Mykel Shannon Jenkins is an actor who has appeared in various television series and films. He will be remembered on TV for his role as Officer Murphy on General Hospital. Action fans will remember him for his role of American boxer Turbo in the 2010 action film Undisputed III: Redemption opposite Scott Adkins.
Jenkins’ latest film, The Last Heist, comes to a limited theatrical release as well as Video on Demand and iTunes on June 17th. World Film Geek was given the opportunity to talk with Mykel about the film.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk about The Last Heist.
My pleasure, my pleasure.
What attracted you to the film?
Well, Mr. Washington. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I loved the character and said I definitely want to breathe life into that character. I read the script and said “Wow, this is very interesting” as I’ve never part of a heist, or action film before. So I met with Mr. [Mike] Mendez [the director of The Last Heist] and I got to create the character and it took weeks.
I saw the film a few weeks ago and it doesn’t seem like Mr. Washington is a typical robber? How would you describe the character?
He’s an opportunist. I think Mr. Washington is the most American cat of the crew because he understands there’s opportunity to every situation to advance in life. He’s like the Black Donald Trump [laughs]. He’s out to get his. He doesn’t know how everyone is getting theirs, but he’s getting his. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do to get his. That’s how he is.
From the looks of it, you didn’t have any screen time with Henry Rollins [above, who plays Bernard, the “Windows Killer]. Did you get to interact with him on the set at all while making the film?
Well, this is what I really like about the movie field. Mr. Mendez has a lot of respect for the actors in terms of how they work. [Henry’s] part was written in a way like with a lot of serial killers, they want their privacy, their space. Henry was really into the role. So, basically, he wouldn’t come out really until it was party time and I like that because he was there and he was into the mindset to play the role. That worked for me. You can feel him. You can feel his presence and energy on the set of the film. And that’s a great environmental pool to have.
What is up next for you and do you have a message for the fans?
I’m doing my own films, like ones you’ll find at Wal-Mart [ed. One of Mykel’s latest, The Masked Saint, is available at Wal-Mart].
My message for the fans is actually some advice for aspiring actors and it’s something I would like to talk about. People act for a lot of reasons. Some act for fame, some act for the name, some act for money, some act for popularity, and some act because they can’t do anything else on the planet.
I would like to say if you are acting because you can’t do anything else on the planet, then you shouldn’t do it. Because it’s not worth your time. It’s like putting $10,000 worth of surgery, but you have the debt and still have to pay the loans. All that wealth and experience doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a job and if you’re not willing to put your own money on your own stuff, why would you expect anyone else money on your stuff? Do you want it so bad that you are willing to bet on yourself? Because if you do, then you are going to have a much better time convincing someone else. Because if you just say “well, your mama told you or your daddy told you”, doesn’t mean you’re gonna get it. There is a lot of talent out there today. If you want it, get it, pay your dues, and put your money down to prove you got what it takes.
Finally, I have to ask this before we end this interview. Do you still get recognized on the street for your role as Turbo from Undisputed III [which came out in 2010]?
Yeahhhh!!! [laughs] Come on man! You know it! That’s my man right there. I get people trying to throw hands at me and I’m like, ‘You don’t want to do that!’ That’s how I get down. I can’t even go to the airport without someone knowing me as Turbo, because I would go to the airport and someone would see me and go “Turbo!” That’s the kid! I’m hoping Mr. Washington gets that kind of look too!
Once again, I want to thank you Mykel for taking the time out of your schedule. I hope the fans will get to see The Last Heist and enjoy it as I did when it comes out on June 17th.
I’m excited about it too! Thank you!
Thanks to the great team at Katrina Wan PR and Mykel Shannon Jenkins for making this interview possible. The Last Heist will hit theaters, iTunes, and VOD platforms on June 17th from XLrator Media.