Real girls in their own place.
Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty...
(Michael Roark chats to MIMP)
pictures by @MichaelSRoark
words by Falene
If I ever find myself in need of a Hollywood heartthrob who also passed the bar (I might), or a lawyer with matinee idol good looks (who wouldn’t need that!), I may have just found the perfect candidate in Michael Roark. Now that this former attorney no longer spends his time in the courtroom, you are more likely to find him in worlds inhabited by Prada-clad vampires, net-savvy psychopaths and dystopian revolutionaries—who seem to have an unnatural penchant for all things leather. There again that does sound like your typical visit to the LA county night court, not that I would know of course.
Without realizing it you are probably already very familiar with this in-demand actor, who’s guest starring roles in “The Vampire Diaries,” “Magic City,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Revolution,” has created a slightly insane shooting schedule for him of late. Then his most recent foray into film “Magic Mike,” just happened to be one of 2012’s most successful movies. Which he managed to achieve without stripping down to his mankini, or grimacing through a Brazilian buttocks waxing. After receiving the Soderbergh treatment, this month he will officially be inducted into the ‘6 degrees of Kevin Bacon’ hall of fame. As Detective Warren, he will be playing alongside Mr. Bacon in the highly anticipated premiere of Fox’s new serial killer drama “The Following” (airing JAN 21st). Whether he’s working with some of the world’s most critically acclaimed directors, writers and actors; or on (all of) TV’s highest rated shows, I have to admit Michael’s change in careers looks pretty magical.
You’ve only been here in LA for a year, where are you from originally?
Schaumburg, Illinois. Then I was in Florida for a few years going to University and living the beach life.
So from an attorney to acting, how did that happen?
Whether in a court or on a stage, I guess I always liked the idea of performing. I started out doing theater in college and to me the theater is still the best place to start training. I jumped to law school after college with the idea of becoming a trial attorney, but always had a gut feeling I would return to acting. Legal training has definitely helped me navigate the business side of this industry.
Tell me about “The Following” it looks kinda creepy, which of course got me interested.
It’s not for the faint hearted, I can tell you that much. You see we’re not suppose to say too much, don’t get me in trouble.
Or killed? (The show is about a serial killer, who really enjoys social media for all the wrong reasons).
(laughing) I know right. It’s such a great project, I’m excited to be a part of it. You’ve got Marcos Siega directing and producing, Kevin Bacon leads an amazing cast, Kevin Williamson is the writer, I mean all these guys together are gold! Shooting the pilot really felt like we were shooting a movie. I think a lot of people are really going to be blown away, there’s nothing really like it on TV at the moment. So I’m looking forward to see how audiences respond.
I saw the campaign. “Even serial killer’s have friends” right?
Well, there you go.
(Looks like Dexter and Red John are gonna get a run for their money).
Is it grisly?
It really pushes the envelope at times, there were some scenes we were filming and I thought “WOW!” These murders get messy, there’s a lot of blood—especially with some of the creative ways characters are getting killed. I think some people are going to be terrified.
I remember when Buffy was scary to me, I’ve grown desensitized to everything messy now.
Brave through the messiness Falene, brave through it.
You said you had spent some time in London and Europe?
I was actually an exchange student in Sweden for a while.
Ah some of the most beautiful women in the world, how fun!
It was a very cool time in my life, I was a 20 year old kid from the Midwest just hitting class, bartending and traveling around Europe. It was awesome, had the time of my life.
Any shoot particular stand out to you on MIMP, your email said “…all the girls are knock outs!”
Well they are! You have some tens on there.
Why do all the guys gloss over picking one out.
The short answer is because we would be happy to get ANY one of them (laughing). That’s the truth of it.
Well let’s pick one.
I remember preferring the real girls shots over the celebrity girls and thinking, “some of these shots are just… perfect.” The real girl shots seemed less “posey” to me.
So which girl comes to your mind immediately, I might know which one she is?
Awe man. You are really trying to pin me down (laughing). Did you do this to the other guys? There was one, a girl with tattoos, I like tats when they are done right. But I can probably go through every single shoot and pick something I like about each girl whether its lips, eyes, etc. put it this way—I wasn’t disappointed.
Really, tattoos. You look so wholesome and All-American.
