I’m waiting for the actor Joe Gatt at the bar of The Beverley Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
Joe is a transmedia, cross-platform genius. He’s modeled, including for Calvin Klein and on the runway for Armani. He’s done motion-capture acting for video games, including Kratos in God of War, and voice acting for the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO as my favorite Sith, Lord Scourge. He’s done stage acting, including swapping his suave British accent for a Southern drawl in A Street Car Named Desire. He’s appeared in Thor as Gundroth, been featured in Cinemax’s new series Banshee as the super scary but strangely seductive The Albino, and now as GATT5000 in the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness.
I’m early and Joe is stuck in L.A. traffic, but I’m feeling like a particularly lucky girl for two reasons.
First, I seem to meet the nicest Sith Lords. Maybe the really Sithly ones won’t have lunch with me, but at the moment I don’t really care. Joe, a self described “professional scary guy,” has been nothing but easygoing while setting up our interview.
Second, by working for FANgirl Blog I’ve had the privilege of working with people who are passionate. We share a love for Star Wars, sci-fi, geekery, and horses, but we are also enthusiastic about our vocations. Tricia is intense about engineering and transportation systems. Lex is so keen about the law that he’s a professor. I’m a neurorehab physician – don’t get me started about using appropriate safety gear, like helmets or carseats.
Joe arrives for our interview fresh from his workout, shower, and protein shake, looking very L.A. in a black t-shirt and jeans. Joe’s first passion, body-building, is obvious. To say he is ripped is an understatement – like saying Paris is romantic or the Porsche 911 Turbo S packs a little acceleration. Sitting next to me, he bends his arm against the edge of our table. I reckon the diameter of his bicep is wider than my seven-inch hand span. I notice this in my professional capacity as a physician and FANgirl media professional, of course. To be fair, I will admit his muscles do incite one of the deadly sins in me: envy. For a recent role, Joe spent more time in the gym to gain twenty pounds and has become leaner and stronger. Twenty more pounds? Why doesn’t my time at the gym work like this?.
As we talk, Joe’s passion for his work as an actor is obvious. Joe and his equally multi-talented and gorgeous girlfriend, the actress Mercy Malick, have lectured at Stanford University’s drama department. Our conversation is candid. There’s so much similarity between writing and acting, which after all, is physical storytelling. Joe is open – and humble – about the preparation for difficult roles like The Albino. He discusses his alopecia, an illness that can cause near-total hair loss. We chat about the difficulty in trying out for roles and inevitable rejections, and the responsibility he feels with social media and fans.
In fact, I’m so engrossed in our conversation that if it weren’t for my notes, I might have even forgotten Lord Scourge.
Click to read my interview with Joe Gatt.