SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
John Romeo: I’m John Romeo. I’m an actor (on stage and in film). I’ve made living at performing since the early ‘80’s. I’m also a filmmaker (I have several indie films I’ve directed and been cinematographer on) and a voice over artist. For over 3 decades I was a technician (for 2yrs) and then an actor in a theatre company, traveled extensively performing in Europe and the Mid East.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
John Romeo: I didn’t ever consider it. I wanted to be so many things as a child. When I went to college, a guy across the dorm hall told me I should come to the theater. They were holding auditions and there was a guy there who was hilarious and I should go. The guy was hilarious and went on to be in the film “Grease”. But, when I walked into that playhouse I felt at home. And I soon changed my major to theatre and never looked back.
SKSM: How did you become involved in The Monkey Dollar Baby film?
John Romeo: I had seem somewhere, maybe on social media, that someone had scored the Stephen King Short Story deal. I knew the story and I followed it to see if it was legit. When I saw it was, I kept my ear to the rail to hear about casting.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
John Romeo: That damn monkey. It has the ability, because of our imagination, to be benevolent or to be evil. Obviously, since King and the horror genre are so popular it just makes sense. Some benign toy becomes a malevolent monster. Great idea.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
John Romeo: Spencer Sherry sent me a side and I did a video audition as we were still in the last throes of COVID. I videoed the audition. And got the part of Hal.
SKSM: You worked with Spencer Sherry on this film, how was that?
John Romeo: Spencer is so smart. He’s a confident guy with a surprisingly vivid vision. For a new filmmaker he was very clear about what he was looking to accomplish. He’s a great guy, and I’d work with him anytime. Actually I did work with him again. He produced another project, Anomaly, that I was in. And I’m fairly certain he had a good deal to do with my being in that film.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
John Romeo: We had a lot of laughs but perhaps the thing we chuckled about most was that I did the whole film lying down. The WHOLE film.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
John Romeo: We have a great community of young filmmakers in our area. I’ve done many films with a lot of the same crews. So, depending on what project we’re doing, it seems to be a lot of the same, talented bunch of folks.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
John Romeo: I just closed a 7 week gig, a Shakespeare play in a regional theater. And now I’m looking for the next project.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
John Romeo: Definitely. Skeleton Crew, the anthology that Monkey came from is probably my favorite King book. I’m a huge fan of most of his earlier works.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
John Romeo: I’m quiet, shy, and I hate attention.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
John Romeo: If they can find a way to see The Monkey they should watch it. And…support your local arts.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
John Romeo: I’ve said too much already.