Jon Lee Brody is an actor and Martial Artist (he is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do) with a dual degree in Accounting and Finance. Jon was accepted for admissions to prestigious law schools like Harvard and Northwestern, but he...
Jon Lee Brody is an actor and Martial Artist (he is a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do) with a dual degree in Accounting and Finance. Jon was accepted for admissions to prestigious law schools like Harvard and Northwestern, but he instead chose to go against the grain and pursue his other childhood dream: acting. He didn’t wait long to buy a one way ticket to Los Angeles, and since then he hasn’t looked back. You can see him TODAY in the giant summer blockbuster sequel to Star Trek – Into Darkness. We talk about his various projects and what lies ahead in his career in this exclusive interview. Read below for the full Q&A…
You have done work on TV series, films, wrote, directed, the list goes on. What was your journey like to become so multi disciplined in so many areas?
JLB: Well, when I first started, I was focused on acting. I definitely had a passion for all aspects of filmmaking but I knew that I had to take things one step at a time. Sometimes people try to learn everything at once and that very seldom works out. I knew that I had to make sure my acting was on point, and I am still a perfectionist when it comes down to it. Then as my career progressed, I started to explore editing. The editing started when I was cutting together demo reels. And then I started applying what I learned on various movie sets to directing. That entire time, I was learning how to write screenplays. I was always a pretty creative writer, but screenplays are a different animal. But like I said, all of these things came to me one step at a time. The journey has been great. I’m still learning and when it comes down it, I’ll always be learning. I think as my career goes on, I want to keep improving and keep learning new things.
You stated you were a big fan of Good Will Hunting and Titanic. It seems dramas and well written films initially motivated you to get into the business. How has your body of work thus far correlated to the types of projects that inspired you years ago?
JLB: You’ve certainly done your homework! I’m impressed [laughs]! I saw both of those movies when I was in junior high. And that is when I truly fell in love with cinema as an art. Up until then, movies were just a fun thing to do with friends. But it was after seeing those movies that I started to appreciate the art of filmmaking. I’m not sure if my being a fan dictates the kind of projects I take on, but they are definitely two movies that I look to for inspiration.
As an multi-racial actor, do you find it a struggle to interact with casting directors based on your Korean ethnicity? Has this situation decreased due to your resume building over the years?
JLB: Casting has actually been pretty good to me and I’ve had a chance to play a variety of roles. I’m very grateful for that.
You’re very tall and you are passionate about sports. Down the line, could we possibly see you take the leading role in a Jeremy Lin bio pic? Would that be of interest to you?
JLB: I do love basketball. Jeremy is a guy who I admire. He had an uphill battle just getting to the NBA. And then another uphill battle to stay in the NBA. And those battles will continue. As far as playing him in a movie, that’s a tough one to answer. Ultimately, it’s not up to me. But if the director and producers thought I was the right fit then sure. But the most important thing is that his story would be told right.
Of course you are in the big summer blockbuster Star Trek Into Darkness. What could you tell us about your character?
JLB: I play a Star Fleet Security Officer. Not much I can say other than I am a redshirt. I’m sure any Trekkie knows what that means…[laughs]!
Interestingly enough, the producers’ background on the film is in TV, which means there’s always a last-minute possibility of changing story, dialogue, character points, action beats, etc. Having worked in TV as