Actor Douglas Olsson is turning his second career into an extremely busy one. After working as a Firefighter/Paramedic in the San Francisco Bay area for 22 years, Douglas decided to follow his passion for performing and headed for Hollywood. He hit the indie film scene hard and has come up with several solid credits, including appearances in the acclaimed “Dam California,” “Play Hard,” “Mandoria,” and he just finished “La Migra.”
On October 2nd, Douglas will be adding network television to his list of credits with a role in the CBS hit crime-drama, “Criminal Minds.” He’s also set to hit the big screen again with roles in a few upcoming indie films as well.
We had a chance to chat with Douglas Olsson about his first television gig, working in the indie world and much more.
Tell us about your role on an upcoming episode of “Criminal Minds”.
DOUGLAS: I was called in to read a two line part for the role of a Dad that had his daughter abducted. After auditioning the Director, Lary Teng, asked if I wouldn't mind reading for the Attorney, a much larger part at 5 pages!
I quickly went to work on the script looking for key points to nail. You should know, I had 15 minutes to prepare while the other well-dressed actors had TWO DAYS to work with the material. After reading all three scenes there was a silence in the room as they all looked at each other. "That was very impressive," said someone in the room, I assumed was the producer. One hour later, I received the call that I had booked the role because: "You hit it out of the park!"
I play attorney Mark Anderson, a man that stands up to the BAU.
So, this was your first network television role; was it everything you thought it would be?
DOUGLAS: The cast and crew couldn't not have been more welcoming. Most of the series regulars approached me and introduced themselves. I had 3 days on the set and was starting to get to know everybody, cast and crew included. Did I mention the food?
What’s it like working with such a well-respected team of actors? Any interesting stories from set you can share with us?
DOUGLAS: After one of my close-ups of an intense scene, Thomas Gibson, (series regular) nodded at me: "That was a good one". It's nice to be complemented from great working actors.
You’ve been working on the indie film scene recently as well. What can you share with us about the soon-to-be-released films: “Painkiller,” “Sarah” and “Weapon of Choice”?
DOUGLAS: “Painkiller” is a low-budget prison thriller where I play a not so nice Warden that likes to experiment. Reportedly it will be on Netflix, Redbox etc. In “Sarah,” I play the lead, Jim Curtis a retired ailing movie producer that misses his late young wife so much he does something about it. Shot in one room for a micro budget, with predominately two actors, but there were two smaller pivotal roles as well. Also in the hands of Netflix, should be released in November. “Weapon of Choice” was shot in the San Francisco Bay Area and is in the martial arts genre. I came on-board this Jino Kang film as both co-exec producer and one of the lead actors. It is currently receiving its music scoring and is looking for distribution. I play Michael Banducci another not so nice guy.
Also, I just wrapped the feature, “La Migra,” a Romeo and Juliet Story set on the US/Mexican border with love, betrayal and more, which was shot entirely in San Diego, playing a DEA Agent in Charge. Also, co exec producer. There is talk of a sequel already, possibly in another country.
And, I wrote a feature script about a hitman with a heart that I hope to star in, as well as produce, next year.
Now that you’ve done both, do you prefer to work in film or television?
DOUGLAS: Both have their advantages. With TV it's very fast and you know there is financing, with big studios behind you and great food. Did I mention the food? With film, financing can take a while or just dry up entirely. The good part with film is that you have more time to craft your character, building a backstory, even creating memories as the character to really flesh him out. After recently shooting an episode on “Days of our Lives” I was amazed at how fast they move. Typically ONE take!
And lastly, how can your fans keep up with you and your projects?
DOUGLAS: You can follow me on Twitter @Douglas_Olsson or my Facebook Fan Page.
Thanks, Douglas! Congrats on the TV gig…we’ll be watching!