Exclusive: Jane Got A Gun’s Sam Quinn Talks Hollywood

Sam Quinn - Brandon Soder - FilmFad.com

Sam Quinn | Photo Credit: Brandon Soder.

Sam Quinn discusses big names and big bangs, from recent feature “Jane Got A Gun,” to upcoming mega sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence,” and beyond.

In a FilmFad.com exclusive interview, Pooya converses with the up-and-coming Sam Quinn about his love for Natalie Portman’s body of work and what it was like to star alongside his comedy hero Bob Odenkirk. Quinn also gives a behind the scenes peek at his experience on “Better Call Saul,” being on set with the highly-talented Johnny Depp in “Transcendence,” and so much more. While Sam has only been professionally acting since 2013, his tremendous stage experience has propelled him into high-profile projects in that short amount of screen time.

So, without further ado… this is Sam Quinn’s speedy journey from the small stage to the big screen in a nutshell.

 

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Hey Sam, How’s it going?

 

Sam Quinn:

Good, Let me know if you can’t hear me. I Stepped outside because it’s gorgeous out. I was feeling cooped up!

 

[both chuckling]

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

I’m on the East Coast at the moment, so I’m suffering through miserable weather. Enjoy that beautiful West Coast weather. Please.

 

Sam Quinn:

I know. I feel for ya. I was there last week, so I know about all the big gross slushy piles of snow on the sidewalk.

 

[both laughing]

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Yes. So what’s the weather like there now?

Sam Quinn:

It is gorgeous. I am so happy. It’s like in the high 70’s. I am in Heaven at the moment.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Ugh… I envy you.

 

[both laughing]

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Well, I’m going to go ahead and jump in.

 

Sam Quinn:

Great. Sounds good.

 

longmire - Sam Quinn

“Longmire” (2012-).

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

According to IMDB, you’ve only kinda been doing the professional acting gig on-screen since your debut on the TV Series Longmire. Is that correct?

 

Sam Quinn:

Yeah, that is correct. It all just kinda started flooding in at once. The story behind it is that I was previously working as more of stage actor in Chicago after I graduated college. I was in Chicago for a few years mainly hitting stages and doing some improv here and there. Then I got the opportunity to work on a project in New Mexico, temporarily. So I went there and left all of my junk, all of my belongings, in Chicago and moved to New Mexico tentatively and I ended up booking “Jane Got A Gun.” Actually, right when I moved there. And I thought to myself well I guess there’s another reason to be here. So I stuck around and then “Longmire” happened right after that. And then it was just this steady cascade of work, thankfully.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

So “Jane Got A Gun…” You got brought on to the production a couple years back then?

 

Sam Quinn:

Yeah exactly. That was actually the first thing that I booked in New Mexico. It’s pretty crazy. I’m sorta in a transition to move to LA now, but it’s like the cherry-on-top of my time in New Mexico as an actor working in that film market.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Was screen acting something you always aspired to transcend into, or was it a happenstance that you were really content with the stage but the opportunity fell into your lap and you thought “Why not?”

 

Sam Quinn:

Kind of the latter of what you said. I went to a performing arts high school and I always was more involved in theater than film. So I kinda just saw myself as being a struggling stage actor forever, which I was totally okay with and fine. There is a lot of integrity in that. I still love the stage but, once some opportunities were presented to me, I’ve kinda just fallen for this. It’s just a different art form for actors, you know, and I really love it. I’m okay with the long, laborious process that filmmaking generally is. And I love to have a final product. Theatre is such an ephemeral art form, which is one of the things that’s beautiful about it. But I love having something tangible I can show someone at the end of the day, or that I can keep for later.

 

jane-got-a-gun-natalie-portman - Sam quinn

“Jane Got A Gun” (2016).

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Speaking of “Jane Got A Gun,” could you in your own words describe the film to us?

 

Sam Quinn:

Sure. Um… “Janie’s Got A Gun” is an Aerosmith from the late 80s.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

[laughing]

Sam Quinn:

It’s so hard because I’ve said this a million times and I feel like I never get it right, but I’ll give you my sound bite for it. To me, “Jane Got A Gun” is about a woman Jane, played by Natalie Portman, who goes pretty much to the end of the world to protect her family. Her family is her husband who’s dying, has just come back to her full of bullets. And she has to figure out how to protect him and her daughter. So, she does the unlikely which is reach out to an ex-lover who’s a gunslinger, that’s Joel Edgerton’s character. Old feelings come back, because it was kinda a love that had died away for reasons outside of their control. Then you see the ‘poo’ hit the fan when the gang, which is what Slow Jeremiah is a part of, seek out and find them. There’s romance involved, there’s action for people that like action, but it’s a pretty straightforward western though. A pretty classic style western, minus the female lead of course.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

I’m gonna jump back to something you said earlier. I wanna know honestly, how many times has someone started singing Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got A Gun to you when you tell them that you’re in this movie?

 

Sam Quinn:

[Laughing] Never, but you can start.

