Ten Minutes With Michael Kelly, A Brusimm Exclusive Interview

by on May 10, 2012

in Entertainment

Michael Kelly in Clint Eastwood's 'Changeling'

Michael Kelly in Clint Eastwood's 'Changeling'

The other day I had a chance to spend ten minutes on the phone with actor Michael Kelly, and it was a fun interview and way too fast ten minutes if you ask me.  Michael Kelly has been in over 20 TV shows and 24 (Soon to be 26) movies so it’s more than likely that you’ve seen him in something and just weren’t aware of it.  That is until now.

On TV, you’ve seen him in recurring roles on 2001’s Level 9, the 2005 remake of Kojak, The Sopranos, Generation Kill, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (As Jonathan ‘Prophet’ Simms), The Good Wife and most recently in the hit series, Person of Interest.

On the silver screen, you might remember him from the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, or as Detective Lester Ybarra in Changeling.  Or you may have caught him in Law Abiding Citizen, The Adjustment Bureau or Chronicle.

If perchance you missed him in those movie projects, you’ll definitely be able to catch him in the upcoming Superman movie being directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, titled Man of Steel.  In it, Michael plays Steve Lombard.  (More on that later.)

Or you might be able to catch him in the upcoming Louis Leterrier directed movie, Now You See Me.

Michael Kelly in 'Chronicle'


For me, my last silver screen experience seeing Michael was in the telekinetic powered movie, Chronicle.  In Chronicle, he plays troubled father Richard to Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan).

Despite the movie being primarily about the three teens who suddenly find themselves empowered with what I believe are alien powers of telekinesis, you cannot have watched the movie and not been affected by Michael’s portrayal of the alcoholic and abusive Richard Detmer.  Aside from the kids themselves being their own worse enemies, I’d say that Andrew’s dad is the next biggest emotional obstacle that Andrew has to deal with in the movie, and quite literally, is the snap to Andrews downfall.

But aside from Chronicle, I’ve enjoyed Michael’s presence in any role I see him in, whether it be on TV or in the movies.  He just stands out whenever I see him in a project.

And I was lucky enough to get an all too-quick ten minutes to ask him a few questions.  (Do you realize how many questions one can come up with and then have the sudden realization that you have to edit some out?)

~ ~ ~

I always like to verify IMDb info and in this case, it paid off.  Michael dispelled the note that his first acting gig noted in IMDb was “Lifestories: Families in Crisis” and he said “That was not true.“  But the 1998 movies, River Red and Origin of the Species, as noted, are correct as his first acting gigs.

Brusimm (B): So What Got You Into Acting?

Michael Kelly (MK): “I was in college studying Political Science to be an attorney, and one semester I was taking too many poli-sci courses and my adviser said I have to lighten the load.  My adviser said, I should ‘take an acting course, I heard it was fun.’ ”

“Two weeks in, during a scene, the instructor asked ‘How long you’ve been acting’ and I said, ah, I’ve never done it before.  And she said ‘Wow, you got something.

“Long story short, I made it my minor, eventually made it my major.

“I did it in college, did some plays, then graduated with a degree and moved to New York City.”

B: What year was that?

MK: “1990 or ’91.”

Michael Kelly in 'Dawn of the Dead'

'Dawn of the Dead'

B: Of all your movie or TV roles, what was your favorite and/or funnest one to tackle?

MK:  “My favorite was definitely Changeling just because of all the elements involved there, Clint Eastwood, a great script.  Plus (Eastwood) he’s been someone I’ve idolized my whole life and to be able to work with him is such a thrill.

“And Dawn of the Dead for different reasons, was also a great one and my other favorite.  It was my first big role and was able to really create a character.”

B: “It’s (2004’s Dawn of the Dead) a fun movie to watch.”

MK: “I loved it.  That was the most fun I’ve ever had on a set.  That’s for sure.”

B:  “I bet.”

