Jerome Velinsky Method Interview

Jerome Velinsky Method Interview

There's A Method To The Madness, If It Gets You Famous!

The first three episodes of the award-winning six-part comedy series Method, about two struggling actors doing anything but acting, are now available to watch exclusively online at ahead of a Nine Network broadcast early next year.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise production funds, Method has been building significant buzz, including winning the -Spotlight' award at the 2017 Melbourne WebFest. The series has received production funding from Screen Australia and will broadcast on Nine Network's 9Go! and streaming service 9Now in 2018.

Method is co-created, produced and stars real life best-friends Jerome Velinsky (Love Child, Here Come the Habibs) and Tawni Bryant (Winners and Losers, Fat Tony & Co), with a supporting cast including Jaspar Bagg (Thor Ragnarok), and Kaarin Fairfax (Holding the Man). Method follows the trials and tribulations of Ryan (Velinsky) and Emma (Bryant), two down on their luck actors, who will go to extreme and desperate measures to break into Australia's entertainment industry. What ensues is a hilarious collage of misadventures in which no amount of dignity lost can surpass the chance at stardom.

The inspiration for Method stems from both Velinsky and Bryant's own experiences of navigating the treacherous pathway to landing a role as an actor at the bottom of the food chain. 'The idea of Method was born from Tawni and I reflecting about our own horrific audition experiences", says Velinsky. These real-life experiences stream into the narrative of Method, creating a level of authenticity that allows the underlying message of not giving up on your dreams, no matter the obstacle. 'A lot of the material is, believe it or not, real stuff that has happened", says Bryant. 'We'd like to think of Emma and Ryan as extremely heightened versions of ourselves who are way more selfish and self-absorbed than we are in real life."

In terms of what audiences can expect from Method, series producer Kirstin Sargent hopes people realise that 'Australian screen creatives can make content that is up there with the very best international comedies, right here in our own backyard."

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said, "Jerome and Tawni have created a comedy series with real charm and authenticity, which is sure to be as big a hit with online and 9Go! audiences as it was earlier in the year at Melbourne WebFest, where it won the Spotlight on Melbourne Award."

Watch Method Online Now

Interview with Jerome Velinsky

Question: How would you describe Method?

Jerome Velinsky: Method is a punchy new series, full of tragic humor and plenty of -what the hell just happened?!' moments.

I'd like to think of it as a threesome between Broad City, Party Down and HBO's EXTRAS…

Question: How did you come up with idea for Method?

Jerome Velinsky: Being an actor in Australia! Seriously, the idea of Method was born out of conversations Tawni and I would have about our lives as actors; tragic auditions, unbelievable encounters, awkward conversations… It just got to a point where we were like 'the world needs to see a series about this!" We felt like there was nothing in Australia that represented what it was like as an actor here; it felt like a really overlooked area, so we decided to get out there and do it.

Question: Have you also gone to extreme and desperate measures in your acting career?

Jerome Velinsky: Hell yeah! It's so funny being an actor; there's probably at least three times a week where I find myself asking 'What the hell am I doing right now?" Whether it's driving across town trying to track down some obscure costume piece for an audition – or trying to learn how to be a professional boxer in two hours because you just got a huge casting for the next morning; being an actor requires going to the extreme to some degree. You have to be ready for whatever is thrown at you, ready to dive in and get your hands dirty.

Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?

Jerome Velinsky: So much of it. The world is a fascinating place with stories and characters begging to be told and brought to life on screen! A lot of what you see in Method stems from some kind of truth, if not completely true. And we definitely played with the -What if' factor in this series which always leads to hilarity when explored; taking a mundane situation and turning it on its head.

Question: How are you similar to the character of Ryan?

Jerome Velinsky: Ryan faces challenges with his 'ambiguously ethnic" look which is a running gag throughout the series and definitely stemmed from my own experience as an Australian actor with European heritage. I mean, just the fact that we named his character -Ryan Taylor' is a bit tongue in cheek because I've never been able to play a -Ryan Taylor' on screen in Australia in my professional work – so there's a lot of that cheeky humour throughout. Other than that, I think we're both very determined to get what we want in life and we also try to see the best in every situation.

Question: What difficulties did you run into whilst filming Method?

Jerome Velinsky: A lot. I think difficulties are inherent to every film shoot though, but especially projects that are independently made and with a low budget. We had problems with weather, location, cast and crew availability – it really feels like there was not a problem that we didn't face to be honest. In those situations – it was really a testament to how great our crew was with finding a solution and getting on with the show unscathed. I remember one morning in particular, a really early morning at that, the coffee machine decided to die – that was SCARY.

Question: What was it like working with Tawni Bryant on Method?

Jerome Velinsky: A dream! (she paid me to say that) Seriously though, she's a legend. I've known Tawni for over ten years now and it got to a point making this series that we would be on the phone for hours every day, sometimes we'd forget we were even on the phone to each other! True story. It was insane because we were doing so many roles and wearing hats for this production and I could not have chosen a more talented, hardworking and funny partner in crime for Method. We have an interesting dynamic on set where when one of us is super stressed, the other one is a cool cucumber and vice versa. That was so important and got us through some challenging moments.

Question: How did you go about casting for Method?

Jerome Velinsky: As actors, we know a lot of great actors who we've trained with and worked with. It was a joy to be able to cast some of our friends in this series; especially ones who we've seen working so hard for so long. For all the other characters, we went everywhere: Starnow, casting directors, talent agents etc. It was truly about finding the best person for the role, but also inviting actors to play characters that were outside of their usual casting type. As actors, that was really important to us; being conscious of giving actors the same roles they're always given. We wanted them to have fresh material where they could really be bold and play.

Question: What advice do you have for young actors?

Jerome Velinsky: We're in an age now where I really feel that creating your own work as an artist is becoming more important by the day. My advice would be – Get out there, write something, film it, star in it – just make something. You never know where something is going to lead to and it's so liberating being an actor who can create your own work and not just sit by the phone, hoping that life-changing call will come through. I'm not saying that won't happen, but in the meantime – you could be making some really awesome content that will only help the cause.

Question: What's next, for you?

Jerome Velinsky: I've got two feature film scripts that I'm currently shopping around and a season two of Method is definitely on the cards; there's so much more material for this series, literally growing by the day! And, just because we're suckers for punishment, Tawni and I just filmed another short film called -Better safe than…' which will hopefully be available soon, so watch out for it!

Interview by Brooke Hunter