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A Committed Exclusive Interview with Geoff Meed!

Geoff Meed is, as I have referred to him many times, the Bo Jackson of The Asylum. A true double-threat, Meed has carefully molded himself from his beginnings as a stuntman into one of the most intense actors in The Asylum's stable, as well as one of its brightest, liveliest, and most well-received screenwriters. For The Asylum, Meed helped pen Unviersal Soldiers with some uncredited assistance from David Michael Latt, then went out on his own for the incredible I Am Omega, and the rough-and-tumble vengeance flick 6 Guns. Both of these latter scripts, while action-flicks, are bolstered by Meed's focus not only on the action and violence in these characters' lives, but also the emotional motivations behind their responses. In I Am Omega, Meed's script calls for actor Mark Dacascos to play the role of the supposed last man on Earth as a fragile warrior, a survivor at equal odds with the world outside and inside; in 6 Guns, it isn't the method of vengeance that is the heart of the film, it's the madness that fuels that method, the injuries sustained and not seen that guide our heroine. In a market where story isn't valued near as much as FX or cleavage, The Asylum has always stood apart as one company who still puts a value on narrative. The continual use of Geoff Meed is one such example of this commitment.

As an actor, Meed 's early career is peppered with appearances on various well-known television shows including "Renegade," "Walker Texas Ranger," "Babylon 5," "CSI," "ER," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and more. For The Asylum he has appeared in five films, including his latest two scripts. Mr. Meed continues to act outside The Asylum as well, keeping up his vigorous TV work and foraying into more major motion pictures, including the upcoming fifth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. But as his career continues to climb to new heights, Mr. Meed stays close to home, revealing below, among other things, an upcoming project that has him back in familiar confines with pen in hand.

977: When did you first decide you wanted to work in the movies?

Geoff Meed: "I got kicked out of the University of Texas at Austin, and my parents finally realized what kind of trouble I was creating, so they brought me home to El Paso, where they had recently relocated. There was nothing to do, so out of pure boredom, I started acting at a community theatre my mom was a part of, and it kind of started from there."

977: Who came first? Geoff Meed the writer, or Geoff Meed the actor?

GM: "Geoff Meed the actor."

977: Tell us your first "I-made-it" moment in the business.

GM: "I had been out in L.A. for about a year and had done a couple of non-union acting jobs. I used to sneak onto the studio lots - something you can't do anymore - and I got a meeting with a casting director. He had me in the next day, and I got the job. That job got written out, so they paid off another actor and gave me his job...I got Taft Hartley-ed into SAG."

977: What got you into stuntwork, and how did you transition from that into acting and writing?

GM: "I came out to L.A. about 1990. I did the waiter/bouncer jobs for about a year, then found out about Universal Studios Theme Park hiring for their stunt shows. I went and auditioned and got hired. I learned how to do high falls, and further learned from all the real stuntmen up there, you basically lie when you get on set, and that's how you learn to do things like air ramps, ratchet pulls, etc. I've done a majority of my own stunts as an actor. Writing was something I started doing just to stay creative between acting jobs. My father was a writer. He had nine books published. Guess it was in the genes."

977: How did you come to work with The Asylum?

GM: "[Asylum partner and screenwriter] Paul Bales had been one of the stunt show managers up at Universal Studios. I was sort of notorious for being a loose cannon up there. Several years after he left, and I had left, I remembered his name when he was working at SAG. He remembered me too, but not for the same reasons. He introduced me to The Asylum, but nothing came from it until he went over there as a partner. They bought one of my scripts, and it started from there."

977: Speaking of scripts, how did you approach the script for I Am Omega, knowing that it would tie-in to not only a current film (I Am Legend), but also two previously-filmed versions (The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man) and an original novel ("I Am Legend")? How did you seek to make it original, to make it yours?

Jennifer Lee Wiggins and Mark Dacascos, on-set Omega
GM: "I tried to show the character actually losing his mind. I don't think either Omega Man or ...Legend really showed that. But in I Am Omega, Renchard hallucinates - the clock and the news broadcast - he pops pills, he thinks he hears a woman calling to him. There was more in the script, but it didn't come across given the time constraints in filming. Ideally, what I had intended was that Renchard saw Brianna as a mirror image of his wife. It wasn't because we were so cheap that we hired one actress [Jennifer Lee Wiggins] to play both parts! Renchard hadn't seen a woman in so long, except for the image of his wife in his nightmares and videos and photos and such, he missed her so much, and he was losing his mind, so he saw Brianna looking exactly as his wife did."

977:  Let's move to your most recent Asylum script, 6 Guns, a western; where did that idea come from?

GM: "That was an idea Mark Dacascos came up with."

977: Were there any particular westerns that influenced you while writing 6 Guns?

GM: "All of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns. Once Upon a Time in the West is my favorite western, and I tried to think of that when I wrote 6 Guns. That, and all of Clint Eastwood's Man-With-No-Name trilogy [Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good The Bad and The Ugly]."

977: You've acted in two out of three films you've written for The Asylum; do you know which role you'll be playing when you write it? If so, how does that effect the way you design the character?

GM: "Well, I always put a role in for me... Asylum is always really cool to let me play the bad guys. I just basically write a role that I think is something I haven't done before."

977: Have you ever considered upping your ante to triple-threat, and directing?

GM: "Yes. I'm supposed to direct something for Asylum eventually. I'd like to do a John Woo-type of action script."

977: What's you favorite among the work you've done for The Asylum?

GM: "I guess I'm most proud of 6 Guns. If we'd had millions, the script I originally wrote for I Am Omega would have been really cool."

977: Any scripts in progress now?

GM: "Yes, after working for a year on the treatment, I have just turned in the first draft to Asylum for a SyFy original movie. It's sort of Air Force One meets The Abyss."

For more info on Geoff Meed, check out his website.

1 comment:

  1. Great actor, and very nice guy. Can't wait to see him in the new fast and the furious.

    Monique (Geoff Meed fan from The Netherlands)