 

[both laughing]

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Jumping back to another thing you mentioned… It’s no secret that America as a whole has had a major crush on Natalie Portman, were you a fan of Natalie’s before and was it ever difficult to concentrate when she would step on set?

 

Sam Quinn:

Um, Yes and Yes…

 

[both laughing]

 

the professional - Sam Quinn

“The Professional” (1994).

 

Sam Quinn:

I mean I’ve always loved Natalie Portman. I think she’s great. She’s a fantastic actress, great person. I go back to how amazing she was in “The Professional” for however old she was. Twelve or something?

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

That was an amazing movie.

Sam Quinn:

So good for so many reasons. I haven’t seen many, if any, thing that she’s done that’s been a dud really. She’s just fantastic. She’s such a badass. Can I say badass?

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Absolutely.

 

Sam Quinn:

So, yes. I will say I was pretty nervous. I kinda had to rile up all my confidence and focus cuz the very first thing that I shot on set was the larger scene between Joel [Edgerton] and I. And I knew that it was kinda make or break it for me. If I nailed it, it would be good. If I didn’t, they might tap someone else possibly. I knew also that Natalie was gonna be in the tent watching, because she was one of the main producers. So, I just kinda snugged that in the back of my head and used it as fuel for the fire of my performance. Hopefully it worked out, in a good way.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

So Tell us a little bit about Slow Jeremiah. Should fans out there derive the meaning of slow to be a reference to his gunslinging ability, his mental state or otherwise?

 

Sam Quinn:

He’s a fine gunslinger. He’s an outlaw, he’s probably good enough. I kind of attribute it more to the way he speaks. I gave him a very slow drawn out southern drawl, which I was hoping would add to his menacing persona. So that’s the way I saw it as mainly. I needed some reason to make him slow and I wasn’t going to do the obvious and necessarily make him as ‘slow’ guy. I went more on just the way that he speaks. I’m actually from San Antonio and a lot of people just naturally have a slower rhythm with their speaking in the south. It doesn’t have anything to do with their intelligence necessarily.

 

Transcendence- sam quinn

“Transcendence” (2014).

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

This isn’t the first major motion picture you’ve been involved with. Before “Jane Got a Gun” and only a year and three projects into your career you got to star alongside, one of my favorite actors, Johnny Depp in “Transcendence?” What was that first major motion picture role and what was that experience like for you?

 

Sam Quinn:

It was pretty unbelievable, as you can imagine. I was in production for “Jane Got A Gun when I booked “Transcendence” and I almost didn’t get to be in “Transcendence” because the “Jane Got A Gun” shooting schedule was extended. So, I almost lost that part. To be honest, I did. I did lose that part for about two weeks. They had given it to someone else. My agent called and they had re-scheduled “Jane Got A Gun” and the casting director finagled for me to get the part back because my schedule had opened up. So I was in the movie, then I wasn’t in the movie, then I was in the movie again, which was frustrating as you can imagine. But really exciting at the end of the day because I freaking love Johnny Depp and always have. He has been one of my acting heroes since I was a wee one. so, it’s sort of unbelievable. I kinda had to keep it to myself, which is hard. I couldn’t tell anyone I was going to be in this movie with Johnny Depp. Unfortunately I didn’t get any actual set time with him. I saw him on set, but I didn’t get to work with him that much. Still, just the opportunity to be in a project he’s associated with was pretty delightful.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

And on top of that, you technically got cast for that movie twice.

 

Sam Quinn:

Yeah! [laughing] I know, I know. They had me on the line and then the threw me back and brought me back…

 

[both chuckling]

 

Sam Quinn:

Since you’re a Johnny Depp fan, what’s your favorite Johnny Depp Movie?

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Absolutely. Well, It’s tough. I’ve seen all of his movies, even going back. So when I think of it, I really like “Cry-Baby” for certain reasons.

 

Sam Quinn:

Oh, Yes!

 

Cry-baby Johnny Depp - Sam Quinn

“Cry-Baby” (1990).

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

I really like “Dead Man” for certain reasons. The older movies. Before he became the personality “Johnny Depp,” I really enjoyed seeing the really bizarre characters he would create. He was the guy that was the go to. And I think that’s why TIm Burton latched onto him so quickly. He saw that Depp had the ability to ‘transcend’ [chuckles] and go into territory that some other actors weren’t comfortable going?

 

Sam Quinn:

I agree wholeheartedly.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

What’s your favorite?

 

Sam Quinn:

Gosh, I do love “Cry-Baby,” I do love “Dead Man.” Gosh, I don’t know. It’s such a tricky question. I would probably say, at the end of the day, “Edward Scissorhands.”

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Oh yeah. Not only is that one his best movies, it is one of Burton’s best movies and just a general film classic.

 

Sam Quinn:

Agreed.

 

Better Call Saul - Sam Quinn

“Better Call Saul” (2015-).

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Very much agreed. so, in 2015 you managed to land a small part in the “Breaking Bad” Spinoff “Better Call Saul.” Did that come about during your time in New Mexico? Were you a fan of “Breaking Bad” before that chance came about?

