He played in Nicholas Brumond’s The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands Dollar Baby film as Jack Wilden.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Christopher M. Allport: Actor, author, director, composer
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Christopher M. Allport: It was on my third birthday that my parents took me to see a touring production of Annie at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Mesmerized with the ornate, illuminated ceiling, thrust stage, proscenium and art deco architecture of that world-class theatre, I was already inspired. During the second act, I found the musical’s antagonist — a ne’er-do-well orphanage proprietress (Agatha Hannigan) — to be treating the orphans with such repute that I stood up in my red velvet seat. From the audience, I shouted “Shut-up Miss Hannigan!” at the top of my lungs. The cast was stunned to silence, and the audience erupted with applause for my well-timed interruption. It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to be an actor.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The man who would not shake hands Dollar Baby film?
Christopher M. Allport: One of the remarkable features of film festivals is the ability to meet and deeply connect with like-minded creative colleagues! My own feature film Emily or Oscar?, which I wrote and directed was on the festival circuit, when I connected with fellow filmmaker Nicholas Bromund. We hit it off and decided that we should work together. A few months later, I was pleased to take on the role of the moody and conflicted ‘Jack Wilden’ in Bromund’s adaptation of The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands. It was a pleasure to work with Nicholas on set.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Christopher M. Allport: Well, this film is dark. Afterall, it is a Stephen King story. And King is most definitely dark. But I don’t think the darkness is what attracts audiences to his stories, but the fact that people can see glimpses of themselves and their own lived experiences in aspects of characters created by King. Not every person (or character for that matter) is all good or all bad. Bromund was able to capture the conflict within the individual characters and relationships to visually amplify King’s story. I definitely see that as an attraction to the material.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Christopher M. Allport: The part of ‘Jack’ already existed in Bromund’s film adaptation of the King short story. We added a musical element to it with my character playing on the piano. It was not necessary for me to audition for the film, because Nick and I already had a vision of working together.
SKSM: You worked with Nicholas Bromund on this film, how was that?
Christopher M. Allport: Nicholas Bromund put a great deal of effort into getting the chemistry between the characters right. I really liked that. As I mentioned, these characters have dark and moody sides to them, but goodness too. Nick really helped develop and refine both sides of the coin — so to speak.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Christopher M. Allport: Yes! There was the horrific moment in the script after someone is discovered dead on the sidewalk. It was the last day of filming and the air was heavy. We were all tired from a long day — pushing to get the martini shot. One of our colleagues, Alan C. Jones, playing the character of ‘George Gregson’ really delivered one of the scariest of moments of the entire film directly into the camera — the rest of us by his side. Just as this moment broke, we knew that we had nailed the martini shot, yet all of a sudden, we heard an emergency siren! This situation on the sidewalk looked pretty dire — because that was our scene. Underscored by the approaching emergency vehicle, we all started cracking up as the tension eased. In that moment, we knew we had a win, because by delving into the material, we had all really scared ourselves.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Christopher M. Allport: I’m still in contact with several of the cast, including Alan C. Jones, and of course Mr. Bromund himself.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Christopher M. Allport: I just completed a two-year festival tour of my own film Emily or Oscar? With over 80 major film festival wins and an official premiere at Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Hollywood, this movie musical has been quite the pleasure to present with co-stars Casara Clark, Stephen J. Kalinich and the incomparable Susan Blakely.
Alongside another creative colleague, Fansu Njie, we have also just published the 550 fantasy / action-adventure novel Senja Chronicles. Set in Northern Norway and steeped in Norse mythology, Senja is a roller coaster of a ride. Senja Chronicles is available on Amazon! We have also recently finished the scripts for a multi-episode streaming series based on the book — and are working with various production groups to get Senja Chronicles made for screen!
I am also directing a cinematic documentary entitled The Sound of Gold — the history of West Coast Rock-n-Roll at the famed Gold Star Recording Studio in Hollywood. Alongside my partner Harvey Kubernik, we have interview some of the majors in music history. Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are just two of the majors who have joined The Sound of Gold.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Christopher M. Allport: Absolutely. King’s work is brilliant, not just for its darkness, but for the fact that his characters are ordinary. Ordinary in a way that most people can relate to them. One of the best books that any creator should read is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. He really delves into what makes his work so iconic.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Christopher M. Allport: I am also an accomplished composer and recording artist. You can find my music on all the major streaming platforms under Artist: Christopher M. Allport!
Beach Boy lyricist Stephen J. Kalinich and I have just completed a music / spoken word project just in time for Halloween! Dropping at all the major streaming platforms on Ocotber 29, Halloween Fugue: Delusions of Narcissus (Transcendental Trance) is a spooky Halloween track that any King fan would delight to listen to. We encourage listeners to discover the track on Spotify on October 29, and vote for Halloween Fugue: Delusions of Narcissus!
Another thing fans might be interested in, is that I am into developing sustainable energy. I have certificates in green / solar technology, and like to develop energy projects to help reduce our carbon emissions.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Christopher M. Allport: –