Interviews

Interview with David Banks

David Roy Banks is an American actor. Currently best known for his role as Lane Hayes in Cut! He studied at the Groundlings and has appeared in over 100 commercials. Banks was born in Petaluma, California, the son of Tom Banks and Alyne Banks. His father Tom Banks was the Exec. at Foote Cone & Belding San Francisco, and later moved on to Grey Advertising. He was responsible for California Raisins, Bank Of America, C&H Sugar, and many more commercials. In 2004, Banks made his film debut in the drama Doing Hard Time, he played opposite Steven Bauer, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Giancarlo Esposito.

1. For the people who might not know you, could you introduce yourself?

I’m David Banks, a California native who grew up in a town so small that if you take a 5-minute cat nap while driving you might pass right through it. It sort of blends in with the mountains and a few cows. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I might not have made it out alive if I grew up in Los Angeles with my big mouth. My moms exact words were “You better take up track or sprinting to outrun that mouth of yours when you are in trouble and the kids all chase you home from school” I feel like my smart ass behavior was ignored like water off a ducks back in a small town but if I would have tried that in LA I might not be here to talk about it.

2. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and how did you get started?

Having both of my parents warn me against it every chance they had probably lit my first spark. Growing up being told you can’t do something seems to push you in the exact opposite direction. I guess if they would have told me to do it and have fun I most likely would not have tried it at all. Don’t all kids rebel?? When they suggested piano lessons I quickly ran to the drum lesson room. It was louder, more obnoxious and seemed to annoy people so I gravitated toward that. I actually got started by watching my father Tom Banks, who worked at one of the top advertising agencies in San Francisco (FCB) He was responsible for many of the commercials you would see in the ’80s. I saw how much fun he had and I knew I wanted to sit at that table. Even after hearing how competitive it is and how you might go into 200 rooms before you hear that one yes. He wasn’t that far off. Again that seemed to push me even harder.

3. You will star in the upcoming film “Preacher Six”. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Preacher Six comes from a small town and is summoned to the big city where he fights evil in a literal sense. It’s full of action and was an absolute blast to work with Zach Galligan, Naomi Grossman, Kyle Hester, and the late Carmen Argenziano. I play Zach’s fairly obnoxious brother who is not the brightest of the bunch. It will be released mid-2020.

4. Which artists influenced you and how did they influence your thinking and career path?

I have always been influenced by the quirky and odd character actors full of physical comedy (Don Knotts, John Candy, Chevy Chase, John Ritter, Danny DeVito) I knew the minute I saw my mom laugh out loud while watching the TV show “Taxi” it was something I was on a mission to do. I suppose I still live to make her laugh.

5. What is one film that made you fall in love with acting?

Do I have to just pick 1?!?! [LAUGHS] It would have to be a tie between Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and Vacation. I think I wore those old VHS tapes out completely.

6. What kind of roles do you prefer when you are looking at a potential character to portray?

That’s easy. The guy that absolutely gets on your nerves, creeps you out, gives you the chills, and makes you stop and think what is wrong with him?? I have never been interested in playing the normal guy.

7. What did you learn about that industry that you can share with aspiring actors?

My first manager meeting that I ever had was with one of the hardest working guys in the business and he asked point blank “Do you have a minimum of 10 years to spare of hearing the word NO before something might happen” I said SURE! He said “Great, then you might have a chance….I’m not going to sign you, but when you get enough credits come back and we will talk”. I knew at that point that I was in for the long haul. This is a marathon and not a sprint. If you have put on your running gear and have done the first few miles why would you ever stop before the finish line?

8. What do you love most about your job?

In a sick and twisted way I am sort of addicted to not knowing when I will work again, and the uncertainty if I ever will again. I have seen some people seriously have mental break downs and freak out over it. A part of me lives for that kind of uneasy torture.

9. What do you hope to achieve through your art?

If I can reach one lonely kid in a small town watching TV with his mom and have him say “Mom, I want to do what that weird guy is doing and make people laugh” I have done enough.

10. What do you have in mind for the future?

I am going to go wherever my little smart car takes me.

11. What is one philosophy that you live by?

My grandmother once said, “Never Grow Up”.

12. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

To see my daughter grow up into a woman I absolutely look up to. She gave her life to the Lord 2 years ago and is a nun.

13. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring more awareness to in the future?

Animal Rights is a big one for me. I logged onto Twitter today and saw a woman tormenting her kill as a sport as it was lying there and it literally made my blood boil. I know we are all wired differently but it really takes a different kind of human to not love animals of all kinds.

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