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Ed Wasser interview

Date of publishing: 8th January 2007

Ed Wasser interview Ed Wasser is a native of New York. He acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the State University of New York, SUNY Purchase Conservatory. After college Ed started his own business called Ad Skates, Inc., while continuing acting classes at the Michael Howard Studios. On his spare time he accrued Off-Broadway and New York regional theater credits. Since his move to Hollywood, he's had several guest-starring roles on Movies of the Week and several television series; produced by HBO, ShowTime, NBC, ABC & CBS. It wasn't until Dori Zuckerman called Ed to be a reader for the pilot of Babylon 5 did his career really take a turn. This helped land him a recurring role for the next 4 seasons as Mr. Morden.
Recently Ed has played in a short sci-fi film in San Francisco called "Eight thirty two" directed by Ben McDaniel.

Download the audio interview by clicking here (Zipped MP3 file)
Disclaimer: Please, do not direct link to this file, link to the page ONLY.

Gilles Nuytens: So, Thank you so much for allowing me this interview. We haven’t heard a lot from you lately, since the end of Babylon 5, except maybe in one episode of 24. What have you done since that?
Ed Wasser: Since then?

Gilles Nuytens: Yes.
Ed Wasser: I’ve really been ...
(Background voice: Is it Gilles?)
Ed Wasser: Yes, it's Gilles. Yeah, uhm, what have I done since Babylon 5 and 24? Well I’ve done several little projects and small films for some friends and stuff, but a lot of my energy has really been put into just being a Dad toward my son.

Gilles Nuytens: That’s good.
Ed Wasser: So I haven’t really done a whole bunch. I did a student film for someone who wrote a project specifically for Mr. Morden, which was funny. So he expressed his desire to have me do that project for him, and I thought, “you know, why not. It’s in San Francisco, it’s just a couple of days.” So I went up and did that movie. That was fun. I did just come back from Arizona doing a project called The Leaf Maid, and that was written, produced, and directed by Paul Brown. That was a fun project. It was about a fifteen minute short. It took eight days to shoot, the fifteen minute short, and we did that with the intention to submit it to the film festivals. It will probably end up being at Cannes, maybe a couple of others. I’m not really sure exactly which ones. I’m doing a lot of, you know, my son’s a skateboarder so I’m doing a lot of driving these days, (laughter). Yeah, driving him from skate park to skate park.

Ed Wasser interviewGilles Nuytens: Ah, yes, yes. I saw that video. That was, very, very impressive.
Ed Wasser: Yeah, thank you. He’s pretty...so passionate. Skateboarding, he loves it so much.

Gilles Nuytens: Yes, we can see that.
Ed Wasser: Yeah it’s good. And you know, I have, since Babylon 5, I have gotten my contractor’s license, so I’m a general contractor. So I build homes, condos, and do lots of remodel work, you know kitchens and bathrooms.

Gilles Nuyten: I see.
Ed Wasser: Of course, you know, I’m not really doing the work myself, but I book the work. I bring in my workers to do the job. So that’s what’s been going on for me.

Gilles Nuytens: Do you still do theatre, or something?
Ed Wasser: I’ve done a couple of plays since then. You know, I try to do a little bit of theatre every now and again. I haven’t done anything in a couple of years. I think in the next couple of years thing might start to change a lot, you know? My wife is going to school to be a court reporter, and that’s full time. So when she gets her license to be a court reporter and goes back to work and starts making a living in her profession, then I will probably, at that time, feel more comfortable and I’ll have a little more time that I can actually get back into some of my acting. But right now the priority for me is to take care of…

Gilles Nuytens: Your family.
Ed Wasser: Family. Yeah, my family.

Gilles Nuytens: That’s good.
Ed Wasser: You know, acting isn’t one of those professions where, especially, you know, it’s not one of those professions where you just say, “Ok! I’m gonna go back to work, and, give me a movie, and pay me a couple hundred thousand dollars.” At least not for me, maybe for Brad Pitt! But not for me. (laughter) But, you know, life is good. And it’s been exciting learning a new profession, learning to do something completely different from acting, so that’s been fun.

