ED- The Eerie Digest would like to present a fabulous actor, Christopher Stadulis, to all of our readers. Christopher, we understand that you are employed as a New York City firefighter and pursue a career in acting as well. What inspires you most in the career of acting?
CS- To be able to have the ability to take audiences on a journey by telling a story, having emotions come out of them is very gratifying for me. Once I’m doing very well financially and have made a name for myself, there are a number of issues worldwide that I’d like to get involved in, financially, as well as volunteer my time to try to make a positive impact in the world before I exit.
ED- We also discovered that you won the award of Best Supporting Actor in the NYC Downtown Film Festival. Please tell us about the film you were in and the role that you played.
CS- It was for my role as High School Lacrosse coach, Coach Roberts, in the short “TRANSITION”, which is based on a true story. Coach Roberts is a hard-nosed coach who’s against one of his players, Chris Jamison, coming back on the team after Chris beats Cancer. Actor, Anthony Bradford, who plays the role of his real life brother, also wrote “Transition”. I definitely want to work with Anthony again as well as the Director of “Transition”, Doug Bollinger (Directed “Waltzing Ana“ and “Mail Order Bride“). Doug and Anthony were both very easy to work with, Doug gave great direction and both werfe open to collaborate with the rest of the Actors in this project. Being open and flexible can create something unimaginable.
This award for me was especially sweet because long time Actress, Holland Taylor, won Best Supporting Actress in this same film festival for her role in “Streetcar”, which was out of 42 films. Holland has been nominated for five Emmy’s and won an Emmy for her role on “The Practice”. She also won a TV Land award for “Two and a Half Men”. So this is great company to be in! To view the trailer to “Transition”, please go to www.transitionthemovie.com.
ED- You have also performed in commercials and in the Theater. Tell us about these venues and where you performed.
CS- I’ve been in a few Commercials but the my favorite is a PSA for the Police and Fireman’s Widows and Children’s Fund. I had a Principal role as a Firefighter and Harrison Ford was the narrator. It was beautifully shot by Director Maurice Marable.
I played the role of Joe Conte, in the play “The Mission”, which was a two character full-length play Directed by Ken Terrell of the Curan Rep Company. I played a gay convict serving ten years for attempted murder. Each week I’d meet with the Priest of the prison. He wanted to meet with me to get God back into my life, ask for redemption, etc. I, on the other hand, wanted to meet with him to expose him since I knew he was gay and only chose to meet with me because he was attracted to me. It was a Psychological Drama. This role has really opened me up to take even more risks, since this was the first time in my life I had to kiss another man. It was weird at first, but then you’re able to let down your defenses. The more open you are, the more risks you take, the greater body of work you can accomplish.
CS- Before becoming a NYC Firefighter, I was in the NY State Police Academy. Before that I was a Bridge and Tunnel Officer with MTA Bridge and Tunnels prior to that was a cable technician with Cablevision. I can go on and on, ha-ha. I’ve had a total of 35 jobs. From being a paperboy, working in a fish store, movie theatre, picking up deceased cats and dogs for a pet crematory company, construction worker, waiter, bartender, maintenance worker, delivered pizza, worked down Wall Street, etc. Life experience really can help you be a better Actor. Because you have lived in that characters shoes, you can easily relate and connect to what they went through, how they felt, etc.
I studied Criminal Justice at John Jay College in New York City because I had aspirations of becoming a Police Officer. But once I took an Acting class with Karl Friedman at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY, I fell in love with this art form.
ED- You have also starred in several well know television soap operas, namely ‘One Life to Live’, ‘All My Children’, and ‘As The World Turns’. Tell us about this style of acting , and the demands on you for this style of performance in front of the camera.
CS- Soaps are very different than sitcoms or Drama TV shows because you have three cameras, it’s very fast paced and they film five days a week. And because you are in peoples homes five days a week instead of one, you need to be even more likeable as an Actor. Likeability is very important as well as knowing your lines and hitting your mark. it’s great training and I highly recommend Actors to test the waters of soaps.
CS- They are on a time schedule but nothing like soaps. You only have one show airing a week as opposed to soaps, which are on five times a week.
“SVU“, “Mercy” and “30 Rock” were all great to work on. I had the opportunity to work with Christopher Meloni and Marishka Hargitay on “SVU” and Director Peter Leto was a blast to work with as well. Peter is high energy!
The Director of “Mercy”, Seith Mann, was very calm, laid back and knew his stuff. Very personable as well.
Director Gail Mancuso, who Directed my episode of “30 Rock” was very sweet, professional and fun. I had an incredible time working with Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Aniston. Both were such fun to work with. It’s amazing how you see big Actors on TV or in Film and then you’re right there next to them, working side by side. It’s surreal but I never get star struck because you have to remember, Actors are human beings just like you and I.
ED- Besides Television, you have had a remarkable career in Film as well. You’ve played roles in ‘The Good Shepherd’, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, and ‘We Own The Night’. Please tell us about these films and the roles that you played.
