Attention Florida Friends: Joel D. Wynkoop needs your vote!!

Over the years, Media Mikes has mentioned Joel D. Wynkoop.  A long time Tampa friend of mine, Joel is known for his locally produced horror films and is quite the cult hero in (and beyond) the Sunshine State.  He also has his own magazine that not only promotes his work, but the work of other aspiring actors in Florida.

The on-line site Creative Loafing Tampa Bay is compiling votes for its 2018 BEST OF THE BAY contest and Joel has been nominated in the category of Best Actor.  I’m hoping you readers will click HERE and, in the category of Best Actor, cast a vote for Joel.  For some reason, nominees are listed alphabetically by FIRST name, so look for Joel under the “J’s.”

For a look at some of Joel’s work, click HERE



Jai Courtney and Joel Edgerton talk about their new film “Felony”

Jai Courtney and Joel Edgerton are the stars of the new film “Felony”, which also co-stars Tom Wilkinson. Edgerton also wrote and produced the film. Jai is growing to be quite the superstar with films under his belt like “The Divergent Series” and the upcoming reboot “Terminator: Genisys”. Joel has been in great films like “The Hurt Locker” and can be seen next in “Exodus: Gods and Kings” alongside Christian Bale. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jai and Joel about their new film “Felony” and their experience on it.

Mike Gencarelli: Joel, you not only star but also wrote and produced “Felony”; tell us about how you became involved with this film?
Joel Edgerton: I started writing this film back in 2007 or 2008. It was based on a short story that I did about this character knocks this kid off his bike while driving drunk and then lies about it. Very quickly I became fascinated with not just him as a character but the characters that Jai (Courtney) and Tom (Wilkinson) ended up playing in the movie. It became about this event and how it would end up effecting a various people’s lives and also how everybody involved in the story has very different opinions about the cleanup, aftermath and punishment needed for the crime. The movie is a thriller that also look into ethics at the same time, so hopefully it is very entertaining. I have written a lot of stuff and when I write something that I really know in my bones is good I become very passionate about it and I will try everything to try and make it work. Next was gathering a really great team. We got Matthew Saville, who is a really great director, his movie “Noise” is one that I really love. Then together him and I found the right producing partner Rose (Blight), who then became the real engine that pushed us into getting this made. Then it became it about finding the right leads to be in the movie and we were blessed in the fact that we got Jai, who is perfect for the character and really blessed that Tom came to play with us as well.

MG: Jai, how did you come on board and what drew you to the project?
Jai Courtney: Really it was just the script. I have been an admirer of Joel’s for some time. We didn’t know each out prior to this film. When I read the script, I did notice his name on the front page and it did definitely intrigue me but I think if that script was written by anyone else, I would have been equally as hungry to do it. It is very well done. Joel reaches out and engages the audience and asks them what they would do in terms of what is going on in the film. My character sees things very clear, defined and very black and white. He believes in that if you mess up then you should suffer the consequences. I am a lot more unsure in person and I thought it was really new territory for me. You couple that with getting the ability to go home (to Australia) to make a movie there. But it is really a universally themed narrative, so it was just a bonus for me and just felt like such a good fit. So I went ahead and auditioned for it and before we knew it we were crackalacking [laughs].

MG: What was it like to work side by side with the great Tom Wilkinson?
JC: I had the pleasure of playing his partner. He is a funny old guy and has been doing this forever. I have an enormous amount of respect for what he is capable of as an actor. Look, it was just a buzz for me. It was great to be able to work with someone that experienced yet he was still so hard working. I would ask Tom what he would be up to on the weekend and he would look at me confused and he would say “Well, I will be working on my lines. I’ve got all these lines to say”. I was just like “Wow”, it has never changed for him. He still works so hard and does an amazing job.
JE: I was amazed firstly that he just jumped on board. To have the person you wanted to play the character say “Yes” was great. I wrote him literally these speeches that would go on for pages. I had this long scene with him on the dock and he turned up fully prepared to shoot the scene. He could have even probably shot during the rehearsal. He doesn’t play the card of learning the lines on the set, like a lot of actors do. Even I was terrified writing it, to be honest, but he just came super prepared and super thoughtful of what his character what doing and it made the film so much more interesting. His character is spewing some of the most difficult points of view on justice and he has such conviction as an actor that you kind of fall into his point of view. You want to believe him.

