STANDUP AC­TION HERO

Thomas Jane of “Boo­gie Nights,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Hung” and “The Pun­isher” fame (plus sev­eral dozen other ma­jor ti­tles) cracks jokes, throws out one lin­ers and shares some sur­pris­ing insight into his ca­reer with DAMAN

DA MAN - - Contents - sweater by Mitchell evan; jeans by slate Denim

thomas Jane of “boo­gie nights,” “Deep blue sea,” “Hung” and “the pun­isher” fame (plus sev­eral dozen other ma­jor ti­tles) cracks jokes, throws out one lin­ers and shares some sur­pris­ing insight into his ca­reer with DAMAN Pho­tog­ra­phy Mitchell Nguyen McCor­mack

“THEY SAY IT TAKES 20 YEARS TO GET A REAL HAN­DLE ON ACT­ING, WHICH IS TWICE AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO MAS­TER OTHER CRAFTS. WHO­EVER ‘THEY’ ARE, THEY WERE RIGHT”

Very few ac­tors can claim a fil­mog­ra­phy as di­verse as Thomas Jane. His ca­reer started with an in­dian ro­man­tic com­edy ti­tled “Padamati Sand­hya ragam,” had him swim­ming with sharks in “Deep Blue Sea,” dips into su­per­hero ter­ri­tory with “The Pun­isher” when the genre was still its in­fancy, fea­tures one of the best twist end­ings in cinema his­tory with the movie ver­sion of Stephen king’s “The Mist,” gets into risqué ter­ri­tory with im­mensely pop­u­lar TV se­ries “Hung” and then con­tin­ued well into 2018 with the up­com­ing “The Preda­tor” and a new sea­son of sci-fi drama se­ries “The ex­panse.”

His in­ter­view with DAMAN was also quite ... var­ied, as you will see below. amid the light ban­ter, jokes and off­beat quips, how­ever, Jane also of­fered us some unique in­sights into the world of a world-class ac­tor. all in all, this is cer­tainly one of the most un­con­ven­tional—in the most pos­i­tive sense of the word—sto­ries ever told in this mag­a­zine.

DAMAN: Hi, Thomas. Awe­some to have you with us! How are you do­ing?

Thomas Jane: i just got back from shoot­ing six weeks of night shoots in Buf­falo, New york. Movie called “crown Vic.” Played an Lapd cop with 25 years on the force. He’s train­ing a young cop, first day on the job. all takes place over one night. great writ­ing. gotta tell ya: it’s great to be do­ing char­ac­ter work again. i’m a char­ac­ter ac­tor; i’ve been say­ing it for years. ev­ery­one wants to cast me as the strap­ping young hero, with a girl and a gun, that type of thing. Hon­estly, it’s ex­haust­ing.

DA: In a cou­ple months or so, we’re go­ing to see you in “The Preda­tor.” What can fans ex­pect from this new en­try in the fran­chise?

TJ: Two words: [di­rec­tor] Shane Black and [writer] fred Dekker. Punchy di­a­logue, great char­ac­ters and freak­ing aliens. We blow a lot of s--t up, crack wise and shoot guns. There’s a girl in it, too.

DA: You fa­mously ac­cepted the role with­out read­ing the script first. Can you tell us why? Both the part about not read­ing the script and what made you in­ter­ested in tak­ing up the role and join­ing the movie...

TJ: Me and Shane have tried to work to­gether a cou­ple of times in the past, and for one rea­son or an­other it just hadn’t worked out. So, when Shane called me about this one, i just asked him to let me know where to be and when to be there. i’ve been a fan of Shane’s since “kiss kiss Bang Bang.” i’ve al­ways had a feel­ing that we would work well to­gether and i was right. He’s got a cer­tain blend of hard-boiled and com­edy that’s very hard to hit. No one can do it like Shane Black. Me and Dekker al­most worked to­gether too, on an end-of-the-world movie with gi­ant alien spi­ders, a girl and a gun. Maybe we’ll get to do it one day.

DA: By the way, what is it that you usu­ally look for in po­ten­tial roles?

TJ: i look for a ten­sion be­tween op­po­site forces work­ing in­side a char­ac­ter. i look for good writ­ing, great di­a­logue and a chance to get naked and kill peo­ple. Not nec­es­sar­ily at the same time. it doesn’t al­ways work out.

DA: What ended up be­ing the big­gest sur­prise for you as you worked on “The Preda­tor”?

TJ: it sur­prised me how ten­der the Preda­tor’s nip­ples are. We had to use a spe­cial kind of tape over them, be­cause when­ever the wind would blow those things got huge. They looked like break­fast sausages. it was re­ally dis­tract­ing.

DA: The “Preda­tor” film se­ries is quite a beloved fran­chise with a solid rep­u­ta­tion among sci-fi fans. Do you feel that this adds ex­tra pres­sure for the new “The Preda­tor” to get things right, so to speak?

TJ: There’s al­ways pres­sure. every­body has their own idea about what they want to see. We made sure to not do any of that. i re­mem­ber it was im­por­tant to get the Pred into a tutu, for some rea­son. But pink does not go well with that blue-green skin. also, cer­tain fac­tions wanted to see the Pred wear­ing a Michael My­ers hockey mask, to bring in the hor­ror crowd. But it looked tiny on that big head. So, for­tu­nately that was scrapped as well. He does have a dog, though. a space dog, i think they call it.

