Saturday, August 18, 2012
Actor Leif Gantvoort: Crazy In Love with the Craft
For over a decade Leif Gantvoort has been able to share not only his skills as an actor but his ability to tell a story with the world. Doing so has taken him into roles that have been dramatic and at times humorous but through it all they allowed him to do what he loves: bringing stories to life.
His fans have followed him over the years through roles on Desperate Housewives and Justified but in 2012 they found him as the villain Glasses in the blockbuster movie The Amazing Spiderman.
Talking with Leif about his journey that has led to being a part of one of the summer's biggest movies was not only entertaining and informative but inspiring as well.
"As a kid I liked the attention acting got me," Leif shared with me. "Just being the focus of attention. He went on, though, to share that "it can be a hard thing to undertake... It's not a forgiving line of work."
His fans haven't seen him in a while, and Leif talked about what that can be like for someone who loves to create. "It's frustrating at times, fulfilling at times, but the good moments make up for the bad ones." He then added: "I love it. It has to be a love, because if it's not a love you'll totally go crazy."
I asked him about that love and when you are able to work how it makes him feel. "It's just something that clicks and feels right when you're doing it," he says. "That's what keeps you coming back." Leif also feels as though it was what he was born to do. He explained it by saying that acting is "everything that I want it to be. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of when it happens."
When we began to talk about Spiderman and what it was like to be a part of such a respected franchise, you could hear the excitement almost leap in his voice. "Every step of it was a surprise," he says. I was excited to be a part of something like this [movie]. Everyone was so great to work with." Reflecting on the fact that not all productions can be as well organized and a joy, Leif tole me "When it happens you're so pleasantly surprised. Every day of your life you want to be a part of that."
Noting his great sense of humor and how he has been able to make use of that on stage, I asked him if it helped not to take himself too seriously. "At the end of the day in this industry you're telling stories," Leif says. "It's fun. Even when it's dead serious it's fun."
One part that doesn't seem to fit with him as well is the red carpet appearance. I asked if he has gotten used to being photographed and analyzed as is custom in the business he's in. "I don't think it can ever be normal," he told me, but I do think the more you do the more you realize it's a part of the job." The way he gets through it? Realizing it is "one of those things you have to do."
Leif gave some great advice for those who look to the industry for their own profession. "I really feel as though I'm on the clock 24 hours a day. I write, direct to try to keep my focus and keep my drive going." He also reminds us all of the human aspect of the work. "You can't walk on set and leave who you are at the door. Not everything is Spiderman. Everything is not a joy. It's not predictable. Every day is a new point of view."
To stay in touch with Leif and his next chapter visit him online at http://leifgantvoort.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.