MG: Joel, how did you prepare for such an emotional role being a family man at home, take a bullet and yet living with this lie?
JE: The tricky thing was that I realized very early on that my character is one of the most inactive characters in the film. We did work hard that he wasn’t just a series of long faces but to show that there is a lot of turmoil going on. Jai’s character is working towards something and trying to fix this problem and Tom’s character is working to fix it in terms of covering it up. I think the biggest challenge for me is that I am not only speaking lines that I have been writing for years and trying to sell them like I would in any other movie but I wanted to make sure that there enough complexity to the guilt. You are asking an audience to empathize with someone that has done a terrible thing and still go on that journey with him. Matthew, the director, and I were having a moment by moment discussion of how we can keep the audience with my character yet still allow them to also not be on his side.

MG: Jai, how did you perfect that “I know you did it” stare that you gave to Joel throughout the film?
JC: I worked on that stare for months [laughs]. I used to joke with Matthew because it did feel like that was all I did just starring at Joel with that “I know you did it” face.

MG: Jai, going from films like “Divergent” to this; was a good chance of pace?
JC: Definitely man. It was wonderful being able to shake things up with a film like this. He is a quiet character but internalizes more than some of the other roles that I have had the fortune of playing. It is fun to get to do the big blockbuster films as well but as an audience member, I respond to this kind of cinema a little more. It is more in line with the kind of film that intrigues me and gets me putting my feet up. It was very refreshing. I was just very lucky to be a part of it. To be honest, it was probably one of the most fulfilling personal experiences that I have had. No frills but no bullshit either. It shows you don’t always need a big budget to have a lot of fun.

MG: Joel, next up you got “Exodus: Gods and Kings”; which is quite a different type film than this one.
JE: A little bit [laughs]. Yeah, that was an incredible experience. That is the beauty of the jobs that I get, one minute you are back doing telly in Australia and writing and then next I was in some building in Spain wearing a gold skirt. So you get to have like 3-4 month excursions into different worlds with a bunch of great professional people. It is a real blessing. I wouldn’t want to do just the one thing. It is nice to be able to jump around in the different worlds. The big budget films are exciting but there is really something that gets your adrenaline going with these smaller movies as well.

MG: Jai, what can you spill for us about “Terminator: Genisys”?
JC: They are very tight lipped about it, so I can reveal much but I am really excited about it. I am really happy that I got to have the experience. I am a fan of the franchise also, so it was really cool to get to play that role. I am really excited with the direction that we are taking the franchise as well.

Joel Murray talks about working with Bobcat Goldthwait on "God Bless America" and Disney/Pixar’s "Monsters University"

Joel Murray is the youngest in his family of actors including Bill Murray and Brian-Doyle Murray. He is the star of Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest film “God Bless America” and he is voicing the character Don Carlson in Disney/Pixar’s upcoming “Monsters University”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Joel about growing up in the business and his work on the films above.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you think about “God Bless America” upon your first reading?
Joel Murray: You heard the story from Bobcat (Goldthwait), right? He was having back surgery, so I brought him over dinner and the first three seasons of “Mad Men”. Middle way through season two his wife said “You know, Joel could play Frank”. So he sent me the script but didn’t say a part or anything. I read it and told him it was great and I really liked it. I told him that I liked what he has to say and that it was time for a film like this. Then I asked him, “Who are you thinking about, you want me for the guy in the office?” He said “No Frank…the Guy!” I jumped at the thought of having the lead role in the movie, which doesn’t happen too often. Actually it has just happened once, really [laughs]. My first thought was hell ya! But then I had a couple of moments thinking that there could be some repercussions from this. I agree with about 95% about what he says in the movie. So I just thought “Why not?” My only fear was that seven Westboro Baptists would come visit me at my house. [laughs] But other than that I wasn’t too worried. What I love about his work is that all of his movies having something to say. So many comedies today are just like an extended shit joke.

