Rising star Shawn Micheal O’Brien has hit the acting jackpot. After sometime of acting he landed a part on the hit show “Gotham” based on the DC Universe, mainly Batman. After the Marine Corp Shawn moved back to Philadelphia from there he moved to Brooklyn to stay with a Marine Corp Buddy who had been going to school for film making. Shawn spared a few moments to chat with us:
Classic Entourage: Congrats on the show. How did all this get started?
Shawn Michael O’Brien: I acted in some of his student films and became hooked I then enrolled in the New York film academy for the acting program which I attended for a year. After the year I started doing some model print work which then lead me to land a body double role on the new ninja turtles movie half shell where I was able to do some scene work with Tyler perry and some other big A- list celebrity’s. This gave me more confidence and also really motivated me even more to pursue my craft further so I enrolled in the new York conservatory for film and television in Chelsea. There I attended there summer program and really learned a great deal about myself and kind of how much work and effort it really took to get better and in right direction to where I want to be as an actor. While there I was blessed to get an audition for a show called the perfect murder on the discovery ID channel. So was filming and going to school around same time which was a really busy schedule. After filming show and finishing school I continued with some more print model work and doing some student films , stage combat performances. Then this fall I received a call to be a part of Gotham strike force team.
CE: Is it easy to act or is it something you have to work on everyday?
SMO: Well I guess I would say my life is my art & well my life is far From easy… But when is it for anyone? For me personally I can get to into my head but when I’m not in that space it doesn’t feel so difficult. I would say the process of auditioning & getting in the rooms is harder than when I’m already on set. It can be tiring! All those no’s but it makes being in the role so much more of a sweet experience… I’ve earned it
CE: What led you to becoming the actor you are now?
SMO: I think just entering the acting world with so many different life experiences . Then combining that with actual professional training and education. The biggest thing school will do is help you understand when and how to draw from those experiences in life and be able to demonstrate them on camera. Also give you the tools to prepare so much that you are not acting you just become the part.
CE: Did you always want to become apart of the DC universe?
SMO: I always was a fan of the DC universe and thought I would fit in well but never really thought of the possibility of it until I was chosen.
CE: What is the best part of being on set?
SMO: The best part of being on set as a new actor is just seeing how incredibly talented all the men /women behind the scenes are at what they do . Especially on an amazing show like Gotham . You can really catch yourself being in awe at how they work, all the moving parts , and also seeing up close the talent of some of the principal actors on the show. I watched the show and was a fan of the cast watching the the first season on t.v. .Getting to see them perform live is really something special.
CE: Did you learn anything on set that you didn’t expect to?
SMO: Yes I learned from some of the principal actors that it’s ok to have an idea and to express this to director. As long as it’s done with tact and respect , then it really seems to assist in helping make the scene more of a success. Of course these are guys who are veterans of the acting game who have earned that respect to have an opinion so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but if immersed in a scene and once established a good relationship with a director then it can’t hurt.
CE: What piece of advice would you give an up and coming actor trying to make it in the industry?
SMO: My advice would be to pray first for guidance and direction. Remember that no one’s path is the same and to getting what they want. In a business where you will constantly get rejected it is really important to keep your same positive energy , stay persistent , and never give up.You always gotta keep that Philly /rocky mentality just like me , and you LeGrand.