Jerome Velinsky: Method Man | FilmInk

Method was absolutely a turning point in my career and something Tawni [Bryant, co-creator, co-star] and I did in order to create more visibility for ourselves as artists,” says Jerome Velinsky about the webseries. “We were tired and frustrated of feeling like we had no control over our careers – a feeling I know so many artists grapple with.

“On that front, the series was a huge personal accomplishment and I’m so proud of what we achieved. It’s so easy to give up on projects, especially when the fear of failure creeps in – so it was really important to us that we pushed through and finished what we started. The reaction and attention Method received was a huge confidence booster for us personally – above all it proved that we had the ability to be creators and I’ve never looked back.”

Since Method, Jerome has featured in international horror Fun House, as the voice of Amadis in the highly acclaimed game Horizon Forbidden West, as Dracula [below] in the Universal Monsters x Fortnite series We Will be Monsters, and most recently in the showy part of Anthony Koletti in Underbelly: Vanishing Act.

Jerome Velinsky isn’t restricted to working in front of the camera, with a directorial debut in the works and his screenplays gaining traction in the US.

Tell us how you got into acting?

I grew up watching my mum do lots of theatre in the Macedonian Theatre Group in Melbourne. Getting to tour with her around Australia was one of my favourite childhood memories. I found that whole world so exhilarating and I know that would have been one of my earliest inspirations for acting. In high school I began to take it more seriously. It became a beautiful escape for me through some really trying times and I knew it was something more than just a subject at school – it was in my blood.

Did you study acting, writing or directing, and if so, where and what was the experience like?

I studied acting and directing separately and I’m so glad that I did that. Straight out of high school I did an Advanced Diploma in screen production, focusing on directing – and then as an actor I’ve trained at many different places in Australia and Canada – most intensively at 16th Street Actors Studio.

Both experiences taught me so much and helped guide me to what resonates with me as an artist.

I believe with any training it’s all about what you put into it and what you take out of it. I’ve also learnt the importance of trusting what works for you and what doesn’t. There’s no right or wrong way – there’s no roadmap that’s going to work for everyone.

photo by Rebecca Dimovski

Are you a method actor and why/why not?

To some degree I’d say that I am a method actor, but I don’t think the answer is as black and white as that. I feel every role demands a different approach – even if it’s a slight adjustment.

So in terms of preparation, I want to immerse myself in the character and the world of the story as much as I possibly can and do whatever it takes for me to feel it truly living inside me. Sometimes that means learning a new skill in the real world – other times it’s more imaginative.

I definitely allow the character to inform me on what it’s going to take to stand truthfully in their skin.

What sort of films do you want to make as a writer/director? And what’s in the works?

Such a tough question because I feel overwhelmed by everything that I want to make! I’m a fan of films across all genres, but I’m mostly excited by the extremes of each and find myself gravitating to dark, psychological thrillers and on the other end – daring, fast-paced comedies. I’m a huge fan of A24’s slate and think they’ve made some really bold and exciting choices, especially in the genre space. I’m currently in development with my own psychological thriller, which will be my feature directorial debut. It’s a strange and haunting piece, a slow burn that hopefully will start a conversation. It’s important to me that beyond the laughs or the scares that my work has something to say.

Tell us about your voice work on Horizon Forbidden West, and also how you got the gig?

I’ve been doing voice over work for many years in Australia, but this was my first foray into the U.S. video game world and it was such an exciting experience. I auditioned for the role via a self tape I recorded in my bedroom – but it wasn’t until a whole year later that I was offered the role! I was stoked.

Voicing video games is so different than film and TV acting – it demands a lot more of your imagination in order to truthfully capture the essence of these fantastical worlds – especially when you’re often recording in such a confined space. I loved it.

Where were you during Covid and was it an opportunity for you to write?

I was in LA and it was quite a surreal and distressing time as I know it has been for so many. As impatient as I am – I’m also comfortable with being quiet and introspective. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to dive into my writing, which is exactly what I did. I finished another screenplay that is a really personal piece for me and perhaps one of my favourite things that I’ve written to date.

What’s next?

I’ve just had one of my newest screenplays optioned by a major company in the U.S., which has been such exciting news and I’m keen to see that take shape. I’m also currently in development with the psychological thriller that I mentioned earlier, which will be my feature directorial debut. It’s daunting embarking on what I know is such a mammoth task ahead, but what I’ve learnt through my career so far is not to wait until you feel ready, because you’ll be waiting for a long time… Getting a feature film off the ground is equal parts terrifying and exciting, but I find the challenge thrilling and I’m so eager for the next steps of that journey.

Follow Jerome on Instagram @jeromevelinsky

Check out the Method series here

Main photo by Rebecca Dimovski

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