I heard stuff. No, I didn’t see anything. Though I wrote a story about it years ago, I’ve yet to turn the tale into a video. That’s next!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Alan Levine: I hope that you found the movie enjoyable! Though I’ve yet to see it, I’ve heard good things about it.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Alan Levine: Horror, be it literary or cinematic, when done right, can illuminate the human condition. Whether it’s a work by Poe or Hitchcock or King, the masters of horror, in my opinion, may show us where evil lies, even and especially within our own souls, but still direct us to a better way, to reject cruelty and choose the good, the sane.