He played in Matthew Maio Mackay‘s Dollar Baby A Tale of the Laundry Game as Spike.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
James McCluskey-Garcia: Hi Oscar, My name is James and I’ve been an actor for about 30 years! I trained here in Adelaide, South Australia, at The Centre for the Performing Arts (A.C. Arts). I’ve worked in all médiums in the entertainment industry in Australia but theatre is my first love. I have also done some teaching recently. When not acting I can be found working as a boat crew on The Popeye, a tour charter boat here on The River Torrens. I am also Santa! (Sshhh).
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
James McCluskey-Garcia: As a child I pretty much lived in a fantasy world which I think is vital for any actor, to be able to tap into your imagination. I was exposed to some great classic films from mum and my dad was into the British comedies. I got a taste for acting in high school and was encouraged to go further by some wonderful teachers. I did a one man show when I was 17 and used that as my audition for acting school.
SKSM: How did you become involved in A tale of the laundry game Dollar Baby film?
James McCluskey-Garcia: I had previously worked with Matthew on Smothered and another project and I put my hand up to audition for him for the role of Spike. He’s a very talented kid and clearly loves working with actors.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
James McCluskey-Garcia: I think, firstly, anything by Stephen King, is emminently readable and watchable. He’s one of America’s great story tellers. The story itself is gripping and I think as humans we are fascinated with characters that are out of joint, like Rocky and especially Spike, We want to know what drives them to do what they do.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
James McCluskey-Garcia: I wish it was that easy! Yes, I auditioned.
SKSM: You worked with Matthew Maio Mackay on this film, how was that?
James McCluskey-Garcia: It was great working with Matthew on this project. He lets you, as the actor, explore the character and discover ‘moments’ within the context of the scene.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
James McCluskey-Garcia: I dont recall anything funny but when we were shooting the car crash scene, I remember it was late, long but very detailed work, and I knew it would look good when finished.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
James McCluskey-Garcia: Yes, I am friends with most of the cast. The acting industry here in Adelaide is very small and we all know each other, which is a good thing, I think. I have done a musical with both Brendan Cooney (Bob) and Marc Clement (Rocky) as well as theatre and I was in Warpath Chronicles that Marc and Stefanie Rossi (Rocky’s wife) produced. I do role-play acting with Cheryl Louise (Rocky’s wife) with medical students at Adelaide University here. So, yes! We are all friends.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
James McCluskey-Garcia: I am currently rehearsing “A Man For All Seasons”, playing Thomas More (we open next week! EEk) And then I go into reheasals for Titanic: The Musical playing J Bruce Ismay and then another play at the end of 2020.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
James McCluskey-Garcia: Yes! I have always been a huge fan of his work. His writing is extraordinary. “IT” is my favourite story. Pennywise is my favourite character.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
James McCluskey-Garcia: People may be surprised to know that I play piano and only have nine fingers! I lost one last year in an accident.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
James McCluskey-Garcia: Thanks Oscar. I want to thank your readers for supporting this film, and to say watch as much as you can, read as much as you can, travel, love, be kind to every living creature you meet. And support the Arts!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
James McCluskey-Garcia: Keep your eyes ready on Matthew’s next Project “Tooth for Tooth”.