Jonathan Walker is the current showrunner for Syfy’s hit drama series “Van Helsing”. When he’s not producing, the triple threat can be seen starring in TNT’S “Snowpiercer” and the hit movie “Shooter”, opposite Mark Wahlburg and Danny Glover. Jonathan has produced shows like Netflix’s “Wu Assassins”, FX’s “The Murders” while also racking up acting credits in the Golden Globe-nominated film “Red” alongside Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman, “X-Files”, “Smallville”, and “The Killing”.
We had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Walker about his career, views and advice for young performers and actresses.
So before we begin, is it true that you starred in a few plays directed by Christian Bale’s mom?
Yes. I grew up in England and went to school for a few years with Christian and his siblings. His Mum was a performer and she took on directing some skits and plays at our school. My first acting experience was in one of those. I had no idea at the time that Christian and I would end up turning those experiences into careers (and in his case, a highly successful one) but, I appreciate that she provided me with a fun opportunity that clearly inspired the path I ended up taking.
As an actor with nearly three decades of experience you’ve acted for both film and television. Being that you have a background in both do you prefer one over the other?
For me it all comes down to the quality of the work and the team executing it. If I get to play an interesting character from a well written script alongside great actors and an inspiring director, it really doesn’t matter which format the project is for. The work is what’s important to me.
Which kind of art do you appreciate most not counting film-making?
I love music. So, musicians and their art are the soundtrack to not only my work but also my life. I often write with movie and TV scores playing in the background. That kind of emotional stimuli is very evocative and helpful with creativity. I’m also a huge fan of live music, whether that’s a street musician or a cool band at a venue. Since I have zero musical talent, I’m both inspired and in awe of musical artists.
What’s the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched?
Well… my wife, Sheona McDonald, is an award-winning documentary film maker so… aside from her incredible work I’d have to say “Capturing the Friedmans.” It was really shocking and well crafted. I suspect that the film maker was convinced they were making a differently focused film and then, during filming, events just took a macabre turn. We tend to watch a lot of dark, difficult documentaries as they tend to be the most intriguing.
What do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago? What do you think you’ll tell your current self ten years from now?
Ten years ago, I had just done a couple of big feature films as an actor and I really thought it was the beginning of a life changing career climb into being an established Hollywood commodity. So, if I went back there knowing what I know now, I would say this: Fame is an illusion and ultimately it can’t be what drives you forward as an artist. Success comes and goes, exposure increases and decreases… you have to just find the value in the work in each and every moment and not focus on what it will or won’t do for your career. Work hard, but know that some things just aren’t in your control. Focus more on what makes you happy amongst the work; family, friends, hobbies, travel. Those things will be the bedrock of your future, not whether you got invited to a red carpet or people recognize you on the street.
The second part of that question feels, for me, impossible to answer. Presumably me ten years from now will have a completely different point of reference based on how those ten years unfolded. If they are filled with happiness and success the advice will surely be different than if that decade is all pain and failure. So… circle back in ten years and I’ll tell you what I’d say then!
Are there any particular film-makers or films that have inspired you throughout your career thus far?
Spielberg and Lucas were huge influences from my childhood, and they drove me into a career of writing mostly genre. But in terms of current or career spanning influences, I’d have to say David Fincher. I love his body of work, the craft he exhibits, how many of his older films still resonate so clearly today. He’s a true auteur and the films he creates are endlessly compelling.
Thanks so much for taking the time with us Jonathan. Are there any future projects in the works that we can expect to see soon?
Season 4 of “Van Helsing” drops on SyFy this September 27th, Wu Assassins premiered this month and is currently available on Netflix and “Snowpiercer” will arrive on TBS in March 2020.
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Macoproject FF 2019 MD9145