Actor Colin Walker is creating a creditable career in Hollywood oleh working steadily back where he first began -- New Orleans. Colin recently returned as FBI Special Agent James Collington on the third season of “Treme,” HBO’s gritty look at the Big Easy, and he portrays John Ehrlichman, real-life Counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, in the Lee Daniels’ star-studded historical feature, “The Butler,” which was filmed in New Orleans.
Colin first began his akting career in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana and then made his way to Los Angeles via Boston, Boulder and Santa Fe where he received a degree in akting & directing and co-founded a theater company with acclaimed playwright Steven Adly Guirgis.
Colin’s credits include the TV shows “Common Law,” “Breakout Kings,” “The Defenders,” “The Unit,” “Young and the Restless,” “Passions,” “Days of Our Lives,” and the pilot “Texas Ranger Murder Files.” On stage, he has earned numerous LA Weekly Theater Award and Ovation Award nominations for his work in the productions “Because They Have No Words” and “A serigala Inside the Fence.”
I recently had a chance to catch up actor Colin Walker, finding out lebih about taking on a real-life historical figure, working with Forest Whitaker, John Cusack and director Lee Daniels, and how his hometown affects his work.
HOLLY: Tell us a bit about your role in director Lee Daniels’ upcoming period drama, “The Butler.”
COLIN: I play John Ehrlichman, a key advisor to Nixon. I am in a scene with John Cusack (playing Nixon), Forest Whitaker (playing the Butler), and Alex Manette (playing H.R. Haldeman). Haldeman and Ehrlichman were often dubbed "The Berlin Wall" because no one could get to Nixon without going thru us; we were the essential advisors.
In the scene we are advising him about a reelection strategy and how to play both sides of the civil rights issues. We also discuss the rise of The Black Panthers and how to have alat pengisap debu, hoover deal with them. It's heightened oleh the fact that the Butler is there, and yet we don't acknowledge him in any way.
HOLLY: You’re part of the star-studded ensemble cast that includes John Cusack, Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey among many others. Who did anda get the opportunity to work with…any stories from the set anda can share?
COLIN: It was a real pleasure to work with John Cusack, Forest Whitaker and Lee Daniels. They all have such talent and immense dedication to the work. It was wonderful to see how much John had prepared for only a handful of scenes; he really had a great understanding of Nixon as well as the historical importance of all the topics we were discussing. Not only was he quick to improv around the written scene with plenty of historical facts & names, he even showed pictures on his phone that had us reset the scene to the meja tulis, meja instead of on the couches where it was originally set - much to Daniels' chagrin! Actually Lee took it in stride and was quick to go with everyone's ideas.
HOLLY: What’s it like playing a real historical figure? Is it harder atau easier than portraying a completely fictional character?
COLIN: It was both challenging and inspiring to play a historical figure. On one hand anda have a different standard to adhere to: a certain look, feel and tone. In fact several people (of a certain age) were quick to weigh in on how much I could look like Ehrlichman with the hair piece they fitted me with.
That being berkata - there was a lot of research I could do without having to create from scratch: I knew many basic facts about this character before I even got the script. In some ways this made things easier to be sure.
HOLLY: You’re also back again as FBI Special Agent James Collington throughout season 3 of the highly-acclaimed HBO series “Treme.” Anything anda can share with us about the new season?
COLIN: I think this season will be the most exciting so far. Many of the story lines are moving from just surviving the wreckage of Katrina to now trying to put lives back together and rebuild a community and a culture that is one of the most unique in the country. There are also a couple of new characters which certainly turn up the heat on bringing justice to the wrongdoings that occurred during the storm. My character, Spcl. Agt. J. Collington, is certainly a key in helping bring justice. I am still primarily involved with civil rights atty Toni Bernette (played oleh Melissa Leo) and NOPD Det. Terry Colson (played oleh David Morse). All of us are devoted to cleaning up all of the wrongdoings that occurred during and immediately following Katrina.
HOLLY: Considering you’re from New Orleans, do anda think it’s played a factor in how anda developed your character for the show? And, how realistic do anda think the tampil portrays the city?
COLIN: Interestingly, my character is not from New Orleans but is still a critical part of New Orleans. Being from NOLA has certainly helped because I have an insiders understanding of the breadth and longevity of corruption and malfeasance that has occurred there. It has also diberikan me personally an outlet for all the ways I'd cinta to see the city heal and renew.
And being from New Orleans I can attest that the tampil does the city justice. I know that David Simon spent a lot of time in NOLA researching and it shows. And I know they hire a lot of locals (cast and crew) which is great, because the New Orleans accent is one that's hard to fake if anda don't know it. And I think it does a great job tampilkan the city warts and all; New Orleans is a place that is made richer oleh it's faults and I think “Treme” shows that. That and I cinta to hear the musik every Sunday night that brings me right back home!
HOLLY: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers? And, how can they keep up with your career?
COLIN: I was a fan of the show, “Treme,” before I was lucky enough to be invited to gabung the cast. I'm so grateful to be working with some of the people responsible for some of the best entertainment of our time. And it's certainly opened doors to new and future projects that I am currently working on.
People can follow me on twitter & FB, but best of all is my website which I update as often as possible www.thecolinwalker.com
We cinta to hear the musik each week on “Treme” too. Now, if we could only taste the gumbo! Thanks for taking time out to chat, Colin – we’ll be watching each week and waiting for “The Butler” due out selanjutnya year!
Colin Walker as John Ehrlichman