BAFTA Award Winner, “Marty Goes To Hollywood” to Premier at Marina Del Rey Film Festival

August 7, 2016

MARTY GOES TO HOLLWOOD is a documentary about a Scottish actor, Marty Docherty, who landed a role as Tom Hank’s brother in the feature film, ‘Cloud Atlas.” Unable to afford a trip to the Hollywood premier, his friends team up to help him raise the money and decide to make a documentary about the process. Arriving in California days before the screening, the lads learn that Warner Bros. will not allow Marty to walk the red carpet. In the face of adversity they set out to defy the big studio and crash the premier, finding tremendous support and forging a life-long friendship in the process.

The film will screen at the 2016 Marina Del Rey Film Festival on August 13 at 3pm.

Hollywood Revealed: Hi, Marty.

Marty Docherty: Hello.

HR: I guess we should go back to the beginning. How did you land the role in “Cloud Atlas?”

MD: I auditioned for the part of ‘Eddie Hoggins’ in Glasgow. I thought I was maybe at the wrong audition as all the guys there were much older than me and much bigger (though that isn’t hard as I stand 5 feet 7 inches).Image I was off book for the casting and I thought it went really well. Two weeks later my agent called to say that they loved my tape and that Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski’s wanted to see me in London for a recall. I was pretty nervous but my thoughts were just keep doing what you’ve already done and you have a chance. The recall went very well and the part of Eddie Hoggins was mine. One week later it was confirmed that I was in a huge movie when they called to say that my costume fitting would be in Berlin!

HR: How was the idea for the documentary conceived?

MD: It came about when I returned back to Glasgow from filming. I met my very good friend, Ian Bustard for a pint at our favorite pub of the time, The Griffin Bar. Ian was asking me how the shoot had gone and I was regailing him with tales of Andy and Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving. It had been such an amazing time for me as “Cloud Atlas” was my first feature film and my first experience marty-docherty-488390471of something so large. Ian thought I was buzzing with the excitement of it all. He then said that I must go to the premiere in L.A. I of course said I’d love to go (and was sure I’d be invited) but there was no way I could afford it. He then said ‘why don’t we make a documentary about you raising the money to go?’ I thought that was a great idea, so Ian called Martyn Robertson, a friend, producer and film maker with his own company, Urbancroft Films. Martyn said it was the best idea he’d heard in seven years. So the concept of Marty Goes to Hollywood was born.

HR: What were your initial thoughts about actually going to Hollywood?

MD: It was a combination of nervousness and excitement. Having never been to the USA I was unsure of what to expect. I wanted to make sure that I make the best of any opportunities that came my way. Before we went we had no idea of what was going to happen so the feelings were more of excitement, of opportunity and possibility. The one thing I did know of L.A. was that there was a business there and thus opportunity. That’s the thing about being an actor… you just never know.

HR: Were you surprised when your home town got behind your plans to go to the premier?

MD: Yes, I was quite surprised at the support we got in Glasgow. The nature of people here is that of community, of wanting to help people if they can, of wanting to see one of they’re own doing well. I’m sure some people thought Radio‘who cares. It’s just some actor who wants to go to Hollywood.’  However the story started to get arms and legs and all of a sudden we were on the radio and in newspapers. Even the Lord Provost of Glasgow got involved, and we got good luck messages from Alex Salmond, Scotland first minister and the leader of the Scottish Labor Party. Glasgow is full of generous people and the bottom line is I wouldn’t have made it to Hollywood without them. Glasgow is by far the best city in the World – apart from L.A.

HR: How were you received by the British community once you arrived in L.A.?

MD: The reception we got from Brits in  L.A. was amazing. They seemed to take our story to heart and backed us all the way. We had been invited to meet them for breakfast at Cecconis, an amazing restaurant, on the Saturday morning and Tuesday morning. Craig Young and Eileen Lee, who run Brits in L.A. couldn’t do enough for us. Craig contacted his manager and arranged a meeting for me. By the time Tuesday  came round we needed help more than ever and I was absolutely bowled over with the support. Again, like so many people on this project, they helped when they didn’t need to. The best parts of human nature Melrosenever ceases to amaze me.

HR: What was the biggest misconception you had about L.A?

MD: I guess I thought it would be smaller and was amazed at the scale of the city. I also thought everyone would be a hippy, doing hot yoga, but when I got there I loved it! What’s not to like? I thought it was a very healthy city full of very beautiful people. Our days were pretty busy it was hard to appreciate certain things. I was impressed by the Roosevelt hotel! What a place!

