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Interview with Tom Pelphrey of "Excuse
Me for Living" 10/10/12
Tom Pelphey is an amazing actor. Anyone who saw him on
"Guiding Light" knows this. He has done many movies, plays
and TV shows, but that is the role he is most known for.
This year he did a small movie called "Excuse Me for
Living", so I was able to interview him. I'm glad I did. He
was really charming and fun on the phone. I know he will be
a huge star one day, either in films, TV, or on the stage.
Here is the recording of the
This transcript had not yet been
proofread, so there may be errors.
Suzanne: So how do you go about doing
Tom: Well, I tell them Miss Hanna about
the casting good grip. I have seen my work back when our son
got in life [?], I guess. We just came to do what it can be.
She contacted my manager and send me the script and talked
about the progress of the role and we had a meeting with
Rick, Donna, and myself and my manager. We talked about
everything about the script. Rick help me all day long and
he had some more ideas for how he saw it. We have a done
deal. We want to connect.
Suzanne: That is great. You
play somebody who does a lot of partying and then goes into
therapy and has to hang out with a bunch of seniors. Did you
do any research for any of that beforehand?
Well, I mean, did you do research? I had them in the
request. It was dragging in. I did research on the kind of
film that, I mean, hey, it is only at the beginning of the
stone waste in me on drugs without rehab center. So the
research was about kind of felt in the rehab center. That
would prevent you or make you very ill if you are into drugs
or like alcohol. So, what I had research was what would
happen against you took those pills and drink. There is
something, just being drunk or whatever. But it is hard that
a mindset of Daniel, for me it is just being by somebody,
kind of had everything and has it all.
Tom: What do you deal with that? He is
almost... He is smart and, I think he got bored. He got
intimidated by it. How could he proceed and just serve the
Suzanne: That is interesting.
Tom: Which is something you just trying to relate to
personally on your own.
Suzanne: Right. So the
trailer makes it seem like it is a really fun movie. Was it
fun to film?
Tom: We had a great time. Yeah, and I
kind of think it is important when you are doing, well,
really not important but definitely helpful. If you do a
comedy and something like that way harder than that kind of
slapstick and fast-talking that definitely helpful for the
energy on the set mirror energy the gunpoint of a thing. We
have a great crew and obviously a wonderful cast. We are
just very playful on set and I think that really set into
and very much help to its product.
Suzanne: In the
movie, you learn about life from hanging around with
seniors. Did you learn a lot from the veterans that you
acted with Robert Bond, Jerry Stiller, Christopher Lloyd?
Tom: My God, So much.
Tom: I was seen we have been my casting rewards and asking
them questions. They were all excellent gentlemen and had
patient and certainly make time for the hands. It was just a
point of connecting those ones of stolen, one of the ten
commandment thing. This has been a long day. It was the last
thing of the day and they have done the coverage book in one
way. It is myself and Jerry have created, Robert and Jerry.
Then we kind of get a camera surrounds us and but it gets
kind of late. Obviously, go home at this point. They found
cameras around us and from the other way. These guys have
quite a long day. But not necessarily need, they just sat
right on the chair and then do the thing pull out because
the other after in the other way fully respond and have the
benefit of working off their partners and for me that is
definitional. Being a professional that everybody is there
for each other more part of making that thing perfect for
me. There is no ego and definitely learn a lot from that
kind of behavior, that kind of professionalism on set.
Amidst young acting then well, right from the tower, there
is a reason that these guys have been around for decades.
Tom: There still around and they
are still great in what they do and they have a work ethic.
That is very much impressive.
Suzanne: Have you seen
a lot of their work beforehand?
Tom: Yeah. I mean,
they are still a legend. Because an [inaudible] invested in
the movie all forwarded and compares that. You see a young
man when you did that. It is so much in Jerry Stiller,
everything he does is hilarious. Now, Robert Bond is quite a
legend than I know right? So, you grow up watching these
guys and for work of that have been a... Yeah. It was pretty
amazing and I guess equally amazing in how you get to work
and what you get to know and that is now. I think, put on
and that is just got it off year-round. Everybody is doing
their job and they could feel better a lot and comfortable.
