RJ Mitte of "Breaking Bad" Talks Starring in Hollywood Undead's "Dead Bite" Video
Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:57:58
Hollywood Undead Photos
Hollywood Undead Videos
First and foremost, RJ Mitte is a storyteller. Regardless of the role he's in, whether he's reprising his unanimously acclaimed breakout part as Walter White, Jr. in Breaking Bad or starring in Hollywood Undead's new music video for "Dead Bite", he digs into the respective character with unbelievable conviction and charisma. As a result, he taps into true emotion on screen and brings a relatable story to life. That's what makes him one of the most important and inspiring young actors working today.
Sitting in a Southern California Chinese restaurant with video director Corey Soria, he immediately displays that same passion as he speaks about working with Hollywood Undead, music, and his charity work.
Corey puts it best, "We wanted to hearken back to when music videos painted a picture on par with your favorite film. That was the goal from the moment J-Dog and I spoke about the video. It wasn't about just stringing together visuals. It was about creating an immersive and inviting world. RJ proved crucial to doing that as the epicenter of our twisted little tale."
"It's about bringing out what you have inside you," RJ goes on. "When you're working with people like Corey and Hollywood Undead, it's incredible. That's the way to make art".
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, RJ Mitte talks "Dead Bite", working with Hollywood Undead, art, his charity work, and so much more.
What attracted you to the "Dead Bite" [Notes from the Underground] music video?
What I love about my job is creating characters. That's the thing with music videos. They are films. Somehow, a lot of people forgot that along the way. You are shooting, and you are supposed to be acting. I just created this character and went with it. Johnny 3 Tears didn't tell me anything [Laughs]. I got a call from Corey Soria, and we exchanged a couple of emails. Then, we went for it. I've known Johnny for so long, but I hadn't seen him or any of the Hollywood Undead guys in a bit. Every time they saw me was either really late at night because I lived next door to Johnny.
So, you go way back with the band?
When I met them, they were number one on MySpace. That's how they got noticed. It's been crazy to watch them blow up. I had never seen them perform in Los Angeles. Then, I was filming Breaking Bad in New Mexico. I was seventeen, and they played The Launchpad. That was the first time I ever saw them. They were rocking. It was crazy and fun. It was great to see that. Now, to come and be a part of the "Dead Bite" shoot was awesome. I'm just happy they thought of me for it.
What is the story you feel like you're telling in the "Dead Bite" video?
It's all Corey right here. He was directing. When I was going into it and I read it, I created the character and went from there. I was living in the moment, being a part of it, watching it grow, and seeing my character develop in the shot. It's a very visually stunning video from what I've seen. A lot of shoots lose the story along the way. In this, you have a family where the son is being ignored. Then, he goes into this world. It's crazy because there are places like that in the real world. He walks around this world and sees all of these different things. It's the seven deadly sins pretty much. There's lust, gluttony, and everything else you can think of. You go down through these stories, watch what he's seeing, and spit out on the other end.
Did you instantly dig the song?
I was really happy to hear the song. I love Hollywood Undead's music. I think it speaks to a lot of people—young and old. In one way or another, a lot of their music is what people are thinking, especially with what's going on in our economy and everything happening in this world. It's really exciting. Originally, they wanted me to do a song called "Bullet" from American Tragedy. My little sister loves the little kid's voice in it. She's a big Hollywood Undead fan. It's definitely an interesting concept. When I heard "Dead Bite", I thought, "This is going to be crazy and fun!"
They provide a catharsis for fans similar to Korn.
Dude, I love Korn! They're great too. It's definitely interesting watching Hollywood Undead and seeing how they've grown. I see my own growth too. It's interesting how time changes people. Even though you don't realize it's changing you, it definitely does. They're music is incorporating everything they see and that they're around. That's my issue with art these days. Everybody tries to hide. If you look back at music in the eighties and the nineties, the lyrics were real. If you look at music today, it's really repetitive for the most part. Hollywood Undead is not repetitive. It's got these incredible stories.
Do you listen to music in general while acting?
Definitely! Back when they were doing silent films, it was a horse of a different color. Then, music and movies became married. Music sets the tone for anything. If you do not have good scoring, it could ruin your whole movie. Sometimes, actors have really annoying voices. Can you imagine if they didn't have music to cover that? [Laughs] That would be an editor's nightmare. How would we get people off of awards shows? [Laughs] I love music, acting, and art. Music can show what you're truly feeling on the inside. When you have artists like Hollywood Undead, it's great. They came together and created this art. It's something not many people will have the chance to create. It's very cool.
What did you enjoy about collaborating with Corey?
He was a pleasure to work with. He's an excellent director and guy. The cast and crew were great. I was really excited to come and work with all of these guys. I was thrilled to work with a different type of director, and it was awesome. Hopefully, he got what he needed out of me! It's in the music and script. I took what they wrote and went with it.
Tell us about your charity work.
I do as much charity work as I can. I'm a lifetime member of The Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation. It's locally in Texas. My grandfather started it a while back. He was a very prominent business man. He got so many things given to him, and he wanted to give back so much. He worked for years and created a company and this foundation. He started giving scholarships and grants to organizations and kids to go to college. We've given money to The Ronald McDonald Foundation and pretty much any major organization that helps. We do a lot for elderly care as well as kids too. It all varies. I do a lot of work with an anti-bullying campaign. I do a lot of campaigns with disability. At the end of the day, I try to give as much as I get. That's the most important.
Are you excited for the "Dead Bite" music video premiere?