Interview with Damon Herriman

Damon Herriman is known best for playing Dewey Crowe on the TV series “Justified”.  Damon recently scored a role in the new film, “J. Edgar” as Bruno Hauptmann.  Movie Mikes were able to chat with Damon about his role in the show and his new film.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about working on the show “Justified”?
Damon Herriman: On Justified I play the hapless redneck, Dewey Crowe. I really love working on that show. It started out as just a guest role in the pilot but I guess it’s kind of turned into a recurring role. The writing, the direction and the actors are just all so good. And the dialogue is stuff you just don’t get to do very often. Really great, fun character stuff.

MG: What do you use for inspiration for your character Dewey Crowe?
DH: I guess the script. The character is so clear on the page, I don’t have to look elsewhere. Sure, there are a bunch of similar screen characters and real people I’ve come across over the years who would be contributing to the role in an unconscious way. But essentially all the inspiration I need is in the writing. It’s just so good

MG: Tell us about your new role in “J. Edgar” as Bruno Hauptmann?
DH: I play the German carpenter who was convicted of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby in the 30s. The film itself is about J Edgar Hoover’s entire reign at the FBI, but, as Hoover took a personal interest in the case, quite a bit of the film is dedicated to the Lindbergh case.

MG: How do you plan on preparing for the role?
DH: It’s the first time I’ve played a real person and you do feel a responsibility to capture them as accurately as possible. Luckily there are a few YouTube clips of the real guy from the court case. That’s been very helpful. Other than that I’ve been reading up a lot on the case and working on the German accent. You don’t want to have real Germans laughing at the screen!

MG: Are you excited to work with Clint Eastwood and whole cast?
DH: I’m incredibly excited. I’m still pinching myself. I’ve been a fan of Clint Eastwood’s since I can remember – both as an actor and a director. To think I will get to work with such a legend is still hard to believe. And most of my scenes are with Leondaro DiCaprio. A brilliant actor and again, someone I’m really excited to be working with.

MG: You’ve wrote, produced and directed a bunch of short, any plans to make a feature
DH: I have a couple of features in various stages. I’m working on a new one with Luke Doolan (2010 Oscar nominee for his short ‘Miracle Fish’) at the moment which we both feel very good about. Quite a high concept but it’s really coming together. Fingers crossed!

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