MG: You’ve worked with Bobcat Goldthwait going back to “Shakes the Clown”; how was it with him behind the director’s chair again?
JM: When I worked with him on “Shakes”, it was his first movie and he was in clown makeup the whole time. You didn’t really think about him as an auteur, he was playing a drunken clown running around in make-up. On this film though, I was able to work hand-and-hand with him the whole time. I directed some stuff in the past and he was open to anything that I had to say and add. It was a fun relationship. It is awkward having your buddy give you a role that you didn’t audition for.  He didn’t give me a lot of notes or anything. All I kept getting from him was “Yeah, you really got this guy down!”

MG: How did you prepare for a character like Frank?
JM: I thought Bob has written it for himself. So I was kind of playing Bob in a way [laughs] but with his normal voice. I had a friend shoot himself in the mouth about 6-8 months before this came up. So when we started shooting, a couple of the scenes we did first was me with a gun in my mouth. That really takes you to a real interesting spot as an actor…a real depressing spot for that matter. So starting from there, I found a dark place to begin with and had a gradual upswing from there. His is never really that happy or excited though in the film. But starting from the darker corner was a good way to go as an actor.

MG: Was it challenging to blend the satirical comedy with the violent action?
JM: How do you blend it? Well, anyone that takes the violence in this film too seriously doesn’t get it. They also may be part of the problem that we are trying to kill. When you have a car montage in the middle of the film dancing around on the map of America, you know it is not taking itself that seriously. To do some serious acting on this, the comedy of it brought something to it. I grew up doing comedy and I have been fortunate enough to get into some serious roles as well in “Mad Men” and “Shameless”. So I’ve got to do some straight acting. It has been interesting to try and I have also learned a lot from my peers and my brothers. I watched my brother Billy (Murray) in “Broken Flowers” and I thought to myself “He’s seeing if he can do absolutely nothing and if it would work” [laughs]. Also in “Lost in Translation”, he was so introspective. So I just didn’t want to overplay it and keep it kind of close. I have a very expressive face, so I don’t need to be too over the top. But Bob was consistently giving me the thumbs up. So I guess it worked.

MG:  Speaking of your family, how was it growing up as the youngest in a family of actors? Do you feel that comedy comes easy?
JM: It was natural at home. Everyone was funny around the dining room table and that is where some of the comedy started in our house. You learn from them. I had some of the funniest people in America in my room growing up. There was also a high standard with them. I did plays throughout high school and college and when I got into improv, it wasn’t that easy but I had my background to draw from. I remember one of the first times my brother Billy came to see me at the Improv Olympic. I remember riding home with him and it was one heck of a quiet car ride, like I just struck out to win the World Series [laughs]. So they are a tough group to impress but we all created our own funny. There is stuff you saw on “Saturday Night Live” and from movies where you think that you grew up with that. I had more noogies on my head then anybody being the youngest [laughs].

MG:  Lastly, tell us about your role Don Carlson in “Monsters University”?
JM: The first trailers didn’t really show any new characters. In the new trailers, I am the guy with the mustache in the cloak that is evoking the initiation rites. Don Carlson is a student in his 40’s that has been laid off and decided to go back to college and learn the computers. So he is in this lame frat with the other guys but he is 20 years older than them all. He was a fun character. He is a little bit Minnesota-ent and sounds a little bit like my brother Brian-Doyle Murray but not exactly, I swear [laughs]. I didn’t go there!


Related Content


Interview with Joel M. Reed

Joel M. Reed is the writer and director of the cult classic film “”Bloodsucking Freaks”. Joel also appears in the upcoming independent horror/comedy “Supernaturalz”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Joel about creating a cult classic and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with the film “Supernaturalz”?
Joel M. Reed: For many years Kevin (Sean Michaels) has been a student of mine and follower. However he misled and said I was to do a hard core scene with a stripper. I would have not only added length to the production but width.

