I actually did this interview a few weeks before Halloween and didn’t get a chance to post it until now. Enjoy!
The Top Shelf would like to welcome Brandon Stumpf here. This is in my opinion huge! We were gonna do this in January it didn’t happen but we’ve got him on the blog now and just in time for the big Halloween bash! For those of you that have no idea who Brandon is, he’s been the cover model for every e-book in Jon Merz’s Lawson series, he’s played Lawson in the book trailer for The Kensei which was released by St. Martin’s Griffin. What you might not know is that he’s actually been cast to play Lawson in a TV series!
TTS: How did you meet up with Jon and when was it decided that you would be Lawson?
Brandon: Jon and I met a few years back when he was first putting the idea of bringing Lawson to the small screen. He was looking through databases of actors and came across my profile, and sent me a message. We agreed to meet and chat about the project, and shot a teaser as a sort of “working audition”. I fit the look, but Jon needed to see if I had the acting and stunt chops to take on the role. Needless to say the shoot went very well, and we have been working together ever since.
TTS: Have you read the books? What do you think of Lawson?
Brandon: I have read all of the books, of course. I see a lot of myself in Lawson to be honest with you. We are both a hard breed of man, have a good moral compass and do not simply roll over and take orders, but challenge the rules and what is truly right or wrong. It is Lawson’s ability to think outside the box and question the motives of those he is working against, or for in many cases, that have kept him alive and made him the Fixer he is.
TTS: Do you find yourself having things in common with the character?
Brandon: We both train hard and try to be the best at what we do. We have a devotion to those we care about, and a desire to look out for the best interests of those who may not be able to fight for themselves. He and I are not without our faults, and we can be stubborn as all heck, but that more often serves to our advantage than disadvantage. We also share a dislike for the need to drink blood J
TTS: Every actor brings part of themselves to the characters they play. What do you feel you bring to Lawson?
Brandon: I bring to the table an honesty to the acting in that I really can relate to the tug of war Lawson seems to constantly be in with The Council. I was never a blind follower in the Army, and while I did my job I never thought twice to question why we did what we did and make sure that the things I did fell in line with what I truly felt was right. With that military training also comes the mental and physical toughness, a sort of sick sense of adventure and thrill seeking (I am an avid obstacle racer, love skydiving and white water rafting….heck, anything I can get into), and of course the ability to handle a variety of combat situations and weapons and think quickly on my feet.
TTS: As I said earlier, you are on the cover of every Lawson e-book there is and in each one you have a gun prop or a sword of some sort. How do book cover shoots go? Is there any preparation or do you all just show up at the agreed spot and they go here’s the props have at it?
Brandon: The latter, really. It isn’t so much my job for those shoots to put too much thought into what we are doing. Photo shoots are much different than filming, and when we get together, Jon and the crew have a rough idea of what they want to get, and we go out and have fun and experiment with the location until we get what we need. A lot comes from spontaneity! I do have some of my own prop guns and swords, but Jon has most of what we need for any shoot.
TTS: Without giving us any spoilers, what do you hope for Lawson in the future?
Brandon: It is hard to say what I see in Lawson’s future. He has been born and trained into this crazy way of life, and I am not sure he would ever be able to escape that which he is meant to do. Would Lawson like to be able to have a “normal” life with Talya, sure. Is there any way that I can see Lawson as a retired fixer…..not a chance! Lawson is still young by Vampire standards, so I still believe there is a LOT of adventures in his future, and hardships to go with them. I like seeing Lawson’ missions take him to different locals outside of Boston, so that would be great for the series….but that could also be my selfish desire to travel J
TTS: Lastly, since it’s Halloween, what are your top ten favorite reads for the spooky month?
Brandon: You can curl up with anything by King during this time of year and have a fun read. I also like classic tales like those from Poe. I am also a zombie fanatic, so I want to get my hands on World War Z by Max Brooks (certainly doesn’t hurt that The Walking Dead is starting up again this weekend). Sorry, not a top ten list so to speak, but there is just too much out there.
TTS: I would like to thank Brandon once again for stopping by! Was great to have you!
Brandon: Thank you for taking the time to interview me! I am very excited to be able to bring Lawson to life for some many Fixer fans, and am looking forward to sharing those experiences on the screen with you all.