Tai Freligh chats with actor and writer Tom Malloy…
A critically acclaimed and award winning actor, Tom initially wowed Hollywood with his stunning turn in the indie-cult favorite Gravesend in 1998, which was produced by Oliver Stone. Tom is currently starring with comedian Scott Baker in the Amazon improv cop comedy Midtown (initially premiering at the LA Comedy Festival, the show is now in its 2nd season). Most recent films include #Screamers, Shattered, Hero Of The Underworld and Fair Haven. Malloy is also a comedian, published author and motivational speaker. He took time out of his schedule to talk to Tai Freligh about his latest projects.
Tell me about Fair Haven, which is in limited release this month and on Showtime in June?
Fair Haven is this beautiful LGBT film that was directed by Kristen Karlhuber, who was a film student that I was mentoring at the time she brought the project to me and asked me to produce. The best part about the film is it’s truly a message of love and acceptance. It’s also a story about a relationship between a father and his son, and the whole thing is vanilla enough that it will get its message across without offending anyone!
You’ve done network TV, streaming TV, VOD and theatrical film releases. What’s your favourite platform to create on and why?
I have to say that theatrical releases would be my favorite. There’s just something about having your film, or your face, on the big screen that’s very exciting. I guess it triggers the emotions I had when I was a kid and I would be fascinated with movies… maybe I still am!
You’ve written, acted and produced. Have you done directing? If not, why not?
I’ve never directed and I’m not sure why. I think I really wanted to focus on the acting when the project was being shot. You see, it’s easy to get a producer to run the nuts and bolts operations while the film is being shot. The hard part of producing is raising the money and casting (which happen before the film is being shot), and then selling the movie (after it’s finished.) So, with directing, that would be something that I’d have to be doing the same time as I was acting, and maybe I wasn’t ready for that in the past. Now I feel I’m ready for the challenge, and I have a project that I’m developing right now where I’m the director attached!
With so many different things going on in your career, where does your energy and inspiration come from?
I have what I call “life energy.” I’ve had it since I was a kid. I can’t sit still. I also have this ongoing battle with sleep LOL. I love to sleep, and it feels good to sleep, but it goes against everything I believe in! Consequently, I try to limit my sleep so I can keep working and keep grinding along. As for inspiration, it’s always been there. I’ve never wanted to do anything else except work in the movie business, and I’m so quite grateful and blessed that I do it!
Is there something you still want to do in the entertainment industry?
I would love to star in a studio film or in a TV series with someone who is considered A-list talent. I’d love to be able to show, especially comedy-wise, that I’m as good as anyone, if not better!
Tell me about #Screamers, currently making the festival rounds?
#Screamers is this incredible found footage movie and I’m so excited about! It was co-written by myself and Dean Ronalds, who directed the film. We really wanted to take a found footage movie and elevate it to a new level, the level being that you sincerely question whether the film is real or not. We really feel we did that, and so far the early reviewers feel the same way! We’ve twice been called the best found footage movie ever!
Favourite role of yours?
So far my favorite role has been the role of Tom Brennan in #Screamers. Coincidentally, it’s the first role where I felt I was playing close to my type. I based the character on salesman from a documentary called DOTcom. I was also able to add a lot of myself to the role.
Who is your comedy inspiration?
When I was younger I used to watch the old Jack Benny program. What I loved about him, was he was playing the character of a sane man in an insane world, and the comedy came from his reactions to it. He is still the king of the silent punchline, and his “look away” to the audience was unmatched. So, in my comedy (perfect example is my show Midtown on Amazon), I try to make the reactions the funny moments.
Pick any two comedians from all time and put them in a cage match. Who’s fighting and who wins?
Let’s pick Brian Regan, and Dave Atell, two of my favorites. Brian is the clean comic, and Dave is a dirty comic. I like the edginess of Dave, because I feel that comedy should pull no punches. But at the end of the day, funny is funny, and I’ve seen Brian live a bunch of times, and have always walked out in tears, crying laughing. So I have to give the righteous edge, in a cage match, to Brian Regan.
Favourite actor you’ve worked with and why?
The highlight of my acting career was dancing and doing a scene with the great Betty White in my movie Love N’ Dancing. She was everything you’d expect her to be, and I think everyone on set wanted her to be their grandmother! She’s a comedy legend!
Alien or Predator?
Alien has offensive and defensive skills to protect itself, but Predator is a creature made to fight other creatures. I’m sorry to you Alien fans out there, but Predator takes it, every time! Plus, how could Alien be scary after this parody film, in which I co-star!
We thank Tommy Malloy for taking the time to chat with Flickering Myth. You can find him online at his website or on Twitter. He will next bring his talent to the upcoming series Dropping The Soap with Jane Lynch.
Photographer: Birdie Thompson
Grooming: Jennifer Represented by Michelle Q Beauty
Tai Freligh is a Los Angeles based writer and can be followed on Twitter.
(This article originally appeared on Flickering Myth)