MG: How was it working with Kevin Sean Michaels being the director?
JR: He made me the man I am today.

MG: Tell us about how you came up with the idea for “Bloodsucking Freaks”?
JR: I was producing a film called “Teen Demon” and having trouble raising money when an agent Dorothy Palmer told me about an off-Broadway S &M Ballet being presented by a guy name Giles Fontaine. It was him and his girlfriend totally nude. I had dinner with a group of famous and rich ballet aficionados the following week and told them of the show. They all demanded tickets. After the performance they all said if I made a movie about an off Broadway S&M theater they would give me all the money. I wrote the script in one day and they all sent over s&m stuff from their collections. Some too sick for me. When they read the final script they said they loved it but they were all broke at the moment. About that time Joel Weinberg a film attorney called me and asked me if I had a movie I could should before the end of the year. I said, “Yes, “Sardu, Master of the Screaming Virgins”. Do you want to read a script?” He replied, “Fuck the script.” Pick up a check on Monday. It was for $125,000.00 dollars.

MG: When Troma acquired the film they changed the title, which was the third time for this film, any feeling about that?
JR: The film would have succeeded under any title.

MG: Did you ever feel that you were going to far with the content and gore in the film?
JR: I thought the film was funny. Actually is quiet tame by today’s standards.

MG: How does it feel to be the director of one of the most controversial films of all time?
JR: A lot of Goth kids chase me down the street.

MG: Tell us about your film school and its teachings on how make your own cult movie?
JR: I have a new concept in teaching film writing and directing and producing. It’s more like Navy Seal Training. It trains you in all the qualities that make one a film maker that have nothing to do with art.

MG: Will we ever see “Bloodsucking Freaks II” get made?
JR: I have some even more earth shaking films to made with more shock value.
Sardu and Ralphus are gone. Anything I do is the true “BSF Part II”.

Interview with Joel Moore

Joel Moore is known best for his roles in films like “Dodgeball” and “Grandma’s Boy” and most recently a little film called “Avatar”.  Joel also stars in David Ellis’ “Shark Night 3D”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Joel about working with James Cameron on “Avatar” and on his upcoming films.

Mike Gencarelli: You started your career with notable comedy roles in “Dodgeball” and “Grandma’s Boy.” Has comedy always come easy for you
Joel Moore: Yes. When I was younger I always wanted to be a clown. But when I got old enough I realized that was probably a bad career move so I got into acting. But I learned very early on that I won’t get beat up by the bullies at school if I just fall on my own head. So that really worked out. I think that comedy comes naturally to me, though I don’t consider myself a “comedian.” I see these guys doing stand up and I know that it’s very hard work…probably some of the hardest work in this business. And acting also gives me the opportunity to bounce around and do comedies or do drama. I made a point to try to do both comedy and drama early on so I wouldn’t get type cast into one little area of this industry. And that made things much easier on both sides. Right after “Dodgeball”, I directed a feature where I played a sort of out of touch guy who could be a serial killer. A movie called “Spiral.” And one of the reasons that we did it was because it was completely the opposite of what I had been doing before that. It was an exciting move and something I really want to pursue, being on the director’s side of the camera.

MG: Tell us about what it was like working on such a big film like “Avatar”?
JM: It was a two and a half year process and whenever you’re working with Jim Cameron you’re working with a guy who has the bar raised so high that it forces, in a healthy way, everybody’s endeavors to reach that same level. He’s the hardest guy working on the set. He’s the first one in and the last one out. It’s the best example of “helming” a project that I’ve ever been a part of and I think I ever will be. I can’t wait for the sequels coming up. Working with Jim is like going to graduate school. It really was. It was such an experience and such an education for me that it’s almost beyond words.

