Interview with Greg Lawson("Tom")
By Matt Gauen
Go To Interview with Heather Henry

What year did you graduate, and what did you get your degree in?
Yes, I am a Baylor alum who graduated in 1995 with a degree in telecommunications.

Whatís your background as an actor?
Besides getting a degree in telecommunications, I had a lot of acting jobs with the Baylor theatre. I started acting professionally in 1994, the year before I graduated, with commercials and other jobs in Austin.

Have you ever worked with Brian Elliott and Chris Hansen in the past?
I never worked with Brian or Chris before, but kept in touch with Brian through his screenwriting class that I took at Baylor. Thatís actually what I am doing now, working and partnered with another Baylor alum Todd Deeken. We have finished four scripts and are in the process of shopping those right now and trying to make things happen in Los Angeles.

Whatís your preparation as an actor?
Films like this are right up my alley, you just need a little understanding of the character. Tom, my character, is a little up tight and out there. All I need are some parameters, and I could go pretty much anywhere with the character. Some of the filming done today was scripted, but also some of it was complete improv. For other films that are just scripted, you have to work a little bit harder to understand the character, his lifestyle, what they do, and how they react to people, but for this itís pretty much go off and have fun with it.

Do you draw from your own personal experiences when developing and playing a character?
Not really, but some of it actually is a little of me. When I was improvising today, I went off talking about using an ATM card instead of cash, which is close to one of my real like experiences. I donít like carrying cash and tend to use ATM cards instead.

What type of character is Tom?
In Tomís mind he wants to be extremely important, he wants to be the go-to guy for everything, and the poor guy is just not an expert in anything. He kind of has feelings and creative ideas, but theyíre a little off. For example, the whole idea of making candles out of earwax is a little out there, but to Tom itís a very serious venture opportunity. For him, itís sort of like he has good intentions and wants to do the right thing, but he just doesnít quite get it. Heís just a step behind everybody else, but still thinks heís a step in front of everybody else. Heís a legend in his own world.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I am producing. My writing partner right now is trying to get some films funded and looking to shop that in Los Angeles. We have a script called The Book, which will be shot all over LA probably in September. Other than that, I wrote a short film about getting in the industry, and I will probably star in that starting in the fall.

9 July 2005