Article first published as Actor Terence Bernie Hines on A Thousand Words, Rushlights on Technorati.
The next two months are going to be quite busy for actor Terence Bernie Hines. First up, on March 9, A Thousand Words, a comedy-drama Eddie Murphy film will open, featuring Hines among the supporting cast. Then, in April, Rushlights, a murder-mystery movie with a cast featuring Beau Bridges–and including Hines as well–will be released. In anticipation of these two new films, Hines was kind enough to entertain a series of questions in an email interview about the creative process in both projects.
In your next film, A Thousand Words, you are part of a cast that includes Eddie Murphy, Allison Janney, and Jack McBrayer. How did you land the role–and who are most of your scenes with?
I auditioned for the part and was initially cast in a different role; but when I met with the director Brian Robbins on set, he felt I would better fit the role as a friend of Eddie’s in his office. So everything I do is with Eddie – and we definitely had fun!
What were some of the benefits of getting to work with a director like Brian Robbins?
Brian has been in the business since he was a kid and has done literally hundreds of shows as an actor, producer or director, so he has a great sensibility for working with actors. And when he sees something that works, he just lets you go with it, which is always nice.
What appealed to you about working on A Thousand Words? Were there certain aspects of the role or your scenes that proved challenging?
I pride myself on being able to hold my own with anyone I work with – and I’ve worked with Academy Award-winning actors. I’ve followed Eddie’s career from way back when he was on SNL, before breaking big time in Hollywood. Yeah, he’s had some downs like everybody, but at the same time he’s made some of the funniest movies ever. Bottom line: Dude is funny! So for me, the challenge was to keep up with him and his improv and not let anything fall flat. And we wound up hitting it off really well and loved working together.
Not many folks can say they worked in a film with one of the legendary Bridges brothers. Did you have many scenes with Beau in Rushlights?
This is murder-mystery drama where I play the owner and cook of a small-town diner who knows everyone. I only had one scene with Beau, but it’s a pivotal one in the movie. I loved working with him. He really is a great guy, personally as well as professionally. Very easy to work with and just as easy going as anybody. What’s really cool about this movie is his son Jordan – a great actor in his own right – also plays a lead in the film. We all got along great, and I got a kick out of seeing how tight they were off set. I try to learn something from everyone that I work with, and spending time with them on breaks was like sitting around a campfire listening to great stories. And he had a ton of them about his experiences growing up in Hollywood as the son of an iconic actor, going to acting school, and as an actor himself. I would jump at the chance of working with Beau again.
What kind of a creative dynamic did Rushlights director Antoni Stutz foster?
I had worked on a black comedy called Expired, with Samantha Morton and Jason Patric, that Antoni was the Executive Producer on. But this movie is most definitely a drama, and he was at first a bit leery that I would be too funny in the film; but I convinced him that I could be great in any genre. Antoni has a very strong sense of atmosphere and mystery and goes out of his way to convey that on film.
Typically with feature films, there’s a great deal of lagtime between when you film your scenes and when the film is finally released. How much patience does it take, patiently waiting for a film to be released–given that understandably you want people to see your work that you are proud of, of course?
You know, sometimes I hate that! Don’t they know every film we do is really about “us” and getting our work out there to the fans?! I mean really! All kidding aside, it really can be frustrating. And the reasons a film gets delayed can be so varied (not enough money to release and promote it properly, a big star with power didn’t like the director and demanded his role be re-cast and re-shot after principle photography was completed, sometimes a great independent movie can take a while to get a distributor). On the other hand, sometimes it works in your favor and several movies you’ve done in the past all come out within months of each other and you appear to be much busier than you are!
How many scripts/roles do you consider in a given year? I’m always auditioning or having meetings.
I usually do one to two features per year. I also do TV and have done some classic short films as well, such as Jedi Gym and a short called The Handkerchief, which won the LA film festival a few years ago.
What’s the biggest challenge to staying a successful actor in the highly competitive film market?
For me it’s finding the right opportunities, being prepared, and then taking advantage of them. Being a great actor is never enough in this business; there are plenty of excellent actors that don’t work for way too many reasons to mention. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in films with the likes of Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, Harrison Ford – among other great actors. I constantly watch and never stop learning. That and really believing in your talent – and getting important people in the business to agree with you by any means necessary!