I look wholesome, ha ha, good! You have no idea. I find plenty of trouble, but yeah I’m a good guy… a credit to mom. Am I going to be labeled as the “tattoo loving” guy?
Possibly. In “Magic Mike” did your character have an open relationship with Olivia Munn? I wasn’t sure.
Actually it was really left to the audience to decide. We filmed it a few different ways. In some takes I was her fiancé, in some we were swingers… but for the most part the insinuation was we weren’t a couple at all and she was lying to Channing Tatum’s character. I was glad the scene made the cut.
I thought you were engaged I also thought you were both bisexual.
We could have been (giggling), maybe we were. You never know.
Random question time.
3 favorite bands.
Ooh, don’t wanna blow this one. I’ve always been a big fan of Tom Petty. Who else do I listen to a lot, only 3?
A lot of my questions are in “threes” only.
Fair enough. Jack Johnson and The Chili Peppers. Gotta get enough rock in there, right?
Whatever you feel you need. 3 movie soundtracks?
Oh geez, really? I liked “Days of Thunder” and “The Rock” and pretty much anything by Hans Zimmer.
I was gonna say that! Also any soundtracks from 80s movies, I love 80s movies.
I’m in this country because of 80s movies! They lied to me (laughing). I thought if the nerds in that country look like the boys in “Weird Science,” I’m there!
I was shocked! I thought “these are the ugly people in America!”
Then you got here and felt cheated eh?
No, I think Americans idea of plain is the rest of the world’s idea of “good looking.” Remember “Freaks & Geeks,” yeah what an ugly bunch right? All those kids were camera friendly and adorable!
Wasn’t James Franco on that?
Exactly, that’s your freak? He would go on to play James Dean!
Sometimes just being a bit different, or exotic, is what makes someone attractive. As a European, Americans might seem attractive because they are something exotic to you.
My dad’s Bajan, so exotic has to be kinda WAY out there. On that island you get everything from Djimon Hounsou looking dudes with sky-blue eyes, to Pakistani-looking kids with red hair and freckles. My sisters kids are gorgeous, but as babies we were waiting to see what they would look like every 2 years!
What? They changed?
Yeah sort of. From Asian looking babies to dark-skinned toddlers, the boy’s almost 20 and looks like a Mexican now.
Now you’re just making things up! (lol)
Maybe exaggerating a tad, but you get the gist.
(I do so love to tease the white folks, they are never 100% sure).
That’s awesome though, to be exposed to people from all over. Some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen aren’t in LA. Let’s face it, LA somehow became a verb (giggling). But I will say in this town people seem to get all decked out to go grocery shopping.
Ah the ‘Rock N Roll’ Ralphs
Where I look like hell!
As you should. You are heavily involved and on the board of directors of “Every Person Has A Story”(EPHAS)
That’s right, it’s a very cool non-profit. I’m really proud about what we are doing.
How did you get involved?
It was really serendipitous actually, a friend of mine just thought the founder and I should meet. We had lunch and talked about his vision and where they were headed, I’ve always had an interest in anything philanthropic, but EPHAS really stood out to me. I think photography speaks to everyone on some level.
What it is that they do?
It’s a unique organization and concept. EPHAS empowers students around the world to document their realities through photography…really the one true universal language. All the content is produced by students, we put the cameras in their hands and our staff (local instructors) train and guide them so the students can tell their story, through their own eyes. Then we sell images online and use the proceeds to aid the needs of community (medical, water purification, etc) and further more programs. Giving students a voice and simultaneously giving back to these communities and promoting further programs. These images elicit real change in their lives. It exposes students to the art of the photograph, lends them a voice and creates awareness… usually where it is needed most. International communities interact and can learn about each other and showcase the realities of their home, both the good and the bad.
If you could be in any movie, from any time, who would you be?
I always wanted to play Paul Newman’s character in “Cool Hand Luke.” No one could have played it better than him, but when I saw it I wanted to be that guy.
You are a superhero, who are you?
Superman. Who doesn’t want to fly?
If you were the villain?
I would be Captain Hook.
Any girl on this site.
Well played Michael, well played.
Find out how Michael’s Detective Warren survives “The Following,” Monday JAN 21st, 9/8c on Fox. His new film “LA Dirt” will be released later in the year.