Monday, March 5, 2012

Exclusive Interview: Actor ARIEL FELIX Talks A THOUSAND WORDS And More

You can catch actor Ariel Felix in the upcoming comedy 'A Thousand Words' alongside Eddie Murphy beginning March 9th, opposite Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master,' and the new festival indie 'Writer’s Block.'  Felix also has his eyes set on returning to television and has high hopes for this year’s pilot season. 

Check out my latest Versus as Ariel Felix shares more about his upcoming projects, working with Eddie Murphy, comedy versus drama and what he has planned next. 

Alien Bee - First off, tell me how you got into acting.
Ariel Felix - My first lead role was playing Santa Clause in my 3rd grade Christmas program growing up in New York.  And I actually had to audition for that!  I beat out two fifth graders!  Years later, I took a Theater Arts class in college because I thought it would be an easy "A" and I was hooked. One of my classmates referred me to her agent who was one of the top commercial agents in LA and I started doing commercials.  Soon after that, I booked the Broadway show "Miss Saigon," which ultimately was my big break and opened some doors when I got back to LA to pursue the film and TV scene.
Alien Bee - Tell me about A Thousand Words and your character
Ariel Felix -  It stars Eddie Murphy who plays a high profile literary agent and it follows him after he stretches the truth on a deal.  I play a Jr. Agent in the same agency who has a few dealings with him. The film holds a valuable lesson on the consequences of every word we speak.
Alien Bee - How was it working with a comedic legend like Eddie Murphy?
Ariel Felix - Pretty intimidating at first to be honest.  He is after all, "Eddie Murphy!"  Aside from being a comedy legend, he had that awesome performance in "Dreamgirls" which I had seen not too long before working with him.  He was cool though.  A true professional. We shot the agency scenes in a museum in Downtown LA and it would get really hot, I remember.  I never saw the guy sweat!
Alien Bee - You jump from comedy to heavy drama with Joaquin Phoenix and the upcoming film The Master. Tell me about this film and your character.
Ariel Felix -  I can't really say too much about the movie because it's in the ‘hush-hush’ stage.  But, it's a period piece set in the 50’s and is centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and the young drifter (played by Joaquin Phoenix) who becomes his right-hand man.  I play a migrant worker who works with Joaquin's character.  There's a really great scene where I chase him all across the field after I think he had a hand in poisoning one of my workers.  I had such an awesome experience working on this film. To be able to watch Paul Thomas Anderson create was a gift!
Alien Bee - You also have a film hitting the festival circuit called Writer's Block. How's this going?
Ariel Felix - We shot it last summer in the Catskills in New York and we got eaten alive by all the bugs!  Aside from that though, it was another rewarding experience.  Truly a collaborative effort and the two actresses I worked with were fantastic.  From what I hear, it's in the final editing stages.  I've seen a few cuts and it looks really good.  Can't wait to see the finished product.  I think the first festival the producers are trying to target is Toronto which would be great. Proud to be Canadian!
Alien Bee - You've done more drama than comedy. Do you prefer this or would you take on more comedic projects?
Ariel Felix - I think it just sort of worked out that way.  I've had casting directors tell me I have great comedic timing.  I'd love to do more comedy.
Alien Bee - You've also done lots of TV. How different is it compared to a movie?
Ariel Felix - Television moves a lot quicker.  Even the way it's cast. There's definitely a lot more time spent in the trailer on film sets. Preparing of course.  ;-)
Alien Bee - How was it working on a hit show like Grey's Anatomy?
Ariel Felix - Fun, energized, rewarding and at times intense.  I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of something that I think will go down as one of the greats.  And it's still really popular!  I live part time in Vancouver and they love the show up there, too.
Alien Bee - What would your ultimate role be?
Ariel Felix - A lot of the roles I've been cast in have been non-ethnic specific.  To play the "buddy" who just happens to be Asian (and not a stereotype) in a sitcom would be awesome.  I've been auditioning for "lawyer" roles lately and that's piqued my interest.  I'd love to play a prosecutor with a nefarious hidden agenda on a show like SVU or The Good Wife.  Kevin Falls, who I worked for on Journeyman and The West Wing has a good law dramedy right now in Franklin & Bash.  Suits is another good one!
Alien Bee - Would you like to say anything to everyone checking this out?
Ariel Felix - Thanks for reading and keep an eye out!  I just enteredthe wonderful world of tweeting so follow me @arielfelix1

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