HR: Are you surprised at all the positive reaction “Marty Goes to Hollywood” has received?

MD: Very surprised. First off I was amazed at the finished product and the great job Ian, Martyn, Chris Kinghorn, the cameraman, Thom Clark, the editor and Scott Twynholm, our music composer did. It must have been hard for those guys finding the best 53 minutes out of over 100 hours of footage.

The bottom line is that people liked our story and what we were trying to accomplish. Nothing we did was set up. That gave an honesty to us and our journey that peopleImage 3 responded to. Our story also became a bit of ‘David vs Goliath,’ and who doesn’t want to root for the underdog? The support and goodwill that came our way seemed to shine through in the film and all the people I met from the business, actors, producers in the main, loved it and loved it for different reasons. The film covers a lot of topics about being an actor and life in general and if anything it’s a film about friendship. I think that’s why people have been so positive about it. This film has been an amazing journey. Memories and friendships forged forever. The most incredible part of an 18 year acting career .

HR: Did you ever dream the the documentary would air on the BBC?

MD: I never really thought the BBC would be interested in our film. I’m not sure they would have had we not been nominated for a Scottish BAFTA New Talent Award, then subsequently winning it. I saw three or four rough cuts of the movie before I actually saw the finished version. Each time it improved as is normal with the grading process, the music etc . The final cut is an excellent film, worthy of a BAFTA nomination, if I do say so myself. Still to get in on the BBC at Christmas was just the icing on the cake. The BAFTA and the TV screening was a testament and a small reward to all those who had contributed their expertise for very little money. bafta4It was also a chance to bring the movie to a wider audience. All of which made me feel very proud and much taller than I actually am. My family and friends were particularly delighted as they had heard so much but hadn’t seen anything. In the week leading up to the TV screening the BBC advertised it about 10 times a day and we couldn’t believe it. A chat in a pub 3 years earlier had led to this?! If someone had said that to me 2 years earlier , I would have said they were a candidate for a lunatic asylum.

HR: Where did you watch it and what was that like?

MD: We went back to the Griffin bar were it had all began. Friends and family joined us. There were around 60 people there. What a buzz ! It was also a bit surreal as the TV announcer said ‘ Now on BBC2 , one man has a dream in ‘Marty Goes To Hollywood’. I thought, that’s me!!! It was like it wasn’t really happening. I looked around at a lot of those people who helped in some way and I was more interested in their reactions. People were laughing. Some were crying. I had a small moment to myself to reflect and thought how brilliant it was that we had a dream, we achieved it, we won a BAFTA 12434706_1843664495779074_1770093464_nand now we were on the BBC. I felt humbled by it all. Dreams really can come true.

HR: You’re probably more of a celebrity now for being in the documentary than for being in “Cloud Atlas.”

MD: That’s possible ! On the night of the screening I got in a taxi to go home. As I climbed in the taxi driver said, ‘Hi Marty how you’? I’d never met the man before in my life! He then said, ‘You were on the telly tonight, eh?’ Incredulously I said ‘Eh , that’s right aye ‘. I’d been on a radio program two weeks before to promote the documentary. The driver then said, ‘I really enjoyed you on the radio a couple of weeks ago’. I was pretty stunned. I guess taxi drivers know everything in Glasgow. My profile has definitely been raised by the documentary. A lot of times people pass me in street and say, ‘Awrite Marty’ (awrite is Glasgow slang for all right ). Other times people in a bar or a cafe will say, ‘ I know you. Where have we met before?’ The truth is we’ve never met but people recognize your face and think they know you. I quite enjoy it. Glasgow people are not backward at coming forward. They won’t be shy at telling you they know you. Certainly for a few months I’ve basked in the glory of my new found minor celebrity status.

HR: What are you working on now?

MD: Right now I’m doing a short film, a modern dayMGTH BAFTA FLYER (Hollywood) adaptation of Tam O ‘ Shanter, a very famous poem by Rabbie Burns with a visual arts company. I had my first day green screen filming last week. I’m very excited about it as they have a distributor in place on the strength of their  previous work. I’ve just finished playing a lawyer in 6 episodes of “River City,” the Scottish soap opera. I’m about to play a part in “Outlander” and I’m currently writing a one man show with the resident writer at the Citizens Theatre which we plan to put on in the Autumn. Exciting times!

HR: Any plans to come back to Hollywood?

