SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Wade Kownatsky: My name is Wade Kownatsky, I’m 49 years old, born in Philadelphia and grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ and the surrounding area. I am one of the Executive Producers of Joseph Horning’s Dollar Baby film “One for the Road” and I also play a character in it named Ned Tibbits. I’m an estimator by title but do much more than that for a storefront company in south Jersey and I have a great love for the town of Corolla in the Outer Banks, NC.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Wade Kownatsky: I think everyone growing up has thoughts of becoming an actor… watching Star Wars and Raiders as a kid it’s something that everyone thinks about. I wouldn’t even really call myself an actor as this Dollar Baby film is the only thing I’ve done (besides school plays as a kid). But hey, if anyone wants to get in touch with me for their next feature film I am a great student and can learn on the fly. And I can cry at will… I hear that’s a huge plus!
SKSM: How did you become involved in One for the Road Dollar Baby film?
Wade Kownatsky: I was attending one of the annual Monster-Mania Conventions (shout out to Dave and Doug Hagan -they put on 3 epic shows year after year) and there was a booth set up with a man and very attractive girl (to get all the guys attention of course) asking “hey do you like Stephen King? Want to invest a dollar to help make a movie?” The man there was Executive Producer Chris Wagler, I started talking to him because of my love for Stephen King and the conversation went from “yes OK a dollar” to “well what else are you looking for or how else can I help in this project”. Chris and I hit it off (even though he is a Patriots fan) and the next day I was chatting with Joseph and before we knew it I was onboard as part of the team.
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Wade Kownatsky: A couple things do. Stephen King’s stories of course just pull everyone into them. The man is a genius in his storytelling and the ideas he comes up with, it is not hard at all to fall in love with a King story. The other thing is vampires -people love them, put a vampire story to paper or film and everyone wants to read or see it.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Wade Kownatsky: No audition. Hell I don’t even think the part was a part until I came onboard. Being one of the producers has its perks as I kind of played that card and had Joe put me in the film. He got the last laugh though as I had to wear red contact lenses, THAT was hell for me.
SKSM: You worked with Joseph Horning on this film, how was that?
Wade Kownatsky: Joseph is great. He controls his set and brings the best out of everyone. He was very open to ideas and suggestions, even from me and I had never been on a movie set for 1 day in my life -he did tell me I have a good eye for detail so that was nice to hear. Given the chance I wouldn’t hesitate at all to work with him and to be a part of his team again, he truly is a great guy.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Wade Kownatsky: We had a lot -working outside in 5 degree weather in the mountains of Pennsylvania will create its own special moments. Group hugs to stay warm, the blood pump machine freezing in the cold, the grumpy old man neighbor who wanted us gone -even though he lived a mile away. But the best was when 2 of the girls had to run to Walmart- in full costume and makeup and the police were called because of all of the fake blood all over them. The police even followed them back to our set to be sure all was legit… classic stuff.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Wade Kownatsky: Yes absolutely a bunch of us stay in touch. Joe and Chris and I have some sort of banter going back and forth almost every day on social media. Eric (our star) and I chat it up every so often and whoever else that was involved comments on anything on FB we all get a good laugh (Scott, Beverly, Sandy, Curtis, Lisa, Michelle, Rob… the list goes on).
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Wade Kownatsky: Just my regular old job but like I said, I am willing to be involved in something if someone were to find me!
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Wade Kownatsky: Absolutely. Even from I think 10 years old I was reading Stephen King stories. I remember having to close the book Pet Semetary one night because it scared the hell out of me as I was reading it (probably at 12 years old or so). As a kid I had 2 twin beds in my bedroom and asked my parents to take 1 bed out and put in a couch so I could have a little reading area in my bedroom. I owned every King book there was and always bought a new release the day it came out.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Wade Kownatsky: I am a comic book nerd who tries to attend as many local conventions as I can. And even a couple I have to travel to.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Wade Kownatsky: Thanks for reading about my small part of involvement with this project, thanks for being a part of the group that loves Stephen King and hopefully you see our movie and love it!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Wade Kownatsky: A big thank you to you Oscar for all you do, and this chance for me to talk about our movie.