Recently I spoke with Malcolm Barrett about his new film Pooka Lives!, part of the Into The Dark series on HULU. Malcolm talks about the movie, the film Timeless, and his career.
What attracted you to acting and what would you say your big break was?
From an early age I’ve was always a performer in some way, shape or form. I used to write and read stories to younger kids when I was in elementary, and as I got older it turned into acting, poetry, music … I got an agent after doing school plays and having a classmate notice me whose boss, at the time, was an agent. But my first official ‘big break’ was probably doing a mostly improvised ESPN commercial.
What can you tell us about your casting process and What attracted you to the part?
I had been buddies with Felicia Day, through the nerdosphere, when we both were suddenly in a reading of Dead Pilot’s Society, a podcast. Shortly after, she hit me off like, “You’d be perfect for this….” And the rest is Pooka history.
What do you make of the theme of the dangers of Social Media trending and Internet Personalities left unchecked?
I’m not especially scared of social media as a corruptive force. I think there can be a very frustrating mob mentality, and of course doxing is dangerous, although not limited to social media, but at the end of the day no celebrity has ever actually been “cancelled.” And if some jerk wants to glue pubes to his head for views or whatever, then so be it. But I’ve seen a lot of good on the internet, I’ve seen resources being shared, people supporting people. Maybe it’s the circles I choose to follow online. Although I did have folks come after me for a popular/popular tweet one time and after attempting to be amicable I just started roasting everyone. But that’s me. My advice if it gets bad… log off.
Do you have a favorite scene from the film?
“I think the internet has created a monster…” There’s a scene at their local bar where Derick’s ‘figured out’ what Pooka is and it’s one of those tongue-in-cheek moments that’s a perfect storm of Derick’s line, Alejandro’s direction and camera movement and Jonah’s reaction. I damn near winked, in character, at camera and finally seeing it made me laugh out loud.
What was filming like and do you have any favorite memories from it?
I had blast working on this movie. The cast was phenomenal, the writing was fun and Alejandro is the most easygoing yet focused directors I’ve ever worked with. It really felt like we all grew up together.
Looking back on Timeless, were you happy how things were concluded considering the more unusual path the show took in terms of being cancelled, then returned only to have it happen again?
Timeless lives in a bubble of expectation, surprise and fandom that I couldn’t possibly predict. The ride was insane from the first day I heard “Action!” And to be honest, as popular as it had become, the ups and downs always made it feel like we were on borrowed time. But I’m glad we got to say goodbye to the fans as I tv family.
What do you like to do in your free time and how are you handling this isolation?
Luckily what I like to do in my free time is chill and play video games so this lockdown hasn’t really put a crimp in my style yet. Talk to me when we’re months in and my ‘create a player’ has to retire due to scandals and drug use.
Anything else coming up we should look forward to?
Well, the industry is in a real state of unpredictability right now so it’s hard to tell. I play Aretha Franklin’s husband, Ted White, in the upcoming critically acclaimed GENIUS series, and we’ve finished most of the episodes, but we have two left and we’re waiting to see when filming for the end of the series will commence.
Music and Theatre. My eponymously named duo album, FUN HOUSE by Verbal and Icarus, the nom de plumes of myself and fellow actor Brandon Scott, is out now on every platform, it’s mostly hip-hop and soul. And my theatre company, Ammunition Theatre, has postponed its season but is staying involved doing radio plays and making plans for return with fellow theatres within the community. We’re hoping to return with the new play “The Lucky Ones” by spring.