Interview with Brad Berkwitt: An Actor Born to Play Any Role

Interview by Melissa Antoinette Garza

 

I recently had the opportunity to interview the very accomplished and multifaceted Brad Berkwitt.  Mr. Berkwitt’s resume is filled with a myriad of impressive accomplishments.  Whether it be his dedicated 20 year service in the US Navy or his extensive background within all elements of the entertainment industry spanning Sports Radio, Industrial Videos, theater, television and film.

As Mr. Berkwitt takes the world by storm with his immense acting ability and versatility, it was fantastic to learn where his endless drive and ambition began and where he plans for it lead him.

MG: What first inspired you to be an actor?

I have always loved acting and film.  With my dad being involved in the field, I grew up around his knowledge of the movie industry and film itself. In addition, my Uncle Stan, who was very successful in the music business and actually responsible for Telly Savalas going to Hollywood, also inspired me.

MG: I know your father was an actor. Do you believe you were inspired through his works or in the genetics?

Yes, without any doubt.

MG: What other actors or films have inspired you and what about the style/roles spoke to you?

Al Pacino and Marlon Brando especially in The Godfather, where they both acted together. Mafia movies are my favorite genre of movies and roles to play. Of course being half Italian (mother’s side), that is another reason. Having played one Mafia Enforcer, both on film and live dinner theater was a hoot for sure.

MG: What roles have you done and what have you learned on this journey?

Like most actors, I started out in theater where I played a juror in Michael J. Baker’s, “CYBERBULLIES”.  I was the voice of reason based on the Henry Fonda character in 12 Angry Men, which was a classic film. From there, I picked up a lot of work on the ID Channel playing cops and FBI Agents on shows like Southern Fried Homicide, Nightmare Next Door and Deadly Affairs.  This led to some work on HBO’s VEEP and Netflix’s House Of Cards where I was an extra on both.  On House of Card’s, I actually had a talking scene with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, but when it aired, it was cut down to basically the back of my head and long shots of me at a table.  This led to me getting work in industrial videos where I played the lead as a reporter.  Most recently, I co-starred in a film called “ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS” where I played Joshua, a homeless man.

On each set, I learned camera technique, the lay of the land and standard directions from the PA’s and the Director.  Yes, for sure, to date, it has been a journey and one I truly love. I work at my craft very hard when I am cast in a role and each time out, I want to improve.

MG: You’re not in Hollywood.  How is the acting scene where you are?

Having just relocated to Tulsa Oklahoma, I am learning the lay of the land out here. There is work out here and my Talent Agent is putting me in for many things that I fit the bill.

MG: What has been your best moment and worst moment as an actor?

My best moment honestly, is each time the phone rings or an email comes in that says, “Hi Brad, we want to book you for such and such a role.”  My worst, was opening night of “CYBERBULLIES”. I went center stage for my big scene which was almost the closing of the play, and though I knew my lines, front, back and side, I froze and they would not come to me. I had to skip some dialogue and go to the closing part of it. I went home that night and got some sleep. The next day, I stood in front of my mirror and practiced again and again while vowing that was not going to happen ever again! Well, that night, I nailed the scene and in the end, the entire cast, got a standing ovation at the completion of the play.  I am my biggest critic and see what I need to improve on always.  I did a TV show, as a boxing analyst, on News Channel 8 in VA, DC, MD and WV for 12 years called Sports Talk. When I first went on in 2000, I looked at the tape and made adjustments right away.  I am a quick learner and have always pushed myself to the absolute limit of anything I get involved in.

MG: You recently signed with an agency.  How is that going and why did you opt for that direction?

Yes, I signed with the prestigious Linda Layman Agency out of Tulsa Oklahoma.  It’s going well.  The jobs they have put me in for pay a lot more than the roles from where I came.  I chose this direction because I am the new kid on the block here in Tulsa and though I figured I may be one of one, with the whole NY thing I have which was confirmed by my talent agent, I wanted to get with someone who had lots of industry contacts out here to maximize jobs I could be put in for.

MG: Is there any role or genre that you aspire for or are gravitating toward?

Any role where the check clears…. I have no qualms about auditioning for any role because it’s the one people don’t expect you to play that when you nail it, your ticket is written!

MG: What is your end goal as an actor?

Just to have fun and maximize my acting ability.

MG: Any other comments?

I would like to thank you for doing this interview and invite all of your readers to check out the latest updates on my acting career at www.badbradberkwitt.com.