December 10th, 2003 at 4:34 pm
Posted by admin in Amateur

For his role as Thomas, MARTIN DONOVAN received the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival’s Best Actor award. Originally from Reseda, California, he studied acting at The American Theatre Arts in Los Angeles, where he appeared in such plays as “Richard Cork’s Leg” by Brendan Behan, and Brecht’s “Private Life Of The Master Race.”

“Amateur” is Donovan’s fifth film with Hartley. He co-starred with Adrienne Shelley in “Trust,” played the lead in the short “Surviving Desire” and appeared in supporting roles in “Simple Men” and Hartley’s first segment of his upcoming feature, “Flirt.” He moved to New York in 1983 and appeared as Josh in Rick King’s film “Hard Choices.” He has also appeared in the mini-series “At Mothers Request,” “Legwork,” “At King’s Crossings” and in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X.” More recently, he appeared in Eran Palatnick’s “Rook” and Michael Almereyda’s “Nadja,” with his “Amateur” co-star Elina Lowensohn. He is a member of the Cucuracha Theatre in New York.

“Hal wrote the part for me,” says Donovan. “Thomas is childlike. Because he has no memory he takes things at face value. I don’t really think he is like me, but Hal channels my presence into the script.

“During rehearsals we talked a lot about Thomas–what he used to be like and what he is like now, and which Thomas I should be playing. He’s two completely different people, but I can’t play two people at once. I just listened to Hal because I trust him.

“I was raised a Catholic so Hal and I have always talked a great deal about the concept of baptism. ‘Amateur’ is about the washing away of original sin, being born again.

“Hal and I are close friends. I understand his language, his humor, his film language, what he is trying to say. I tell actors who are new to Hal — this is more like dance. It’s not acting naturalistically, it’s carefully choreographed. Gestures are important and specific gestures are very important.”


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