SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Gregory French: I am Gregory French. I am an actor, stunt man, writer, director, producer, and all-around movie nerd!
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Gregory French: I was always performing around the house when I was little. If I ever found a camera or tape recorder lying around I would use it to make videos or audio recordings and put on Little shows for myself. I recently found one from when I was 4 or 5. It was actually pretty Good!
Then in Elementary school found I was always getting cast in their productions. But I guess the real acting bug bit me when I was in 5th grade and I got the role of Lewis in our high school’s production of “The King and I”. From then on I was always looking for an audience to be in front of.
SKSM: How did you become involved in That Feeling Dollar Baby film?
Gregory French: Paul and I have known each other for years and have worked together on a many films. I was in “The Non-Dead” and “Mime over Magic” both of which he wrote and directed, and he directed one that I wrote and starred in called “Thirst of the Dead” and was assistant director on “The Vegetarian” which I also wrote. We were both founding members of Coastal Independent Films and had the opportunity to work together on many of their productions.
When he got the rights to “That Feeling” he asked me to help him with some of the pre-production and offered me the role of Caroline’s father.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Gregory French: Without giving too much away, I think it is all about that “Inner voice” that we all have. Sometimes we listen to it- sometimes we don’t. Except, in true Stephen King fashion, we discover that Caroline’s inner voice is a little different than most.
I also think the “Groundhog Day” effect in this film is a great choice. Each time we see the story play through we see slight changes and start to notice details we missed the first time, allowing us to learn more about the characters and what is really happening to them. It is an interesting way to tell a story that I think the audience will love.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Gregory French: I did not audition for it. Although it wasn’t written for me, I think Paul knew it would be a good fit for me based on our mutual acting history and offered me the role.
SKSM: You worked with Paul Inman on this film, how was that?
Gregory French: Paul is great! His writing and directing style is very laid back. He knows exactly what he wants and how to pull that specific performance out of his actors, but he is also open to new interpretations of the characters by the actors.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Gregory French: Nothing comes to mind. We were on such a tight shooting schedule that there wasn’t a lot of time for much fooling around. I’m not saying it wasn’t fun- far from it! But we were all there to work and make an amazing film in a short amount of time.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Gregory French: Yes. Many of us were friends before this film and continue to hang out. There are not a lot of filmmakers in our area, so we all tend to stick together.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Gregory French: Coastal Independent Films is always in production on something, so that keeps me busy. I also just landed a role in “Hot Christmas” (working title) which will be in production through February
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Gregory French: I grew up in the 80’s so Stephen King was HUGE for me! The only books I would willfully read as a kid were Stephen King books.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Gregory French: I’m an open book. I don’t think there are any surprises left that everyone doesn’t already know!
But my Daughter just got accepted at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) for performing arts, which I think is a pretty big deal! She is WAY more talented than me, and my wife and I are both very proud of her for chasing her dreams.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Gregory French: I hope you really enjoy watching this film as much as we enjoyed making it! Join us for the premier on Wednesday November 10th at 7pm at the Market Common Theater!