Interview with Brian Stepanek | Do What You Love

When we do what we love, and when we do it with love, all the actions will be inspired by the feeling of appreciation. As a result, time disappears, actions flow with ease and the tiredness feels satisfying. That is how we evolve, that is how we grow and become more. 

Actor and director Brian Stepanek who can be seen on Universal Pictures’ feature film, Green Book, says:“(…) If you do what you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”


Introduction

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Brian Stepanek?

I am a husband, father, actor and director.

  • How does your personal life journey contribute to your creative path as an actor?

Steve Martin told a story in his book about how Johnny Carson once told him that he’d use everything he’s ever learned in his life in his career as an entertainer whether it’s juggling or a magic trick he learned when he was a teenager.  I have found that to be true. The more life experience you have to draw from the better.

Entertainment Industry

  • The entertainment industry is bursting with a diversity of choices for viewers. In your opinion, what does it take to create a TV show or a film that is memorable to the audience?

Relatable, likable characters.

  • Although, there seem to be more and more opportunities in the entertainment industry, what do you think the right mindset to succeed in what you want?

You have to love the process. If fame and fortune is the goal, you will always be disappointed. It’s all about the grind.

Acting

  • Have the experience and skills you developed in musical theatre been a contributing factor to your expansion as an actor in TV/film? If so, how?

Absolutely.  Musical theater is such hard work. I had to learn how to take care of myself physically and to be disciplined with my work habits.  It’s also a great way to learn timing. Every night you have an audience that will let you know if you hit that joke right or not.

  • You play a part in the just released Universal Pictures’ feature film, Green Book directed by Peter Farrelly. What did you feel when you first read the script?

I loved it.  I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it.

  • How was the process of studying and empathizing with your character? Please, elaborate.

Villains don’t know that they’re villains. This was no exception. This character has no idea that he’s a bad guy and that makes him scarier.  He just thinks he’s doing his job.

  • The performance of the ensemble cast is very powerful. What makes the scene you appear in the Green Book so crucial to the story?

The entire cast is really wonderful.  I don’t want to give too much away for readers that haven’t seen the movie yet but I’ll just say that my character is a bit of a mirror for Viggo’s.  He recognizes himself in my character and makes a decision about who he wants to be for the rest of his life.

  • The Green Book is based on true events set in 1962. Do you think the narrative behind the film makes it relevant to the world of today?

Yes.  I think we all just need to talk to each other.  Get in the same room and recognize the things we have in common.

  • What other projects are you working on at this time and how do you envision your desired future?

I’m recurring on “Young Sheldon,” “I’m Sorry,” and an Apple TV series. I play the dad on the Nickelodeon cartoon “Loud House” and I also direct multi-cam.  I’d love to do more of all of it.

  • What thrills you most about being an actor?

When I hear the words, “You booked it.”

Life

  • Do you have any practice or habit you can come back to when you want to re-connect with yourself?

I try to work out and meditate every day. The hardest part of this job is the downtime between jobs. Spending time with my family is my touchstone.

Good Soul

  • Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?

I’m a big fan of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Close Up

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is “The Essence of a Joyful Living.” How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

WOW.  That’s intense.  I think you are saying you have to love what you do.  And I would agree. What’s the saying? “If you do what you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

  • When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks.  What is your take on such a statement?

I just want to add…” but you better work your butt off.”


Brian Stepanek
Photography by The Riker Brothers