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Exclusive Interview with Michael Ironside: The Bannen Way

23 Jan, 2010 Other
Exclusive Interview with Michael Ironside: The Bannen Way

AfroJacks.com hot celebrity reporter Dani T recently sat down with Movie and Television star Michael Ironside (“Terminator Salvation,” Total Recall,” “Smallville”) to discuss his new project: Sony Pictures Television’s The Bannen Way, which premiered on Crackle.com.

THE BANNEN WAY is the highly-anticipated, sexy, fast-paced series starring Mark Gantt (“Ocean’s Eleven”); Vanessa Marcil (“Lipstick Jungle,” “Las Vegas”); Gabriel Tigerman (“Supernatural”); Michael Ironside (“Terminator Salvation,” Total Recall,” “Smallville”); Academy-Award® nominee Robert Forster (“Jackie Brown,” “Heroes”); and special guest star, Academy-Award® nominee Michael Lerner (“Entourage,” “Elf,” “Barton Fink”).

From Crackle: 1: The Criminal Lifestyle

The high-octane, slick new series follows Neal Bannen (Mark Gantt), a charming con-man and thief with a police chief for a father (Michael Ironside); a mob boss for an uncle (Robert Forster); and a penchant for fine women – like Madison (Vanessa Marcil), who wants to turn his life around and leave the criminal lifestyle once and for all. All Bannen has to do is complete one more job in order to pay off his debt to a notorious gangster…which just doesn’t work out as easily as he’d hoped.

Afro- You’ve had hundreds of roles throughout your career ranging from TV to Movies and more recently from Video Games to the Internet.  Out of all of the characters you played which type are the hardest to prepare for?

Michael – Some of the unhealthy characters over the years especially the sicker ones.  I did a film called Visiting Hours way back in the early 80’s where I played a violent serial killer. I see violence as a mental illness because it isn’t natural to people and I had to play that character for 42 days in a row,  mostly night shoots and it was difficult because when you are doing something like that you really can’t shut the motor off… you kind of are just in neutral at night and try to stay to yourself. I don’t mean you are going to go out and kill somebody I mean these are very sad, unhealthy, uncomfortable, frightened people. It was hard to do that but the end product was cool.

Afro - Are there any roles you passed up on that you wish you didn’t?

Michael – I have, there have been about 2 or 3 but I really don’t want to talk about them because I think they are doing justice to the people that did them. It is kinda unfair…it is like saying yeah, but what if? And if I had to do it over again I would probably do the same thing.

Afro- What is the worst script you’ve ever read?

Michael –  There are some things that really just don’t work and I get a lot of scripts sent to me and it is so hard to find a good one. I get about 3-4 a week sent to me. You find 1 out of a hundred that you want to do and probably one out of five hundred that breaks your heart when you don’t get to do it.

Afro - How did you get involved with The Bannen Way?

Michael – Well The Bannen Way was one of those scripts that I was reading. A friend of mine from my agency sent it my way and said I should really have a look at this.  I read it and it was absolutely charming, well written, witty and clever. After 99 scripts that don’t work it is such a pleasure to read something that does. I actually read it twice to make sure I wasn’t out of my mind. So I met with them and they were just as charming, witty and talented as the script was.

Bad scripts…I just read one and I just said ugh… and I have this tendency to feel bad if I don’t read at least half of it before I realize it is as bad as it really is. I find I fall asleep when reading bad ones because it takes so much effort to follow a bad story.

Afro- Can you tell us more about The Bannen Way and the character you play?

Michael –The story is based around Mark Gantt’s character (Neal Bannen) who is kind of a con man. He is a flashy guy/ladies man who is into fast cars and gambling that sort of thing.  I play his father the chief of police (Chief Bannen) and Robert Forster plays his uncle (Mr.B) who is the head of the local crime family. He (Neal Bannen) is caught between the two of us. We are kind of like the ying and yang of his life. He owes the mob a lot of money and I’m trying to get him to turn evidence over on my brother, his uncle. So the there are numerous conflicts for Mark Gantt’s character. It is a very very clever piece and I had a great time doing it.

Afro - With The Bannen Way premiering on Crackle.com Do you think more movies and shows will premiere on the internet first…what are your thoughts on this new way of releasing  a project?

Michael - I see it as a sign of the times. Money is very very tight these days. It’s the same as television and movies back in the 50′s had to find a way to coexist I think the internet is working its way in there too. And with money being tight they need to find more than one delivery system. This project (The Bannen Way) is an example of something that first starts off as a web series. Then is can become a Movie of the Week or a DVD release and then it’s also acting as a pilot for network television.  I think the days of shooting a pilot for network television and if it doesn’t work out just throwing it away are gone.

Afro - What are some of your favorite websites you go on?

Michael - I’m a bit of a Luddite…some favorite sites would be online poker, sports sites especially hockey being I’m Canadian, it is in my DNA.

Afro- We’ll just say you also love AfroJacks.com and Crackle.com for good measure.

Afro - What are your thoughts on the growing popularity of gossip sites and celebrity blogs?

Michael - I stay away from all of that stuff. My grandfather use to stay “don’t trust anything you read and only half of what you see” and I think that is pretty good advice. It is so easy to damage somebody’s  personality with the wrong information.

Big thanks to Michael for taking the time to speak with us and we wish him the best with The Bannen Way. It is a great series full of action and hot chicks but more importantly shows that the internet is becoming the go to place for new releases so be sure to show some love and check it out.

From Crackle: 2: The Offer


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