Juston Graber is an actor who stars in the film Beyond the Call of Duty; here is a link to his IMDB page:
Q: What is Beyond the Call of Duty about?
A: Duty versus desire seems to be a common theme found within this zombie film. The main characters are military special operations personnel whose mission is involuntarily extended due to reasons that are not laid plainly on the table. The characters are torn between their duties of service and their desire to return home to their families.
Q: What role do you play?
A: I play the role of David. David and Beverly, played by actress Angel Izard, are out on a camping trip as a couple trying to rekindle their love. Both characters are vital in setting up the exposition of the undead for the audience because they experience the first, and unfortunate, encounter with a zombie and the deranged Doctor Bergman – who may or may not be responsible for the entire mess, I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone. Haha.
Q: How did you hear about the project in the first place?
A: I worked with Aleksander Ivicic on a mini-web series called “By the Book,” and he asked me if I’d be interested in playing a role in a film that he was working on. He said he wanted an actor that he could trust to do a good job and thought of me. I was happy to work with him again because I found him to be a gifted Actor/Director/Writer.
Q: What sets it apart from other zombie films?
A: I would say that the story is pretty original. I believe Aleks has a goal to bring something fresh to the table by connecting the audience to the relatable characters, which can often be difficult in zombie films especially. Supernatural elements tend to drive a particular disconnection within suspending disbelief.
Q: You were in the military. What is the most realistic film you have seen about the military?
A: I tend to stay away from military movies because of how inaccurate they can be. My fellow service members who do watch them have told me that there have been a lot of improvements and recommend I watch American Sniper and 13 Hours, but I am wary. I am extremely critical when it comes to even the smallest aspects – like how to wear a uniform correctly (which can be Googled by the way, some of these costume designers are skipping their homework!).
I did enjoy a lot of what was captured in Black Hawk Down. The firefights, the tinnitus, the camaraderie between the troops (especially Eric Bana’s portrayal of Hoot and his speech on “why we do it”). It would have been nice to see more reloading of weapons, however, which is the issue with most action movies in general.
Q: What has been your most awkward celebrity encounter?
A: I don’t think I’ve had one yet. I did see Nick Nolte walking on Hollywood Boulevard last summer and really wanted to say something to him – because I had just crashed an audition forGraves, an upcoming TV series he is supposed to appear in. I was asked to leave the audition because it was actually a call-back with the director Robert B. Weide, and the casting assistant said he did not know who sent me. I told the assistant the truth – that I was crashing. Unfortunately he said that he could not allow me to go in. He did however ask for my head-shot and resume…so, who knows, maybe I’ll be in season 2, or maybe I’ve been blacklisted for trying to kick in doors Hollywood style. Haha. Better than doing it 11 Bravo style. I never said anything to Nick on the street. I believe that was awkward for me because I’m usually not afraid to break the ice and introduce myself.
Q: What made you interested in acting?
A: Ever since I was a kid I knew this was something that I was going to pursue. Every movie that I saw I would get this feeling of, “Why am I not in this?” When I separated from the Army in 2012, I moved back to Buffalo, NY and sought out the independent film community there. I began acting and loved every single thing about it. I knew that I did not have any training, and believe that it is important to any craft someone is trying to hone, so I moved to Savannah, GA and began the BFA program in Performing Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I eventually moved to Los Angeles to continue to pursue acting and transferred to University of Southern California. Acting is the one thing I am most passionate about.
Q: How did the military prepare you for a career in acting?
A: A lot of people wouldn’t think there is cross-over from a military career to an acting one. I feel that the discipline instilled in me from serving the country has been the most beneficial preparation anyone can have in any career. You also need to remain focused and flexible, which the military does a fantastic job training their troops in their “hurry up and wait” structure.
Q: How do you feel about actors becoming involved in politics?
A: Personally, I don’t follow politics too much, but to answer the question, to each their own. If somebody feels strongly about a situation, they have the right to get involved in change regardless of their profession. It can be a double edge sword however because if an actor has a particular fan-base, then s/he is able to influence her or his fans.
Q: What is scarier combat or an audition?
A: I think what it comes down to is preparation. Both combat and auditioning require a certain level of preparation. Either or is capable of throwing random situations at you that can startle you or stop you in your tracks. There is more of a life/death aspect that plays a role in combat though. If you mess up at an audition, there will always be another audition. If you mess up in combat, you’re either dead or you’re gonna get somebody else dead.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.