It is the best work done that way.
Suzanne: That is
great. I know you have been in other movies. Is this your
first starring role?
Tom: No. I have done a movie
right before, [inaudible] Georgia. Which was a very
different movie about a bunch of crystal meth addicts. So it
was not a comedy but I was lead meth but this was a little
[inaudible] the first time I have done comedy on stage. As I
said, to be around some of those guys, you will learn how
you can be realistic but more towards comedy. Actually, I
feel like kind of a, to have a better cast to learn from.
Suzanne: Well, you did a great drama. That is for sure.
I saw your guiding light. But yeah, I mean can see how you
could do comedy well, too, because you always bring a lot of
humor to your roles certainly. When you are playing
Jonathan, there was laughing and humor in that even when he
was crying the next minute.
Tom: Right. All of the
Suzanne: Yeah. It was amazing. So you
are on set right now? What are you filming?
right. It says a new movie called ''What's Your Number?"
Text Claire, text in [inaudible] told me. It was a comedy
about a guy who is down on a block and at the end of his
road and he gets a new cellphone. Kind of cellphone number
for the guess. An old number in his basketball player. That
is play [inaudible], played by a massive man. I feel this
guy who is broke and his hopeless line. Gets his home and
all of a sudden that he invest during [inaudible]. Offer and
exhaust in completely different directions. Religious thing
problem and thanks for it pays off, just to believe or not,
I won't mention the name of the actual people but it is a
lot of fun. It is great working on a comedy and I feel
certainly prepared for this now that is just what is the
next is "Excuse Me For Living."
Suzanne: There were
quite a few former so bad actors on "Excuse me for living."
Did you know some of them beforehand?
Tom: No. I did
not. You know, I worked for a little bit on Oswald Film and
I never in past, I do not know how to make that an honest
thing but she really was not working the days on a bit. I
knew all promoters but I canceled which is odd because
except for my best friend in New York. I usually ended up
meeting everyone but I have not met her. Me and him, good
friends shortly I find the fourth grade. They live a
wonderful guy. Yeah, it is nice. They come from that world
and she knows in a shorthand, everybody knows what we have
open a little. That work ethic and showing up ready to go.
So what is being around this day?
Suzanne: That is
cool. What else can you tell? Tell me about the movie? Is
there anything else?
About the one, Excuse Me For Living.
Tom: All right.
What you might like a worry about...
Anything of the interesting anecdotes or why people should
go see it or anything.
Tom: Well. I will tell you
this story. This is my favorite thing and some of that I do
not, it quite does not right but then a seen in a movie
where Robert Bond playing like a doctor.
is a scene in the movie where Robert [inaudible] plays as my
doctor in some rehab center.
Tom: And there is a scene where he wants me to do a
Rorschach, the inkblot. And you know, it was like, say the
first thing that comes to mind, I say sex. Well, look at the
picture first, I say well it does not matter it will going
to be sex. So he holds up this inkblot which is clearly,
with that setup, the inkblot looks like a vagina. And we
were trying to film it and I am next to be deadpanned
leading him along to finally say that it does not even look
like a vagina, although I am meant to be looking like I am
taking my time to really examine the picture. But Robert is
holding up this inkblot with me and he starts to shake it.
Now I think we did about 15 takes and every time I burst out
laughing. And I cannot keep a straight face. The one time I
did keep a straight face everybody on the crew and the
director in the other room started laughing. Robert[?] was
laughing, I was laughing. So we have these great takes where
I am not being professional at all. But we ended up with one
in the movie that was with the deadpan so...
Is it harder to keep a straight face when you are working at
a comedy than a drama?
Tom: You know, it is nice
because it is a different energy. And while it may feel like
you work on them the same way, for me anyway, but certainly
with a comedy sometimes there is a, like I said before there
is a lightness to it. There is an energy on the set of fun.
