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Midwest to Hollywood, Jimmy Flint-Smith

© Jimmy Flint-Smith

Jimmy Flint-Smith is an upcoming Actor, Stunt-Performer, Model and Brand Ambassador, based in Hollywood. Acting is his passion and he had worked in History Channel, CW11, PBS to name a few. He is also into horseback riding, winter sports, basketball, wrestling and writing. Apart from being a gifted artist, Jimmy also specializes in planning and running events.

Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.

Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself?

Like so many others from the Midwest, I grew up on a farm in a small town. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do once I graduated, so I decided to do a little of everything. In high school I occupied most of my time with sports and every club I could find. Having developed a passion for involvement I carried that mindset onto my college agenda. There I took things to the next level and joined Student Government, Honors Society, Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, and an array of other groups, clubs, and even national philanthropies such as the American Cancer Society and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I experimented a lot with running events and managing big projects on campus and in the community. I was recognized for my hard work when I was selected to attend “Leadershape Academy”, which is one of the most prestigious training programs for future leaders in the USA. There I learned so much about determining a goal, planning for it, seeking it, and finally achieving it. Upon completion and when I returned to my normal curriculum I was elected to become a founding father of Lindenwood Universities first ever Greek Council and later on the Greek Council President. I learned something about myself in those four years; that my true talent was breaking expectations and doing what others considered impossible.

How are why did you get into acting/modeling?

Aside from my high school extra-curriculars, my dad and I would take part in Civil War Reenactments, taking road trips all over the country riding front line of the fifth Missouri Cavalry. After a friend of his signed a contract with PBS for a documentary shooting on his land Dad was called in to ride and help coordinate stunts. I was only a teen at the time and wasn’t hired to go. Still I tagged along to observe. I’d never seen a movie being made before. Thought it’d be cool. Anyway it turned out one of their stuntmen couldn’t ride so well and they pointed at me and asked me to give it a shot. Nailed it, piece of cake (smiles). They liked my skills so much that I got hired again twice, this time by the History Channel. I got some great footage on those productions and realized something that damn near blew my mind. I could make a living doing this? Sign me up! After that I joined the drama club and auditioned for my first big play. Wouldn’t you know it I got the first lead role. Our play, “the Bachelor King” by Martin A. Follose got rave reviews and sold out every show. I was inspired to study film in college and continue to hone my craft. After graduating in 2012 with my two bachelors, one in Mass Communication and one in Digital Cinema Arts, I packed up and headed west to the only place I knew my talent would be put to the test, the City of Angels.

Modeling: I did a bit of modeling in high school for a local photography studio but never really developed and interest for it until I got hired to work as a promotional model for major publicity stunts and red carpet events. One of those included being an underwear model for MaLo (Mario Lopez’s brand), and walking around the Grove with Mario and his entourage. Another was when I was a red carpet model posing with Jennifer Love Hewitt for Season Two of her hit show “the Client List”. Since then I’ve done some print work, but mostly stick to acting.

Talk to us about your stunt double experience.

Stunts came easy to me when I was put to the test on that movie set for PBS. My dad taught me to ride as soon as I could walk, and with all the reenacting, I picked up a few other tricks along the way. Unique skills such as knife and tomahawk throwing, lassoing, bow and arrow and medieval jousting were added to my arsenal of skills, thus making me of high value on a film set. And to think, at the time I was just playing. My skills with archery and gunplay, however, came straight from my dad. He used to compete in national shooting competitions for the National Guard and the Police and therefore passed a few of those skills onto me. The most entertaining thing about my stunt training though  was probably when Dad would bring in a new mustang (yes wild) and would make me test ride it. Lots of laughs for him as his friends there. Lots of getting bucked off for me. This somewhat obscure form of training did teach me to be fearless and led me to be more daring. It eventually led me to learn tricks on horseback, including but not limited to surfing the steed…. It’s exactly what it sounds like!

What’s your best gig or event thus far?

It’s hard to say which acting event was “the best” so far because they are all different. If I were to say what got me the most national exposure so far I’d say my appearance on “Tattoo Nightmares” and Spike TV comical reenactment show. If I were to base it on my most challenging role I’d say my work on the upcoming short film Misery Mountain where I had to step far being my “pretty boy” demographic and adopt a far darker character. Yet still if you were to go with my most enjoyable I think I’d still have to say my very first community theatre production “the Bachelor King.”

Any upcoming projects or initiatives you would like to discuss?

I’m excited for a few projects that are in the making. Legally I’m not allowed to discuss details but you can bet you’ll be seeing me a lot. One that I can discuss is an upcoming web series that’s going to be airing next spring. Well, fingers crossed. I’m working with a few other industry professionals to get it off the ground. This project is unique for me because in addition to acting, I’ll be writing, directing, and producing it along with them. After the pilot is done we aim to start a Kickstarter campaign and let the public decide. We’ve got the basics mapped out and ladies and gentlemen this project has some serious potential. “Brothers” as we are calling it taps into the potential of human beings ability not only to change and grow, but better the lives of the people you care most about. With a dose of classic humor and a strong emotional journey I’ve already fallen in love with the story. Here’s hoping our viewers will too.

In addition one of my short films is in pre-production and gearing up for its first shoot date. This is something I wrote in college as a tribute to my Fraternity but never really expected it to be produced. After a project I did wrapped, the producer got wind of it and demanded to see it and decided to make it happen. You can imagine my excitement. He wants me to take on one of the main roles, naturally.

How do you get inspired?

I get inspired every time I get out of bed in the morning. One reason I love living in Hollywood is the amazing energy of the industry. So many people are here following their dreams and putting themselves out there. You can feel it in the air. I drink in that energy and think to myself “ok Jimbo, let’s make a today a miracle”. Corny yes, but trust me it works. Also having had the chance to work with and meet so many amazing people I am constantly assured that if I work hard I can indeed achieve my goals and change the world.

Describe you promotions experience.

I didn’t get my start in this industry until my senior year in college when a buddy of mine got me on board but I had been doing promotions for as long as I could remember. Like acting, I just didn’t know you could get paid for it. I keep an open mind and an open calendar when it comes to these things because they are pretty darn random. I’ve done everything from giving away sunglasses at Santa Monica pier to hosting a VIP tent at the Playboy Mansion. My socially cheerful and outgoing personality got my foot in the door and my talent for planning and dealing with tough situations got me promoted on some bigger projects. To name a few I worked as manager for events involving MLB, NCAA basketball, and House of Blues.

What is your dream role?

My dream role is the one I could never venture to dream. My favorite actor is Jack Nicholson but I would be ecstatic if I could take on a role like Leonardo Dicaprio in the Departed. In fact any role Decaprio does would be a dream come true for me. I have trained at many acting schools since I’ve been in LA and studied several methods so that when the time comes I can take on absolutely any role. People ask me “what kind of actor are you; comical, dramatic, action, or what?” I just laugh and say “Yes”. To me there is no one kind of actor. To be one you need to be comical, dramatic, and action packed. It takes all that and more to succeed, not just in acting, but in anything.

What are your leisure time activities?

In my spare time you can find me at the gym, the beach, in my Hollywood luxury apartment writing my next work, building my production company, or out with friends (making poor decisions no doubt).

Thank you.

For more details about Jimmy Flint-Smith visit http://about.me/jimmy_fs

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