Home #Hwoodtimes Interview with Actor David Chokachi

Interview with Actor David Chokachi

By Patty McCall

Tulsa, Oklahoma (The Hollywood Times) 07/07/2021 – David Chokachi has been a fan favorite with audiences around the world, since he took on the role of Cody Madison in Baywatch. The success and momentum of that series lead to his lead role in TNT’s Witchblade  

The charismatic actor found his way back to another hit show in MTV’s Beyond The Break, where was able to indulge his passion for surfing, while bringing awareness to issues regarding the ocean.

Chokachi is a dedicated family man, activist and actor. In recent years, David is dedicating himself to a creative partnership with veteran writer and director Bruce Reisman. The latter has been writing for hit TV shows and movies for over 40 years.

Reisman spotted Chokachi’s talent in their first meeting and wrote the character Gene Tuney for him in the movie As Long As I’m Famous. “David’s acting style is very natural, says Reisman. “He’s an artist and takes the art of acting in my movies very seriously. He also has a lot of fun.”

Teaming up with Reisman again, the talented actor is taking his acting to a whole new level, literally. The sky is the limit as he brings to life this heavenly role in Last Call in the Dog House. 

THT: David, give us some insight into how you and writer/director Bruce Reisman collaborated… and brought your character to life for Last Call in the Dog House.  

David Chokachi

Well, Bruce always described our movie as Cheers meets Touched by an Angel. However, there is so much more to Last Call in the Dog House. I have worked with Bruce in the past, and I love the way he works, he’s a big believer in rehearsals, and he allows the actors to do their thing, and steps in only when needed. Shooting this was such a wonderful experience. The cast is made up of this super eclectic, super talented group of actors.

THT: Is this different from the way you two collaborated on your first film together… As Long As I’m Famous?  

Actually, the collaborations between the two films were quite similar, even though the content was so different. Once again, Bruce’s writing was so strong and beautiful, and in Dog House, we had a lot of moving parts, but rehearsals allowed us to shoot so much more efficiently and of course for us actors, the rehearsal process allowed us to bond as actors and ultimately give our best performance possible.

THT: What was the most creatively inspiring part about playing your character in “Last Call in the Dog House”?  

Adam Jacobs, David Chokachi and Aaron Fors

I really connected with my character, Dog. This is heavy, but I actually play God, who runs and owns his own dive bar with his two sons, Aaron Fors and Adam Jacobs. Jess is Jesus, and Adam plays Mo, (Moses) People come into our bar with some sort of problem, and we help them work through it. Since I play god, for me, there were no right or wrong choices I could make, I had free reign, which as an actor is the best. I made the choice that God felt bad for human beings, how messed up and complicated they are. This made me my focus on listening, because God is an observer of all things. Some of my most inspired work came when was I was really actively listening. I was inspired everyday, by Bruce Reisman, our writer/director, but also by my fellow actors, Adam Jacob’s, Aaron Fors, Parker Stevenson, Yancy Butler, Amanda Jenkins, Judy Geeson and Julian Curtis.

THT: Did you have a favorite scene or line that really stayed with you?

Yes for me, my favorite scene/day making the movie was when we were shooting a part of the movie where Adam Jacob’s is playing the father to Judy Geeson, we go back in time, to the moment Judy, and her father were trying to flee a train of Jews heading for a concentration camp. My nine year old daughter Brit, got to play Judy’s character, back in time, and we show the whole flashback, the location was meant to be Poland in the 1940s, however we were shooting in LA, and we got so lucky on the day, because it was December, it was cold and it poured rain that whole day. I wouldn’t push my daughter into acting, but this role, of playing this younger version of this strong woman, who survived hell, was too good to pass up.  She has been on many movie sets with me, but now here she was, having to run down this river bed in period piece wardrobe, stop, hit her marks and say her lines, it was so special. Also, in the story, we show up to that specific moment in time, except now we are part of the resistance! So I get to run in along with Yancy and Aaron’s characters and save young Judy (aka Brit my daughter).

THT: Can you tell us about certain nuances that you were able to add to the character?  

I think I found some great work in the stillness of my performance. I set my characters default setting to be one of great empathy towards mortal human beings. I played the character as if I already knew what the other person was going to say before they said it. All-knowing, all-seeing Dog/God!

THT: What do you hope audiences understand about this film?

Yancy Butler and David Chokachi

That trauma happens to us all, and we always, always can work through a problem or problems no matter how dire the circumstances seem. The message my character is trying to implore on all of them is that you cannot run or hide from your problems. You have to embrace the darkness of your journey and try to understand it instead of pushing it away, because, if we try and push trauma down into a corner, it will come back and take us out at the legs.

THT: What are some of your career goals in regards to acting?

I am constantly striving to do parts that I wouldn’t necessarily be cast in. I want to continue to produce and star in my own content. Ultimately I want to get back on a tv show that ends up having a long run. I have been a working actor for 26 years, and I feel like I am just starting to do some of my best work ever. The more I grow as a human being, the better actor I become, and I have been experiencing a lot of growth lately.

THT: What did Baywatch teach you about the business that continues to stay with you till this day?  

Baywatch was my first big role and coming from the east coast where my parents taught us kids the meaning of earning our own money and having a very strong work ethic, I came to Baywatch with a very open mind. I knew that the better shape I was in , the more my character would work, and this meant more episodes, which meant more money and stability. I learned never to be late to the set , which I did once and never did again! Baywatch was one of the most fun jobs I have ever had. I’m a huge surfer and ocean/beach person, so for me to have this bitchin job, driving rescue boats, wave runners , scuba diving was just the ultimate dream job come true. I never took the show for granted, I loved

Keep up with David at davidchokachi.com   

Check out release information for Last Call in the Dog House at stoneypointentertainment.com