Who wouldn't like to be part of its favorite TV show? Even actors would like do it! Mather Zickel, actor from Bones and Masters of Sex, is the proof of it. In and exclusive interview, he told us a little bit about his preferences, the difficulties on being and actor, how the TV shows are made and more!
In Masters of Sex, Zickel plays George Johnson, father of Virginia's children, since the beggining of the Showtime's show, in 2013. On House of Lies, also from Showtime, he played Michael Carlson, in 2013.
Zicker was also on Newsreaders (2013), a spinoff of Childrens Hospital, and on Delocated, both from Adult Swim, and on the sitcom Man Up! (2011-2012), of ABC.
Away from TV, you might have seen him on the movies Rachel Getting Married and I Love You, Man.
Enjoy the interview!
Mather, thank you for your time. We appreciate it a lot.
You are so welcome. What can I do for you?
Let's start talking about your career. You have worked with two opposing genres: comedy and drama. Do you have any preferences?
I like them both. The quality of the writing is generally what matters most to me. I'm usually attracted to projects that mix both elements; comedies that include a bit of human pathos, dramas that aren't afraid to be absurd.
Film sets can at the same time, be very fun, but also be quite stressful. What pisses you off in a movie set?
Bad food. Or not enough food. I like food.
Most fans would like to know how's the routine recordings of their favorite TV series. What can you tell us about that?
You get up early. Hair and makeup. Sit around for two hours looking at the script. Camera rehearsal. Then shoot. Get a snack while they change the lights. Shoot the next scene. Pace yourself. Trying to maintain your energy level all day. That's about it.
You have already worked in two films made for TV. Through your work as an actor, what are the main differences between a film production made for the big screen and another made for television?
A film made for TV used to feel like any episode on TV, just longer. It had a similar pace, commercial breaks, and it generally used the same sort of camera work and lighting as most TV. A lot of that has changed with cable original programming. A lot of cable now looks more like film. Feature film production is less rigidly formatted. The pace, style, and feel is left much more in the hands of the director.
You participated in some episodes of a very long TV show that is Bones. What are the ingredients needed to make a show last for so long? And what are the difficulties in reinventing itself every season?
I'd say that the popularity of the characters is the most essential ingredient to having a successful long-running show. I think people tune in regularly when they become so familiar with the characters that they start to feel like friends or family. There are very few shows around any more that draw as large an audience as Bones. The difficulty is coming up with new crimes and plots week after week. "How did this skull wind up in my gas tank?"
When we watch movies or TV series, we often know a supporting actor, but we do not remember from where. This is due to the fact that many actors do only cameos in films, or single episodes in TV series. This is something good or bad for the actor?
I'm sure most actors would prefer appearing regularly on a series than inconsistently as a guest. The fun side of doing guest work is the variety of roles you can play. If you're familiar with an actor, but you don't know from where, it could mean that you have seen them a number of times in various guises. Perhaps wearing a mustache. Or an eye-patch.
As how the negotiations are made? The agents call the studios, or the opposite happens? Because it seems that there is an actor we see in all the movies...
If an actor has a achieved a certain level of fame, they may be offered a role. That's when the studio calls the agent to make a deal. However, most actors have to audition for roles. Usually the agent sets up an audition with a casting director and it goes from there.
As an actor, how you feel to see the show you are involved with being canceled or your character being cut?
Nobody likes being cut. Even if they want off of the show, it never feels good.
In the first episode of the third season of Masters of Sex, George and Virginia discuss about authorizing or not the son Henry to enlist in the army. If you were in a similar situation in real life, how would you respond?
I don't have children, so it's hard for me to say. But, if they were young enough to need my authorization, I would probably make them wait until they were of age.
In Brazil and Latin America as a whole, the novels are very popular, and these bring larger plots, as well as various characters. As an actor of TV series, do you believe that the series have some barriers to please this kind of fan?
Are you talking about novels in general? Or novels that are adapted to TV?
You can answer about novels in general.
I love to read. It's a much more subjective, personal experience. An adaptation can be very successful, of course, but it becomes it's own thing. It visually concretely defines something that previously existed in your mind. Some fans get upset when TV isn't exactly faithful to a novel. It can never really be. One can only accept the TV version on its own merit. And some TV is wildly imaginative and interesting. Look at Game of Thrones.
And how is Mather when he is out of the set? Do you follow other series apart from working? Have you already shared the desire about working in any series particularly as you watched the episodes?
Well, I like Game of Thrones. And House of Cards. And Louie. And Black Mirror. I hereby offer my services up to any of those projects.
What does Masters of Sex still reserve for George Johnson?
We shall have to wait and see...
Thanks again, Mather. Hugs from Brazil!
Obrigado! É um prazer!
P.S.: Yes, this final question he answered us in portuguese!