Bruce L. Hart, SAG-AFTRA, Actor/Producer/Writer and activtist!
Bruce L Hart is recognizable for his many roles in television and feature films. He is best known for his feature film roles in “Open”, “Saltwater” (also starring Ian Roberts), “Homewrecker” (co-starring Rebekah Kochan) and the cult horror/comedy “The Trouble With Barry” (with Peter Stickles) and his “TV marriage” to LGBT icon Greg Louganis on the series “Old Dogs and New Tricks”. In 2007 Hart appeared the award winning short film “The Reckoning” about gay bashing and was cited by the Life Affirmation Association for his strong portrayal as the abducted and victimized leader of a fictional Gay & Lesbian Center.
A frequent actor on episodic programming Hart is known for his recent episodic roles in “Boystown” (Canadian TV series Amazon/OutTV), the digital series “Old Dogs and New Tricks” (Amazon) and season 7 of the popular cult series “Where the Bears Are” (pay-per-view).
In 2017 he starred in theatrical feature “Open” (Amazon) which won Best Comedy and Best Feature on the festival circuit. Hart was also nominated as “Best Actor” in the 2017 festival season. He has written and produced seven popular stage shows for the Los Angeles stage including the long running “It Started With a Lie” and “Naked Deception” (which became the feature film “Homewrecker” in 2009). These were produced through his production company VanderHart Productions which he founded in 1999.
Hart most recently appeared in the TV film “Unfallen” (Michael Madsen) produced for Amazon.
Check out his Highlights
Boystown (Canadian Television LGBT Television series) Stuart Season 1 of 2
Old Dogs and New Tricks (U.S. LGBT Web series) Nelson Van Eddy Seasons 1-4
Child of the 70s (U.S. LGBT Web series) Jeff Guest star season 3 premiere episode
Where the Bears Are (U.S. pay-per-view TV series) Wyatt guest star for all episodes of Season 7
Open (LGBT comedy feature) Kyle (lead) also wrote and produced this
Homewrecker (LGBT comedy feature) Collin (lead) also wrote and produced this
Saltwater (LGBT drama) Rich (lead)
The Trouble with Barry (Horror/comedy film mainstream) Brad Stanley (Cameo)
Dracula (Horror remake mainstream) Dwight (lead)
Fork You (Horror/comedy mainstream) Sheriff Justice (cameo)
The Reckoning (Drama/Horror LGBT) Tom Shepard (lead)
He’s that Guy (Comedy mainstream) Uncle Bob (supporting)
Beauty Brains and Personality (Romantic comedy) Mr. Weems (supporting)
Unfallen (Drama TV movie) Adoption Counselor (supporting)
Love or Laughs (Romantic comedy TV movie for BET) Mr. Franklin (supporting)
Famous people I’ve worked with:
Greg Louganis (Olympic gold medal winner for diving) starred together on Old Dogs and New Tricks
Rutanya Alda (Mommie Dearest, Deer Hunter, When a Stranger Calls) starred together on Old Dogs and New Tricks
Ian Roberts (Australian Rugby player came out publicly) starred together in Saltwater
George Wyner (Spaceballs) appeared together on He’s That Guy
Ann Walker (Sordid Lives feature film and series) Guest starred together on Child of the 70s
Peter Paige (Queer as Folk) Appeared with him in Where the Bears Are
Dylan Vox (former adult entertainment actor turned mainstream) Starred together in Homewrecker
Ron Jeremy (former adult entertainer turned stand up comedian) appeared together in Open
Peter Stickles (LGBT TV series The Lair) starred together in Dracula and The Trouble with Barry
Brian Nolan (LGBT TV series The Lair) starred together in The Trouble with Barry and Open
Rebekah Kochan (LGBT Film Series Eating Out films series) starred together in Homewrecker and Open
We sat down for a chat with Bruce to ask him some intreging questions…..
What attracted you to begin a career as an actor
As a kid I was always writing mini scripts and getting my brothers and sisters to act them out. Television had a big impact on me and definitely influenced my interest in performing, writing and producing. My kindergarten teacher told my mother she thought I would become an actor. Later on I saw my sister in a local community theatre show and I was most impressed with it. I was fascinated when I went backstage and saw how things like the thunder and lightning sound effects were created and the fact that the set wasn’t a real house. But eventually I decided against being an actor. In fact it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles as a young man that I randomly got involved with show business again. I signed up with Central Casting for some fun extra work in the movies and ended up getting upgraded into a couple tiny television roles. And that started it off.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
Not getting fired! I think almost every actor shows up to the set on the first day with a worry that somehow something will happen that will cause them to be kicked out of the production. And it happens sometimes too. It hasn’t happened to me but I’ve seen it first hand. It’s horrible. Seriously I view every role as a new challenge and if I’m able to properly execute myself in the role then that’s my greatest accomplishment. I’ve never won any acting awards. The closest I’ve come was a nomination for a daytime award for a role on a web series but I didn’t win. Interestingly Alan Cummings was also nominated and he didn’t win either! We’re not in it for the accolades. At least most of us aren’t.
Describe your acting style.
