Hey fellow geeks!
I was lucky enough to catch up with actor/director/writer Miles Doleac. Miles has a number of indie flicks under is belt like The Historian, and the upcoming The Hollow. He’s also popped up in tv hits like Salem, Treme, and American Horror Story among many others. This April 19th, he’ll be featured in CW event series Containment. It focuses around an outbreak in Atlanta and the devastation that follows (trailer below). It looks really cool.
Miles just isn’t a actor either, when he’s not in front or behind the camera, he’s an assistant professor of Classical Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. Which might make him one of the smartest guys we’ve had on SJP.
Enjoy the interview!
I was scouting out your IMDB page. Busy doesn’t it…between TV, Movies, Writing, Teaching…where do you find the time and what keeps you motivated?
When you’re passionate about something … when you’re doing what you love, you just make the time. I probably don’t relax enough. In fact, I know I don’t. My mind is always working at something it seems. It’s a gift, though, a truly sublime thing, to do something that’s deeply meaningful to you and get paid to do it. I try very hard to never take that fact for granted and it’s a bit intoxicating, so I keep pushing for the next opportunity. I think a lot of the success I’ve had in the entertainment business is just the result of me being relentless. It’s the realization that it’s a marathon. Some people don’t have the stamina. They just wear out. Whatever else I am, I’m tireless. Both the entertainment and education fields will beat you up, emotionally, intellectually, even physically. Survival and success in both worlds has a lot to do with one’s ability to take a punch.
Caught the Historian, good flick…you’re a very Southern guy. I’m a midwest guy, I did live in Virginia for a bit. You Southern guys do things differently…what is the essence of a true southern gentlemen?
Thank you. I think a true southern gentleman is open, thoughtful, something of a renaissance man, a lover of good food and drink and, certainly, of animals. I think it’s mostly about worldview and a discerning palate.
Speaking of the South…lots of filming activity going on there right now. What’s the atmosphere like for filmmakers right now? Is it sticking around or a short burst like we had here in Michigan.
I think it’s here to stay in Louisiana and Georgia, at least to some extent. Mississippi and Alabama have bursts of activity, but the crew infrastructure is not quite there yet. I’ve shot two films of my own in Mississippi in the past two years and acted in another. We have some absolutely brilliant locations here that I was especially pleased to take advantage of on my last film, The Hollow. Crews are eager here, but just need to notch more real-world experience to get to that next level. And, obviously, the work needs to be more consistent. I believe that will happen in time. My state has certainly done a fine job keeping up with others on the tax incentive front, which is particularly important for independent films. Atlanta, where I shot CONTAINMENT last fall and New Orleans, where I work a good bit, are basically like L.A. and New York now. The quality of work is basically the same. From what I can gather, Georgia is going to be a player in the industry for a very long time. They’ve invested in the long-term at virtually every level. That’s what it takes: people with means and ability putting their money and energy where their mouths are.
You’ve worked with some fantastic folks and I’m confident things are just getting rolling for you. But is there one person you’ve had the pleasure of working with that just blew you away or really helped you?
I’d say William Sadler, who’s starred in both films I’ve directed. He’s such a pro and has become a good friend. From day one on my first film, The Historian, he came in open, ready to do whatever I asked, but also willing, in the gentlest way, to make suggestions or offer advice that he felt might be useful. Here’s a guy who’s been around this business a long time. He still loves what he does. He’s still humble. Some actors grow jaded with age. They seem to want to just get in and get out and collect a pay-check. They get comfortable doing a certain type of thing and that’s really all they do. Bill still cares in a very visceral way about how a scene is playing or how his performance fits into the bigger picture. He still wants to push himself, challenge himself. And he challenges everyone around him to not only be great, but to do what’s in the best interests of the picture. It’s been a real education and pleasure working with and getting to know him over these past three or so years.
Containment, just from the trailers is my kinda show. I love anything with a killer disease. Tell us about the limited series and how you got involved?
Well, I auditioned and they cast me. It’s a really great group of folks from the top down. Producers Julie Plec, Charles Beeson, Chris Ord, the writers, the cast, the incredibly generous and talented David Gyasi, who plays the series’ main character … Just fantastic, creative people coming together to do something that everybody’s excited about and believes in. You can feel that energy on set. I call it Homeland meets 24 meets The Walking Dead. It feels so immediate, so ripped-from-the-headlines. The basic premise is a mysterious virus with a 100% mortality rate breaks out in the city of Atlanta, forcing authorities to quarantine a large portion of the city. Then, all hell breaks loose.
You play Lee Scott, what’s his story?
Scott is the National Guard captain placed in charge of security outside the quarantine zone. He’s an old-school, nuts-and-bolts kinda guy. He sees the situation in very stark, practical terms at first, but events intervene and he’s forced to re-evaluate. He was great fun to play.
I know you can’t give too much away and I know you’re Classical Studios Prof so…give us a classic piece of literature or art that you’d compare Containments quality to? Just to give our readers homework!
Hmm. Well, the Iliad begins with a plague. Try that on for size. It’s hard to beat.
Again thank you so much! Outside of Containment what else do you have in the works?
My film The Hollow is releasing this fall. It’s a southern-noir murder thriller with an absolutely amazing cast that includes James Callis, Christiane Seidel, William Sadler, William Forsythe, Jeff Fahey and David Warshofsky. In addition, Lisa Bruce (Producer of Theory of Everything), who was our EP on The Hollow, has asked me to direct a wonderfully humane, incredibly relevant script called Comes An Angel, which chronicles the events surrounding a young Iraqi girl’s tragic encounter with an American soldier in 2008 Iraq. Brilliant and very timely script by Mark Ryland. We hope to be shooting that film later this year in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Last question, it’s an easy one. If fans want to keep tabs on you where do they do that?
On Twitter @miles_doleac, to follow my new film The Hollow, @TheHollowMovie or on FB, TheHollowMS