Wolfgang Weber is a Canadian-born actor who has appeared on well-known television shows and films since 2004. You've most likely seen him on CSI: Miami, Devious Nanny, and A Neighbor's Deception.
We caught up with him recently to talk about his acting journey and upcoming projects.
Maggie Lovitt (ML): Have you been working on anything during quarantine?
Wolfgang Weber (WW): Besides getting caught up on all the work that's been neglected around the house, I started shooting a little fun project with my son. Sort of a spec/mock car commercial. It's been challenging working with a one-year-old nonetheless. But as soon as it's done being edited, I can't wait to share it. Stay tuned!
ML: There's so many new series on streaming services, have you binged anything lately?
WW: Oh man, where do I start? There's two that really got me hooked: The Ozark and The Haunting Of Hill House. Besides the outstanding performances by all, I really enjoyed the camera work. Kudos to the director of photography.
ML: Have you worked on learning any new hobbies or skills during quarantine?
WW: Oh yeah! Well, as you know, I fly drones. So when the country shut down, I took the opportunity to learn a new flying style known as FPV (First Person View). And OH MY GOD, is it ever fun! You guys will have to look it up. I'm hoping to start offering those services for clients either by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
ML: You have a drone business, as well as being an actor. How did you get into that?
WW: Yes! I had started an aerial production company, and we specialize in low altitude cinematography using drone technology. But in a nutshell, we fly drones. Funny enough, it started back in 2015 accidentally. I purchased a drone and simply started uploading footage to Facebook. And I was fortunate enough to keep the work coming. I think being in the industry as an actor, to begin with, I was able to form friendships with up-and-coming directors and producers. And also the partnership with a production company (Transit Pictures). My little company started to grow, and they would hire us to get their aerials.
We've been lucky enough to have flown for a wide variety of brands and networks, feature films, live events, and even resorts. We've also flown for two Emmy Nominated films. A documentary produced by Joseph Gordon Levitt's company HitRecord and a MagnaFlow commercial featuring Mario Andretti titled The Sound of Passion, which we're extremely proud of.
ML: As a fellow SAG-AFTRA member, I love hearing about how actors got their SAG vouchers. What job landed you in the guild?
WW: It was back in 2007. But I was essentially a glorified extra in the movie Never Back Down. After spending about 3 or 4 days onset, I was able to get bumped to a SAG player. If you squint and pay real close attention, you may catch a glimpse of me cheering as actor Cam Gigandet slams Sean Faris onto the hood of a car while Amber Heard is crying in the background. That was my first voucher.
I got my second voucher working on the set of the HBO miniseries Recount. I did one day and was able to have a scene with Kevin Spacey. Although my scene never made the cut, I had a great time working on the show. So once I moved out to LA, I was told by the union that I was one voucher short of joining. So I registered with Central Cast in Burbank and started pounding the pavement working as a non-union player until FINALLY!
I obtained my third and final voucher for the movie An American Carol. I proudly took that voucher to SAG and joined!! The rest is history. I've been a union member for 12 years. Love screener season!!
ML: When did you realize you wanted to get into acting?
WW: I think I was around 19 years old. Some would consider that a late start. But I was kind of in limbo with where I wanted to go in regards to education. I was enrolled in a Mechanical Engineering program at the time and really didn't know where my life was headed. I can't remember the exact time of year, but I was asked to be in a music video. And I really only agreed to it because I had the day off from studying. Well, needless say that day turned out to be pretty amazing. And considering I'm 37 now not an Engineer and still talking about my acting career must mean something, right? Haha.
ML: What are some of your favorite films or TV shows that inspire you?
WW: I absolutely loved Catch Me If You Can. What a fun movie that was. And slightly more recent Dexter. Michael C. Hall… I mean, simply awesome. Very inspirational.
ML: What draws you to the roles that you audition for? Do you look for roles that challenge you?
WW: You know. In the beginning, I really feared those “challenging” roles. I attributed it to just not wanting to look/sound “fake” or give a forced performance. But as I became a little more seasoned and put myself in uncomfortable situations, I noticed/felt so much more present in the scenes. And by just “letting go” as they say, I tapped into a whole new realm of creativity. Now, I find myself looking for roles that do not allow me to “play it safe.” I accept the challenges with open arms.
ML: What can audiences expect from your role in Interpreters? Is there more than meets the eye with Deputy Wilson?
WW: I wouldn't say there's necessary more than meets the eye to him. But I'd expect to see someone who wants to earn the respect of this commanding officer. He's fresh out of the academy and is eager to get to work, being ok with putting himself in dangerous situations. May even be a little trigger happy.
ML: Let's talk about auditions. How do you prep for an audition? Do you have any routines that help you feel more prepared?
WW: My preparation, I think, is pretty common amongst fellow actors? I'll study and research to learn more about the type of character I'm being hired to portray. If I don't have anyone to read lines, I'll use the app Line Leaner to run lines with me and rehearse. Now, sometimes with the exception of theater, we don't always have the luxury of rehearsing for weeks. We book, we show up, shoot out the scene, then go home. That's where preparation is really important. Just know your stuff.
ML: You were both a producer and an actor in the short YouTube series, Big Baby, was that a project among friends or a proof of concept series for something larger?
WW: Big Baby was brought to me by my long time friend Andrew Pagana. Who also directs, acts, produces, edits, and writes the show. Needless to say, he does a lot. Haha. It was something that originally started out as friends shooting together. But then the YouTube gods graced us with over 88,000,000 million collective views. When we noticed that each video was getting over a million views, we immediately started putting out more Big Baby content. The show has a very “3 Stooges” type comedy to it.
In fact, “Curly” from The 3 Stooges, his actual grandson Brad Server aka “Curly G,” has a recurring role on the show. It was the first time I put on the producer hat on top of also performing. There was definitely a whole slew of new challenges. But I learned so much about filmmaking on that show. I'm pretty thankful. The show is actually still going, and I make an appearance from time to time. But when I had a child of my own, I had to shift my focus. You guys have to check out the show and also the behind-the-scenes on our YouTube channels. It's pretty whacky.
ML: Do you have any aspirations to write or direct?
Oh Yes!! At some point, I'll most likely direct something. But writing? That's a whole other beast. Haha. I feel that ever since I've started working behind the camera as a drone operator. I find myself really enjoying the process of how everything comes together. Hows there are so many different departments working in sync to bring what originally started out as a thought. To hopefully a finished film. It's so amazing.
ML: What is something you always have to have in your trailer?
ML: I have always joked that I got into acting because I love set catering. What's the best meal you've had on the set?
WW: That's a really tough one to answer. I'm fortunate enough to have had so many great meals on location.
ML: What do you always have to grab at crafty on set?
WW: 100% Red Vines. They get me every time.
ML: La Croix, Bubbly, or non-sparkling water?
WW: COFFEE!!! But I'll definitely be chasing with some non-sparkling water.
ML: What is something you always have to make sure you have with you on set?
WW: I ALWAYS have an emergency travel bag. That has extra clothes, toothpaste, eye drops, the essentials. But recently I've been bringing a winter coat. Sometimes it can get really cold on those long night shoots. I just always like to be prepared.