Last week, Bleeding Cool told you that Garth Ennis is about to premiere a short film called Stitched at San Diego Comic Con. The film is the first arc of a story that will continue in an ongoing comic book series and a planned feature-length movie. We've talked to Garth about what's going on with this ambitious project, and now it's time to go behind the scenes with the actors:
Tank Jones is no stranger to the film industry, having shared the big screen with the likes of George Clooney, Al Pacino, Richard Roundtree, and Mark Wahlberg. His film roles include two Warner Bros. pictures, Three Kings and Any Given Sunday. He has had guest roles in CSI: Miami and Rules of Engagement (among others), and recently had the good fortune of landing a recurring role on the hit show, Breaking Bad.
Jones has also given back to the community with the creation of the Choices Education Program, an organization that helps young people remain hopeful and optimistic that all things are possible for their futures. He speaks to elementary, middle, and high school students, encouraging them to go after their dreams. Through the program, academic scholarships are offered as well as apprenticeships on feature films and commercials.
But as an actor, Jones sometimes encounters nightmares. And there's nothing quite like a Garth Ennis nightmare:
Keith Davidsen: How did it feel to be a member of the STITCHED principal cast?
Tank Jones: To say that I was overjoyed about my involvement in the project would be an understatement. My thoughts were constantly: "How cool is this?" or "Tank, how freakin' cool is this?" I always love being on-set, and the things that they were going to have me do are the reasons that I love acting. Plus, the atmosphere on set was fantastic. Everyone was very professional and friendly. We all got along very well; there was good energy all around. I was excited, man!
When you boil it down to its most basic essence, who is Pruitt, your character in STITCHED?
Pruitt is complexly simple or simply complex, depending on your point of view. He is someone who is in control, who has a plan and sticks to it. Things are very orderly in Pruitt's world… that is, until he's thrown into the world of STITCHED! When the story begins, a terrible tragedy has just befallen him. What happens to us as people when we experience something like that? What emotions do we experience during those times? In the case of Pruitt, he wrestles to control the uncontrollable.
How did Garth Ennis do in his first outing behind the camera?
Prior to STITCHED, I wasn't familiar with Garth's work as a comic book writer (although my cousin and uncle were), so I'd only known him in his role as a filmmaker. I could not tell that Garth was a first-time director. He knew what he wanted and was very encouraging. As actors, we all wanted to give him what he was after.
So you hadn't been a comic book fan prior to the filming of STITCHED?
Well, actually, I had been into the comic book scene heavily as a kid – it had just tapered off slightly in the years since. I've always been a fan of comic books, thanks to my uncle, whose collection goes back to the 50's!
You've been in films, you've followed comics… you almost certainly know how big a deal the San Diego Comic-Con is. What do you think of the STITCHED film's premiere taking place at SDCC?
Oh, I'm definitely very familiar with San Diego Comic-Con. I am so excited and humbled that it's going to debut there. That's huge!
As the STITCHED story moves forward in comics, what would you like to see of Pruitt's continued story?
Well, I have not heard what's in store for Pruitt in the comics. In the short, he was pretty messed-up physically. I hope his altercation with the Stitched makes him tougher, and he can figure out a methodical way to combat them. Live, Pruitt, live!
Would you lace up the combat boots of Pruitt a second time, if the STITCHED story expands into a feature film?
When that happens, I will be camped out at Avatar Press for half the week, and at Garth's place the other half of the week, until shooting starts! Then, I will crawl, walk, jump, and moonwalk through the Arizona desert happily.