Josh Thrower is an actor who appears in the film Siphoned, here is a link to his website:
Q: What made you interested in a career in film?
A: I was always interested in film, ever since I can remember. I probably watched the Indiana Jones and Back to The Future trilogies 50 times each before the age of 10. Maybe not 50, but you get the idea! I always enjoyed watching films, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I could study it and potentially be a part of it professionally. I think “Sunset Boulevard” was the first film that really sparked my interested in the study of filmmaking. I switched my major from Sociology to Political Science to some other fields I can’t remember, and finally settled on Film Studies. I think film is one of the most important creative mediums in our society and culture, and I love being a part of it in any way I can. I started out wanting to direct, and now I’m in front of the camera. Who knows though, maybe I will venture back into the directing realm at some point again.
Q: What is the biggest difference between Colorado and California?
A: The biggest difference? I mean, honestly, I think Colorado and California are very similar in a lot of ways. The only thing I didn’t grow up with the beach and palm trees. However, I must say that overall, people are a lot friendlier in general in Colorado. I remember last time I was in Colorado visiting family, I woke up one morning to go for a run near my Mom’s house, and every person I passed, they said “Good morning!” or “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” I’m pretty sure I jumped the first few times before realizing that they didn’t have any ulterior motives – they genuinely wanted me to have a good morning and it was indeed a beautiful day. In LA, you can walk by 100 people at Runyon Canyon, and they are all looking down at their phones or they awkwardly look the other way when you pass by.
Q: Who do you play in Siphoned?
A: In Siphoned, I play a character named Chris. He is a struggling actor, living with Kurt (played by Josh Mitchell), who is also an actor. Kurt is the no-holds barred, do anything to make it to the top, type of guy. My character is a little more hesitant – almost kind of dumb, sort of silly, a tad naive. He’s very contemplative, and isn’t comfortable with the siphoning throughout the film. Regardless, he caves to peer pressure and goes along with it. It was a really fun character to play. He is very calculated, and the wheels are always turning upstairs. He examines every situation with thoroughness and caution, but just doesn’t “get it.” Although I may be contemplative like Chris, we’re different in a lot of ways. I wouldn’t result to siphoning gas just to fill my own tank to drive to auditions…at least not yet.
Q: Your character in Siphoned is so poor he has to steal gas to get to auditions, what is the wildest thing you have ever done to get an audition?
A: The wildest thing I have ever done to get an audition is pack up my Jeep and drive 16 hours to Los Angeles from Colorado without knowing anyone. Before moving here, I never auditioned before in my life. However, I did once repeatedly e-mail and send out headshots and postcards to a casting director of a daytime drama for months until they finally called me in for an audition. I don’t necessarily recommend it, but eventually they had to bring me in just to shut me up. It’s like in Shawshank Redemption where Andy writes a letter every week for years until the state finally gives him the funding and the books to open a new prison library; they only did it so he would stop writing letters. I don’t want to name any names, but I’m hoping they bring me in again. I didn’t book the first time.
Q: What is the greatest performance you have ever seen by an actor?
A: The greatest? Wow, that’s a tough question because there are so many performances I think are amazing. Most recently, I would have to say Joaquin Phoenix in The Master. I think that film is severely underrated. His character in that movie made me physically uncomfortable – I honestly think I got a headache and became nauseous in the theater. I mean, how many actors can do that to an audience? Leonardo DiCaprio in Django was pretty insane, if you want to get really recent. Obviously, another recent performance is Heath Ledger in “A Dark Knight” – way up there. Anything by Daniel-Day Lewis. An actor that I think is truly underrated is Giovanni Ribisi – anything he is in is instantly a better film (see “The Rum Diary”). Classic film-wise, I would have to say Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window or Vertigo. I love anything he was in. Cary Grant, Bogey. Errol Flynn – these guys were the stuff classic films are made of.
Q: What director would you most like to work with?
