James Wolk may not be a household name just yet, but give him time. Preferably, forty-four minutes on Monday when his new show LONE STAR premieres. Plucked form relative obscurity, Wolk plays Robert/Bob Allen, a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas.
On when he first realized he wanted to become an actor.
James Wolk: I was about nine or ten and my parents used to sit me down in front of old Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Rat Pack movies. There’s an energy that came off the TV that I knew I was attracted to and I eventually wanted to kind of give that out, whatever that is, that study of a person, that bringing someone into a different sort of a world and got attracted to it at a young age.
On working with costars David Keith and Jon Voight.
Well, you know what the great thing is about those guys is that they’re always there. They’re always present on set. They’re generous people and so it’s a real honor as a young actor to be in scene with them. I mean this wholeheartedly for no other reason than this is where most of the counsel comes from. It just comes from being in the moment with them and them looking into your eyes and giving you all the material that you need to react and act. You learn a lot just by osmosis, just by being around people who’ve done it for a long time, and I think it’s wonderful to be on set with those guys.
On the most challenging aspect about playing the character.
I think the most challenging thing for Bob is of course being everything to everyone, and we touch on that. It’s more difficult than one would imagine to fully live two lives. I think that’s Bob’s greatest challenge is to give his all to these people and really, he can’t. He’s in two different worlds.
On shooting on location in Texas.
I think that filming in Texas gives us a lot. I think anytime that you’re down in the state and in the place that you’re filming it gives you a texture of what it feels like down there and a very logical sense. We get great backgrounds. We get great sets. We get beautiful ranches. We get old buildings, old Texan buildings, that you wouldn’t have, that aren’t authentic in other places besides Texas. As an actor, I enjoy being down there. One because you just get a feel, whether it’s the humidity, whether it’s the air and the heat, which there’s plenty of, you just get a feel for what it would be like to be in Texas because you’re in Texas. And it’s also great to not be distracted down there. In Dallas, I think each and every one of us knows less people than we would in L.A. I can’t speak for the crew because we have an amazing crew of people who are from Texas, but for many of the actors, it allows us to focus on the work.
On dealing with his new found fame.
I have a room now and I just put the headlines up. And the room is full of mirrors and headlines, and so I go between them. No, I don’t. To be completely honest with you, when I hear things like that, it’s very kind and you smile and you take it with grace, and that’s all you can do. You can’t take it too much to heart one way or the other. But if someone wants to say it, hey, I’ll take it.
Don’t miss the series premiere of LONE STAR on Monday September 20 at 9PM on FOX (Global TV in Canada)