Tag - 911

Michael Quinlan on the Value of Trust & Human Connection

Michael Quinlan recently played in The Upside and played on Hulu’s Looming Tower. Both projects were opposites of each other but share a lot of insight on how we move through this world. A lack of trust could impact a nation. Whereas, taking a chance on a person can start a lifetime friendship.

ATM: If you did not walk upright, then how would this change your perspective of life?

MQ: If we walked on our hands and did handstands all over the place?

ATM: Yes.

MQ: I could not really look up per se because I would be down. My view of life would be from the ground. As we see in some movies, this is the viewpoint from a cat or dog. Their viewpoint is from their height. You get a sense of what life is like from their eyes. It would be limited. We could not really take in the scope of things. It would be limiting.

ATM: When two people come together from different forms of life, how can this broaden their horizon?

MQ: It was unintended for Philip to hire Del. He did it to piss everyone off in the beginning. He wanted to rattle the cards a little bit. Del was not prepared for this job nor did he want to do all the work. As the story unfolded, they really did see other sides of life through the other eyes that they never would have this opportunity come along. It is a true story and these guys are still friends. If he did not take this crazy chance, they would have never developed this relationship and known one another. Obviously, they saw completely different sides of life through each other’s eyes. This was a positive thing in the end for both.

ATM: How was trust seen in the series Looming Tower?

MQ: This was interesting. Again, this story was based on real characters. Jeff Daniels plays a real guy in the 80s and 90s who was in the FBI. He was ringing the bell and calling attention to this group called Al-Qaeda. No one kind of gave him the time of day. It turns out he was correct. Before 9/11, these guys, the agencies did not trust each other at all, which were the FBI, CIA, and NSA. They kept priority information to themselves and they did not share it. This was really the problem with 9/11. The left hand never knew what the right hand was doing.

They lost a lot of valuable time and information that could have been put to good use. This guy O’Brien, the character Jeff Daniels play was instrumental in bringing it to light. He ironically was killed in 9/11. It was his first day to work as head of security for the World Trade Center. It turned out he was right. After 9/11, the agencies really did come around to see they had to share information to move the security of the country forward.

ATM: What was the mentality of the people in this profession during the 80s and 90s?

MQ: They were just after their own slice of life. They did not want to share information about the information they had gotten. It was like “I did the work to get the information. It is mine. I am not sharing it.” They all had the same mentality. In the end, they realize it was detrimental to all of them combined. They learned to react and move forward in a different way after we saw what happened when they did not share information.

ATM: I would assume when you look at the script you visualize how it will get visually portrayed.

MQ: Yes, when you look at the script you visualize what you think is important. Sometimes when you get to the set it goes along these lines or it changes completely. You have to talk to the director and see what is and how things are set up physically. You really do not know until you get there. As an actor, all you can do is be prepared with your lines and prepared to be swift on the fly if you have to. The only thing you can do is to show up prepared, know your lines, and not get in anyone’s way.

Julian Works Talks Beautiful Boy, 9-1-1 & The Affair

ATM: How does your character Gack fit into the scenario of the story?

JW: Gack is the connection to the lead in finding his way to the drugs he is addicted to.

ATM: Based on the title, what do you believe is internally beautiful and ugly about the lead character?

JW: The ugly is, of course, the addiction. The beautiful is what you would find in the vulnerability, youthfulness in this kid. For him to have so much potential and a brighter future based on how he was raised with his parents. This would be the beautiful element to it because there is so much more potential.

ATM: How can this be an inspiring film narrative about survival?

JW: The main issue that is tackling is the addiction and the overdose. It is one of the highest causes’ in deaths. I read somewhere that it is even more than automobile accidents and shootings combined. This is to bring it to light and have a conversation about it as a positive step moving forward. Also, giving it a platform to show kids that are this young, they are not the only one. It is something they can relate to. Hopefully it transpires them to go into another direction.

ATM: Why do you feel the lead male character picks meth?

JW: There is no specific reason. It pertains to a bunch of things. One of the few things can be because he has always been an outcast. He found a select group that he thinks he fits in with and another mechanism of coping with himself. He obviously does not love himself internally. It is a way for him to forget what he does not love about himself.

ATM: Let’s move to 9-1-1. What did you learn differently about first-time responders when playing on 9-1-1?

JW: All my scenes are with Angela. I learn that the first-time responders are key to communicating with the cop that is in an area to make sure they are there at a time that is needed. They are the ones that dictate what callings are to the ones that are needed now. Whether it is someone dying or a cat getting stuck in the tree. They are the key ones that put out the responding message to make sure there is someone to help.

ATM: How can someone balance saving people during their hardest times and living their own life?

JW: This is a good question. Everyone at a certain time is either in a need of help or you are the helper. To find balance in this is if someone is close to you needs help is to make sure you are in the right place to offer this help. You can get lost trying to help someone solve their problems while you are drowning in yours. You must make sure you are right first.

ATM: Do you think first time responders are a metaphor or euphemism for the word savior?

JW: It can be. There is a metaphoric way of putting this with savior. It is all really on the responsibility of the individual. One bad reputation from one person can make the whole seem like a bad bunch. I would like to think a cop and a fireman who resembles the symbol of savior have a lot of responsibly on their hands. It is a lot to take in.

ATM: How do you handle things at unpredictable moments?

JW: By just slowing it down. In life, you are always thrown in unpredictable moments and stuff does not really go as planned as one really hopes. You must prepare for something that is out of the ordinary.

ATM: Let’s move to The Affair. Describe a favorite scene you played in.

JW: The favorite scene was the scene that I am in class. Dominic West is teaching the class. We have all been upset with the way the principal is handling things. We all feel deflated. Meaning what can we really do to change things around here. Dominic West influences the class in a way to help us realize that maybe individually we can and that you can make some noise. I stage and start a walk out. This was kind of fun. We had to get cops involved to play in.

ATM: What is your favorite and most challenging thing when it comes to acting?

JW: My favorite part is being able to tell a story that is not mine. The most challenging is the same exact thing. Sometimes there is nothing I relate to in these roles. I have to kind of dig and do my own research myself to fit into the ambiance of what I put on camera.