Interview with Jake Busey of "Marvel's Agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC and "Stranger Things" on Netflix - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Jake

Jake Busey

Interview with Jake Busey of "Marvel's Agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC and "Stranger Things" on Netflix 3/8/19

We spoke for about 40 minutes on Friday. The interview went really well. It turned into more of a casual conversation during parts just because we're dudes. He's a cool guy.

JG: Hi Jake, this is Jake with The TV Megasite. Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with me. This interview is very much appreciated. We're all a fan of your work.

JB: Hey, thanks!

JG: "Stranger Things" Season 3 coming up, that's cool.

JB: Yeah, very cool.

JG: You're one of those dudes that's always good to see. My brother and I, growing up would always be like, "Look, it's Jake Busey!" when you showed up onscreen. There are only a handful of people we'd get excited to see in movies and stuff, and you're one of them.

JB: Haha, really? That's a trip.

JG: Yeah, totally.

JB: Honestly, it's weird to me because I feel like I'm just getting started. I'm still trying to make a name for myself and feel like I'm just getting roles, which is kind of hilarious.

JG: You've been in a lot of films. You've gone through so many different genres already. I remember that one comedy "Tomcats." That was a heavil- quoted movie among my friends back then. That part when you're like "Dude, can you get my ball?"

JB: Hahaha, I've heard a lot of guys being into that movie then. There's a lot of fraternities that were fans of it. If you were a dude in college in 2001, that movie was for you.

JG: Yes, exactly. Exactly where I was.

JB: Right on.

JG: I love it, too, because it's not the kind of movie that would be produced today. Everything has changed in a certain way.

JB: Oh, yeah, that movie is totally taboo. Nobody would touch that today -- oh my God. Everybody would be so afraid of that. We're living in an interesting time. That's for sure. Things are so much different. Just in the last two years, things have changed faster than in my whole life. It's very hard to adjust to, but I'm doing my best.

JG: That's great, dude. What's a type of a movie or show that you've always wanted to act in, that you haven't done yet?

JB: Well, I think "Star Wars" would be the one. That, growing up, was my favorite thing. But you know what? On the same token, if you know my work, you might see the rationale in this statement: As much as I would like to be in "Star Wars," on the flip side of the coin, I would also very much like to be in those Merchant Ivory movies. Like those movies that Helena Bonham Carter does. You know, in the 1700's. In England. Where the whole movie is about somebody's cousin's marriage. And someone there is made a scoundrel, and has nefarious intentions.

JG: Do you want to play that scoundrel?

JB: Not necessarily the scoundrel. Just one of those movies where that's as big of an action piece as you get. You know, like there's just one person there who isn't a good person or whatever. I'd like to be in one of those movies. One of those stories like My Left Foot. A heavy drama that's not necessarily a sci-fi action thriller.

JG: So, like a very serious role that's character-driven.

JB: Yes, yes, exactly that. Thank you.

JG: That would be awesome. I think you'd be great at that. Like I said, you're one of those actors that would do well in any type of movie or show.

JB: Thank you.

JG: Which brings me to my next question. Can you tell me a little about your character on "Stranger Things" coming up?

JB: Yeah, I play a journalist in Hawkins. Working at the newspaper. So far most characters on "Stranger Things" have been upstanding, helpful citizens. You know, with all the crazy things going on with the kids. I think I'm one of the first characters who is described as having a sick sense of humor. I'm a little bit different of an angle, I think. That much they have released. Like, in the press release, when they announced that I would be in the show. I'm basically, at this point, until we start the official press campaign... I'm limited to what I can say. I've never been on such a popular show, and I've never had to be so secretive about something. It's very exciting, but it's also kind of frustrating. We live in a new era, where it's all about having instant information, and spoilers, and it's really hard to keep anything under wraps. Of course, for something to be compelling and interesting, you don't want to already know what's going to happen.

JG: Right.

JB: One exciting thing is when I recorded my lines during post, I got to see some of the stuff we did yesterday. One thing I can say is this: Season three is going to be very cool. Very, very cool. I'm excited to be a part of it. It's such a huge movement, you know? It's just a show, but it's become a full-on cultural movement across the globe. And to be invited to the dinner table with them was just phenomenal. To be a part of their family. It's a trip. It's one of those things where I saw the show and was such a super fan. I thought "Oh my God, I would love to be on that show. Of course that will never happen to someone like me. That's for the cool people or whatever" and then it happens.

JG: You're one of the cool dudes, though.

JB: Haha! I don't know. I never have been. But I guess there's a first time for anything.

JG: Honestly, this is probably the step towards "Star Wars." You know, like how you can't say anything. You can't spoil anything. Maybe all of this is preparation for you doing that thing you really want to do.

JB: You never know.

JG: So, in the time that "Stranger Things" takes place, you were a teenager, yeah? In reality, I mean. Were there any nostalgic elements in the show that resonated with you?

