In A PERFECT YOU, Dave Weidler played the pot-smoking driver. I’ve known Dave longer than anyone else working on the film. It was great to having him on it and I hope I’ll get a chance do it again in the future. He’s a wonderful actor and a lot of fun to be with. I just hope he moves back to Reading sometime.
Dave, how did we first meet?
Dave: I was back in PA to be a part time father to a little girl in 2010, working as the only bartender at the newly opened Simmeria when you arrived, flute in hand, performing an early Traffic number and other soothing classics on select Sunday mornings. Fast-forward, I respond to a guitar listing offered on Craigslist. The address turns out to be yours as I subsequently purchased said archtop (my favorite guitar to play to this day). The 3rd time we ‘met up’ may have been during RAiL and then a year went by, and oddly enough, my first local production in Berks County, was a piece you happen to write and star in!! …and there ya have it folks, the rest they say, is history 🙂
Sue: Wow, such memories. The Simmeria, old boyfriends’ guitars, theater productions. We’ve done a lot of traveling together for such a short period of acquaintanceship. Imagine what we could accomplish if we actually liked each other! Just kiddin’.
Tell me: what is your most memorable acting moment?
Dave: Thankfully I’ve had a few non-traditional very memorable moments while acting. Spending time with David Clennon, Nicky Henson, and Jeffery Wright shooting SYRIANA for several days in Washington D.C. make up some of the most fun I’ve had acting…
That said, the greatest impact the world of acting’s had on me was my first lead role in a theater production playing Paul Bratter in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park when I was 29. The fear, nervousness, and self-doubt of whether or not I could remember my lines or if I might let the production or team down, was overwhelming. I carried that uncertainty right up to moment the curtain dropped, I rang the doorbell, and exclaimed, “Honey, I’m home.” At that very moment, I became completely immersed in the moment, the role, the production; I wasn’t me, I was Paul Bratter. It wasn’t long that all those fears, all that uncertainty, quickly dissipated and were replaced with confidence, elation, and gratitude. To cover that broad spectrum of emotions in that short amount of time is testament to the raw power and energy only “acting” can provide, and those feelings will stay with me forever.
Sue: So did that experience get you addicted to acting?
Dave: It definitely elevated my interest, in theater particularly. Shortly after Barefoot, I found myself hitting up Bro. Jim Miller at King’s College Theater Dept. to cast me in his first production of Hamlet in his 30 year career. After he encouraged me to NOT tryout (just like 10 years earlier in his Theater Experience 165 course), I didn’t listen to him and was subsequently cast as King Hamlet, the ghost of Hamlet’s father. Working with those passionate students and with my former professors, (even crashing at the infamous 31 Academy St., the ‘theater house’ for dress and production weeks), was the most humbling and rewarding time I’ve had around theater.
Without a ton of money or time on my hands to pursue theater fearlessly, I found myself working semi-regularly in industrial films, cable crime shows, commercials, and an occasional little-theater production here or there (Plaza Suite, Butterfield 8) until I took a break from acting all together.
Sue: I love SYRIANA. Got any anecdotes from working on that?
Dave: You might remember a man who played a George Bush look-a-like in the movie. He addressed 100 politicians via a big-screen projector in the movie, as if he was conferenced-in. He was great, looked like W, the whole bit…well, he wasn’t an actor at all, he was a body double. We became friends at the food cart in the morning for breakfast. We were in the same scene, he was a major element of that scene. Well, we got to asking one another, “so how did you get here?” My story was a crazy/funny one, his was one of pure luck, chance…and it changed the script on the spot.
He recently retired, his wife encouraged him to get out of the house to keep busy. He saw an announcement in the newspaper calling for extras or ‘bodies’ for a movie being shot at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. He went down, he was picked to be a body double. While working as a double, writer/director Stephen Gaghan turned to him and said, “you look just like George Bush, are you interested in acting?” With no acting experience, with no intent of being on screen, his just “being there” in fact altered that scene, that part of the script and he played the president in a motion picture with over 130 named-cast members. So, in the world of entertainment, anything is possible.
Sue: Amazing and very true, you never know where things will lead in this business. Like how we changed Ned Begler’s role in Marriage Expo(sé) because you had created such a great character for us. What did you think about that experience?
Dave: I viewed it as a certain confidence the team had in me to suggest taking my small role from Harold Harrod who I gave a stammer during our first read-through, to in essence, assigning Ned Begler the role of antagonist or an adversarial relationship with Freddie Burgers by our second read. I accepted the role and loved every bit of it. Working with such talented people who trusted in my talent and allowed me to help develop Ned, opened, re-opened my eyes to that fact that I truly love to entertain and that I’m most in my element when acting out, both legally and illegally, ohhhhhh I’m kidding of course! Acting and working with professionals and the fast bond the large cast developed was the highlight for me, and now have some really nice people I call friends. That’s what Marriage Expose did to/for me.
Sue: Well, I really loved you in that role and your contribution was phenomenal. I want to turn that play into a Robert Altman-like movie. Someday…
Meantime, thanks for stopping by. I can’t wait for everybody to see you in A Perfect You.
A professional actor working in radio, screen, stage, and theater for twenty years, I look forward to continuing my career auditioning and booking as much quality work as possible.
Check him out on imdb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5707141