MG: Would you say it was the hardest project you have worked on to date?
JM: Yes, because of the technology…because of the fact that a lot of it was being created and built as we were going so you’re really doing two things at once. You’re creating the idea of what it’s going to look like as you’re shooting and building the project at the same time. It really was the chicken and the egg at the same exact time. It was fascinating to watch. You know with all of that pressure I would have been having panic attacks every day but the guy is made of stone…he’s made of giant stone balls! Two giant stone balls and they’re very heavy!

MG: Obviously the sequel(s) are a few years away,.. do you hope to be involved?
JM: I have no idea about what’s coming up. It’s all in Jim’s head at this point and he’s going to be the person who will be asking and answering all of the questions. It should be fun to see what happens with it.

MG: You co-directed, produced and wrote “Spiral” with Adam Green as well as starred in it. Tell us about that experience?
JM: The experience was something I’d always been interested in ever since college. I wrote a play and it got put on at the college and I thought “this is interesting…to see my words come alive on stage. So Adam and I set out to write something small. Something we could get the funding for privately so we didn’t have to go through the studio system. It was hard wearing a lot of hats which is why Adam and I decided to take this adventure on together and co-direct it. It’s very hard to do so many things at once because you’re not really wearing a bunch of hats, you’re taking one hat off and putting another one on. So when I’m in front of the camera I just have to wear the acting hat. If I’m behind I have to wear the director hat. It’s a lot of shuffling, but I happen to be a good shuffler! (laughs)

MG: Any future plans to direct?
JM: Yes. I’m putting a project together that’s currently under wraps. It’s a dark comedy and we’re really excited about it. It’s going to get off the ground around the middle of this year and it will be a good follow up to “Spiral.” It’s a little different and on the lighter side of things. I’m really excited about it and excited to get it going and add another “feature director” credit under my belt. I’m going to actually say the name of the film so we can have it in print. It’s called “Killing Winston Jones.”

MG: So you’ve just given me an exclusive here?
JM: Exactly! An exclusive.

MG: Tell us about your role in David Ellis’ upcoming 3D shark thriller?
JM: It’s actually really fun. I think people are going to enjoy it. It’s based on true events that happened post-Katrina where, because of the levees breaking, sharks could come into the waters around the area. Chris Briggs, the producer, he’s kind of a genius. He was behind the whole “Hostel” franchise. He come up with the great marketing ploy that sharks sell movie tickets. At first I was like, “oh no, a shark movie” but it really falls into a fun realm. I like to pop in and do some commercial fun stuff. It’s a big movie and it’s full of action. It’s fun…it’s funny! The whole cast was wonderful. We became a tight knit group. There’s a lot of talent. They were the young talent and I was the old talent on the set. All those young kiddies running around…they didn’t listen to me at all!

MG: So was the film actually shot in 3D?
JM: I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t. That was one of the key points when the offer came through…that it was going to be shot in REAL 3D. There’s no shitty transferring afterwards that makes the 3D look crappy. It’s the real deal. It really was important to me. If I’m going to do a silly fun movie like this I want to do something that honors the true side of 3D. David (Ellis, the film’s director) is good at what he’s done. He’s done it before and he knows how to make all of that action work really well, which is a big driving force to making an action/thriller.

MG: What else do you have planned for the future?
JM: I signed on to “Hawaii Five-0” this year and that should be fun. It’s a big show and people seem to enjoy it. I just finished my first episode. The cast is great. Alex (O’Loughlin” and Scott (Caan) are great. I couldn’t say kinder words about them. They’re having fun. As they should…they’re shooting in Hawaii! You can’t get much better than that. Then I have the upcoming film I’m going to direct and play the lead in. And I’m filling time between now and when the “Avatar” sequels start. I’ve got a couple movies coming up, one I’d like to mention called “Janie Jones.” It’s just a fantastic little story that stars Alessandro Nivola and Abigail Breslin. I’ve seen it and it’s such a wonderfully touching story. I’m excited for people being able to see it. The cast is great. Frank Whaley…Elisabeth Shue. It should be coming out at some point this year. Just a great little movie!