Daniel Jenkins: A Moment with Infested's Macabre Maestro! by Brian Kirst

In 'Infested', Daniel Jenkins brings it like Kristen Dunst! His demented energy fuels 'Infested's' nature gone amuck-living dead-evil scientist hybrid and he shines among co-stars such as 'Gremlins' Zach Galligan, 'The Mummy's' Tuc Watkins and 'Star Trek: Voyager's' Robert Duncan McNeill. Of course, Jenkins has been bringing it for years! His film appearances include 'Five Corners' (with Jodie Foster), 'Glory' , Tim Robbins 'Cradle Will Rock' and the upcoming thriller, 'Joshua'. His stage credits are jaw-dropping - (Ouch! Mine just hit the floor again!) - including a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Huck Finn in 'Big River' . Right now, he is appearing with every child's favorite witchy woman, 'Mary Poppins' , on Broadway. So, sit down, grab an umbrella and be prepared to be swept away - Daniel Jenkins style!

Brian: Since your father was an actor was a performing career something you embraced or was it something that you resisted, at first?

Daniel: First of all, I find it completely stunning that anyone is reading anything I might write. I'll try to answer questions despite my shock... My dad was definitely a big influence on me - but mainly by example. He never pushed me into the business and I came to it very much on my own. I certainly didn't resist, but I didn't grow up thinking I would end up an actor. - Baker, lawyer, farmer - but not actor until after high school

Brian: What was the experience of working on 'Glory' like?

Daniel: Funny you should ask. It was such a great project and there were some really amazing people in it. I remember sitting with Morgan Freeman on the tailgate of some truck asking him about a theater piece he was in called 'The Gospel at Colonus'. In the end however, I left early because I wasn't really needed. There were about eight million Civil War re-enactors there camping out in tents volunteering to be in the movie - and looking like they steeped out of that time. (They had real buttons from the Civil War on their jackets, for God's sake!!) They didn\rquote t need some gawky actor type pretending to be one of them and doing a worse job of it. So I asked if it was okay that I headed home.

Brian: You appeared in '5 Corners' , a neighborhood kidnapping "dra-medy" with Jodie Foster. Do you have any specific memories about that experience? Also, did working with Tim Robbins in that lead him into casting you in his 'Cradle Will Rock' years later?

Daniel: Oh wow. - Lots of fun memories. My favorite: Being stuck in an elevator shaft with an actress who kept chanting "Nom-yo-ho-renge-kyo" endlessly after every cut. Still - a great time. I think Tim remembered me fondly, but I doubt it influenced his decision to cast me in 'Cradle.'

Brian: You portrayed actor, Will Geer, in 'Cradle Will Rock'. Did you do a lot of research in preparation for playing a semi well known figure?

Daniel: We did do a great deal of research because of the historical nature of the script. What I should have done research on is how not to get run over by camera hungry theater actors! I still have the scars!

Brian: Ouch! How did you get involved in 'Infested'? Did you have to audition or did you know the people who were making it?

Daniel: I think Robbie and the gang lost someone at the last minute and they called me in. We knew each other from a short lived series that shot in Jamaica, 'Going to Extremes.'

Brian: Was 'Infested' your first experience of playing an out and out villain?

Daniel: Yes - on film at least. Man, is that fun.

Brian: It seems a lot of CGI and computer effects were used for your scenes. Was that difficult to work with?

Daniel: Heck no. We've all seen so much of this kind of thing- it's not hard to imagine what it might look like. Also, there were no special set-ups because they shot in 24P, which apparently makes it quite easy to lay effects on afterwards.

Brian: Have you been bombarded by 1000's of angry Sci-Fi fans for bumping off 'Star Trek: Voyager' regular Robert Duncan McNeill in 'Infested'?

Daniel: Actually, I've been given a medal by the Klingon Board of Decent Acts Committee. It was a really weird ceremony - I basically had to dress up like a potato.

Brian: You worked, mainly, with 'Felicity's' Amy Jo Johnson - whom is a musician. Were you two able to bond over your musical backgrounds?

Daniel: Amy Jo basically said three words to me: "Who are you?" Wait. Maybe she was trying to bond over Roger Daltry or something... Man. I am such an idiot! Is anybody still reading this??

Brian: I imagine that stage work is your first love. Was being nominated for a Tony for 'Big River' a major turning point in your theatrical career? Also, do you have a favorite role out of all the parts you've performed on stage?

Daniel: Yes, I guess you could say it's my first love. But in general, it's what I get hired to do. If I just did industrials in Dallas, I'd probably have to say that was my first love... No, I really adore what I do and feel truly blessed that I get to do something I love. 'Big River' was indeed a huge break and opened a lot of doors for me, but I think it also pegged me as a bit of a "musical theater actor" whatever that is. So I think I've most enjoyed the roles in straight plays I've gotten to do. - Like "Prior" in 'Angels in America' . Also, straight plays are SO much easier... Not as much vocal stress, generally. Would somebody please shut me up??

Brian: You appear in 'Joshua' with up and coming Vera Farmiga. IMDB describes this as a "psychological thriller". Do you have any ideas on when this will be released and/or can you share your memories about the filming experience?

Daniel: Not sure when this comes out. I liked these folks a lot. I just did one day on it, but I basically got to write everything I said. I was in a basement ranting and raving - kind of a homespun revival meeting. - Screamed myself hoarse.

Brian: Any last statements?

Daniel: I'd like to thank all of the folks who made it this far. I feel your pain. Great site, Brian - keep up the... uh... really creepy work!