Gilles Nuytens: Yeah, you did football if I’m right, then acting, and now something else so you’ve done a lot of different things.
Ed Wasser: Yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, it was so funny on the radio today, are you familiar with Jackie Mason?

Gilles Nuytens: Jackie… no.
Ed Wasser: He’s an old Jewish comedian and he talks like this *accent* “and he doesn’t know. You gotta problem? It’s ok I don’t know” he kind of talks like that. And he’s been around for years. He’s a very famous comedian here in the States. And he says *accent* “The thing about acting is, it’s funny, they’re not really qualified to do anything but act, you know. If you took away acting, what would they do? They don’t have a resume, they don’t have any qualifications. They’re just a bunch of narcissistic people who don’t know anything except themselves.” It was funny because…I remember going through a period in my life where I made the transition from acting to having to figure out how to take care of my family without acting. And I went “Wow!” You know? I mean I have other skills, but I never really thought about having to make a living doing something other than acting. That was really….That was a huge transition for me. Transitioning from acting to becoming a working professional in the work force… you know. Like most of us. Like 90% of the population.

Ed Wasser interviewGilles Nuytens: Like me. (snigger)
Ed Wasser: Yeah, we have to go to work!

Gilles Nuytens: Do you still practise a lot of sports like you did before?
Ed Wasser: Well, outside of coaching Evan’s soccer team, and coaching his baseball team and stuff, I really haven’t been doing a whole lot of sports, although if you call martial arts a sport, you know, my wife, myself, and Evan, and our two girls, we all do go to HapKido, which is a martial art. It’s specifically designed to train the elite in Korea, and only the elite get to take HapKido. Everybody else takes Tae Kwon Do. So we’re learning this art form called HapKido and we’re loving it. We’re all brown belts and we’ve only got two more belts before we’ll be black belts. But that’s probably another two years away, but we’ve been doing that for about four years.

Gilles Nuytens: Before becoming an actor you were an active sportsman. Did you ever try to audition for a movie playing a more physical role even to your athletic abilities?
Ed Wasser: No…I never really had an opportunity to really audition for any films that I was able to capitalise on my athletic ability. I never really had that opportunity.

Gilles Nuytens: But do you like to have that opportunity?
Ed Wasser: Sure! That would be fun! Of course. Yeah. Maybe one day I’ll play a retired soccer player who’s trying to hold onto his last year of soccer. I don’t know. (laughter)

Gilles Nuytens: What do you prefer: playing theatre, television or cinema and why?
Ed Wasser: Well, theatre is definitely the most fun. Just because it’s instant gratification of working on a character and putting it in front of the audience and you get immediate response from the audience on whether or not that character works or doesn’t work. Theatre is just a lot more fun, just because it’s so in the moment. So I love theatre. And then after that would be movies. I like movies a lot. It reminds me of working on theatre, just because you get to work on the part longer, and there’s a lot more time as opposed to television, that moves really, really fast.

Gilles Nuytens: Yeah. That’s what I’ve been said: television is really much faster.
Ed Wasser: Very fast, yeah. Very technical. Very fast.

Gilles Nuytens: So what attracted you so much to leave all you had and go to Hollywood to become a professional actor?
Ed Wasser: (laughs) Well…a couple of things. I mean, I always felt that I wanted to act. When I was in New York, that was great, working and acting in New York, but the thing about coming to California was the cost of living was cheaper in California. So I moved out to California because I was able to stretch my money further. I could find a place to rent for 600 bucks as opposed to 1200 dollars. Food, everything was just cheaper here in California than it was in New York, and this is where the movie business really is, or at the time it really was, it still is, but this is the capital of the movie industry.

Ed Wasser interviewGilles Nuytens: Yes, capital of cinema. Now how do you feel about being a part of a show that has become cult? I mean Babylon 5.
Ed Wasser: I’m proud. I feel proud to be a part of Babylon 5. I think it has served me really well, and it served my family well and it was fun! I enjoyed it.

