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04 February 2008
How did you transfer from kinesiology to acting?
Actually I went from kinesiology, to owning and operating a small interior automotive repair business, to acting. I consider the first 2 careers as distractions from my inevitable profession.
I think I have always had the acting bug, but never admitted it until a trip out west to Vancouver. It was there that I saw my first movie set. Back home was a for sure thing, but it bored me - Vancouver, L.A., acting, scary and new. I went from being relatively successful and financially secure, to $30.000 in debt my first year or so. Pretty sure I'm crazy, but you have to be a bit crazy to be in this business.
In one of your past interviews you said you were helped by Ethan Hawke to get into movies. Could you tell us more about this? Do you still keep in touch?
I was a waiter and Ethan would come in and hang out with his tutors, he was just a kid, and basically he got me in as an extra or background player. But man was I excited! I remember another actor I knew being on that set and he had 2 lines, and I was Wow buddy you've made it, words and everything". It didn't take long for me to realize how insignificant that was and how much more hard work and luck was involved. I do not keep in touch with Ethan, but he was a great kid.
What was your first role?
My first speaking role was as a guest star 21 Jump Street. I was very nervous, basically I went from extra work to a leading role in a few months. No one knew that I had no real training - I just used my instincts. I didn't work again for another 8 months ...
You filmed a commercial for Burger King with the Backstreet Boys. How did it come to this? What was your role? This was in 2000, when they were at the top of their popularity. What kind of impression did they leave on you?
They wanted someone to play their manager and my job was to convince them that doing Burger King commercials was a good idea, I basically auditioned for it, but what nailed it for me was when I pulled out the pen and clicked it - they loved that. Yes they were very popular at the time. We had to shoot at top secret locations in Toronto, but somehow there were still thousands of young girls waiting for them. They were quite easy going and friendly - actually two of them called a producer friend of mines daughters and left them a personal message - the girls went crazy!
You moved away from Croatia at a very early age. Do you still have family here and do you visit? When was the last time you were in Croatia?
I still have family in Zadar, Zagreb and some smaller villages near Split. I haven't been back since we left, but am hoping to come out some time next year. It will depend on my schedule with the t.v series I'm shooting right now. Hoping to hit some of the beaches and beautiful coastline. Feeling really home sick for Croatia lately. Hopefully work will pull me there some day.
Which role would you say was the most important in your career so far?
That's a great question, one I haven't really figured out, because you never know who's watching your stuff and wanting to hire you because of it. I've had many favourites though and I'd put my guest spot on E.R. as one of my top ones.
You have starred with Jessica Alba twice, once as a guest in Dark Angel, and now in Good Luck Chuck. Do you like working with her, and would you say she has changed since she has become a movie star?
I've really enjoyed working with jessica, she's really sweet and even more beautiful in person, I only wish the work could have been more involved and challenging. I don't know her well enough to comment on any changes in her though.
You have acted in many science fiction TV series. Do you enjoy reading and watching sci fi in your free time? What is your favourite show?
We have a lot of sci-fi shows filming in Vancouver. My first series was Andromeda, which was a hell of a lot of fun. but I don't really think of the genre so much as the people I have to work with. I try to make every set as much fun as I can, that's my method. It keeps me loose and ready. Galaxy Quest was my favourite sci-fi movie. I do not read sci-fi anymore. It was something I read more as a youth. When i was about 17, i was pretty sure i saw an ufo...
While filming ER did you run into Goran Visnjic on set? What do you think of him?
Yes, I did work with Goran. I was very excited about that, I think my family didn't care about anything else I did before that, they were more excited than me. He was great and very gracious. We spoke quite a bit about the old country and how he came over to Hollywood.
What was filming CSI:Miami like?
Once again I was quite nervous, the biggest show in the world, me working on it, I had to pinch myself. But I did my work and when I met David Caruso I was ready and he was quite friendly and a pleasure to work with. The fight I did at the beginning was one of the best I ever did and I did most of the cable work myself. I got a great shot with David and Rex.
Which is your favourite role so far (TV or movies)? Probably E.R. - it was the most challenging.
How come you have not moved to LA like most actors?
I love Vancouver and I don't want to raise my kids there.
Which actors do you admire and look up to?
That changes so often that it's hard to say. No real favourites.
Oh wait, Michael Caine. Gene Hackman. Russell Crowe.
You are quite private about your family. Could you tell us a bit more about them - what age are your kids, where did you and your wife meet, is she also into showbusiness?
Yes I am private about them, they're not in the business, I am.