Gregg Henry is no stranger to show business. From theater to television and music, he’s done it all. You will probably recognize him most from his role in Payback, where he played Val Resnick, or for his role as Dennis Rader in the movie The Hunt for the BTK Killer. (Fortunately, he’s not as bad as the “bad guys” he is so well-known for portraying.) Gregg Henry is soon to be playing Jerry in Jeff Galfer’s new short film ”Buried Treasure.” Be sure to check out and contribute to their Kickstarter for the project here.
Can you tell us a little about your character in “Buried Treasure”?
“I play Jerry. He’s sort of one of those guys who always thinks that they’re funnier than they actually are. He’s a practical joker when the other person doesn’t really want to be in on the practical joke. He has a high opinion of himself, but probably for no reason – that’s Jerry.”
What got you interested in participating in this project?
“Leslie Hope and I did a show called Eyes together a few years back, so I know her from that and we got along well. I had heard that she was directing and then she worked with my good friend Bruce Greenwood on The River. So it’s all sort of to be a part of her new directing approach to her career and I liked the script and thought it would be fun!”
I understand you’re also involved in theatre. Do you have a preference for either stage acting or on-screen acting?
“Oh, I don’t know that I have a preference for either. I really like them both, and they’re just a little bit different animals, but in the end it’s the same, acting wise. There is one thing about theater that’s sort of immediate for the actor. When you do the joke, and they laugh and you can go “Okay; that worked!” and if they don’t it’s like “Okay, maybe I can do better next night.” So, that kind of immediate response is great fuel for spirit and creativity and just the general things that actors do, so I do like that a lot.”
What has been your favorite acting project to date?
“With television it’s ‘The Riches’. I loved the role and working with Eddy Izzard. That was a great series cut short before its time by the writers’ strike. I loved that character Hugh Panetta. For movies, it would probably be “Payback” because, again, it was a great role and we had a great time shooting.”
Yeah, speaking of, I noticed you play the bad guy a lot…
“Someone has to do it, you know. Often times they’re more interesting. The good guys, I suppose, they ride off with the girl into the sunset, but sometimes the parts aren’t as interesting. So it’s a little bit more fun, but you know, I’m pretty easy. I can play the good guy or the bad guy, whoever they want.”
You’re a musician as well. How long have you been playing piano?
“Oh, pretty much my whole life. I took a few years off between the ages of 11 and 18, but pretty much for life.”
Wow. So what got you into acting?
“How did all that start way back then? In high school I started doing speech contests. There was a thing called Oral Interpretation, which I turned out to be very good at. They gave me a few trophies around the state of Colorado, and it was also enough to afford me to get a partial scholarship to college, so I went to Drury College in Springfield, Missouri on a tuition scholarship for speech, but that then turned into really the acting and then working on plays. That’s where it really took hold, and then I auditioned and went to acting schools and stuff like that.”
Are you currently working on any music projects?
“Oh, I’ve got so many things I’m working on musically right now. The last couple summers I’ve been working with LAByrinth Theatre Company up at Bard College. We’ve been workshopping this musical piece that I’m working on writing music and lyrics with Brett C. Leonard writing the book. We did a presentation of that back in December in New York, and you learn a lot of things when you do a presentation, so we’re going to go back to the drawing board on that this summer. Then I’ve got another piece that’s also in theater that I’m writing music for – I’ve already written the lyrics – so I’m putting that together. And then just the general sort of songs you write that pop into your head and whenever I get a new bunch I’ll go out and lay them around town.”
If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would you most like to work with?
“For music: Randy Newman. For acting: Marlin Brando. He’s one of the guys up on the mount; Marlon Brando or Jack Nicholson.”
What are you listening to right now?
“Recently I’ve been playing the grooves off of Jackson Browne’s acoustic – it’s a two-album thing which I really love. Recent things I bought were the new John Mayer and new Norah Jones – the jury’s still out on both of them actually. But that’s what I’ve been listening to lately.”
Author: Brittany (@ItEntertainsMe)