MK: “You get to be a ten-year-old kid again, running, jumping and shooting… that’s all I did (laughs), cuss, run, jump and shoot.”

B: LOL.  How can you knock a job where you can cuss and get paid for it!

MK: (Laughs)

B:  With Dawn of the Dead being the first role where the focus was on you creating a character, how did you deal with that?

MK:  “That was definitely my first big role in a big movie where I did something that stood out and shined.  It was amazing, Ving Rhames was such a great person to be alongside during that process.

“He helped me, taught me all about the business, and was such a great, great guy.  He taught me a lot about the business.  He’s a Julliard School of Drama graduate and with those two things, he was a wealth of information.”

B:  How much fun was filming Chronicle?

MK:  “It was fun, but it was a really dark character in a dark place to go to, with a lot of drinking, being hung over (the character).

“It was a lot of fun to be that guy.  Fun and depressing as hell.

“He is a bad man, but there are things that made him bad, such as the horrible hand he was dealt in life. There were a lot of layers to that guy and only had a short amount of time to see him.”

And Michael did a great job with the character because in how he delivered the character, it struck a chord with me that definitely made this character draw specific attention to him.

(OK, Here’s where I try to sneak in a question about an upcoming movie, fingers crossed…)

'Man of Steel' Banner logo starring Henry Cavill with Michael Kelly

B:  Hey, I see you’re playing the character of Steve Lombard in Man of Steel.  Is this a major role, or just a character passing through the movie?

MK:  “I’m not at liberty to say.  Everything is really under wraps.

“But wow, what a cool movie those guys are making.”

(Crap!  I tried!)

B: That’s not a fair tease Michael!

MK:  “I’m sorry, but we’re under strict orders”

B:  What is your favorite charity?

MK:  “That’s an easy answer for me. My mother’s:  ‘Thanks Mom and Dad Fund‘.  My mother works with helping out senior citizens.  People are living longer and we don’t have the means to take care of them anymore.”

Thanks Mom and Dad Fund(“a fund that honors parents, grandparents and mentors by supporting programs and services for older adults.“)

Thanks Mom and Dad Fund

I either missed it or Michael didn’t mention it, but his mother is one of the founding members.

Last Question (My rocking chair question):

B: Imagine yourself sitting in your rocking chair, retired, reflecting upon your acting career… what would make you proud of your work?

MK:  “I’d love to win an award by my peers.  At least nominated!!!  To be recognized by my peers.  I’ve been blessed to work with great directors and people and there wouldn’t be any better accomplishment.”


And that was my ten minutes with my exclusive interview with Michael Kelly.

I found our conversation to be fun and easy going… I loved chatting with him… even if I couldn’t pry any inside bits about Man of Steel from him.  And it was a blast to actually chat with this guy whom I’ve been watching in some of my favorite TV or movie projects over the years.

A big thanks to Michael for his time, and to Fox Home Entertainment for helping arrange the time we had on the phone.

We chatted about one of Michael Kelly’s latest roles I saw him in, Chronicle, and that is coming to DVD/Blu-ray on May 15th, 2012.

Michael Kelly interview - Chronicle_3D_BD sleeve


• Deleted Scene – Matt and Casey in the Kitchen
• Pre-Viz
• Camera Test
• Theatrical Trailer
• Chronicle Soundtrack Info

Chronicle on Amazon  =

Enjoy a few stills of Michael Kelly from some of his previous work:

Matt Damon and Michael Kelly in 'The Adjustment Bureau'

'The Adjustment Bureau'

Woody Harrelson and Michael Kelly in 'Defendor'


Michael Kelly, Beau Garrett and Matt Ryan in 'Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior'

'Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior'


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Scott (skip) Gall myrtle beach October 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

mike ol boy we dodged Hugo dont get any Sandy on you up there
You always told me you would make it and i am proud of your success
Believe it or not over some evan an williams
Love you brother

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