As I promised earlier in the week, I have an exclusive interview for you with the actor who plays the role of the ''Nazi Colonel'' in the short WWII Sci-Fi movie 1945a, the lovely and talented Thomas Mikusz. Since Thomas is definitely an up and coming actor in Hollywood I wanted to seize the chance to let you know about him.
Mikusz hails from Austria and has appeared in quite a few tv series such as Days of our Lives, Passions and The Unit so you may have already noticed the handsome actor on your TV screen before. It's my belief that we could very well see Thomas Mikusz on the big screen soon so look out for him!
Q: In a little (and fantastic) short movie called 1945a, you get to play the villain of the story, who only go about the name Nazi Colonel on IMDB. How did you get involved with this project?
TM: I met Ryan Nagata (Director) and George Edelmann (Writer) at an audition. It was long before they did the actual filming. I was surprised when I got a call from them months later. I've portrayed nazi villains before, but I guess that comes with the German accent. I liked the idea of putting WWII into an alternate reality/ timeline.
As this was only a teaser/ trailer we only named the character "Nazi Colonel" for now.
Q: Are there plans then to make 1945a as a full fledged feature film?
TM: Yes, there are plans to make it into a full length feature or series. The five minute short is basically a teaser of what the feature could look like. But you have to keep in mind that the teaser was done with a budget of only $ 2,000.
Currently Ryan Nagata and George Edelman are looking for funding for the project. Fingers crossed it gets done, because my character needs a name.
Q: Is this the first Sci-Fi work you’ve done?
TM: Yes. This was the first Sci-Fi film project I was involved with.
Q: Is it a genre that you feel attracted to or did you just ''fall'' into it?
TM: Both. I've always been attracted to Sci-Fi but didn't actively go out and look for Sci-Fi roles or projects. So when 1945a came around I basically fell into it.
I grew up in Austria and one of the first TV series I watched as a child was Star Trek (Raumschiff Enterprise) and also the original Battlestar Galactica (with Lorne Greene as Adama), and of course Star Wars. I'm also a fan of Serenity.
Being an actor in Austria and Germany, we didn't have any Sci-Fi projects happening, mostly theater and drama on TV. So I wasn't exposed to productions of Sci-Fi movies till I moved to Hollywood.
Q: How was the filming experience on set? Was there some green screen work to be done? And if so, how was it?
TM: The filming was a great experience. Ryan and George were very professional and had the whole scene planned out but still left room for improvisation and my input. For this scene we didn't do green screen work. We shot my scenes in a car garage near LAX. The "Spyder-Tank" I'm in was made out of painted posterboard. Lights, smoke and movement gave it a special feel. Not having much space and feeling a bit claustrophobic helped me to feel the urgency of the scene.
Q: The whole production looks and feels much like a big budget movie. Were you surprised by the quality of the production?
TM: Ryan and George did an amazing job. It's hard to imagine that the film was done super-ultra-low-budget. The idea of the short film is to put it out there to get financing for a full length feature. I've seen many teaser-trailers before but they often look cheap. I think 1945a looks like a film with high production value, you get the story and it leaves you wanting more. They created a "band-of-brothers" feel with the American soldiers fighting against the German secret weapon. I was very pleased about the final product and happy to be part of that project. Fingers crossed that they get financing for the full length feature. Based on YouTube hits and feedback, there is certainly interest out there and just imagine what Ryan can do with a bigger budget.....
Q: Would you again work on a Science-Fiction project?
TM: Yes. Yes. Yes. Hopefully some directors see the need of a European or German Sci-Fi character soon.
Q: You also dabbled in voice acting with the video game Red Dead Redemption. How was the experience and how does it differ from TV and Movies?
TM: Red Dead Redemption was another great experience and also new for me. I've done tons of voiceover work before - looping (ADR) for big Hollywood movies and also several animation projects - but I had never done motion capture before. That was awesome. They used some new motion capture techniques for RDR. For an actor it's cool to experience a shoot in a blank space. We have to imagine basically everything in the room - where the columns, tables, bar etc are. It becomes very technical but you still have to stay with the intention of the character. I'm glad I got to do both the movement, emotional creation and the voice work for my character. Looking at the trailers and seeing what my character looks like is fun. The people at Rockstar were super cool to work with. I have a feeling RDR is going to be a hit.
Thomas Mikusz's character in Red Dead Redemption
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about some of your upcoming projects?
TM: I just did an episode on a new Nickelodeon show called "Victorious", a teenage/high school show. It will air later in the Spring.
This week I'm shooting an industrial for Singapore and then a short film for Manuela Rossi, an Italian filmmaker. The short film is based in East Germany 1986 and I play a Stasi (secret police) officer. It's an interesting story that hasn't been touched on yet. I look forward to portray a villain again.
I'm also a founding member of a new theater company, Teutonic Theater. We are dedicated to bringing contemporary German/ Swiss/ Austrian plays to Hollywood (in English language). We will do a reading series starting June and our first full play in September.
And I hope to do a cool Sci-Fi project again soon.
I want to thank Thomas Mikusz for taking time to share with the Inside Trekker readers and wish him the best.
You can go and watch 1945a here.