1. You are in the business for quite some time now… What drew you into acting originally ? What keeps you going ?
I first thought about acting when I was in the 9th grade watching a school play. I vividly remember thinking to myself, “Wow, that’s what I want to do.” I’d been involved in sports up to that point and had wanted to pursue a career in pro baseball, but the acting bug took root and I never looked back. I did local theatre in Texas after college, eventually got signed by an agent in Dallas and booked ROBOCOP on my first audition. It all worked out organically. I keep going because I love what I do. I am very passionate about acting and always enjoy assuming the identity of a character and discovering the traits that will bring something interesting to the screen.
2. In this week’s NCISLA episode “Leipei” you are playing ‘Rand Palmer’. What can you tell us about your character ? Who did you work with on screen ? Any stories you can share… without giving any of the storyline away ?
My character is a Texas Militia cult leader. He is firmly committed in his beliefs about America and the unjust control that major corporations possess. My scenes were with Chris O’Donnell during the episode. He was a super nice guy and a true pleasure to work with.
3. Was it difficult to mix with the main stars of the show ? Are there any differences in the working style and acting methods of the main cast ? What is it like to be a guest star on NCISLA ?
I only worked with Chris O’Donnell. I found that Chris and I had similar styles in acting. We were both relaxed, joking around in-between takes, but when it came time to work, it was game on. Chris is a total professional and really delivers the goods on set. Being a guest star can sometimes feel strange. You are joining a cast and crew for a short period of time, and the show generally has its rhythm and “family” feeling in tact. In the case of NCIS:LA, they’ve been together for 5 years. But, Chris, director David Rodriguez, and writer/producer Kyle Harimoto, made me feel so welcome and part of their team for that episode. I can’t speak highly enough about the experience I had on NCIS:LA.
4. You are a man of many talents and have a long list of credits for writing and producing as well ? What drew you “behind the camera” ? Which “side” do you prefer ?
I got drawn into writing when I was on the CBS drama “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”. It was a gift to be on that show, and during those six years, I became friends with Josef Anderson, a writer/producer on the series. Josef and I co-wrote a pilot script together that got set-up at Miramax TV for a period of time. The pilot did not get made, but I knew that I was onto something that I truly enjoyed, the writing, and something that I felt I could pursue and get better at with each effort. I can’t say that I prefer one side of the camera to the other. Acting is wildly rewarding and exhilarating. It’s been in my blood for a long time now. Yet, writing and producing are equally challenging and satisfying. I get an honest sense of fulfillment from all three jobs.
5. Your credits list the film “Reaper” with Danny Trejo. Did you know he was a guest on NCIS Los Angeles as well ? The fans loved him !! What was it like to work with him ?
I didn’t know that Danny was on NCIS:LA, but I’m sure the fans loved him. He is such a good actor and portrays compelling characters. I had a blast working with Danny on REAPER. He was so nice on the set. Danny was actually the good guy in that film, and I was a twisted bad guy alongside Vinnie Jones.
6. Tell us, what’s up next for you? And how fans can keep in touch with you…
I have a film being released on December 16 entitled BORN WILD. I star with Kix Brooks, of “Brooks & Dunn” fame. Kix and I became friends on this film along with the director, Dustin Rikert. We formed a production company together, Team Two Entertainment, along with Eric Brooks, and have made several films since then. I’ve just finished co-writing a script with Scott Windhauser entitled COMPLETE 360, inspired by the Kix Brooks song “Complete 360” from his recent solo album. I’m really excited about this script and its potential. Team Two Entertainment recently merged with a company in Dallas and we’ve formed a new label, Vaquero Studios. COMPLETE 360 is one of three scripts that Vaquero commissioned us to write, so there will be a lot of filmmaking going on in 2015. Fans can stay in touch with me via my website, williamshockley.com and on Twitter @willshockley.