Justin McLachlan is an actor, writer & producer. He is the creator of EOS 10, an award-winning, scifi radioplay and podcast heading into its third season. Previously, he was a journalist who wrote for Wired and Popular Science among others.
I am (use a max. of 3 words to describe yourself)… a writer / actor
My last acting gig taught me… That I’m enough.
Proudest performance moment… I was in a play once where everything went wrong toward the climax of the show. An actor forgot a key prop and had to literally leave the stage to get it. We all kind of looked at each for a moment and my line was next, so I launched into a 40-second improvised monologue to cover. The other actor burst back on stage and we went on like nothing had even happened — no one in the audience knew, either.
Most embarrassing audition… I auditioned for A Chorus Line when I was still in high school. One of my teachers was part of the production team. He was a gruff, prickly man who taught me pretty much everything I knew about acting at that point. After I sang for my audition, his voice came out of the darkness (we were in a giant, cavernous auditorium and all I could see was the stage lights in my eyes) and he said, “you know I can do that?” He wasn’t known for his singing voice and I couldn’t believe he’d say something to me like that in front of the producers and casting, the director and choreographer, etc. I was so shocked all I could manage to say was, “can you?” After a long silence, he said: “No, do you know the song, I Can Do That, from the show?” Ah, yeah. The song. I said yeah, I know it, and he told me to come back and sing it the next day. I almost died on the spot, I think, but at least I got the call back. Didn’t book the job.
Movie I can’t stop talking about... Ex Machina. It haunts my dreams.
Top three Netflix / Amazon shows in my queue… Jessica Jones, Stranger Things and … … Cheers haha.
Currently reading… The Irresistible Introvert by Michaela Chung
Car karaoke tune... Anything from Next to Normal
Would switch careers with… Tina Fey? Someone funny and who creates work for themselves.
The moment I knew I wanted to be an actor... I’m not sure I had that moment. I was just always acting and I can’t think of doing anything else. I tried, but I just keep coming back.
If I weren't an actor, I'd be... A journalist. I was one for a long time. Still am sometimes.
Dying to work with... Joss Whedon
Get mistaken for… I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for anyone. People stare at me a lot but that’s probably a different issue.
Was born to play... Some character that Joss Whedon writes.
Learn lines by... Walking around town constantly talking to myself. I’m sure people assume I’m crazy, and they’re probably right.
Get into character by... In the words of my amazing coach Joseph Pearlman, I think we, as people, are 1000 times more interesting than any characters we could hope to create. So I bring a lot of just me to every part and that gets me about 90 - 95 percent there. Then, usually through a lot of improvisational work and just sitting with the dialogue, I push to find some depth and add layers to get it to 110 percent.
Acting is… So much harder than the best of us make it look.
Special skill I wouldn't put on my resume… I can eat an entire watermelon in one sitting. I love watermelon. I love it so much. I’m eating some right now.
Secret I want everyone to know… Good question. That I’m usually way less confident than I look, and I don’t think I always look that confident.
Actor crush... Idris Elba
If I were a color, I'd be… Red
Fave travel destination… Norway, but New York is a close second.
LA spot that inspires or relaxes me… The Coffee Bean on Sunset near Fairfax. Not sure why, but I spend a lot of time on that patio. I once hiked to the top of the Hollywood sign and watched the sun set. If I could do that everyday I would.
The best advice I ever got… Pick your battles.
You can find me at… Twitter: I’m @justinmclachlan