EXCLUSIVE | ‘Deranged Granny’ star Dave Baez on Christopher Nolan and why his dream project is still relevant

The actor, who will be seen in the Lifetime movie ‘Deranged Granny’, sheds light on roles that he finds interesting and his dream project

                             EXCLUSIVE | ‘Deranged Granny’ star Dave Baez on Christopher Nolan and why his dream project is still relevant
Dave Baez (I MOTO Productions)

Looking for something spooky this weekend? Lifetime’s upcoming thriller movie ‘Deranged Granny’ is just the perfect pastime for you. Directed by Jennifer Liao, the film portrays an overbearing and obsessive granny who can go to any lengths to have her grandchildren by her side. It will be quite a ride watching how the tension builds up in the family once the matriarch goes overboard with her vile antics.

The film boasts an ensemble cast that will take you on this rollercoaster ride. One of the actors in the film is ‘Dexter’ favorite Dave Baez. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Dave spoke about the upcoming thriller and shed light on how he finds his character in the film very relatable. It’s also worth knowing more about the actor’s dream project, its relevance in present time and the directors he’d love to work with.

How did you land the role of Calvin Thompson in the Lifetime thriller Deranged Granny? Tell us about your experience with co-stars.
The producers of the show Stephanie Rennie and Amanda J. Strachan were aware of my work in the drama series ‘Dexter’. It was from there that their production house I MOTO productions approached me with the role of Calvin. The co-stars Wendie and Amanda were amazing! Wendie is such a wonderful person and a gracious actor. She's been into acting for a long time but I have to admit she’s still very grounded as a person. I was really inspired by her story because it was only lately that she’s achieved success and fame despite being in the field for so long. All over, I feel I had great chemistry with the whole cast. If we see the children, Finnegan Garay and Isabel Gameros, they didn't have a lot of experience as child actors but still, they were natural on the sets. 

In the movie, you played a cool yet protective dad who co-parents his kids. How far do you personally relate to your character?
This is actually one role in my career that I probably relate to the most since I am a dad to my 21-year-old daughter. I had shared custody of her with her mother. I lived in New York City when she was quite young and then when I moved to Los Angeles when she was around 3 or 4. For many years, especially when she was young, I had to balance work and personal life and was into co-parenting. I must say, I was blessed to have a very good relationship with her mom and we had a very equal partnership in managing our schedule while co-parenting. That’s pretty much similar to what I was doing in the film with my kids and ex-wife played by Amanda. 

You majored in theater studies from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and minored in Literature. When did you develop this passion for theatre and acting and how the combination of theatre and literature seeped in your acting acumen?
I performed in church plays and in some casual productions as a child. However, I really discovered theater in college. In my masters, I focussed on film production, creative writing, shooting, and created my own art pieces using video back then. In my minor degree, I was reading a lot of plays and I just fell in love with it and started to perform them. So the amalgam of literature and theatre refined my creativity and craft. 

What was the turning point in your career that made you determined to follow an acting career?
I had some professors who empowered me to create theatre plays so I started an independent theater company on campus in college. It was then, that I just knew I was an artist and this was going to be my path. Eventually, when I moved to NYC I started with theatre only and enrolled in the Herbert Bergdorf studio. I came to Los Angeles with the theatre company "Absolute Theater Company," which produced off-Broadway plays. So life was more or less around the theatre at that time until I ventured into films, TV and Advertisements. 

You’ve been a part of films like ‘The Crow’ and ‘La Blues’ and TV shows like ‘Days of Our Lives’, ‘The Mentalist’, and ‘Dexter’ along with featuring in advertorials. As you've featured in three different mediums, how do you transition yourself as an actor and what roles interest you the most?
Very interesting question! Since I started at the theatre so I was very committed to the craft of acting. Eventually, the opportunity of working as a model came along where I worked for many lifestyle ads. However, be it any medium, I make sure I breathe life into the character and seize the moment with joy rather than taking the role on face value. When you are coming from the theatre, you like roles that can consume you and submerge you in the joy of the whole process of creation. But, the setup in films and television is different. Sometimes, you feel isolated from the whole process as you are sticking just to your own part that is cut-off from the entire process. 

Tell us about your most inspiring-dream project that you are onto or would like to do in the future?

I did a film about ten years ago but the film was put on hold by then producers. However, it is just now after a decade, that the director Bob Degus, has bought the rights to this movie and, and we are actually putting the finishing touches on it right now. The movie is called ‘Awaken’. It explores racial tension amidst a naturally occurring global catastrophe where we see characters trapped in remote locations and living in the most primal way amidst the crisis. Despite being made a decade ago, I feel the move is very relevant in the present time. I can say it is the most demanding, enjoyable and creatively consuming work out of everything I've done over the last twenty years. 
Which director you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Oh! Christopher Nolan! I feel he is the director of the moment and I am looking forward to seeing his latest film. I would love to work with him on a psychologically driven epic project. I admire Spike Lee too and his independent films. 

When not acting, what keeps you busy? Tell us about any projects that may be lined up for the future.
Right now my wife and I have purchased a new piece property, renovated and designed it a bit. I am working with her to open an online school called ‘The Inspired Club’ which is for aspiring female photographers. It centers around teaching branding, social media marketing as well as photography as an art and how one can make a career out of it. 

Catch ‘Deranged Granny' on Friday, September 12, 2020, at 8 pm ET on Lifetime.

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