JB: Certainly. I was twelve in Season One. So, I was the exact age of our heroes. When I watched the show for the first time, I didn't even know it was a period piece because that's what the world looked like to me when I was that age. That's just the way things were when I was twelve. They've really done an amazing job. I wish I was allowed to talk more about it. They've just asked me to hold off until we begin the formal campaign. [That's] another thing that's so funny about this career and the current state of the entertainment industry. It used to be that when a movie was released in theaters, people would go see it the first weekend it was released. There wasn't really any worry about spoilers. And now with these things... We're all watching TV series that grow such a life of their own, that we have to be very cautious of that. And they continue. It's not just a one weekend thing. There's an ongoing need to maintain secrecy. For example, there's a show I'm about to do, and it's on the fourth season. I'm so excited about it and I'm leaving to go do it next week. But I can't even tell you what it is. I'm not allowed to. I can't tell you the title. I can't even tell you where it shoots because that could potentially give it away.

JG: So I'll give you a vague, "Congratulations."

JB: Haha, right? Thank you. That's hilarious. Things are going in a great way, and I'm so thankful. There's been a real turning point in my life. It might have happened when my daughter was born. It could be a lot to do with my own attitude. A lot has happened. About five years ago, I ran into Robert Rodriguez at the premiere party for "Machete Kills." I hadn't seen him since we were both twenty two, when we were both starting out. I walked up to him and was like, "Dude! How are you? What is up, man? You have such a great career and have made so many great movies. I'm stoked for you, and it's almost unbelievable that we haven't ran into each other all this time." I said to him, "You gotta put me in the third Machete movie. I loved the first and second ones. You gotta put me in Machete 3, dude." And he laughed. We talked for a little while, and then a little while later, he had me come in and audition for "From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series." And I guess I passed the test because they hired me and I wound up doing three years on that series. At the time, everyone was very excited that Robert was doing that series. Everyone wanted to be on it. So the fact that Robert cast me on it, I was so elated. I finally got to actually work with him after knowing him for twenty years. And loved his work for twenty years. And honestly, at that point in my career, I was having a very hard time finding any work whatsoever. Like, nobody was hiring me. I was auditioning for little parts on TV series. Guest spots with little two line parts. Nobody would hire me. It was about 8 years of not getting work. It was Robert who was the first person to say "You know, I don't care if Jake's not real popular at the moment." He went ahead and hired me. I gave it my all, and I think we made some really great art. If it wasn't for Robert and hiring me on that show, none of these other things, like "The Predator," and "NCIS," and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and "LA's Finest," and "Stranger Things"... All these shows. And then the next notable job I got was when Shane Black called me at home out of the blue, asking me if I wanted to be in "The Predator." That's just not the type of thing that happens to me at all. It's really been a wonderful polar shift in my career and my energy. I was suffering from a really bad case of Murphy's law. Like one of those days when you hit every single red light on the way to work and it takes you an hour instead of fifteen minutes? I had that for about ten years. It was Robert that made that first green light. And now the lights have been just green, green, green, green. I'm just so thankful.

JG: That is extremely badass. Those red light days are over, man.

JB: Heck yeah, man. We're gonna keep it that way. I'm really excited. We got this "LA's Finest" show that just wrapped up. I did the second half of the first season. I played one of the recurring villains. Really a fun role to play. It was really sweet that Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba brought me on to the show. It's a great thing. The two of those girls are actually the main producers. They're running the whole deal. They've been really smart about hiring key people who have good wisdom and have done this for a long time. I think this show is going to be great. It's female undercover police. Similar to the "Bad Boys" movies. That will be out in May on the Spectrum streaming network, so we're looking forwward to that.

JG: I have another question. I remember reading a long time ago that you learned how to play violin for your role in "Starship Troopers."

JB: I did!

JG: Do you still fiddle around?

JB: Haha buh dum dum chh (rimshot joke drum sound) I do fiddle around, but not with a violin. I only played violin for that film. It's such a difficult instrument to play. It's the one instrument that doesn't want to sound good. When you pick up a guitar, you can at least get a couple notes out of it. It sort of makes you want to keep learning. But the violin is just torturous. But that was fun, and I'm glad I learned how to play it. The director's wife taught me how to play. Three lessons a week for six months. We finally shot the scenes with me playing violin, and I was like "Uh, are you kidding me? That's it? That's all you're gonna shoot of me playing it?" I busted my ass on that thing for half a year for that? Where's the big solo moment where I perform for the world? And then the reality of it all hit me. Oh, right. I get it. I get it. This movie is not about me playing violin.

JG: Haha, yeah. Wait wait, you said the director's wife taught you?

JB: She's like the first chair violinist in the Holland Symphony.

JG: That's amazing.

