Gary Cairns is an actor, writer, and director from Cleveland Ohio. He has appeared in commercials, TV shows and movies with the likes of Norman Reedus, Ray Liotta and Timothy Olyphant. Gary has recently written three films and is working on several acting roles. I recently had the pleasure of discussing his many upcoming projects with him.

Mandy: You wear many hats; writer, director, producer, actor, which is your favorite?

Gary: I’m an actor. Sometimes I like to tell stories so I’ll write it, but I’m by no means a writer or screenwriter by trade. I have far to much respect for what those guys do to call myself a writer. Same goes for producing and directing. Acting is my passion.

Mandy: As a writer, what inspires your storytelling?

Gary: Roles I play inspire stories. It can come from a back story I wrote about my character or from one that I continue on from beyond the film he was set in. Or just a thought, but all are based from characters, then the story unfolds from there.

Gary Cairns II

Mandy: You’ve written three films; Monumental, Over Yonder and The Hype, can you tell us a little something about them?

Gary: Monumental: Interesting how I got inspired to write it. Last July I was at an audition for Hatfield & McCoy’s and I met one of my idols, Clayne Crawford. We spoke briefly but that was enough to inspire me. So I went home and wrote a story about two guys who embark on a journey to honor one’s mother and along the journey they come across interesting characters who challenge not only them but their friendship. That’s a vague description. I sent it to Clayne’s reps but never heard anything back. Nine months later I bump into him on good ol’ St. Patty’s day! He remembered me, but by that time a close buddy of mine, Luke Albright, had helped me with the script and had so much passion for it that I couldn’t see anyone else playing the role but him. We are in development on it now.

Over Yonder: It’s a western with tricks up its sleeve. It’s inspired by me and buddy Chad Law. Two guys make a plan to conquer and put in the work daily, but set in the dawn of the 20th century.

The Hype: is a prison boxing movie. A story about courage and justice and fighting for your freedom and finding your purpose in life.

Mandy: Over the years you have worked with some very talented people, Ray Liotta, Norman Reedus, Timothy Olyphant, what have you learned from working with such a variety of actors?

Gary: Well Ray I didn’t work with too much, but watching him for years who can’t learn. Norman Reedus is as cool as they come. He has such a natural talent and vulnerability to him. I’ve learned to use natural instincts from him. We connected on a personal level because we are both fathers. At the end of the day that’s what matters and I cherish it. Timothy Olyphant was great on Justified. Very friendly and personable, which takes away tension on a set where you don’t know anyone.

Mandy: You recently completed work on Black Butterflies a thriller with Jennifer Blanc Biehn and Brad Dourif, what can you tell us about that?

Gary: It was fun. I only had the pleasure of working with Jennifer a few days, but she is a champ. I love how we could joke between takes and set-ups, then instantly back to character. She is very talented. Brad Dourif I’ve studied for years. It was a dream to work with him. I still think back, Wow, I had some intense scenes with the legendary Brad Dourif. Black Butterflies is a unique story about a troubled man who is forced to do things against his will and knowledge by a man who thinks he is helping but is just plain mad.

Gary Cairns II

Mandy: As an actor, is there a certain genre of film that you prefer working in? Why?

Gary: No. I want to do as many types of films as I can. Anything where there is a role I can dive deep into.

Mandy: What is the hardest part of producing a movie?

Gary: Finding the money.

Mandy: What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

Gary: It’s a tie between Dazed and Confused and The Outsiders. They are two films I look back on and just wish I was in, more than anything.

Mandy: Who would your dream collaboration be with, whether, actor, director or writer?

Gary: Ben Foster if I have to name one. He is so intense. Every time I see him he stands out no matter the role or who is in the scene with him he just flat out owns it.

Mandy: What other projects can you tell us about?

Gary: Future projects. I’m lined up to work with Aussie filmmaker Mark Savage on “Circus of Dread” starring the great Bill Oberst Jr. Also “Burning Sun” written by Chad Law and being directed by William Kauffman starring Cole Hauser and Terrance Howard.

You can find Gary online through Twitter and Facebook. (view Gary’s Officially Plugged in video)

Interview by Mandy Raytik