Published on January 17th, 2018 | by Biz Books
The Biz Interview: Jerry Trimble
Jerry Trimble used his championship background in kickboxing to enter the film and television industry more than 25 years ago. After working alongside the likes of Jet Li (The Master) and Al Pacino (Heat) early on, he’s never looked back and found his niche in physically-demanding roles and stuntwork, while also making time to speak to prisoners about positive life transformations.
Now a busy actor in many Vancouver-lensed projects like Supernatural, Travelers, and Chesapeake Shores, Jerry Trimble spoke to us about his unique career and inspirational journey.
Can you start by telling us about what you’re working on these days?
First off, I want to thank you for the interview. Much obliged. It’s always nice to get to share my story and experience with others. Hope your audience gets something out of it.
2017 was a fantastic year for me. Hope it was for you as well. I am so blessed to be able to do what I do.
Last month I wrapped a film called Rabbit directed by Jesse James Miller, coordinated by Ernest Jackson and starring Derek Hamilton. What a blast it was. I got to do acting and fighting. My two favorite things to do on film.
I recently guest starred on a Matt Damon Netflix project, The Green Beret’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse, created by military veterans: Shawn Vance, a former U.S. Special Forces Green Beret, and Daril Fannin, an ex-combat medic in the U.S. Army. These guys were so awesome to work with, they are the real deal. I was in the season finale, and it was fun times kicking the crap out of zombies and saving the world. This is a unique and entertaining series to watch, coming out this year, and directed by Adam Newacheck. I also got to do acting and fighting on this one, too. Fun times, living the dream.
I did a supporting role on Travelers playing a pedophile football coach – a real creepy character – directed by the amazingly talented Amanda Tapping.
I’ve got a recurring role on the Hallmark series, Chesapeake Shores, playing the role of Mark Hall, a Nashville music producer to the star of the show, Jesse Metcalfe. It’s a fabulous role. The character was only supposed to be in one episode, but the producer Dan Paulson said they liked what I did with the character so much that they had to bring me back. I’m feeling pretty blessed to be a part of such a fantastic show.
I did a guest appearance on Supernatural, playing Ramiel, Prince of Hell. Season 12 episode 12 – “Stuck in the Middle with You”. Directed by Richard Speight, Jr. Loved this character. Got to do acting and fighting on this one, too.
I’m also doing some writing with my father-in-law, Micky Dolenz (The Monkees). We’ve got a couple of projects we’re working on together; We’re hoping to get one of them off the ground this year – a live action/animation screenplay, Socrates. It’s a strong, entertaining story with a powerful message. Very excited about this one. Fingers crossed.
Lately, I’ve been traveling around the US and Canada speaking to teens as well as adults in prison and detention centers on overcoming struggles, discovering your gifts, and using them to create your reality. I’m writing a book on growing into your best you. I’ve also been training private clients in Vancouver, teaching, martial arts, kickboxing, boxing, for film and self-defense. I love teaching and empowering others.
Lots of good stuff in the works for this year.
How did you first get involved in the industry?
My background in the entertainment industry started out in the ring as a professional fighter. I fought under the name “Golden Boy” and went on to win numerous titles that included the Kentucky, Georgia, Southeast, U.S. and two World Championships. In 1990, I retired as a two-time World Kickboxing Champion. I sold everything I owned and moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career as an actor. Within the first few months, I got an agent and booked my first two auditions as the lead villain; my first role was playing Jet Li’s nemesis in The Master directed by Tsui Hark. I’ve been blessed enough to be working ever since. It’s been a great ride, and it’s getting better every year.
Based on your successful background in kickboxing, you can speak from a unique perspective about fight scenes in film and television. What are the keys to creating an effective fight scene on camera?
Besides the obvious, having a great team and a clear collaboration with the cast and crew, stunt coordinator, stuntmen, and stuntwomen, you’ve got to know your craft inside and out.
A fight scene is like a story; you have to be fully engaged in it from start to finish. Instead of just going through the movements, the choreography, you have to be aware every moment of the action. When you’re not throwing punches, kicks, or being hit, you have to be aware of everything – your reactions, breathing, timing, movements, intention, continuity of action, acting, your character, being safe, self-control, etc. It can be dangerous if you aren’t fully in the moment. You’re not just talking as an actor – you’re throwing down and it has to look real or else it looks bad.
For me, doing dialogue and fighting are my favorites to do. I get to do the best of both worlds.
What’s the biggest misconception about fight scenes?
That they’re easy and anyone can do them. A lot is going on in a fight scene. The performance has to be spot on at all times. There’s a specific flow of action you’ll have when doing a beautiful fight scene. It’s like poetry in motion. Action acting is an art.
What’s the worst injury that you’ve ever had as an actor and stunt performer?
Besides the normal bumps and bruises, aches and pains that are part of it all, in 2009 I was working on a reality TV series called The Colony. I did four episodes, playing a Marauder. During a big action scene, I got stabbed with the edge of a broken pipe and gashed my forearm. We didn’t stop the action and kept going; blood was squirting out. It looked great cause it was real, but the director saw it and yelled, “Cut!”
I went to the hospital and got 15 stitches. It was all good. It happens. It’s the nature of the beast.
You’ve worked out of Los Angeles and Vancouver. How would you compare these two cities as far as their respective film and television industries?
Vancouver seems to me a more of a tight-knit community. Obviously, it’s not as big as Los Angeles, so you know a lot of the same cast and crew on set which makes it more like one big family. Everyone knows everyone and gets along. The synergy works wonders when doing long hours. Vancouver has such a cool vibe and energy about it. The people are amazing. I love Vancouver.
“The entertainment business is one of the toughest careers to do; it’s not all glamour and glory. You have to keep working on yourself, your body, mind, and spirit. Stay away from negative people.”
What’s the biggest professional challenge you’ve experienced and how did you overcome it?
Getting out of my way. I started doing the work and learned to not give a shit what others think about me. If you do the work and prepare, everything will be fine. You don’t get ready; you stay ready. What you put out, you get back.
The entertainment business is one of the toughest careers to do; it’s not all glamour and glory. You have to keep working on yourself, your body, mind, and spirit. Stay away from negative people.
Practice “The Four Agreements” – a fantastic book by Don Miguel Ruiz.
- Do your best.
- Don’t take anything personally. (This is a big one in this business.)
- Don’t assume anything. (Another big one.)
- Have an impeccable word.
Skies the limit if you put the work in it. The comfort zone’s a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. DO THE WORK!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
Stay busy. Temptations come about and if you’re not careful, they will steer you away from your goals and dreams in your career and life. The idle mind is the playground of the Devil. Keep learning. Keep growing. Try new things. Help others. Be kind. Enjoy the ride. Be positive. Share your experiences to help others. Work on you every day. The more you know who you are, the better every character will come out on screen, and your performances will shine through.
What acting-related books and authors have been influential in your career so far?
Some are The Real Life Actor by Jeff Seymour, Dreams into Action by Milton Katselas, Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen, The Art of Acting by Stella Adler. There are so many out there that are good. You have to find what works for you.
Where can we find out more about you online?
My website is JerryTrimble.com. My speaking website, TrimbleTalks.com is being remodeled and hopefully will be up soon. You can always Google me to find out more about my history in the martial arts, work in films, speaking, etc.
Thanks again, Create an awesome 2018.
Thanks to Jerry Trimble for speaking with us!