SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
J. P. Winslow: Certainly. My name is J. P. Winslow and I was born in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada. I live in central British Columbia, Canada. I am an Actor and Historical Interpreter by trade. I am also a writer and musician.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
J. P. Winslow: It feels like I’ve always been an actor. My father was in show business and so it was a natural step for me to follow that path. I learned about acting and movies from my Dad. He was a film projectionist for years (he just retired) and ran his own movie theatre for a time and also worked on independent films. We had a massive collection of classic films on VHS as early as 1978. I became a fan of James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, John Garfield, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Davis, Marlene Dietrich and many others at a very early age. The heroes in my household were actors and directors. My parents considered acting a noble profession and they still do. My Father helped me write my first play when I was sixteen. I began acting at the age of seven doing local stage productions and independent films and even through very difficult times I have always kept at least ‘one foot on the path’ – to quote Eric Clapton.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The doctor’s case Dollar Baby film?
J. P. Winslow: In November of 2016 I was working on a promotional video for Barkerville Historic Town with James Douglas. We were taking a break between shots and James mentioned that he was thinking about submitting an application to the Dollar Babies Initiative with the goal of producing The Doctor’s Case. James asked me if I would be interested in being involved and I asked him in what capacity. He told me he’d like me to play Sherlock Holmes and my answer was: F#*k yeah!
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
J. P. Winslow: The Doctor’s Case is appealing in many ways and here are three that I think are important. First of all, it is a story written by Stephen King. Need I say more? People have come to expect great writing from Mr. King and in The Doctor’s Case they find just that. Secondly, the story features Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. In these characters Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created what are essentially real people. In other words, Holmes and Watson exist in our collective consciousness on a global scale. Even if one has never read a Sherlock Holmes adventure one still is aware of the character and his almost super hero qualities. Finally, The Doctor’s Case combines iconic characters created by Conan Doyle with a plot created Stephen King. In the story one finds the meeting of minds of two of the most successful popular writers in Western literary history, albeit from different centuries and different countries.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
J. P. Winslow: This is a yes and no answer. There was no formal audition for me. That being said when I look back I feel that the shoot for the Barkerville promo became a bit of an audition although neither James Douglas nor myself was fully aware of it at the time.
SKSM: You worked with James Douglas on this film, how was that?
J. P. Winslow: Working with James was and is, in a word, easy. Of course we have a long history of working together. I remember doing improve with James back in ’01 or ’02. We have worked together as Historical Interpreters in Barkerville and at the now defunct historical attraction Storyeum in Vancouver. James is also my supervisor at Barkerville. One of the best parts of working with James on The Doctor’s Case was that we are both fans of Sherlock Holmes. We have both read all the stories numerous times and we both really enjoy the Granada series which was made in the ’80’s. Our shared experience as Historical Interpreters also gave us access to a shared process of character interpretation and development. So we had a great deal of common ground as we approached working on the film.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
J. P. Winslow: There were many funny moments both on set and off. It is difficult to share the humour because without context readers of this interview will be hearing ‘in jokes’. What I can say is that for me I knew I was doing something very special when I was working with the cast and crew of The Doctor’s Case. I think we all felt it. I believe we all knew that this particular film project was a once in a lifetime experience and that many of us would be changed forever. I felt that I was in the right place doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I felt sixteen.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
J. P. Winslow: Yes, I have a great deal of contact with many of the cast and crew. I see Andrew Hamilton, Stu Cawood, Shawna Berry, Michelle Lieffretz, and Danette Boucher on a regular basis as we all live in the same small town. I see Norm Coyne from time to time as well as Jenn Lewis. I plan on a visit with Michael Colman when I am in Vancouver in April.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
J. P. Winslow: I am working with James on a new one-man stage show that I have written. The working title is Vampire Load and the plan is too premier the show this summer at the Sunset Theatre in Wells, British Columbia. I am also preparing for my seventeenth season at Barkerville Historic Town where I will do about five hundred performances and presentations during the summer. I plan to go to Victoria, British Columbia in October to re-mount another of my one-man shows entitled Gold Guns & Greed in which I play the mythical Agnus McVee: British Columbia’s Gold Rush serial killer. I also hope to attend the world premiere of The Doctor’s Case at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival in Dubuque, Iowa this April.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
J. P. Winslow: I read rather widely and have had the pleasure of enjoying a number of Stephen King’s works. I have two favorites and those are The Shining and Misery. I love The Shining because it is a brilliant look at the horror of alcohol addiction. Misery is also appealing to me because it deals with mental illness and obsession and is a horror story that could easily be real.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
J. P. Winslow: One thing that people may surprise people about me is that I am a fan of some pretty extreme death metal and I have a particular penchant for some of the music coming out of Sweden. I love Opeth, Bloodbath, Shining, Ghost, Ishan and other bands. In fact, I just attended a Watain concert in Vancouver last week. I believe that Stephen King also enjoys heavy metal so he and I have something other than The Doctor’s Case in common.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
J. P. Winslow: It has been a pleasure to answer your questions and I thank you and all the fans who will read this article for having an interest in The Doctor’s Case and for having an interest in what I have to say.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
J. P. Winslow: I would add that every aspect of The Doctor’s Case has been pure joy for me. Cheers.