CS- I received a call from Grant Wilfley Casting asking me if I’m available to meet with Robert DeNiro for a role in “The Good Shepherd” and I’m like (in my mind) hell yeah!!!! Ha-ha. I didn’t get the role he saw me for but was hired as an Under Cover CIA Agent. DeNiro was very humble, professional and focused. He’s a grounded human being. And he had the best food on set! J Really knows how to treat his Actors. I recall Matt Damon walking by me and saying “Hey, how are you”? I replied, “I’m great Matt, thanks”. Matt also seems to be very humble. I’ve always been a big fan of DeNiro and Damon.
The “Tell-Tale Heart” was a remake from a film student, Frank Miller, at the New York Film Academy. I played the role of a NYC Police Officer. This was my first job working on a real set (what I consider a real set).
In “We Own The Night”, I played a Police Officer. I was in a scene in the beginning of the film where Mark Wahlberg’s character is called up to the podium by Robert Duvall’s character at a Police function. At one point Eva Mendes and Joaquin Phoenix both walked by me as we kept having to do the same scene over and over and Eva smiled and said hello. I of course, said hello back and asked her how she was doing. Many people that are not Actors seem to forget Actors are still human. They have bad days like everyone else. And depending on the training an Actor received, some do not want to speak to anyone on set as they need to stay in character. Others on the other hand, can turn that switch on and off anytime they want.
CS- I played a Firefighter (go figure, ha-ha) in “Spiderman 3”, which was a great experience because Sam Raimi is great to work with. He worked with the Background Actors hands on, which is usually rare to see a Director do.
My experience auditioning for Tony Scott in itself is an incredible story, which maybe if given another opportunity to be interviewed by Eerie Digest, I’d love to share it. It is one for the books and will be my story when I’m on the Letterman Show.
I play the role of a Pennsylvania State Trooper (sniper). Tony was so much fun to work with. He likes to joke around while still staying focused. He makes working fun, which is what it should be. You not only want to work with talented professionals but fun, friendly and positive people as well. We filmed my scene in Tyrone, PA. I am not at liberty to speak about the film but it’s slated to come out in theatre’s Nov 2010.
I truly believe in creating one’s destiny through the use of positive energy, working smart and having a vision board. Tony Scott and Denzel Washington are two industry people I’ve had on my vision board. And although I didn’t have a scene with Denzel, just to be in the same project as him is incredible. He is one of my favorite Actors and I know I will work with him directly. I have a full-length screenplay, which is based on a true story that I can definitely see Denzel doing a great job Directing it because of the fantastic job he did with “The Great Debaters”. I also have several other good Directors on my wish list as well as A-List Actors, Producers, Music Composers, etc. that I will soon be pitching it to.
CS- In “The Call”, I play “Jack Velten, a Philadelphia Firefighter who’s used to saving lives but after recent events, now needs to be saved himself. I’m also really proud of my work in this film because I get the opportunity to show my range as an Actor. Jack has a hard time sharing his feelings and emotions but at one point, can no longer hold them back. It was Directed by UArts graduate, Brandon Ripley, and will be submitted to film festivals worldwide.
“A Girl and Her Guardian” is my most recent project, which wrapped roughly two weeks ago. It’s a Fantasy/Adventure film. I play one of the Leads, Jonathan, a warrior/hero/father type who must protect Sarah, a young girl who retains the power to resurrect a God. They only have two days to reach their destination and travel through dangerous forests as they are pursued by an exiled man, Xavier and his hunters, who are half animal, half man. This is, in my opinion, my best work yet. Myself and several of the other Actors did our own stunts. We brought on Stunt Coordinator, Drew Leary (NYU graduate) and three of his guys, Corey Pierno (NYU graduate), Neimah Djourabchi (NYU graduate) and Jason Mello. In regards to student films, this is one of the best cast and crews I’ve worked with. I finally had the chance to work with Actor Stephen Hadeed Jr., who plays Xavier, the lead hunter. The Director, Andrew Cannizzaro, a graduate of NYU, was also fantastic to work with. He has been working on this script for two years and this is definitely a project we (I say we with Andrew’s approval of course, ha-ha) will pitch to Producers, investors, A-list Actors, etc. to see about making it into a big budget feature film or a TV series. It was shot on Cannon 7D and looks great. We have been speaking with Julliard graduate, Kenneth Lampl, to do the score. He’s very talented and we feel he’d be a great addition to collaborate with us on this project. It will soon be in many film festivals around the world. For updates, please visit www.agirlandherguardian.com.
I’d like to end by saying I owe a lot of my success to my present Acting teacher, Mary T. Boyer at MTB Studio, my good friend, mentor and first Acting teacher Karl Friedman, my wife Cynthia Reyes-Stadulis for supporting me and sacrificing her time, my mother, Carol Stadulis for being my biggest fan and all my fellow Actors at MTB and on Facebook as well as those supporters on Facebook. I’ve been told I have inspired so many because of how much I share with other artists and how much I’ve accomplished without having an Agent or Manager but I want you all to know that you inspire me as well through your words and encouragement!!
ED- As a New Yorker myself, I am personally pleased to have you join us and want to thank you for spending your time with our readers. We wish you much luck and hope to have you aboard The Eerie Digest again in the near future.