"The long and short story of why Regan Burns went into acting – girls."

By Jason Tanamor

Regan Burns has worked with many actors, ones that have name recognition like Billy Bob Thornton and Scarlett Johansson. He’s been seen in many projects, and I’m betting right now you still can’t place his name with his face. And that’s OK, because as long as Burns is working, he’s happy. Unless, of course, it’s on the staged version of the movie “300” set on a gay cruise ship.

The actor recently chatted with Zoiks! Online about his career and the fact he’s fulfilled his long time dream of working with Theo from “The Cosby Show.”

Q – Real quick, how and why did you get involved in acting?

A - Why real quick? Are we on some kind of time crunch here? I mean, what if it’s one of those really long stories, that yes, may drag on for quite a long time, but in the end, everyone goes, “Wow, I’m glad I hung in there and listened to that really long but powerful story about how AND why Regan got involved in acting!” You know what I mean? Oh, and I got into acting to meet girls.

Q – You have one of those faces that people recognize. And from your resume, you’ve done dozens of television spots. What is it like being known as a character actor in many TV shows and movies?

A - I’ll take recognition wherever I can get it! I’ve always said that I could win an Academy Award in this town and people would still come up to me and go,” Aren’t you that guy from the Wheat Thins commercial?” That’s just the biz. As long as I’m working these days, I'm happy.

Q - You’ve done everything from stage, to TV, to movies, to drama and to comedy. What’s your favorite medium and why?

A - Each one has their pros and cons. Stage is the most artistically fulfilling but doesn’t pay squat. Movies are neat, but there is a LOT of waiting around for those crazy cinematographers to get the lighting just right. TV is easier, but let’s be honest, most of it is crap. Are you listening Mr. Bochco? I need a gig! And drama is easy, comedy is hard!!

Q – After doing so many character roles, do you find that you’re being typecast for future parts?

A - I’m glad you said it. When is Hollywood going to wake up and see me as more than just the funny guy who they can throw into a TV show or commercial or low budget straight-to-video movie for a cheap laugh? I’ve got two words for you - hand modeling. Think about it high ranking executives.

Q – Having a background in comedy improv, are you able to improvise a script?

A - You have to kind of feel that out. Sometimes it’s good to improvise, sometimes, not so much. Depends on the production. I would just say that if you are going to improvise a line, it better be funny. If it isn’t, you look like a jackass for trying.

Q - How much luxury do you have as an actor when it comes to improvising your lines?

A - I’ve been doing it for years. Somehow I keep getting away with it. Most of the time, the writers are begging you to make the script funnier. Unfortunately, you don’t get paid more for coming up with witty banter.

Q – Have there been any projects that you have regretted doing?

A - I should have known that a staged version of the movie “300” set on a gay cruise ship was not quite what my agent told me it was going to be.

Q – What was your best/favorite role?

A - I’ve been pretty lucky to work with some pretty talented people in my little career. Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Mandy Patinkin, Jamie Lynn Spears. But if I had to pick just one role, it would probably be my portrayal of Mr. Magorium.

Q – I know actors who have some unusual rituals before getting into character. What is your process for preparing for a role?

A - I would simply advise you watch any pre-fight montage from “Rocky III,” IV or V.

Q – Being in the business for many years, is there ever animosity or jealousy for other actors that “hit it big” who have essentially just landed in Hollywood?

A - I hate anyone who has had more success than me and I shun anyone who has less IMDB credits than I do. They obviously are not working hard enough.

Q – What’s the one thing you want to accomplish before you retire from this profession?

A - To work with Malcolm Jamal Warner. Wait! I’ve already done that. Can I quit and raise llamas in Wisconsin now?

Q – Are you working on any projects?

A - Nothing that I really want to mention right now. I don’t want to jinx it when it is so early in development. Let me just say this. I think the world might be ready for the return of Balki.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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