Dan Fogler talks about his new film “Don Peyote”

Dan Fogler is a man of many trade. The guy is an actor, director, artist and even won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. He has been in films like “Balls of Fury”, “Faboys” and also voiced the character Zeng in “Kung Fu Panda”. Dan’s latest film is quite personal to him and helped him achieve a personal journey. It is called “Don Peyote” and he not only starred in it but also wrote, produced and directed it. If you get the name it is definitely quite the trip but really gives Dan a chance to show off his very impressive acting chops. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about the film and the long road to hitting theaters on May 16th.

Mike Gencarelli: What the hell were you on when you came up with this crazy film, “Don Peyote”?
Dan Fogler: I am saying there is probably a strong foundation of THC in there. Then you have to add in on other aspects of hallucinogens along the way in a very Alice in Wonderland-esque fashion [laughs]. I have heard from some people that while watching the movie they get a buzz off it since it is such a trip. The film is sort of like my homage to “The Wizard of Oz”, where it goes black and white to color. Our character goes from a everyday Joe to a complete nut case and he sees this lush and colorful world.

MG: Tell us about the road to getting this film released on VOD now and in theaters on May 16th
DF: I started this film back in 2011 and I just wanted to make a movie about the energy that I was feeling at the time. A lot of people were going through it wondering what would happen at the end of 2012 with the Mayan Calendar. I was also about to get married and was stressing out a little about what the future would bring. So I wanted to document that and I decided to create this character Warren Allman, who was essentially like the “every man”. In the film he finds his purpose, which is to find what is coming at the end of 2012. He goes to the several steps of fearing it, then trying to prepare for it and just embracing it. I have always been fascinated about the guy standing on the side of the street with “The end is near” sign. How the hell did he get like that? [laughs]. Did it just appear like that? Or just drop out of a space ship? [laughs]. So Warren goes under this entire transformation throughout the film.

MG: Tell us about all the hats you wore for this film including directing, writing, producing and acting?
DF: Yeah, well a lot of it came out of necessity. I wanted to together a nice juicy role that I could get into it. A lot of it was just something that I was going through that I really wanted to document. I wanted to go through a journey and answer some questions about myself and I did that through this movie.

MG: How did you end up co-directing with Michael Canzoniero?
DF: I love him. He is a buddy of mine. The movie was just made with friends and with asking a lot of favors. We didn’t have a lot of money. When I made my first movie “Hysterical Psycho”, I thought that it was like going to camp. It was such a great experience of casting my friends and working with them. So I just did the same thing but on a slightly larger scale with “Don Peyote”.

MG: This role is quite dramatic as well as funny, tell us about ow you approached that aspect?
DF: I wanted to show off other sides of my acting. That was probably the catalyst for starting this film. I have also always been interest in that prophet journey and what would it be like to be a modern prophet. Plus at time, the energy globally was so phonetic. It seemed like the dial was turned up and I wanted to capture that in the movie. You have stuff like Occupy Wall Street happening and there were riots happening everywhere. It felt like people were just waiting for something to happen. I feel that post-2012, we are starting to get more of a positive vibe coming in here and that really was the message of the movie. Everything comes in waves. Things can be rough and hard but then around the corner you find happiness.

Interview with Christopher Moynihan & Dan Fogler

Christopher Moynihan & Dan Fogler are the stars of ABC’s new comedy “Man Up!”, playing the roles of Craig and Kenny (respectively).  Christopher is also the creator and writer on the show.  Dan Fogler is known best for his roles in films like “Balls of Fury” and “Fanboys”.  The show is one of the funniest shows on TV right now easily.  It airs on ABC on Tuesday nights and their second episode is “Star Wars” themed so check it out.  Media Mikes had the chance to chat with Christopher (again) and Dan about the show and what we can expect from their characters.

Mike Gencarelli: You have have been filming for a while now, would you say that you are comfortable with your characters?
Dan Fogler: I think it is growing. Each episode it gets more hysterical and we get more into our skin. As you can tell from the pilot right of the bat it looks like we have been going this for a while. Everyone was really cohesive.  The chemistry from day one was great and we are just having a great time. I think that is going to come through when you watch the show definitely.

MG: You both have love troubles in the pilot, are we going to see any new love interests from your characters?
DF: Yeah!
Chris Moynihan: It is a good question Mike, actually we are going to be seeing quite a few new love interest for me and Dan.  We actually have a new girl for both of us for each episode.  At one point we are dating the girls who work the money and food windows at the local drive-in.  I am dating the first girl and we call her money because she takes out money [laughs].
DF: I date the second girl.  We call her food because she give me my food [laughs].
CM: So every week we have a different set of girls we are going after.
DF: It is like “Three’s Company” in here man.
CM: But…it is like Two’s Company with two more women…like four.
DF: And it all CHRISSIE! [laughs]

MG: Every show has its challenges, what are some of yours for this show?
CM: The truth is from a creative stand point, the only challenge is making something that you like and I think we have done that.  Actually the big challenge is getting people to watch it and getting the network to give it an honest shot.  I think the pilot tracked well, people watched it and hopefully more people will tune it each week.  Hopefully the network will give us a little time while to get our legs.  I have no doubt that we could be a show that people will really dig.
DF: My concerns are that I am hairy like a werewolf. I am really concerned about continuity day to day.  There is a lot of shaving going on.  I think that is going to get weird on my skin after a while.

MG: Dan, what drew you to work on this show?
DF: My wife. She forced me.  No, I loved the show.  I read the script and I thought it was hysterical.  I have been doing a lot of film and I thought it was time for me to break into TV.  I think I picked a winner with this show. I am really excited.  It is my first TV venture and it is really hysterical.  They are really letting me play and I love coming to work.

MG: Tell us about the transition with the character Grant joining your group?
CM: It was tricky thing from a writing stand point.  This is a guy who is sleeping with Kenny’s ex-wife. It was hard bringing him into the group without a little bump. What we did was we had it that Craig and Will really like Grant. He is a good guy.  He is going to be part of the family because Bridgette is going be part of the family because she is the God parent to Will’s kids. That was out way in.  In the second episode, we all sit down to watch “Star Wars” because Grant never has seen it. We figure since he has never seen it, he will watch it and love it and him and Kenny will have something in common. Of course it all goes array.  Our job as writers is to make him part of the group and make it feel organic and natural.  By the third or fourth episode, it is the four of us together and you don’t even question whether Grant should be there.

MG: The promos that you guys have done have been killer, any more plans for those?
CM: We are going to be doing as much as we can.  If you do on YouTube, we have been shooting some fun behind the scenes stuff like Teri Polo naked.  Really if you go on YouTube you can see it. We are trying to get people to watch by lying to them [laughs].  We are going to try to shoot at least one a week and keep posting them and trying to make it go viral.

MG: Any cool guest stars coming up that you want to tell us about?
CM: The big one is Billy Dee Williams.
DF: Yeah, we had Lando come on.  It was awesome. I worked with on “Fanboys”.  We have this sweet scene with him and I together and my God he is one manly space scallywag [laughs] if I have ever seen one.  Working with him was like being on cloud city [laughs].
CM: And Billy does some great dialogue from “Empire Strikes Back”
DF: Yes, there is a lot of “Star Wars” love. So if you are fan…tune it in.