Actor Nolan Gerard Funk is the cover star of issue #18 and he and photographer Yu Tsai took time out to do this interview. Nolan is currently hot property in Hollywood, having starred in Glee, MTV’s Awkward and more recently Riddick and The Canyons with Lindsay Lohan. Expect to see a lot more of this multi-talented dude.
YT : Where are you Nolan?
NF : I am actually at a cafe in Venice, Italy. I’m here this week for the Venice Film Festival.
YT : Very nice! I can see your girl fans waving at you through the window.
NF : Yeah – they are so cute and so nice here. (Nolan waves at the girls as they take a picture of him. )
YT : You have been quite busy these days. Glee, a show on MTV-Awkward, and The Canyons with Lindsay Lohan. Now, the highly anticipated film, Riddick. Tell me what Riddick means to you.
NF : It is an opportunity to be part of a franchise. This is the third one and we hope it will continue. I’m a big fan of Vin Diesel. I think he is a true movie star and often underrated. I want to be part of this film so I can learn from him. He is a really good actor.
YT : Tell me about your character Luna.
NF : Luna is a very religious character. He is not the alpha male in the group. He made a few mistakes in his life and ended up working for a very demanding boss played by Jodi Molla.
YT : How much of him is you in real life?
NF : I would say that we’re completely opposite. I didn’t grow up religious. I had to do a lot research to build a great back-story for this character.
YT : Where are you from originally again?
NF : I moved from Canada to New York. Then, from New York to Los Angeles. LA is home now, but I am sure it wont be a permanent one. I enjoy traveling around different places.
YT : They say LA is where dreams are made. Do you feel like LA has lived up to its name for you?
NF : Yeah, I suppose. When I first moved to LA five years ago, there was an energy that made me feel invincible. However, the city has begun to take a bit of a toll on me.
YT : How so?
NF : Some of the inauthenticity and lack of follow through is what annoys me about LA. But, I do have friends I can count on in this town. You really need a support system being in LA.
YT : You are, as what the industry would call, the triple threat right? Sing, dance and act. What do you enjoy doing the most?
NF : I am by far, an actor first and secondly, I just enjoy singing. I’m the kind of person that has the mentality of “there is never enough you can do and you are always wanting more”. It’s important diversify yourself.
YT : Do you remember the pinnacle moment that you decided that YES, I am going to be an actor?
NF : I was disciplined my whole life with extra curricular activities. From my very first acting classes when I performed a scene from Marvin’s Room, I knew then I wanted to be an actor. It just felt right from that point on. I got a high off of it. I knew then, that acting was for me.
YT : As a photographer, beauty and telling stories with my images is what drives me. What is it about the entertainment industry that makes you get up and say, yes, this is what I love?
NF : I want to do more and there is always more you can accomplish in this entertainment industry. More roles that are challenging, that push my limits and make me grow as a person. That is the must important thing to me. That is what I love.
YT : You and I share Lindsay Lohan in our career path. I am still a true believer in her talent and that she will regain success in the near future. In fact, one of my personal favorite shoots I have ever done was the cover of Muse Magazine. How would you describe your experience with Lindsay, while filming The Canyons?
NF : Like the rest of the world, I was intrigued by her. I grew on her and she grew on me. At times the experience was eccentric and erratic. But, we always respected each other. For me, The Canyons experience was about everyone that worked on the project. It was overall an encompassing experience and I enjoyed all of it. I played an unlikable character in The Canyons and where in Riddick, Luna is a lot more likeable and approachable. The experiences were completely different.
YT : Who influences your life and what do you think has molded you into the person you are today?
NF : That is a good question. My childhood really affects me still. My father has a strong presence and I had a couple of influential, and spiritually wise friends that have helped me master my craft. I am grateful to have their presence in my life. What about you? What made you the artist you are today?
YT : For me, I wouldn’t say one person. I consider that the circumstances in life have shaped me. I feel like I have lived 10 different lives already. Perhaps acting gives you that too?
NF : Absolutely. I live my life full heartedly in what I want. If I need to learn to dance, I go to dance class and that’s my life. If I need to learn a character, I submerge myself in understanding that character. The life I live is in what character I am channeling.
YT : The role of your life — what would that be? And how would you prepare for it?
NF : Playing Elvis. Priscilla came to see Bye Bye Birdie in NY and gave me her blessing. That had a lot of impact on me. To prepare for it, I would move to Nashville and watch all his footage and reenact it. I actually have the choreography to Jailhouse Rock memorized. That is how much I love Elvis.
YT : I hope you get to be Elvis one day. So what is next for you?
NF : Now Glee and Awkward just began to hit Europe and I have another movie coming out soon. Its called Wildlike. All of it this very exciting to me.
YT : Should I be excited about Riddick?
NF : Have you seen it?
YT : ( Shakes his head ) No. I haven’t seen it because I am a bad liar. What if I don’t like it? Then I will have to tell you.
NF: I think you will like it.
YT : I sure hope so.
Very special thanks to Nolan Gerard Funk and Yu Tsai.