MD: At the moment no. Not because I don’t want to. I would have loved to stayed on but the price of getting a work Visa there was just a bit much. However I would love to come back. I can see myself running down to muscle beach at 7am, going over my casting for that day in glorious sunshine. That’s in my dream of course, but as we’ve already proved, dreams really can come true.

HR: Thanks for chatting with us, Marty, and congratulations on all your success.

MD: Thank you.

MARTY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD screens at:

The Marina Del Rey Film Festival
3pm August 13, 2016

Cinemark 18XD
Howard Hughes Promenade
6081 Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045
MAP

Link to the movie trailer: https://vimeo.com/149141219
Buy tickets: HERE

 

 

 

 

TOBY MEULI: The Adventure Has Just Begun

Los Angeles, October 4, 2011

Up-and-coming actor Toby Meuli made his feature film debut in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” where he portrayed one of Mark Zuckerberg’s friends. Meuli also played a strong supporting role in the Lifetime TV movie, “The Craigslist Killer.”

Hailing from Parker, Colorado, he has been in Los Angeles for only 6 years but has already managed to carve out a solid reputation for himself. On television he has been a guest star on shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Cold Case,” and “Bones” and “NCIS” and most recently he landed a co-starring role in MTV’s new hit show, “Death Valley” in which he plays a young reporter covering the Zombie invasion that is the subject of the fast paced series.

The actor however might perhaps be most recognizable for his part in the award winning Aretha Franklin “Snickers” commercial in which he is the ‘diva’ complaining in the backseat.

We caught up with Meuli (pronounced My-Lee) to talk about what’s it’s like being a young working actor in Hollywood.

HR: When did you first realize you’d have to move to Los Angeles to pursue what you love?

TOBY MEULI: My high school, Ponderosa in Parker, had a fantastic theater department and Kim Moore, the director, encouraged me early on. Then my senior year in high school I studied at a professional acting studio in Denver (The Acting Studio) where I was introduced to acting as a craft AND a possible way to make money. It really opened my eyes because I didn’t know anybody who was a professional actor and here were people saying, “I think you can do this.” So I decided to major in theater with my goal being moving to L.A. My parents also consistently encouraged me to do what I loved.

HR: In a recent Q&A, Anton Yelchin (star of “Star Trek” and the Sundance winning film, “Like Crazy”) said that he never studied acting, just dove in professionally at the age of nine, learning tons by being on sets. You got a B.F.A. in Theater Performance from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Where do you stand on the” to study or not to study” question? Has it really made a difference in your career, or do you think jumping in at an earlier age might have been a more beneficial career move?

TOBY MEULI: Great question. In my experience, acting is an experiential art form, meaning you have to do it to get better. The danger with studying acting is that you become really good at talking about acting and disconnected from the play of it. The danger of going straight into the profession is that you don’t get to act very often because the actual work can be scarce. Baylor Theatre does a great job of always putting their students on stage using great texts—it was as close to an acting boot camp as you could get. It’s the best way to learn. Whether it’s formal or not, the key for me is constantly being in a posture of learning. Nobody has ever mastered acting and I think doing good work (paid or not) and then learning from it is the real joy of this craft. I’m not taking class right now but a couple times a week I rent a theater in Hollywood and work on various scripts. Some of them are for auditions or jobs, but some are not. I want to play leads in a great movies so I’ll get good screenplays and prep the roles. It’s invigorating. Maybe I’ll get the call, maybe I won’t, but I’m ready and I’m learning.

HR: Does acting come easy for you, or do you agonize over the roles you play? How do you prepare?

TOBY MEULI: Acting is fun. That’s why people love to do it and why it’s fun to watch. Inside of action and cut or from lights up to lights down is my favorite state of being. The prep can be a long process—often not conducive to an LA actor’s life, but my process is essentially trying to see into the world of the story. Meaning I try not to look too much at my lines and more at what’s happening from a story perspective. Then it’s just about igniting my imagination in the context of the story so that when action is called you can just hop in and play.

HR: You still study?

TOBY MEULI: See above. Posture of learning.

HR: What was the first thing you did once you officially moved to L.A?

TOBY MEULI: Sent letters to agents announcing my arrival. They weren’t as excited as I was but I eventually got a meeting with a commercial agent. I told him I was a “damn good actor”. He said it didn’t matter in commercials (not true) and he couldn’t rep me because I wasn’t in SAG. I told him I’d be in SAG soon and he shouldn’t be so shortsighted. He told me to leave his office. I was initially discouraged then I went to the Griffith Observatory and in an overly sentimental moment, looked over the city and ultimately felt good about joining a group of people pursuing their dreams. A few months later I booked a series of national commercials, joined SAG, and the agent I ultimately signed with bought a car with the money from my commissions.

