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Interview: David Keith (Awaken)

DAVID-KEITH-interview-Awaken-(2)David Keith stars alongside Daryl Hannah, Natalie Burn in the film AWAKEN (Available on DVD, July 7, 2015) Keith has starred in films such as FIRESTARTER, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN. He spoke with me about his new film AWAKEN, his favorite character he portrayed and his charity protect.org for a Horrornews.Net exclusive interview.

How did you prepare to play Walsh in AWAKEN?

Mr. Keith- I’ve been doing this so long that it doesn’t take long. I read a character and I read a script and it just kind of clicks. It’s almost like you flip a switch and there the character is and I went out and played it. I took this role because the writer/producer Natalie Burn’s is an old friend of mine. We’ve been friends for a long time and she asked me to come and do a role in her first attempt at producing a film on her own and I said yes and then I read the script. I read through my part and decided here was a guy who is obviously a talented surgeon who has fallen on hard times and for one reason or another fell in with the wrong people. He was a drinker and probably lost his family and his license. He had just sort of given up but he just took that job and went to work and did the best he could.

What was it like working with Director Mark Atkins?

Mr. Keith – It was very nice. He was extremely busy but not too busy to talk about things. This is what I call gorilla filmmaking, I mean he was walking around with a camera on his shoulder and he would say let’s get a piece of this scene now, put a light up and boom he would shoot it. We would be losing light and he would go right outdoors and shoot the rest of that scene before the sun went down. When you do those films you make a schedule and there is always somebody wringing their hands because you can’t but, he was really good at flying by the seat of his pants and he would be ready to go at a moment’s notice at something that wasn’t necessarily planned for that particular moment. It was good working with somebody like that. There are a lot of directors who are so meticulous and so concerned with the order that everything is shot in and sticking with the schedule that they are their own worst enemy but he’s not. He was very flexible and you have to be when you have time constraints and budget constraints like you had with this movie. You have to be able to be flexible and get what really needs to be gotten.

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What challenges did you face in AWAKEN?

Mr. Keith- There were no challenges. It was very comfortable.

What was it like working with the cast of AWAKEN?

Mr. Keith- It was great. Everybody was really nice. They are all friends of Natalie’s, they are people whom she met throughout her years in Los Angeles and had worked with some and not worked with others and she called in a lot of favors. The results is what you see.

What advice would you give to Actors and Artists in general because you have so much longevity in your career?

Mr. Keith – That is a complicated question but if we are talking about people who are just starting out, always remember that no matter how much love your craft of acting or directing or whatever it is. You cannot deprive who you are as a person. It should never take the place of family or the people you love, the people that love you. That’s what’s important in life and everything else, even if its art, it’s just a job after all. If you fail to make it as an actor, you are not a failed person. There are many, many other directions you can go and that is the main thing I would say to actors starting out. If you don’t make it as an actor don’t let that make you feel like a failure as a person because you’re not.

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Out of all of your characters, do you have a favorite character you have played?

Mr. Keith- Absolutely, Elvis Presley in HEARTBREAK HOTEL because I got to sing the stuff myself and I’m a frustrated rock star so I’d go in the studio, work with the band, do a concert on stage in front of three thousand members of the Elvis Fan Club and it was like living the dream. Jerry Schilling who was one of Elvis’ closest friends was like an advisor on the movie and he and I became friends. I met Priscilla Presley

What are you working on next?

Mr. Keith- Well, right now I have concentrated my whole life on my family. I have a charity called protect.org and we train wounded warriors, wounded veterans to be child rescue forensic agents with homeland security. So we are in kind of a child protection, child rescue business from child predators. That is what I devote all my time to. When my agents and managers call, I take a look at a script and see if I want to do it and sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t but basically the rest of my life is going to be concentrated on my family and protect.org

Wise words from a brilliant, talented actor whose career continues to go on and he is a genuine human being with a big heart. Make sure to pick up AWAKEN on DVD July 7, 2015.

DAVID KEITH’S CHARITY WWW.PROTECT.ORG

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