And you can have that with a drama too but sometimes when
the drama, depending on what you are doing, at the end of
the day, you can be pretty exhausted. So yeah there is a
different feeling. You know, working on a drama, sometimes
it feels some heavy stuff. It feels good in a different way.
But comedy is nice. Because it feels part of it is playful
and it really has a different vibe and there is really not
as much you prepare in comedy. I feel like the best stuff
happen when you are at... Well, maybe always the best stuff
happens when you are trusting your gut. And in a comedy I
feel like sometimes there is a little bit more room for
improvisation and playing and seeing how far you can take
it. I am pretty sure there are plenty of things that we
could have used to get reel, took it a little bit too far
but you know...
Suzanne: Maybe they will put the gag
reel on the DVD.
Tom: They should. They should put
that scene with inkblot. I was in tears. I never thought we
will be able to pull it together.
Suzanne: So you
have done a lot of television and it sounds like you are
doing a lot of movies now. Which do you prefer? Do you have
Tom: I mean, I had a great time on
Guiding Light, because every day there is a new scene. And
we get to do all these things and constantly changing
sometimes when you do like an episode[?]. So it is a very
long day for just a few pages, just like a movie I guess.
So, in a way, I feel like there is TV Soap and then there is
other TV. [inaudible] that works for me, I guess a movie,
just I mean my page is pretty clear with the time it takes
to set up. I guess movies are fun because you have clear arc
of beginning and end. I have never been a series regular on
a television show, but I know on a soap opera, you would not
know where the story was going to end. So for me, coming
from theater, it helps to work on a script. You should know
the beginning and you know the end, then you can map the
journey throughout. On a film you have that, it is all in
front of you, but on an episode in television, you have that
as well but it is usually not as much of an arc. So I like
film in that way, because you can really dissect the script,
do your homework, and map the journey. You know, how each
scene leads together so that you get from the beginning to
the end in your character's arc.
Suzanne: Right. So
you can get more prepared because yeah, it is not endless.
Tom: Probably, it just seems like there is more a world
to dive into. Yeah.
Suzanne: Do you get fans
recognize you a lot still from Guiding Light?
Sometimes. Not so much in New York.
Tom: Yeah. Not really. Occasionally. It also depends
on the what I look like. Like right now my hair is really
short and my face shaved. But my hair is longer, and I have
a scruff. I usually have [inaudible] like he was drunk[?].
Suzanne: And are you pretty much based in New York
or do you
go back and forth?
Tom: Yeah. No. I live
in New York now and I stay here. There is so much going on
in New York, now there is more things filming here
[inaudible] and it is a great time, I think to be in New
York. I prefer here when I am filming to be with my family
and [inaudible] from the east coast. I feel more comfortable
here. I like, I prefer New York that way I supposed, like
the energy. And you know, my peer is [inaudible] or not. We
are working on that in between jobs we are always working on
that. We are working on that right now and I already have a
job and so I feel always very engaged and I am learning. I
guess, with the show, I feel like I make myself a lot busier
when I am in New York.
Suzanne: And since you are
from New Jersey, was it tough for you to lose the accent?
Did you have an accent?
Tom: No. I did not have much
of an accent. It is interesting because you can go up a few
doors down for somebody and they have a strong accent and I
do not have much one at all. I still feel [inaudible]. So
when that comes up people are like, oh you are from New
Jersey. No, it was not that difficult to lose the accent,
because I never had a very strong one to begin with. After 4
years of [inaudible].
Suzanne: Right. Well, I
appreciate you talking today. I really enjoyed your role on
Guiding Light. So I always like seeing you on TV and things
like that. So I look forward to this movie.
Thanks Suzanne. Yeah Friday, it is on the theater but it is
also available on demand.
Suzanne: Cool. I will
check it out. I think there is going to be a theater here
where I am.
Tome: Check it out.
right. Thanks very much.
Tom: Thanks Suzanne.
about the movie
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