HR: Think that original commercial agent you went to see knows he blew it?

TOBY MEULI: Maybe. If he watches TV he does. That said, there’s a culture of bitterness and cynicism here in L.A. so I try to let that kind of stuff go. It’s a good story but I came out on top so I’m not going to hold a grudge. I try and forget the rude people like that guy and focus on the people I’m grateful for along this journey. I keep a running list (close to 150 people) who have encouraged me, invested in me and kept me going. Whenever I’m feeling cynical I like to look at that list and think about those people. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

HR: Nice. So what kind of kid were you growing up? Jock or a creative type? Outgoing or shy?

TOBY MEULI: Total jock. I played football, basketball and baseball in high school. I have 3 brothers (and a little sister) and we were constantly competing and giving each other shit. Football was my favorite and planned on playing in college but after a knee injury my senior year I found my way over to the theater department.

HR: What was your first acting role?

TOBY MEULI: I was in the ensemble of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” at my high school. At first I was just looking for an opportunity to be goofy on stage but then I got a taste of the camaraderie of the creative process and the intoxicating drug of a laughing, applauding audience. I was hooked.

HR: Who from the entertainment world were your influences back in Colorado?

TOBY MEULI: Jim Carrey in “Ace Ventura” and “Dumb and Dumber” were definitely two favorite movies for my buddies and me growing up. So much so that my middle school drama teacher said I imitated Jim Carrey too much in every scene. I took it as a compliment. As I grew artistically, I started admiring a bunch of great actors and stopped saying “Alllll righty then…”

HR: What was “The Social Network” set like?

TOBY MEULI: Really fantastic. Everybody was focused, professional and knew their job. Every single person seemed to have a confidence and mastery of their specific role. It was inspiring.

HR: Was Fitcher intimidating?

TOBY MEULI: No, he was just focused. I loved it. I was there to do my job and make this movie the best it could be and so was he. I do well under that sort of leadership. Playing sports growing up I had some tough coaches and my Dad is a US Marine so I wasn’t at all intimidated by David’s focus. He’s one of the greats.

HR: How did the leads interact with him on the days you were there?

TOBY MEULI: Everybody was incredibly professional and committed to doing his or her part in telling the story.

HR: What was your first big break here in Los Angeles?

TOBY MEULI: From a moneymaking perspective it was a Taco Bell commercial where I danced around with a burrito. It was really goofy and made me an instant celebrity amongst my friends and family. From an artistic perspective, which probably meant more to me personally, I was cast in Eugene O’Neil’s Mourning Becomes Electra at A Noise Within Theater Company here in LA. They’ve got a great reputation around town and it was an honor to be around a great group of classically trained actors.

HR: How did you land your role on “Death Valley?”

TOBY LEULI: The auditions were a lot of improv, which is right up my alley. I’m an alumni of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy program and still perform there occasionally. The producers described the show at Reno 911 meets Zombieland—and like most people who watch our show; I got the essence of it right away.

HR: Tell us about your character on that show.

TOBY MEULI: My character, Jamie, is fresh out of film school and the only guy in the Death Valley world who is unarmed and untrained in how to deal with the undead monsters. Jamie is scared a lot but still trying to be professional. Following the Undead Task Force may be what Jamie gets paid for, but staying alive is a full time job. Also, the cops can be terrible at their jobs so it’s a lot of me looking at the camera and going “what the?!?”

HR: What’s the vibe like on “Death Valley?” Is it a fast paced schedule?

TOBY MEULI: Everybody involves knows that we’re a part of something original; both funny and scary, which is a terribly difficult balance to pull off. There is an excited energy about it. It’s fast paced but tremendously invigorating. There is a lot of improv so the producers and directors work hard to cultivate an atmosphere conducive to that type of comedy–not an easy feat in the 16th hour of a night shoot.

HR: Is the show coming back for a second season?

TOBY MEULI: We don’t know yet. We’re 5 episodes into our 13-episode season and viewers of all backgrounds, not just typical MTV viewers, are enjoying it (including my Mom). MTV is known for creating innovative TV so I’m hoping they give us a second season and let this show help define their scripted programming for the future.

HR: Did you get any respect from Aretha Franklin? Was she cool or a diva?

TOBY MEULI: She was very cool. At first I was kind of in awe but then we all just became actors working together. She did a great job.

