Interviews - TV
Eric Jungmann – Night in Shining Armor
Q. What are the current projects that you are working on?
A. About a month ago or so I just finished a new pilot for ABC and just recently it got picked up and it’s going to be a series on ABC on the fall. It will be on after “Alias” on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST and so I start, when I get back to LA., on July the 12th and it’s called “The Night Stalker” and I’m so excited about it. It’s a great job and a great show and I just couldn’t be more thrilled. That’s my current projects, I worked on a movie some time ago, this was last year, and it’s set to come out next month and it’s called Happy Endings. It was an independent movie that went to Sundance, it premiered there as the opening film. It’s really good, I’ve got a smaller part in it, like a supporting part, but it’s with a great cast, Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tom Arnold, a bunch of great actors in it, it’s very good. So, that’s also coming out soon!
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your new show “The Night Stalker” and your character Jain?
A. The story revolves around a Los Angeles newspaper called The L.A. Beacon and it follows reporters, primarily two reporters. One, a character named Carl Kolchak by an actor named Stuart Townsend, and anther named Perri Reed and that’s played by Gabrielle Union. I play the newspaper photographer and my character’s name is Jain McManus, a female name but a very masculine character I assure you! He’s a photographer and it revolves around these reporters who pursue these stories in Los Angeles, well they’re murders, they kind of have like an unexplained aspect to them. They follow these murders, these very strange, very unexplained murders so they stretch them to solve them either more.
Q. Is there a lot of chemistry in terms of acting between your character, Stuart Townsend’s and Gabrielle Union’s?
A. I hope so but I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder, but I felt that we all, the three of us, get along really well and you know I think that it comes across. I am certain that we spent a lot of time together since the pilot, you know once the show got picked up we were all in New York and doing a few different press things for the show, we’re starting to do that now. That chemistry and relationships we have on the show will build with every episode as we get closer in real life which is inevitable. I really think the chemistry between the two of them is really important for the show. They have a lot of scenes together and it’s obvious in the future they’ll be some sexual tension, I think it’s great and I think there is a lot of chemistry between the two of them. Again, it’s hard to judge myself objectively, but again Frank Spotnitz and Dan Stackheim took time to cast it and really wanted specific things from the actors that they wanted cast and so they really put a lot of importance into that. I think that they succeeded on their parts with who they chose.
Q. Frank Spotnitz directed the show, how was working with him as the director?
A. It was incredible, I mean, in general working on the pilot was an incredible experience and Frank created the show and he wrote the pilot. He’s an executive and another producer Dan Sackheim directed the pilot and he’s also an executive and they’re both so good to work for. It’s like pretty surreal because the team of Frank Spotnitz is incredibly talented and his vision is incredibly accurate to his final product. He developed that reputation and so of course when I was auditioning for the job and trying to get the job before I had it I just wanted it that much more knowing he’d be a part of it. Getting to work with him is amazing, you can just tell these are people that are at the top of their game and his writing is terrific and just great and on a personal level we all get along so well. It’s one of those jobs where I really look forward, and I haven’t started yet, but I just can’t wait to go every day and we all get along so well and we all respect each other. I think there is a lot of talent there, and I’m speaking for myself, I just mean my costars and the producers and they’re just great. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation or a better team to be a part of.
Q. Is the show actually in fact filmed in Los Angeles?
A. It is, it is all on location all over LA and we’ve got like the location for the newspaper office is in an actual high rise building in downtown LA. It has a very authentic feel to it and a lot of the shots, a lot of the scenes you get to see downtown Los Angeles in the background, it really gives an authentic feel to it. I think it really adds a lot to the show to be able to see that. The producer Frank Spotnitz really fought for that, he really wanted to have it in the real places and just to give it that authenticity and I think it is important and he does obviously, but I think it plays that way too.
Q. How many episodes have been ordered for the show?
A. Well, how they do it, of course I’m new to this game, the TV game, but I guess what they do and what they’ve done with our show is that they’ve ordered twelve episodes. They pick it up for twelve and then I really don’t know how, or if and when, they will pick up after that. I guess there are a total of twenty-two episodes in a season but right now they’ve ordered twelve and then probably after we do six or so we’ll have the answer of whether or not we’ll do the rest of the season. We’ll have ten left after the twelve, so it’ll be a total of twenty-two.
Q. How does this new “Night Stalker” differ from the original TV movies and the short-lived series that followed?
A. I haven’t, I know how bad this is for me to say, but I still haven’t seen the original “Night Stalker” so I don’t know from watching myself. But, I do know just because I know the differences, I know that the original “Night Stalker” had the lead character of Carl Kolchak played by Darren McGavin and that was the 70s. I believe that the original show was, first of all, it took place in Las Vegas, and he was a reporter in Las Vegas. I think it had more of, the suspense is obviously dated so it’s a little campier, so first there is that, which might be obvious, that the thriller aspect is definitely dated. Also, the character of Carl Kolchak was also schtickier, it was a little more goofy and comical, while this one is more drama oriented. The story has the character of Carl Kolchak, I think very much the same at heart, it’s definitely modernized and we’re in Los Angeles now and we’ve also added the role of Gabrielle and myself, so it’s more of an update then a remake. It’s the same premise but I think it’s also important to label it as an update since it is its own show. It’s a little bit more serious and it tries a little bit harder, and more successfully, to get under your skin to scare you a little bit, which is good.
Q. Do a lot of people come up to you quoting Ricky lines from the movie Not Another Teen Movie?
A. It’s funny, I do, it’s really great, it’s a good feeling, it’s been like three years since that movie came out. I probably get more people now coming up to me then I did two years ago, it seems to be one of those movies that, what it is I think is that it’s a really good rental. It’s a great DVD to have to watch at home, I think it’s kind of developed this cult audience and since it’s come out on DVD and people have the opportunity to have it in their home. So, I think that it’s kind of built up a larger audience over time, I’ll be out in LA and people will come up to me all the time and recognize me from that role, from that movie. It’s great, I am really proud of it, I had a great time on that set, I just have really fond memories from that whole time. People come up to me and to get recognition for that definitely feels good.
Q. Is there a summer movie that you’re really interested in checking out?
A. Yeah, I really have to go and see Batman, Batman Begins is top on the list, I also want to see War of the Worlds, I loved that movie as a kid, the original. I loved it, it’s a movie that I watched with my family, my dad, my parents, my sister, and I just loved it. The trailers look incredible and I’m a Tom Cruise fan, I think he’s great. Also, Fantastic Four I really want to see, I think it looks great. I think those three, which are all like stereotypical huge summer blockbusters and I’ll see all of them.
Q. What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?
A. Well, you know I mean, just to my fans thank you, I am glad that you enjoy what I do, that’s why I do it. It’s something I have a passion for myself, but the reason why I do it is to hopefully entertain people and I modestly, quietly say inspire. If you know it does in a small way for whatever reason, that’s why I do it, fans are the reason why people are in this business, that’s speaking for myself. Thank you and I hope that you keep liking what I do and watch “Night Stalker.”