DA: If there’s one thing you’ll al­ways re­mem­ber from your time on the set of “The Preda­tor,” what would it be?

TJ: for­tu­nately, i don’t re­mem­ber any of it. Stu­dios are very wary of leaks, spoil­ers and the like, what with the in­ter­net and Twit­ter and all that mind­numb­ing stuff go­ing on lately. So, we were forced to un­dergo brain­wash­ing

pro­ce­dures—de­vel­oped by the cia dur­ing the Mk-ul­tra days—af­ter work each day. i re­mem­ber my trig­ger word was “may­on­naise.” The rest is black.

DA: On the TV front, ad­di­tional sea­sons of “The ex­panse” have been an­nounced a cou­ple of months ago. Will you still be part of the show in sea­son four and be­yond? TJ: That is se­cret and confidential. The an­swer is yes.

DA: Of course, you’re no stranger to sci-fi/su­per­hero/comic book-based movies. What would you say are some of the big­gest changes in the genre since then?

TJ: Pus­si­fi­ca­tion. No more hard r su­per­hero stuff, un­less it’s that guy with the burnt up face mak­ing fart jokes and piss­ing him­self. Dif­fer­ent world out here, now.

DA: On that note, any chance of see­ing you in an­other bona fide su­per­hero movie some­time in the near fu­ture?

TJ: i’ve been banned from su­per­hero movies be­cause my mus­cles are too big. it’s just not be­liev­able. Plus, i’ve got a big nose. The mask just looks ridicu­lous on me.

DA: Be­sides “The Pun­isher” back in 2004, movie fans also know you as the lead in pop­u­lar movies like “The Thin Red Line,” “Deep Blue Sea” and “The Mist” just to name a few. That be­ing said, what do you see as your most mem­o­rable or per­son­ally sig­nif­i­cant film? TJ: My most sig­nif­i­cant film is a sex tape i did with the Sis­ters of ev­erlov­ing Sor­row, back in my col­lege days. They all wore red habits, and my John­son was cov­ered with black­light paint. it won’t be re­leased un­til the last sis­ter has died, but they were all pretty old even back then. So, i guess you should look out for it. it was called “The Devil in­side Me,” but i think they’re chang­ing it.

DA: And what would you say was the one role or ti­tle that re­ally put you on the map?

TJ: Which map is that? if you mean the “i’ll never work with that f-----g guy again” map, then that would prob­a­bly be “Die, Die, My Dar­ling,” which only came out in east­ern europe. i’m still proud of it, though.

DA: You’ve been act­ing for more than three decades. Do you still feel the same about your cho­sen pro­fes­sion now as you did when you first started out all those years ago?

TJ: af­ter “Boo­gie Nights” peo­ple said i was a tal­ented ac­tor but lazy, be­cause i did big stu­dio stuff like “Deep Blue Sea.” But at that time, i was dirt poor, lit­er­ally liv­ing in a cabin in the woods and busk­ing on side­walks for change. i took the first thing i was of­fered real money for, and it changed my life. But the truth is, i shouldn’t have been do­ing lead­ing roles be­cause i was still in­ex­pe­ri­enced at film act­ing. i’d done a lot of stage; i was tal­ented but painfully shy. Took a lot of years to learn the craft of act­ing with a bunch of crew stand­ing around watch­ing you, check­ing their watches, wait­ing for lunch. it’s re­ally only since i did “Hung” that i’ve learned how to do the work i knew i was ca­pa­ble of. They say it takes 20 years to get a real han­dle on act­ing, which is twice as long as it takes to mas­ter other crafts. Who­ever “they” are, they were right. Damn them. Wait, what was the ques­tion?

DA: You’ve taken on quite a few chal­leng­ing roles, in­clud­ing those that re­quired tons of prepa­ra­tion— like how you trained with the Navy SeALs be­fore play­ing the tit­u­lar hero in “The Pun­isher.” What are some of the more, shall we say, un­ex­pected or sur­pris­ing chal­lenges that you’ve ever had to face for a role? TJ: Well, mak­ing love to all those women in “Hung” was a sur­pris­ing chal­lenge. Be­cause ac­tu­ally, it turns out that you’re not re­ally sup­posed to, you know, turn it on when you’re turn­ing it on. it’s all act­ing, which is a lot dif­fer­ent than the movies i was used to. So, i had to learn to not get “ex­cited”—i had to turn it off while turn­ing it on, if that makes sense. un­for­tu­nately, this has bled over into real life. i’ve now got to un­learn how to turn it off when i’m turn­ing it on, and i’m al­ways turn­ing it on when i should be turn­ing it off. it’s a mess. But. these are the sac­ri­fices we make for the art...

DA: All in all, what do you en­joy the most about be­ing an ac­tor? TJ: Turn­ing it on.

DA: You’ve acted and di­rected, pro­vided your voice for video games and an­i­mated fea­tures, re­leased an al­bum and comic books. What do you want to tackle next? TJ: Muskelunge. i also hear steel­head trout is great.

DA: Last ques­tion: Other than your ca­reer, what is the most im­por­tant thing for you right now? TJ: Sleep. i’ve got to get some.

“EV­ERY­ONE WANTS TO CAST ME AS THE STRAP­PING YOUNG HERO, GIRL AND A GUN, THAT TYPE OF THING. HON­ESTLY, IT’S EX­HAUST­ING”

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