Diligently working to prove your various talents and expand your knowledge of your chosen profession is a process many young adults have come to embrace to help further their careers. Actor Joel Johnstone, who is making a name for himself on the current second season of the hit, Golden Globe-nominated HBO drama series ‘The Newsroom,’ is striving to prove himself in all facets of entertainment. The actor, who launched his profession in New York City theater, is branching out to also try writing and directing short films, to further prove his talent in show business.
Johnstone is an emerging filmmaker, having written, directed and starred in the short film ‘The Pilgrim & the Private Eye.’ The dark comedy follows an out-of-work artist who puts his talent to use working for a notorious private detective. The short played at several film festivals, having been picked as an official selection at such festivals as the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (Best Director winner), the Harlem International Film Festival (Top Short Award winner) and the Los Angeles Comedy Film Festival (Best Director nomination).
Besides helming and scripting ‘The Pilgrim & and Private Eye,’ Johnstone will also appear as Dr. Andrew Cesario in the newly picked-up HBO primetime comedy ‘Getting On,’ which was created by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer from the network’s ‘Big Love.’ The adaptation of the award-winning BBC medical comedy of the same name also stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash as anxious nurses, doctors and administrators in a women’s geriatric wing. The staff is struggling with the realities of caring for the patients in an overwhelmed healthcare system.
Before starting his film and television acting career in New York City, Johnstone received his undergraduate degree in Theatre at Fordham University. He gained experience by performing in many play houses around the city. After six years in New York, Johnstone moved to Los Angeles to further his acting career and quickly landed the lead role in ‘Finding the Burnett Heart,’ which garnered him a 2013 L.A. Weekly Theater Awards nomination for Best Leading Male Performance.
Johnstone generously took the time recently to talk about shooting ‘The Pilgrim & the Private Eye’ and his theater background. Among other things, the actor discussed directing and co-writing his first film; the experience of bringing the short to the various film festivals; and what he drew on from his theater experience to help further his acting and directorial duties.
Check out the full interview with Johnstone on YouTube, and a new photos of the actor-filmmaker. [Photo credit: Bobby Quillard (quillardinc.com).