Up Close & Personal With Actor John J. QuinlanIn 2015, John J. Quinlan was cast as Captain Jake Nixon, the lead male actor in the upcoming movie “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives.” In the year it took to complete the movie, John had to come to grips with the fact that his character was a very complicated man, who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and is a serial rapist. In his first starring role, let’s hear from John in a Q & A.
Q: What did you think when you landed the lead male actor role, Captain Jake Nixon?
A: I was truly honored to be selected in this movie by director and producer Jillian Bullock. What made it special was that being selected as the lead male actor told me that this amazing director truly believed I had what it took as an actor to carry the weight of the role on my shoulders. Having somebody who has been in the business as long as Jillian has and who truly believes in me so much that really meant a lot to me.
Q: How did you prepare to play such a complicated character?
- I would tell everybody, the actors and crew, before I went into the Nixon character on film that I was a nice guy and this character is nothing like the real me so mentally in my mind no matter how nasty and mean I was I had reassurance that everyone around me knew it was acting 100%. The real John would never act this way, so this helped me as a person as well to let myself go and really immerse myself in the character freely without any thoughts that I possibly offended the other actors.
Q: This is your breakout role. How has acting challenged you?
A: The challenge for me personally is to really showcase my ability and talent as an actor to the best of my ability. This role has multiple emotions in the character. Nixon isn’t a one-dimensional guy. It was a challenge for me to really make sure I hit all the emotions the way I knew I could to the best of my ability and make my character believable in the process.
Q: What do you plan to do after ASOP is complete?
A: Right now the movie has finished. Now it’s all about promotion, interviews, film festivals, talk shows, and everything else to promote the film. I will do my best to promote the film the best way I can. As director and producer Jillian Bullock stated this is a breakout role for me as the leading male actor so ideally I’ll be humbled and honored to have this movie as a launch pad towards being picked up for additional roles and whatever God has planned for me whether it be television or movies.
Q: You are well known as one of the most successful models in the country. Will you continue modeling now that you’re acting?
A: Yes. I will continue to be a model and it would be a true honor and something I would never take for granted.
Q: What has been your favorite part about acting in ASOP?
- My favorite part of acting in this movie has been the people involved. I have been blessed to be selected to be in this film by one of the greatest female filmmakers in the world Jillian Bullock. The entire cast and crew are like family to me and the entire experience has been a joy. I have friendships that will last a lifetime and memories I will cherish forever.
Q: What scene gave you the most difficulty?
A: The scene that gave me the most difficulty, or I should say was the most challenging, for me as an actor was the scene with director and producer Jillian Bullock who plays my wife, Jessica Winters, in the movie. She is sitting with me while we are parked in a car and while I’m talking to her I have a breakdown, and I mean complete breakdown, crying with full tears. To get myself to that point was very satisfying. To be able to use method acting to make that scene realistic and make my character believable for viewers gave me quite a sense of accomplishment.
Q: How was it working with the lead female actor Tamara Woods?
Q: Jillian Bullock plays your love interest in the movie. Tell us about that.
Q: Was it difficult to do intimate scenes with Jillian since she is also the director?
A: Jillian and I were very comfortable so while engaging in intimate scenes during filmmaking with her everything came natural and it flowed nice on camera. She portrays my wife and I still have feelings for her. It was imperative to convey to the viewer my strong feelings I still had for her so passion was a must during these scenes. That’s acting and feeling comfortable with Jillian on camera made for some great intimate scenes.
Q: You get a chance to show off your amazing physique in the movie. Did you do any special fitness routine to keep in shape for your role?
Q: How do you think this movie will help shed light on the problems the military faces with sexual assault and rape?
A: I think this movie will bring to light some of the horrific events that have taken place behind closed doors over the years (in the military) that have been pushed under the rug. I think this movie will serve as a voice to all those who have been abused in the military and wanted to speak up and wanted to be heard and wanted justice to be done. This film is supported by factual evidence and numbers that back up all of these claims. One thing I do know is that something needs to be done because the fact that this has been going on for as long as it has is disturbing.
Q: Do you know any veterans who suffer from PTSD? If so, how has this movie helped you help them?
A: Yes I do know veterans who suffer from PTSD and I think this movie will bring them some sense of comfort because it will open the eyes for many around the world about what they go through and educate the general public who really do not know much about how serious PTSD really is.
Q: What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing ASOP?
A: A better awareness and understanding of two major problems in the U.S. military today, which is PTSD and sexual misconduct, and educate the audience. I hope it will also bring comfort to those who have been affected while serving in the Armed Forces.
Q: What was the mood like on set when you and three other actors had to do the rape scene?
A: It was a positive mood and a serious one in a good way. Everybody brought the emotions needed and went into character effectively to make the scene believable and really make it graphic and realistic. Because the sad reality is this is real life, this is one hundred percent real, and this is what really happens. All of the actors on set that day knew they had a job to do and knew they needed to make it realistic bringing raw emotions to accomplish this and we all did so.
Q: This is a serious drama. How did the cast and crew lighten the mood on set?
A: Lots of jokes and ad-libbing was done on set which made a lot of laughs. The DP/Producer Lamont Fountain was behind most of it. The man is absolutely hilarious on top of being one of the most talented cinematographers in the world.
Q: What else would you like readers to know about the movie, your role, or anything else?
A: The overall purpose of the movie is to educate the general public on many horrific events that have taken place over the course of time in military history, which truly is a tragedy in itself. If my role as the Captain Nixon helps get these things accomplished then I have done my job as an actor.
5 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About John
1) My favorite food is authentic Italian. That’s homemade Italian food from scratch made by a little old Italian grandmother.
2) I HATE bugs.
3) I am a huge New England Patriots fan.
4) I love Chihuahuas.
5) My boyhood idol was professional baseball player Wayne Boggs.
To learn more about John, check out his website at – www.johnjquinlan.com
To see John in action, check out the movie trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9XyxN76JzA
John on IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5561507/?ref_=tt_cl_t4
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