SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Chris Gaunt: I’m Chris Gaunt. I now act, produce, direct and write full-time on the east coast, west coast and all areas between. Before this work, I worked in a more traditional business world setting for MANY years. So, this is a fantastic “second act”! I love this work and plan on doing it the rest of my life. I rarely stop. So, it’s a go! go! go! mentality! I’m also married (nearly 33 years) and have two children who both now live in Brooklyn. And, I’m a huge animal lover. When I’m not doing film work, I love volunteering for a bunch of non-profits.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Chris Gaunt: I have loved acting my entire life. When I was a little kid I was “obsessed” with two things… all things sports and, all things film. And, nothing has changed! I still love athletics and, I still love acting as well as writing, directing and producing.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The Monkey Dollar Baby film?
Chris Gaunt: I had read a fantastic article in the newspaper regarding Spencer Sherry and his story of getting the green light to proceed with The Monkey. I KNEW I had to meet Spencer! I finished reading the article and immediately reached out to Spencer. A few days later we met up for coffee. He briefed me on The Monkey film project and his fantastic story of getting the okay to proceed in making the film. It was such a great example of perseverance! I was hooked and let Spencer know that I would love to work with him. Spencer and, the entire TEAM he assembled, have all been amazing!
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Chris Gaunt: Stephen King for starters! I LOVE his writing. And, I have been a huge fan of his short stories and books since I was a little boy. And, I love his creations that have been brought to life on film. I really like how creepy the actual MONKEY toy is and, despite the best efforts of so many, that “pesky” MONKEY toy just keeps showing up creating havoc for all who have it in their possession. It refuses to go away! I like how it impacts each member of a family versus just a single character.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Chris Gaunt: Spencer shared with me that there were a few parts available and, during our meeting it was decided that I could be a good fit for the MALE NURSE in the film. I had never played a character in the medical profession. So, playing that character was different for me and fun!
SKSM: You worked with Spencer Sherry on this film, how was that?
Chris Gaunt: It was a fantastic on-set experience working with Spencer and the rest of the cast and crew. Spencer did a great job making ALL feel comfortable and valued and, it was such a nice experience of collaborating in an effort to bring Spencer’s vision to life on film. Spencer provided terrific direction while giving us, as actors, some room for character exploration and development.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Chris Gaunt: I remember noticing how “chill” and relaxed Spencer seemed to be during filming. He knew what he wanted to accomplish, had prepared very well and then he was able to let the day on set unfold. If he was stressed, he hid it from the cast and crew really well! That really helped to make it a very enjoyable experience.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Chris Gaunt: YES! Many of the cast and crew work together on a number of film projects in and around the (518) area. The greater Albany, NY area is the (518). I have had the opportunity to see several actors from the NYC area that are in the film during the premiere. It’s such a nice cast and crew. ALL were just great to work with and, to be around. We all love The Monkey film project and, we really wanted to see this film knock it out of the park!
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Chris Gaunt: I’m always juggling a bunch of film projects (maybe too many -ha!) I’m super excited about all of these projects! “The Fledgling“, an eight episode series, created by the talented writer and director Joe Gietl. We’ve spent 16 months on this project and, it’s really shaping up nicely! “Dead Man’s Party” has been written and, will be directed by the talented creator Kyle Kleege. “22 Minus 1″ is a film written by the talented Sal DelGreco. I’m directing that film. It will be shot the end of June in Connecticut.”Riding with Pride” is a six episode project created by the talented Shane Alden of New Light Media that will begin filming in the fall. “Passing Fancy” is currently being written by the talented Nick Williams and that will be shot in the fall too. We are in post-production now on the feature film “A Convergence” which was filmed in January. This is a terrific film that the talented Dan Vantresca wrote and directed. And, I’m working on four of my own feature length screenplays that will be filmed once the screenplays are ‘just right”.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Chris Gaunt: OH YES! As I mentioned above, I have been a big fan my entire life. And, I really love his creations that have been able to come to life on film!
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Chris Gaunt: I LOVE playing characters that those who first meet me may not think I’d enjoy playing. A ton of earlier acting roles were the “nice, supportive, father-type” which is fine but, now I really love stretching a bit by portraying characters that may not be all that likeable. It’s fun to expand and stretch!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Chris Gaunt: Thank you so much! And, please support The Monkey film by Spencer Sherry! You will not be dissapointed. The film is SO WELL DONE!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Chris Gaunt: Just another sincere THANK YOU for covering the film and for supporting independent filmmaking!