I’m probably more “old school” than some of my younger thespians. For example I believe that you must learn your script word for word as written by the writer. No changes. If I think a change in dialogue is warranted I’ll first ask the director. There seems to be a trend nowadays where actors improvise or paraphrase their lines. Nothing drives me crazy like an actor that doesn’t follow the script verbatim. Also in film work I’ll often ask technical questions to ensure that for example my face is framed correctly or to ensure that my eyes are looking in the proper direction in a close up. That’s known as an eye line. Not many actors it seems ask these questions. In fact one of my colleagues told me I’m very “MGM” in my approach to my presence on the film set. I’ll take that as a compliment. MGM was quality!
Who is your favorite actor, and why?
Of all the roles you have played in the past, which is your favorite?
I was thrilled to play the obnoxious over the top Nelson Van Eddy in the series “Old Dogs and New Tricks”. It was such a throw back to those annoying 1960s sitcom characters that I fell in love with playing him. Of course I like a variety of roles and I’ve been offered a bunch of knock off versions of this character in other projects but I’ve passed on those. I feel like Nelson has been cast in amber on that show and I shouldn’t try to imitate him in other projects. I had a lot of fun playing the snarky and slimy Stuart on the TV series “Boystown” and I loved playing Collin the long suffering husband in the feature film “Homewrecker”.
How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
I am a huge advocate of others projects. I donate to their funding campaigns and try to promote their projects on my social media. I feel it’s incumbent on all of us in the indie world to support each other and help promote each other.
When have you worked with a diverse group of people?
I think the profession of acting always brings in a wide range of diverse talent. It’s interesting to see how every performer works on the set. They all have their own methods and I just love to observe them and hopefully learn something new. I’ve worked with some well know people such as Greg Louganis, Ann Walker, Rutanya Alda, Ian Roberts and others. And every one of these talented people has a different way in which they bring their characters to life.
How did you get involved in acting?
Honestly it was really just random. My brother and sister were involved in it so I just copied them because that’s what kids do. In Kindergarten I played a “moonster” in a musical called “Cowboy on the Moon” which was really just a glorified chorus role. I was supposed to play an “indian” but was kicked out because I couldn’t follow directions. On stage a stage mom raced up to the stage and yelled “remember your funny walk” at all of us “moonsters”.
. How did you get started?
I assume you mean how did I start working in TV and film. My first TV part was a glorified extra on “Just the Ten of Us” dancing with Jamie Lunar. She could not have been sweeter to me incidentally. Later I played a one line role in “The Karen Carpenter Story” which I have yet to see. After that I realized I needed to take some acting classes! So I stopped auditioning and started studying. I hate to admit this but I really didn’t try very hard to get roles until much later in my life.
. What pushed you to become an actor/actress?
Honestly I love the creative process. After I saw some of my work I realized it was fun to become somebody else. I think that drove me to seek roles in projects and to create my own projects. I wrote and produced a lot of theatre in LA before I started producing films. The theatre work in its hey day was so much fun!
How do you feel about directing a movie?
I’ve never directed a film. But I do watch and admire films with cool cinematography. Sometimes I’ll reference something cool I saw or the quality of a film to the director when I’m working on a film. Some directors welcome these suggestions. If I sense the director has their own ideas or isn’t open to suggestions I’ll do it their way since after all the are the director.
Are you working on anymovies right now?
I just got cast in a new LGBT themed film called “Reveal”. I signed and NDA so I can’t really share much but it’s a fun film and I have a fun role as the gay uncle. Interesting to note this is the third uncle role I’ve played this year! I’m also writing a new LGBT feature about gay dads and their daughter’s wedding. And I’ve written a TV script intended for Lifetime channel.
. What field do you like best?
What do you prefer theater acting or movie acting
I like both! Yeah that’s a boring answer but it’s true. Theatre I think is much harder though and vastly more time consuming because first you need to rehearse it and then you need to perform it over and over. Film acting is a tad easier because once it’s filmed you’re done! But they both have their rewards in audience response.
Who is your favorite actor?
Keanu Reeves. He’s an artist. He does roles he wants to and isn’t so obsessed with fame or visibility. And he turns in engaging credible performances. I just love his work!
Who is your favorite actress?
Elaine Hendrix. She is always working! She’s best known as the wicked step mom to be in “The Parent Trap” with Lindsay Lohan but she’s always on TV. In fact I was excited to find that she’s joining the cast of the new “Dynasty” series. She will rock that show!
Tell me about you!
Whats your opinion on the current political situation
I’m a registered Democrat. Our country is in turmoil due to bad leadership and a party that puts their own interests over democracy. We need a change and all I can say is VOTE!!
Whats your opinion on the current climate situation
I believe that climate change is real. I worry it’s too late to “right the ship” but we all need to step up and try. Surely we can take better care of the earth. It has an enormous capacity to heal and we need to help that to happen.
Do you feel it’s important to be vocal and advocate change
I think it’s important to put action behind words. Tweeting or posting on social media isn’t accomplishing anything. I’ve stopped doing that. Instead I’m volunteering my time and donating my money to causes that are for positive change. We all need to do this. And we all need to get off social media—its consuming us!