JB: She is so badass. She's the most amazing violinist. She loaned me an old violin that I could practice with, and I looked inside and I saw a sticker that said "Stradivarius". So I told her "Hey, I don't know much about violins, but Stradivarius is the Mercedes of violins, right? I mean, how much is this thing worth?" And she said "Oh, that's a cheap one. Don't worry about it. It's only about seventy five grand."

JG: What...!

JB: Yeah. And I said "My God, if a cheap one is seventy five grand, how much is the one that you play?" She says "The violin that I just use at home is two hundred and fifty grand. The ones we play with in the symphony are insured for much more." I was like, wow! So, yeah, I got to touch greatness. I got to be around greatness. I got to feel and hear what that is like. It's very awe-inspiring and gave me a big respect for the violin. Much more than I had before we had done the movie. I really understood the significance of a soldier playing a violin like that, and the message that Paul was delivering. So, yeah, it's a deep movie. It's far deeper than it looks. It looks like "Beverly Hills 90210" in space, but it has a far deeper subtext that no one really caught for about twenty years.

JG: I'll definitely be watching it again. Now that I'm older, I'll understand the subtext.

JB: The humans are not necessarily the good guys. It's an interesting outlook on things. And now I've reconnected with Casper Van Diem. We've been training and working out in the gym together. We've been making some silly Instagram posts. It's been fun. It's like a couple of old guys reliving our youth together. A little cheesy and silly... but hey, you know what, you only get one life. 

JG: That's awesome.

JB: Yeah, man. Well, shoot, I gotta go pick up my daughter.

JG: Well, dude, Jake. This was a very awesome interview. I'm really happy for you. Especially the vague congratulations on the untitled project that's being filmed at an undisclosed location.

JB: Hahaha! That's perfect. Thank you.

JG: I really appreciate it. I'll be watching "Stranger Things." Everyone with The TV Megasite will probably watch that whole season between July 4th and July 5th.

JB: Haha!  You and about another hundred million people. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jake.

Actor Jake Busey (ENEMY OF THE STATE, CONTACT, STARSHIP TROOPERS) is poised for another banner year in 2019 with high profile projects following a jaw dropping 2018 with a role in THE PREDATOR (Olivia Munn & Sterling K. Brown) playing the son of Peter Keyes, the character his father, Gary Busey, played in PREDATOR 2. The new year will see Busey flexing his acting prowess in a variety of interesting roles, including a role in "Stranger Things" Season 3 (July 4th, Netflix) as Bruce, a journalist for the The Hawkins Post with questionable morals and a sick sense of humor, and a recurring role as Tony Caine in the upcoming season of ABC's/Marvel "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Up next, Busey will take the screen as a lead of DEAD ANT (in theaters and on demand - January 25th), a sure to be cult classic starring opposite Tom Arnold and Sean Astin. When the 1989 "one-hit-wonder" glam-metal band "Sonic Grave" (lead by Busey's character, Merrick,) embark on a trip to Coachella in hopes of a comeback, their peyote trip pit stop in Joshua Tree incites an "unworldly" viscous attack, and they must "rock" themselves out of harms way.
Here is recent tape of him on CONAN:
Although producers are keeping season 3 of "Stranger Things" under lock and key, Busey can safely say that fans won't be disappointed! Busey also just returned from San Diego Comic-Con with the cast of THE PREDATOR, which received rave reviews from Hall H with director Shane Black (IRON MAN 3) leading the cast of A-listers. The film starts with a young boy who accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
Busey recently returned to the small screen in the final season of FX's hit series "Justified," as a pyrotechnic specialist. Director Robert Rodriguez then nabbed him for all three seasons of his series "From Dusk Till Dawn," and then Busey starred in the History Channel mini-series "Texas Rising," playing Samuel Wallace, the man credited with reciting the legendary warning, "Remember the Alamo" alongside Thomas Jane, Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Davies, and many others; directed by Roland Joffe. He also had a starring role on the Hulu series "Freakish," Showtime's "Ray Donovan," and an episode of "NCIS," all leading up to his newest work in "Stranger Things," THE PREDATOR and more episodes of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Busey has racked up an impressive $1.1 billion in box office with his films over the years and has worked with A-list directors including Robert Zemeckis, Tony Scott, Peter Jackson, Paul Verhoeven, James Mangold and Jan de Bont. He has also starred alongside some of the industry's best and most respected actors such as Jodie Foster, John Cusack, Reese Witherspoon, Alfred Molina, Matthew McConaughey, Michael J. Fox, Drew Barrymore, Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Helen Hunt in films that include mega blockbusters TWISTER, CONTACT and ENEMY OF THE STATE along with STARSHIP TROOPERS, THE FRIGHTENERS, IDENTITY and HOME FRIES.

A bit of a modern-day Renaissance man, Jake's passions in life include fatherhood, acting, desert racing, architecture, music, flying planes (as a trained pilot) and fabricating anything mechanical in his metal shop.

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