 

Sam Quinn:

Yeah. So I arrived in New Mexico for the tail end of “Breaking Bad” filming, so I missed my opportunity to be a part of that unfortunately. I was huge fan and sort of came onto the fan base a little bit later. It was probably season 4 when I started to get really into it but then I, like everyone else, binge watched it. Fell in love with the writing, Vince Gilligan writing. And the whole team, cinematography, just everything about it was unbelievable. It reminded me of the same way that I felt first time I saw the “Sopranos.” I was like “Woah, TV is awesome right now. This is really really good TV. I wanna do that.” So when “Better Call Saul” came around I was very, very excited to have some auditions for that. You know, got lucky I guess, or proved myself to be worthy to the Vince Gilligan god. Even more so than, I would say than being a fan of “Breaking Bad” I was a huge fan of “Mr. Show” with Bob and David.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Oh gosh, that’s so great.

 

Sam Quinn:

Yeah, are you a fan as well?

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

I was and I also watched the new special they did, which was also awesome.

 

Sam Quinn:

Yup Yup. So, that was really exciting for me because the little part that was alongside Bob Odenkirk. So that was really a treat, to work with him. It’s really really exciting. It’s sorta like working with one of my comedy heroes.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

I imagine that’s got to be insane to become a fan of show like “Breaking Bad,” watch it, fall in love with these characters. And then have the opportunity to work alongside not only one of your acting heroes, but a character that’s become one of America’s favorite comic lawyers on television. It’s just unbelievable.

 

Sam Quinn:

Yeah it’s pretty surreal. Another small little funny story about being smacked in the face with delight… [chuckles] I didn’t realize that I was going to be in the scene with Bob actually until about 20 minutes [before shooting the scene], when I realized it was a flashback and he was no longer going by Saul Goodman, he was going by another character named Jimmy. I just didn’t know. “Who is this Jimmy character?” Then it hit and I was like “oh my god.” And I had to pull myself and get ready for it.

 

Independence Day Resurgence - Sam Quinn

“Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016).

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

Let’s talk the future. I’ve been talking your head off and want to draw this to a close, but I wanna leave everyone out there [on the internet or in space] with where you’re going. I know one thing that you have on your slate is a very very popular sequel that got leaked a little early, but america was still happy. That is “Independence Day Resurgence.” How did that come about and what was that experience like?

 

Sam Quinn:

It was one of those moments where you get the audition and you think to yourself everyone in the world is gonna see this, pretty much. I’m just happy to be auditioning. Then you go on the call back. Then you go on another call back. Then you get the surprise call from your agent and you’re awestruck. You kind of have to pinch yourself a little bit. You’re like “is this really a thing that’s happening to me.” And then on set I actually got to work with Jeff [Goldblum] a little bit, which was also amazing. I didn’t know that that was going to be the case. I was such a huge fan. When did it come out? Like ’93 [1996] the original? I was around 9 or 10 or something. I don’t think people expected it, to be honest. I was such a huge fan that to be a part of the sequel that everyone is gonna see is a treat and absolutely amazing. Hopefully I make it off the cutting room floor.

 

Film Fad (Pooya):

I hope so too. Congratulations man. You’ve made a lot of progress in the amount of time that you’ve been on screen. You’ve managed to land some very awesome movies with some fantastic talents, which I’m sure has brought a lot of experience your way. Thanks for taking time out to chat with me and I’ll let you get back to the beautiful weather you’re enjoying over there.

 

Sam Quinn:

Oh yeah Pooya, my pleasure. Yeah, Totally. Well Hopefully you can steal away from the cold east. Take cover and really nice chatting with you.

 

Sam Quinn - Brandon Soder - FilmFad.com 2

Sam Quinn | Photo Credit: Brandon Soder.

 

Pooya

Author: Pooya

Since his wee lad-dom, Pooya has been a sommelier of cinema. It was likely some acting bug, fallen from the dust riddled ruby curtains of an enchanted old stage that did it. Those cinematic scarabs must have burrowed deep into his brain, irreversibly altering his mind, turning the poor boy down a dismal path.From his earliest years the strange boy would aimlessly wander the aisles of countless video rental stores, amassing his trivial knowledge with vigor. These actions befuddled the boy’s parents, who still would lovingly oblige his unusual attraction to the motion picture. Often seeking refuge in the cushioned seating of his local movie theater, the odd adolescent would immerse himself in the scripted and effects riddled realities unfolding on the screen before him. During his collegiate years, he was twice spotted on stage performing bizarre theatrical rituals before awe-struck audiences. When he departed from academia, he left behind his youth in exchange for a labor routine, but the strange young man never lost his long-cultivated love of film.Recently, Pooya was approached by FilmFad.com to join their budding team of entertainment bloggers. After hours of coaxing and an undisclosed number of honey jars, he accepted their offer. Finally he had come full circle. Finally, at FilmFad.com, he was home.

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