Jeremiah Watkins is a standup comedian and actor from Kansas. Watkins has been performing comedy for a number of years now, regularly performing at places like The Comedy Store and The Laugh Factory, as well as uploading a number of music videos and sketches to the internet. Recently he nabbed his first feature film starring role in Franck Khalfoun’s I-Lived. Watkins was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions for Bloody Disgusting.
BD: From what I gather you’ve been doing various forms of comedy for a while, yet your first starring role in a feature film was I-Lived, a horror movie. How did that come about?
JW: My friend, and fellow stand-up comedian, Dean Delray, referred me for the role. It was a very odd Hollywood moment. We were hanging out, and one of the producers of i-Lived, Alix Taylor hit him up, asking him if he knew any comedians that were my type that could also act. He texted her a picture of me, and also my website. A week later, I met with Alix Taylor for coffee, as well as Franck Khalfoun, the director. They liked my sketches and web content, and Franck came to see me later that night at The Comedy Store. I had a great set, and a couple months later, I started the audition process. After months of video auditions as well as multiple auditions in the room, I locked in the role.
BD: Is there a different mindset you have to get in when doing horror opposed to comedy or is performing just performing?
JW: When I film horror, suspense, or dramatic scenes, I really have to dial into my character and the setting that I’m in. Mentally, I have to go to a darker place. When filming comedy, I usually have the luxury of being able to joke around and goof off between takes. With horror, I feel like I have to stay in it until I’m done filming the entire scene.
BD: I-Lived tackles the social media/digital age we live. The message seems to be for better or worse, mostly worse in this case, social media has a large impact on what we do and the decisions we make. What are your thoughts? Do you think social media has too much power on our lives?
JW: I think that we are all, in some way, addicted to technology. People are always checking to see how many likes or shares their posts get. I have to consciously make an effort to not be on my phone too much. I think it’s important to still have real conversations with people, while maintaining good eye contact. It’s so easy to become that person that’s always on their phone, even when people are talking to them. I’m a comedian, so technology is a necessary evil. That being said, it’s an amazing way to stay connected with people, news, and videos around the world. Like any other tool, you just need to know how to use it properly.
BD: What’s on the horizon for Jeremiah Watkins? Can we expect to see you do some more horror?
JW: You can see me as one of the stars in an ensemble comedy coming out later this year called Betting on Baker, directed by Ryan Ederer and produced by Reza Riazi. I’m also onstage performing most nights of the week. I’m a huge fan of horror, so I definitely hope to do something again in this genre if the right project comes my way.
You can see Jeremiah Watkins now in I-Lived available on DVD from XLrator Media. To find out more about Jeremiah’s comedy visit him online at JeremiahWatkins.tv