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DIVINITY FROM THE BLOODLINE OF PERSEUS

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MEDUSA STAR JEFF ALLEN

The latest manifestation from the gods, Jeff Allen walks among the mortals as Dr. Jack Peruci in the upcoming theatrical film MEDUSA.  A native from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff's arrival to Hollywood marks the introduction of a demigod.   As a mythological figure who is part divine and part human, Jeff Allen can be related to the power and influence of Apollo with his youthful and athletic appearance.  Apollo is recognized as the god of light, the sun, and truth all of which are emblematic of Jeff's radiance and veracity.

Before finding his passion in acting, Jeff graduated from Stanford University and then spent 7 years working in business consulting and tech start-ups.  He sees his time spent in Silicon Valley as a great asset because it has fueled him with an entrepreneurial drive and spirit that serves him well in Hollywood.  He is a man of many talents, and he will be showcasing his acting talent in what may be his breakthrough role as Dr. Jack Peruci in Medusa, which is slated to be released in theaters soon.

Jeff Allen stands for integrity, conviction, character, and compassion.  His eyes bleed empathy, and through them you can feel the warmth of his heart.  Jeff is a realist and knows that the world is a tough place, but he believes that everyone should be treated fairly and receive equal opportunity to fulfill their passions and dreams in life.  It is this 'equality for all' mentality that makes Jeff the compassionate person that he is today.  Everyday, he strives to gain a greater understanding of all cultures, people, and identities.  He knows he still has a lot to learn and more to understand from this journey called life, and he hopes that his observant and perceptive approach will allow him to continue his absorption of all the world has to offer.


We asked Jeff a about his experience in Hollywood as an actor, his latest role as Dr. Jack Peruci, and how his past experiences have influenced his performance...

1. What do you hope to achieve as an actor?

I'm hoping my contributions as an actor are felt by audiences.  One of the reasons I started acting was because of the way I have felt when watching certain performances on screen.  If I can move just one person and have them walk out of a theater or turn off their television saying, "wow that performance by Jeff Allen made me feel X" then I will feel I have contributed as an actor.  Of course, I hope that this will happen to more than one person, but one is all I need.

2.   Growing up as a kid, who or what influenced your love of film?

There are so many actors that I looked up to as a kid.  Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Daniel Day-Lewis just to name a few.  I think that Russell Crowe's performance in 'A Beautiful Mind' really changed the way that I thought and felt about film.  His performance (and the film as a whole) really moved me.  It made me feel so many different emotions, so many highs and lows.  I was interested in John Nash at the time, and I think that further added to my interest in the film.  I thought that Ron Howard and Russell were able to paint such an amazing picture of John Nash's life and it truly was a beautiful work of art and an amazing experience to watch.  It was at the moment that I was inspired to do the same.

3. What does Jeff stand for?

I think that those who know me well, would say that I'm an open book with those close to me and I like to think that I'm a person of integrity.  I guess you could say that I'm stubborn when it comes to my values and beliefs.  If something or someone asks me to go against my core values, I won't do it.  I'm stubborn like that.

 

4. How does an audience's reaction to your performance affect your preparation for another role?

As an actor, you have to be mindful of your audience.  You have to think about what the author and director are trying to communicate to their audience.  You also have to think about how that message will be perceived.  Ultimately, its impossible to predict every possible perception, but I think that by keeping this in mind you can give a better performance and live up to the most truthful and honest portrayal of the character.



5.  How have your life experiences influenced you in preparing you for a  particular role?

It is critical for an actor to be able to pull from a wide range of life experiences.  Without these experiences, it is difficult to relate to a character or to create a character with the emotional response the script is asking for.  All of my life experiences contribute to the person I am today, and they have all helped me to become a better actor, whether it be my youth and upbringing, my relationships, my professional experiences, my education, traveling and experiencing other cultures, etc.  In Medusa, I pulled from my educational experiences to help mold together the character of Professor Jack Peruci.  I also pulled from other life experiences, but I'm not going to divulge any more about my process or preparation for now.


6.  What defines talent?

Wow, this is a tough question.  Talent in the acting world is defined by believability.  When you watch an actor's performance and you don't question the character's actions, words, or motivations then I would say the actor has good talent.  What separates good talent from great talent is when an actor's performance sparks an emotional response from the viewer and makes them feel a certain way.  Of course, there are things outside the actor's control such as writing, directing, cinematography, and editing but when all of these are working together flawlessly you can truly see a great talent on the screen.


7.  How do you define success?

Success to me first requires setting personal goals and success is the achievement of those personal goals.  I feel that I set fairly lofty goals for myself, so success is not necessarily easy for me.  Everyone fails in life, many times over and without understanding (and feeling) failure we would never truly know what success is or what it feels like.  Michael Jordan once said, "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I've lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I've failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed."  Success requires the courage to take a risk, and it requires overcoming failure and trying again and again until we achieve what we set out to do.



8. How do you define fame?

Fame in its simplest definition is public recognition of someone.  I don't particularly like the word fame.  I think that as an actor its important to have a relationship with your fans and your audience.  I think that ultimately, this is what the word fame is trying to get at, but it does a poor job because the connotation of this word gets mixed up with so many other things in today's world.  Fame used to be about bridging the gap between an actor's professional work and communicating that actor's personna to their audiences.  But in today's world, the media often focusses on the negatives in a celebrity's life.  This can distort the public perception of a persons true character, but I guess that is a whole other topic.

9. Do you like performing in horror films?

To be honest, I prefer to perform in horror films over watching them. Horror films used to scare me when I was a kid, so I tried to stay clear of them.  As an adult and actor I've found myself repeatedly being casted in horror films, and it is a very different process for me to perform in these types of films.  You have to find the motivation that defines the character.  Most of the scare tactics are pre-planned, so you don't have the luxury of being spontaneously scared in the way that the audience sees it.  

10. How has your perception of the horror genre evolved since childhood?

I think the way that horror has evolved is good in some ways and bad in others.  The horror films from the early days of Hollywood were very story driven due to the lack of special effects, so the character development and plot was extremely important.  If the script lacked a good storyline and character development, it was almost impossible to make a good film that would be widely accepted by audiences.  Today, with CGI and technological advances, a lot of films lack the great story and character development that was true of earlier horror films.  These recent films have gotten away with it by focussing entirely on cinematic scare tactics, special effects, or gore to keep their audiences entertained.

 


11. How does Medusa measure up to other recent horror films?

I believe Medusa will keep audiences on the edge of their seats until the credits roll.  It's filled with non-stop scares, while at the same time getting back to the roots of horror.  The film follows the main character's (Jack Peruci) journey, as he is faced with ghostly apparitions and supernatural events.  I hope that audiences will connect with Jack's character and be rooting for him the entire time and I believe that they will.  Medusa is not like many of the horror films out there today like torture porn, psychological thrillers, or found footage.  Medusa truly gets back to the roots of horror cinema.