He played in Tod Gorman’s The Jaunt Dollar Baby film as Rudy Foggia.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Devin McGee: Hello! I’m Devin McGee and I’m an actor, writer and musician currently living in Los Angeles, California.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Devin McGee: The acting “bug” first bit me around the age of 6 when I performed in my first grade school production of the play Grease. When I was growing up my cousins and I used to spend our summers writing and filming short films and silly spoof commercials on our VHS camcorder. As a teenager, life took me in a different direction and I became obsessed with drumming and playing in rock bands all throughout high school and college. A few years after graduating college, I rediscovered acting when a friend of mine hired me to play a drummer for Michelle Branch’s band on an episode One Tree Hill. It was the first time being on a real film set and I immediately fell in love with it – the excitement, the collective creative energy and the mechanics of it all. After that, I started seriously pursuing and studying acting again. Ironically, almost a decade later I ended up playing a prominent villian on the same exact show (One Tree Hill).
SKSM: How did you become involved in The Jaunt Dollar Baby film?
Devin McGee: I was living in Wilmington, North Carolina at the time and some friends of mine were in the film program at UNC Wilmington and had acquired this script as part of their senior film studies project.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Devin McGee: In this story set in the 24th century, humans have developed teleportation as a means of travel and are using it to colonize planets in other solar systems. Even though this technology has been refined, it is not without risk and 30 people have either died or gone insane since it’s invention in 1987. My character, Rudy Foggia (a convicted death row criminal), is seen in a flashback when he accepts a full pardon in exchange for being the first human test subject for the then brand new technology. During my teleportation or “jaunt” I remain fully awake and when I come out the other side I am not the same person I was before I entered as I have “seen eternity in there.”
I think The Jaunt is a classic cautionary tale about knowing and pushing past our limitations. In the quest for human advancement, how much of a calculated risk are we willing to take in order to reap even greater rewards? In a sense, I guess humankind has always done that throughout history as we (hopefully) continue to evolve as a species.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Devin McGee: To be honest, I think we shot this almost 16 years ago and I can’t remember if I auditioned for the role or they just offered it to me LOL.
SKSM: You worked with Tod Gorman on this film, how was that?
Devin McGee: I have fond memories of working with Todd and the entire crew. Everyone was very kind and really cared about what they were doing. Even though they were all still film students at the time, they had a level of professionalism well beyond their years.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Devin McGee: Again, that was so long ago it’s hard for me to remember a lot of details on that shoot but one thing I remember was us all having fun coming up with the designs for the prison tattoos all over my character’s body (which were ultimately just drawn on me with a Sharpie marker). I also remember it took about a week for them to all finally wash off my skin.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so, with who?
Devin McGee: I have run into a few of the old cast and crew over the years working on various film and television projects in Wilmington, NC. This past summer, I shot a feature comedy film, Birdies, in Wilmington with one of my fellow Jaunt actors, Timmy Sherrill. That film actually has its premiere there (Wilmington) at the end of this month.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Devin McGee: I am currently pursuing acting in Los Angeles and also in the process of pitching a vampire comedy series to network and streaming platforms that my father and I created and developed along with a few close friends.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Devin McGee: Absolutely! One of my favorite films to this day is Stand By Me, which isn’t the stereotypical King horror but a timeless and touching story, nonetheless.
Stephen King also has a long standing affiliation with Wilmington, North Carolina.
He’s the reason the film industry came to Wilmington due to them filming Firestarter there back in the 1980’s. He has also filmed other works of his there such as Maximum Overdrive and Under the Dome
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Devin McGee: I’ve been a strict vegan for nearly a quarter of a century now. It’s way easier to find vegan options nowadays than when I first started!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Devin McGee: “Find what you love and let it kill you.” One of my favorite quotes from Charles Bukowski.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Devin McGee: Kudos to Stephen King’s Dollar Baby program! It has given many aspiring filmmakers access to great material to pull from and personalize over the years on their journey to realizing their own dreams.