Monday, February 7, 2011

Spotlight on... Johnny Donaldson!

Name: Johnny Donaldson
Character: Nelson Harford

Why Acting? 
Why not? Seriously, I never really questioned it – this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was a child.

How and why did you become a part of Some Mother’s Son?
Was getting the itch to do another theater project and then saw an ad for an audition and auditioned. Helped that I previously did a play at Smith, so I felt comfortable doing it.

Painting Johnny blue for the film "Tuesday's Gone."

What surprised me about the process so far?
I feel challenged as an actor. With every project I do, I try to get better, learn more and refine my voice as an actor. This is one of my biggest speaking parts thus far, and I feel like I need to push myself and dig out more of me and bring this character to life. I like that I have to be somebody, that I can’t rest on my laurels. It makes me better as an actor.

Favorite word:
Fuck. It’s the only word I can think of that is a noun, verb, adjective and a figure of emotional expression.

Least favorite word: 
Morality. People abuse that term so much to justify all manners of bigotry, hate-mongering and emotional terrorism.

Turn on’s: 
Intelligence, strength, creativity, imagination, individuality

Johnny (Top Center) on set for the film "Killing Brooke."
Turn off’s: 
conformity, stupidity, bigotry

A sound I love: 
the squeal of an overdriven electric guitar; the purring of my cat

A sound I hate: 
alarm clocks

Favorite curse word: 
see above
Behind the scenes of "Killing Brooke."

Something I wanna do? 
Learn to ballroom dance. Direct (a film and a play). Visit Europe (Paris, London, Rome and Spain specifically), the jungle and Tokyo. Cook an haute cuisine dinner. Turn my hobby into my career. Sky dive. Learn an instrument.

Why theater is important?
      Like all art, it refracts through a personal lens the experience of life, only with theater it does it live and in person.
      That’s for the audience. For me, personally, it gives me that charge of living on a high wire. With theater, there is zero safety net and that feeling – the fear, the nervousness – is not just thrilling, but downright electric.
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Johnny Donaldson (Nelson) was born and raised in the arts-centric college community of Northampton, MA. He has acted since high school and studied theater at the University of Massachusetts. Since 2008, he has taken an aggressively DIY approach to acting, appearing in several plays (including Measure for Measure and a previous Smith College production, Cuentas De Eva Luna) as well as a slew of independent shorts and feature films. In 2010, Johnny became a film producer as well as an actor, with the horror feature Killing Brooke, which is currently in post-production with a premiered slated for late 2011. This August, he will once again produce and star in another feature length horror movie, a remake of the 1971 Italian B-movie The Devil’s Nightmare – a film with which he will also make his co-screenwriting debut. In addition, Johnny writes horror-related stories for, an entertainment website devoted to geek culture. (A trailer for Killing Brooke can be found at, while a short clip from the movie can be found at You can also “like” us on Facebook.)

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