Simon Longmore (Actor and Filmmaker) Interview

Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Simon Longmore.  Simon is an actor, writer, producer, and director based in Vancouver, B.C.  In our interview, we discuss his first film experience on Sylvester Stallone’s film ‘Rocky 3’, his roles in the multiple hit television series including ‘The X-Files’, ‘Stargate: Atlantis’, ‘Supernatural’, ‘The Good Wife’, ‘Hell on Wheels’, ‘Bates Motel’, and ‘Arrow’, his current project short film ‘Not Your Average Bear’ and much more.

Actor and Filmmaker Simon Longmore
Actor and Filmmaker Simon Longmore Photo credit Shimon Photo

1. Can you tell us about your first film experience as an extra in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky 3?

I was about 13 or so when I did that. Never really been in or around a movie at that time so I didn’t really know what to expect.  I spent three days there and I was a member of the crowd for the big fight finale. So the most we got to do was some cheering and booing. I got to learn the old filmmaker adage “Hurry up and wait!”.

2. Your acting credits include Stargate: Atlantis, Supernatural, The Good Wife, Hell on Wheels, Bates Motel, and Arrow. Do you have any fun behind-the-scenes stories with fellow cast members from any of the projects above?

I actually have many fond memories from every one of these shoots. A couple that I think you may like are from Supernatural and Hell on Wheels.

In Supernatural I was actually strapped to the car while it was moving. It was one of the very few stunts I have done in my acting career. They built this platform for me to ride on and then they had me wear a harness. This looked pretty cool in the final edit. You can see Jensen Ackles driving in reverse while I am trying to drag him out of the car with the background whipping by.

On Hell on Wheels I had my epic beard. It was referred to as “The Hedge” since it was that big. When it came time for the swede to kill me, like he does with so many others, he actually grabbed my beard for real and started pulling on it. All I can tell you is that the pain on my face was real!

3. You taught over 10,000 actors at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts. Can you tell us a little about the program?

We have a variety of programs at the studio. Some are one day programs, others are up to six months long. We focus on all different types of disciplines for acting. From voice and movement to audition class. Our most popular class is the Dramatic Arts Program. It’s a full-time six month course that culminates with a field trip to LA (of course, when we were/are able to travel). We also do a series of workshops with Casting Directors, Producers, Writers and more. It’s definitely the highlight of the course.

4. One of your latest projects is your short film “Not Your Average Bear.” Can we get some insight into the film?

The movie is based on a true crime I heard about on the radio back in the late 90’s. I wrote the story about an anti-hero who you sympathize with. When my movie was in post-production, my wife and I saw “Joker” and she pointed out how similar the story was. I mean, the main character does love his Mother, that’s a universal concept. Who can’t relate to that?!

5. What was it like writing the screenplay for “Not Your Average Bear.”?

Writing the screenplay was really quite easy. Firstly it was only 10 pages, not a novel by any stretch of the imagination. I had been pondering the idea for a couple decades so I had most of the concepts already. I actually wrote the screenplay in a few hours. Having been an actor for over three decades I knew exactly what would make this script tick. So far “Not Your Average Bear” has been seen in 41 film festivals and won over two dozen awards. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

6. Can you tell us a little about the cast in “Not Your Average Bear.”?

We were very lucky to get the cast that we did. Between the Producer and myself, we pulled favors from local (Vancouver) actors. We needed to get a star studded cast. We had actors on set who have had their own TV series and have starred in movies, and here we were in my little short film. It was quite thrilling. I also used some of my students in the roles as well. My favorite casting was when I put my wife and son in the film. It was a great time to spend the day on set with them. They got to see me in action!

7. Do you have any future projects in the works?

Well…as an actor you are always waiting for the phone to ring. So right now, there is nothing on the immediate horizon, however, I have had five auditions this week. So hopefully we can start 2021 with a few more TV appearances.

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.