SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Deron Simmons: My name is Deron Simmons, I am a retired Air Force veteran turned actor, I currently work for the Army as a civilian. I’m married and have two grown children.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Deron Simmons: My first inclination was early in my elementary school years. I was in drama in the sixth grade and one of our plays was thought to be really good, so we actually got the opportunity to perform it on a local television show in Savannah Georgia; the show was called Ebony Edition.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The man who loved flowers Dollar Baby film?
Deron Simmons: One of my acting classmates (Jimmie), turned to me in class one day and said I need to talk to you with a big smile on his face. On the next break he came and told me about the collaboration and that he thought I’d be perfect as the flower vendor; he introduced me to Tracey Hague, and the rest is history.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Deron Simmons: Many people like a love story and some like blood and gore. In this film, you get both, there is a sweet love story line, and then boom, the gore hits you in the face.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Deron Simmons: I didn’t have to audition; I was approached by my classmate Jimmie, as previously mentioned. Jimmie was co-writing with Tracey Hague, he said when they wrote the part, he thought I’d be perfect for it. I guess in a roundabout way it was written for me.
SKSM: You worked with Tracey Hague on this film, how was that?
Deron Simmons: Tracey is the best, she has such a free and sweet spirit about her. My family has actually been to her house since, and we all love her. She actually took me by surprise during filming by giving us some freedom to make some of our own decisions. I was not prepared for that since this was my first on camera film experience post grade school. You learn in acting class that you will generally have to stick to scripts as written. I’m probably spoiled now, and will have to keep in the back of my mind that all experiences won’t be as great as working with Tracey and the amazing cast and crew that she hand picked.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Deron Simmons: I can’t think of any funny moments in particular, the atmosphere was pretty light and comfortable. It was special for me at the end of filming, when the entire cast and crew took a cool picture with me holding my personal slate that my family bought for my first filming.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Deron Simmons: I still text Tracey and Jimmie from time to time just to see how they are doing. I see Josh and Sarah at school during class changes that’s when we do some catching up; I have also talked with Josh off and on for advice since he is a veteran in the business.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Deron Simmons: I’ve been a part of two shorts since this one, I’m mainly in class every week to perfect my craft. I’m taking it easy, I walk by faith and not by sight, and things in all apsects of my life seem to come and find me.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Deron Simmons: I can’t say that I am a fan, because I don’t know Stephen King’s work. I have seen many comments that say he is a brilliant writer, and I am inclined to believe that, I just have never been into horror films. I didn’t even think of this as a horror film until the premiere and seeing the film in it’s entirety. My scene was light hearted and friendly so that is all I was going on, since I wasn’t a part of the gory scenes. Tracey did a spectacular job in executing her visión for her versión of this re-make, it was a nice love story, and then the horror kind of snuck up on you.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Deron Simmons: Probably that I am an extreme speed fanatic. Some would also be surprised to know that I am 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?
Deron Simmons: I hope they enjoyed my contribution and I hope to bring more entertainment to the screen for them in the near future. Also, if any of the fans think that they have been bitten by the acting bug, I would say pursue it if it is a dream; in America, dreams do come true at any age and stage of life.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Deron Simmons: I would like to thank my wife, Andrea, and my kids Tasia and Treyton for being supportive of my persuance in this craft, I think that leaves a lot of freedom for it to be fun and not so much work. Sadly, so many find that support illusive.