Gilles Nuytens: How do you feel about being recognised on the street as Mr Morden?
Ed Wasser: Well, that happens less and less now that I’m old and decrepit. I’m joking, I’m joking. But it does happen less and less. But either way….When I am recognised, it’s nice to be acknowledged for the work that you’ve done. It feels good, it feels nice to have someone say “Hey! I know you from Babylon 5. You did great on that show.” Of course, it’s nice. It’s like someone saying to me “Hey! I saw that house that you built. It’s a beautiful house.” And I say “Thank You!” It’s how we all feel about our work. Everybody likes to be acknowledged for doing good work.

Gilles Nuytens: Ok, now, what do you want?
Ed Wasser: (laughs) Of course you had to ask that, right?

Gilles Nuytens: Yeah, of course!
Ed Wasser: I want…. Wow…. What do I want? Jeez, come to me. (laughter) Well, on a personal level I want my family to continue to be healthy and be happy and make a great living. On a global standpoint I’d love to see… I would love to see the international community come together and do something with global warming and I’d like to see the international community come together and create a safer place to live, I guess. That would be really nice if we had a safe planet to live on.

Gilles Nuytens: Yeah, that’s the issue.
Ed Wasser: I mean we’ve got assholes like you know who.

Gilles Nuytens: That’s the issue...
Ed Wasser: You know, the guy over here in America, you know.

Gilles Nuytens: What do you keep in mind from Babylon 5?
Ed Wasser: I remember how fortunate I was to work on such a fun show. And I remember how Joe Straczynski stepped out and took a chance with me and gave me a really awesome part. I’m grateful for that.

Gilles Nuytens: On what project would you like to be involved with?
Ed Wasser: What project would I like to be involved with?

Gilles Nuytens: Yes.
Ed Wasser: Any project that had integrity and something that I would enjoy doing. I don’t have any specifics, I mean, there’s some shows on the air that I think are great. When I think of that TV show, I don’t know if you guys have it yet, Prison Break.

Ed Wasser interviewGilles Nuytens: Yes, we have it.
Ed Wasser: That’s a great show. That would be a fun show to be a part of.

Gilles Nuytens: Did you try to audition for it?
Ed Wasser: No, I don’t go out for auditions anymore. I’m not really pursuing acting, I’m just not pursuing it. I feel like I have so much more of myself than I did years ago. I don’t really feel like....My energy and my intentions are all about really raising my family up and taking care of my family, and if I got a movie or a TV series that made me leave for sixteen weeks, I don’t think I’d want it. I don’t even know if I’d want it. I want to be at home with my son, I want to see to my son grown up. I want to be….You know, I don’t want to miss anything. He’s seven years old and before you know it he’ll be eighteen and he’ll be out on his own, and, I don’t know, I don’t know… it’s interesting. The more I’m away from it, the less I really miss it. When I go back to it, like these little projects that I’ve been doing, I have a whole lot more fun, because I don’t really care that much.

Gilles Nuytens: But you can always have a guest appearance on a few shows.
Ed Wasser: Well, you know what they call it? They call it the fuck you fund. It’s like that’s fuck you money, it’s like, you know what, I can take care of myself, I can take care of my family. I don’t really need to put myself out there to be struggling and starving and desperate and needy, and all of those things that used to be a big part of my life. So I do know that if I ever get back into it, it will be so different than what it ever was.

Gilles Nuytens: What strong characteristics about Ed Wasser would you like the fans to know?
Ed Wasser: Oh, are there any fans out there still that know who I am? (laughter) I don’t know. What would I want them to know about me?

Gilles Nuytens: Yeah. What you would like them to know about you.
Ed Wasser: I guess I want them to know that being a dad, and being present for my son is the most important job I’ll ever have in my life, and I’m loving it. That’s fun to me.

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Interview by Gilles Nuytens for The Scifi World
Transcribed by Rising Phoenix and Jennifer Redelle Carey
Special thanks to Suzanne


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