A: There are so many that I would like to work with. If I could go back in time, I would want to work with Frank Capra (“Lost Horizon” is one of my favorite films ever), Anthony Mann (just so I could act in a western alongside Jimmy Stewart), or Hitchcock (obviously). Let’s see – if I had to choose just one to work with now, I think it would be Steven Spielberg. One of the reasons I love film and want to act is because I remember being a kid and being mesmerized by his movies. Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park. The list goes on. I think all of those movies were very inspiring to me, and as cheesy as it sounds, I would love to be in a blockbuster Spielberg film, playing one of the memorable characters that kids grow up watching with awe and wonder. Spielberg’s films are just so epic and such an important part of the fabric of our culture that I look forward to hopefully having the opportunity to be a part of one someday.
On a side note, I think every actor should work on a project like Siphoned. It was truly a school of independent guerilla-style filmmaking, utilizing an amazing camera and top of the line sound equipment/design by an amazing crew. Being able to knock out close to 20 pages in less than 48 hours was impressive. We did 3-4 takes max for each shot, many times just doing one, and Josh was ready to move on. He has a vision for what he wants, and once he gets the shot, we’re on to the next. He’s thinking three or fours shots ahead, and it was a phenomenal experience to be part of such a fast paced shoot.
Q: What is Herpes Boy about?
A: Whenever I am in auditions, this is probably the one question about my resume that I get asked the most. I think the title just makes people feel uncomfortable. Herpes Boy is an amazing film written and directed by Nate Atcheson about a bitter kid named Rudy who was born with this birthmark above his lip. When he was in school, all the kids used to make fun of him and call him Herpes Boy. He becomes this social outcast later in life and makes these confessional web videos about how everything sucks – his family, his life, etc. One day, his crazy “actor/model/dancer/insert artistic talent here” cousin comes to stay with him, and realizes she can make web videos too. In the process, both of them become pseudo-internet celebs. It’s a fun, quirky indie film along the same lines as Napoleon Dynamite and Juno. It actually won a couple of awards at Comic-Con and the Austin Film Festival. It stars Beth Grant (Donnie Darko) and Octavia Spencer (won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Help).
Q: . What role did you play?
A: I played this “hot jock” character who makes video responses to Herpes Boy. I have a few solid lines in the film. My favorite was “Hey Herpes Boy, maybe you should hit the gym and work up your upper body like I do – if you want to get a girlfriend, a hot one at least.” The irony in that is that I’m 6’4″ and weigh 165 on a good day – pretty much what Herpes Boy would weigh if he were my height. It was a lot of fun, and it was the first feature role that I was cast for in LA. I’m pretty sure the movie is on iTunes, so definitely check it out!
Q: If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: I’m still learning and I am just really getting started, even though I’ve lived out here for six years. I haven’t been acting the whole time, but I always have had a hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. I think if I could change something, I would want to make it easier for people to break in. It’s an industry where you need experience to get more experience, but you can’t book a gig without booking a previous gig. There’s no specific path to take, and that’s why everyone you talk to – whether it be an actor, a director, a PA, etc. – will tell you a different story about how they go to where they are. Actually, maybe that’s part of the fun (although the grass is always greener in hindsight!). If everyone could do it, it wouldn’t be as exciting.
Q: Give me your Oscar speech!
A: I’m pretty if I had to give a speech like that, I would freeze up and giggle like a school girl, but okay, here it goes…”I want to thank my mom and my grandmother for always believing in me and supporting the choices I make. Without them, I don’t know where I would be today. Even if I wasn’t an actor, I’d probably be successful in whatever field I chose because they always taught me to finish what I started and always have a positive outlook. In the movie version of Harvey, Jimmy Stewart’s character Elwood P. Dowd said, “Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for over 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state, I finally won out over it.” I think acting is one of the most important creative outlets we as humans can take part in, and I dedicate to this everyone who is pushing themselves to achieve their goals, no matter how big or small. If I can do it, you definitely can. And I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who supports me in Colorado – friends and family. You are one in the same – you know who you are.”
I’d like to think I would come up with something funny to say, but as long as I hit the “thanks Mom” note, a Jimmy Stewart quote, and a shout out to Colorado, I think I’m good.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)