HR: Name three actors or actresses you’d like to work with?

TOBY MEULI: Man, there are too many to name…Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Matt Damon, Steve Carell, Thomas McCarthy, Paul Giamati, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo. Everybody. Basically, if your movies come out around November, I want to work with you.

HR: What do you think about the current trend where people like Paris Hilton and the Kardashians have become famous for doing little to nothing, launching careers by doing porn.

TOBY MEULI: If this is a veiled offer to do porn you’re going to have to call my agent. I’ll need to read the script. That said, being famous as a career choice has become increasingly popular and I don’t so much blame the individuals who are famous as the consumers, including myself, who put them there. Celebrities are the one people group where everybody feels like they have to have an opinion. I long for the day when the paparazzi can’t sell their pictures because everybody, me included, is so engaged in their own lives that they don’t care.

HR: If you could pick a past decade in which to have been an actor, which decade would it be and why?

TOBY MEULI: Maybe in Shakespeare’s time when troupes of actors traveled from town to town doing shows. I did a national tour a few years ago and it was a blast, traveling around to different cities and playing different venues.

HR: What celebrity have you met out here that has left you speechless?

TOBY MEULI: Nobody really comes to mind. The past few years I’ve mentally made a transition to viewing famous actors as colleagues in the same industry. We’re all professionals. Pro athletes however, will leave me speechless pretty quickly. I met Adrian Peterson and I wanted to kiss him on the face. He’s a specimen.

HR: Are most of your friends in the entertainment business?

TOBY MEULI: It’s a mix of both. I love to hear what my artistic friends are up to– what stories they are excited about telling, what they are dreaming about, how we can collaborate. But I get tired of the who-do-you-know fame culture of Hollywood.

HR: Do you have a career game plan or still waiting to see what gigs show up on your doorstep?

TOBY MEUIL: I’m a planner. I’ve always had an idea about where I want to go. That’s not to say that I’d alter my plan based on what showed up on my doorstep. It’s all an adventure. Long term though, I want to do great movies.

HR: What have you seen lately that you’ve loved?

TOBY MEULI: Some great movies so far this year: Win Win (probably my favorite), Tree of Life, Crazy Stupid Love, Midnight in Paris.

HR: We understand you are writing a feature film script.

TOBY MEULI: Yes, I’m writing several things right now. My management company has a production company arm so I’m developing a really exciting original TV show with them right now. I’m also writing a feature based on a true story of a 27 year old car salesmen who runs for US Congress. Its sort of a Moneyball set in the world of local politics. The other feature is about a copywriter who develops an algorithm that guarantees a successful ad campaign. More on both of those soon. Maybe our next interview will be during the press tour for one of those projects that I just completed as an actor and writer. Stay tuned.

HR: Describe your perfect L.A. weekend.

TOBY MEULI: Hiking, beaches, new restaurants, cool bars, hanging with my wife and our friends, watching football, reading a great book, seeing movies, maybe catching a band, finding fun. Nothing too original—L.A. is a great city if you can get past the traffic. The perfect thing would be a trafficless L.A. That’s heaven to me.

HR: What’s the worst thing about being an actor?

TOBY MEULI: The isolation. I’m a people person so moving from gig to gig or audition to audition can be tough. That’s why I like to create my own projects, if only to work with my talented friends.

HR: And what’s the best?

TOBY MEULI: First, the work. Hands down. The actual acting is the best. Second, the people. Collaborating artistically is the fastest way to become friends and share your life with somebody. It’s a special bond.

HR: When can we next see you on “Death Valley?”

TOBY MEULI: Monday nights at 10:30 on MTV. Get excited.

Learn more about Toby at www.TobyMeuli.com

Julia Roberts… what the f**k?

Who knew America’s Sweetheart had it in her. A mouth like a sailor, God bless her.

It was actually refreshing to hear Julia Roberts drop a bunch of F-Bombs at a Film julia_robertsSociety of Lincoln Center event honoring actor, Tom Hanks. Ms. Roberts unloaded the expletives as she roasted Hanks, starting her three and a half minute turn at the microphone with “It’s late, I’m paying my babysitter overtime and I have to pee.”  She then when on to exclaim, “Tom Hanks. What the fuck?”

Roberts was one of the last people to speak on Hanks’ behalf that evening, so with all of her jokes stolen by others, Julia let loose.

You go, girl.

You can see video of the event here:

http://www.popeater.com/movies/article/julia-roberts-drops-f-bombs-at-tom-hanks/450123