Interview with Actor/ Filmmaker Joshua Schubart
Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Joshua Schubart. Josh is an actor/filmmaker born and raised in Long Island, New York. Some of his recent work includes The Tick (Amazon series), Seven Seconds (Netflix) and High Maintenance (HBO). You may have also heard his voice on a long list of audiobooks available on Amazon Audible. His latest series is AFTER on IFT Network.
1. When did you first realize that you want to work in the entertainment industry?
I was fourteen years old, and I had just come off the streets and into foster care. I was doing tons of drugs, drinking, and just making terrible life choices. My trauma induced stutter kept me from expressing myself. Until my foster parents enrolled me in Catholic school, and needless to say that brought in a whole new world of challenges. I saw the announcement for the auditions for the school play, and for whatever reason I was drawn to it. When I stepped on stage, I was able to speak in full sentences for the first time since I was very young. It was like I was hit with a lighting bolt. I knew immediately what I needed to do with the rest of my life, and I never looked back.
2. Can you describe some highlights from your training at Asolo Conservatory and Stony Brook University?
Training in acting school is both terrible and amazing. You learn all the ways to pull yourself and a character apart, and then put it all back together. You grow more as a human being in an acting training program then most other places. When forced to look at all of your ugly under a microscope, and then also figure out why that is also beautiful, shapes you into something better.
3. Do you have any fun behind-the-scenes stories from your appearances in The Tick (Amazon series), Seven Seconds (Netflix) or High Maintenance (HBO)?
I have lots! Being there to watch cars blow up, forgetting my lines and just screaming at the top of my lungs, or even dancing around in my underpants rehearsal. But, my favorite behind the scenes moments are when we are all in costume in between takes, eating random treats from craft services and getting to know each other. People don’t realize that in most cases you meet your acting partners on set when you arrive, so those small pockets of human connection really go a long way.
4. Can you tell us a little about your background in stunts? Where did you get your training?
My journey with stunts actually began at the same time as my acting training. I thought I was going to be doing Shakespeare for my whole career, and needed to learn how to swordfight. That turned into a love of this type of storytelling, and has enhanced every aspect of my creative life.
5. What can you tell us about the new series AFTER on IFT Network and your character on the show?
.AFTER is the story of a young widower, who moves back home and tries to get back into the dating game. It is a wildly funny, and devastatingly heartbreaking tale of loss, love, forgiveness, and rebirth.
I wanted to create this show for multiple reasons. First, I wanted to do a deep dive into what it means to be mentally ill. The triumphs, failures, how messy and awkward it can be, but also how absurdly funny life can be when a person is dealing with these kinds of complex emotions. Secondly, as an extremely large human being, the beginning part of my career was spent either being the funny guy, bad guy, or bad guy who is also funny. I wanted to create something where a large bearded man experiences all aspects of the human condition.
I wrote Jeremy Hurns largely using many of my own life experiences. My wife is very much alive, but I have had my own struggles with mental illness and self harm.
6. Can you tell us about some of your favourite comic books growing up?
Oh boy can I! Venom, Spiderman, The Fantastic 4, Captain America, Black Panther, The Tick, Batman, Wolverine, Superman, Wonder Woman, Sandman, Watchmen…I have to stop or I will go on forever!
7. If you can only pick one, who is your favourite superhero and why?
It’s Venom. Hands down, every day forever. Love that character. The struggle, the insecurity, the growth, the reluctance and then eventual love of doing the right thing. Love the whole Venomverse.
8. I read that you would love a role in Marvel. What sort of character did you have in mind?
I would love to play Ben Grimm aka The Thing in Fantastic 4. He is a character that I really connect with, being a large man who is in touch with hard to express emotions. Plus you get to be made of rocks and punch Dr. Doom in his dumb metal face, is there anything better than that?!
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Other interviews at What On What’s Good
- Gene Silvers discusses ‘The Mosquito Coast’
- Joshua Schubart discusses AFTER series
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- Kylee D Allen in The Underground Railroad (2021)