CFDb Interviews Corbin Bernsen ~ Actor/Director
= > Why did you become an actor?
I grew up in the business, my father was an agent and my mom’s been an actress her entire life – still works on the Young and Restless at 83! So I was “stung” by the bug very early. I fought it for a while in my teens, but then succumb to it’s pull on my when I was 20 or so. Why? In the end I suppose I simply love that make believe journey I can take with a character – live in a world that is created – not organic. Perhaps in some strange way we all have that desire to escape the bounds of our real life’s journey and become involved in one that is more of our own making, where we can alter the “reality” without consequence.
= > Which acting role was your favorite?
I generally love all the roles I take and a few have stuck with me, especially Arnie Becker from LA LAW. That was the “start” of an incredible journey. But honestly, my favorite role to date is that of Roy Gibbs in my current movie 25 Hill. Not just because I wrote it, but it allows me to explore a deep, rich character that often isn’t something the industry would allow me to do.
= > What do you love most about acting?
I think I’ve covered that here already, but it is that ability to step outside of myself, the boundaries of “me” and life, and create a fictional world and reality that doesn’t have consequence to my actions. We can, I suppose, be a bit more brave with “character choice” as mistakes don’t end in death, divorce, or an eternity in hell, but instead go away with the word “cut!”
= > What was the first film or television show that you acted in?
I was on a ton of sets with my mom where I’m sure, at one time or another, I “appeared” on screen. But my first real big break, a part that I got without my parents help or influence, was a small role in a TV series (and episode) of Police Woman with Angie Dickenson.
= > Why did you decide to start directing?
I’ve always wanted to direct but held off for the “right time.” To some degree I’ve acted for others and have found myself not always thrilled with the outcome, but in the end, it’s a “job” to support my family. Directing was a gift to myself that I was going to hold onto until I wanted to unwrap it. After my father passed away and I started looking into the bigger picture, it seemed natural for me to begin exploring issues larger than “making a buck.” Directing offers me that exploration. In the end, He has a plan for us all, and I believe this was mine all along.
= > What inspired you to write “25 Hill”?
At first I wrote it as a project to help save this great American Tradition that is The All American Soap Box Derby. As I took a closer look however, I realized that greater forces were at play. Central to the Derby is the notion of Family and Community. And are those exact things I was focusing on, trying to understand how we can reassemble this great country and return it to its glory. I love America, I love what it stands for, and those things, specifically family and community are the missing piece today. They are the bedrock of any strong society. If we feel that our country, our world is weak right now, then look no further than the strength of the families and communities on which they are built. The Derby, in the end, celebrates all that is great about family, community, faith and country. I think that’s what “drove me to it” as much as why I’m “drawn to it.”
= > Can you tell us more about your newest film, “25 Hill”?
I can only say that I fully achieved that which we set out to do. Sure, you can always make a better film – that’s just money – but the story, the inspiration I hope audiences take away, hit 100% for me.
The film is about a young boy who, while building a Soap Box Derby Car with his dad, looses him – his dad dies fighting for our country an freedom in Afghanistan. He is introduced to a man, the character I play, who also has suffered a loss – he lost his firefighter son on 9/11. Together they forge a bond so healing can begin for both. That’s done as they finish building the young boys Soap Box Derby Car and then racing it. Of course there is a reason God wanted these two together and more unfolds, but I don’t want to give away some of the fun.
= > Do you have any other films coming out this year?
We have another film called 3-Day Test coming out near Christmas this year. It is another family film where we explore the notion that in our “busy lives” we have often forgotten about the things that are important to us, not the least of which is – once again – family!
= > How can people find out more information about your acting career?
To really know who I am and what I’m doing, you can visit our company website www.hometheaterfilms.com I want people to know me more than my “acting.” I want them to know me. The best way to take a look into my life is to look at the projects I’m involved with. That, more than a resume or other junk you might find online about me, paints the clearest picture.
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