Having chopped most of your acting skills on TV – how would you say this format has helped you grow as an actor?
Every job, whether that’s film or television or stage, any experience with working, helps you grow. I always say it’s like hitting a baseball; you can’t get better at it unless you’re swinging at pitches.
Most of the characters tend to be broken men one way or another – is that a coincidence or do you feel any gravitas to these particular characters?
I think it’s a little of both. I know when I first moved to Hollywood, I was put into a certain category because of maybe the way I look or the way I carry myself, and that sort of determines which way they push you. I’ve been working and have been having fun, so I just go with it. But I think anytime you can play someone who is conflicted or is in turmoil or has something bad going on or something great going on, it just gives you something to do from an acting standpoint.
How does it feel to jump from one villain to a somewhat hero or good man?
That’s great. I love playing anything and everything. Anything to keep it interesting, with anything that is a good character. As long as there’s something there that I can do something with, I’m all in.
Let’s talk about Back Fork – how did you come up with the idea for the film?
It’s really a combination of a bunch of different stories that I’ve had floating around in my head for quite some time. And no good story really works in my opinion without drama. And the current situation with the opioid epidemic that plagues so many small towns in communities around the country, it was a great backdrop for the story.
After The Hunted – why did you take your time to go back behind the scenes?
I would say it was partially schedule, partially waiting for the right time and the right story. I can tell you though, there won’t be that long of a break before my next.
What did you learn from that experience that you are either correcting or continuing?
As an artist we can never stop growing or learning in our craft or in life. I think that’s death to any artist. When the creator of life is stunted or cut off, that’s it. It’s over. Period.
Besides the different genre – was the approach for the script and directing any different this time around?
Not really. Telling a story is telling a story no matter the genre or what is happening. You still have to prep you still have to put in the time; you still have to put in the work. It doesn’t matter what it is. Making a film still requires time, energy and effort and great people to help you along the way.
What was it like to play the husband of AJ Cook, now on a film – did you borrow from any of your experience on Criminal Minds or was this an entire new experience?
AJ and I have known each other for quite some time and we’ve worked together so much that there’s just a familiarity with the way the two of us approach acting or playing a character. And anytime that’s the case, it’s easier to find people’s rhythms; in the way they speak, in the way they move, in the way that they’ll handle the scene. It takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation.
Did you get to talk to some addicts or where did you borrow inspiration for these characters and their psychology?
Yeah there were plenty of people I spoke to and there were plenty of people and stories that I’ve heard about and seen with my own eyes. Unfortunately, addiction is something that none of us have to look too far to find. It’s as common place as those who are not addicts in today’s world.
Were you worried of falling into the clichés with these roles?
Yes, of course. We had lots of discussions and conversations about that very thing. The subject matter in these characters poses all kinds of acting traps and bad storytelling traps to fall into. We took great time and consideration to keep that from happening. And I hope we succeeded. It could turn into an afterschool special real quick.
What were some of the challenges you encountered?
Every day on set is a challenge. There’s never a shortage of problems that will arise on any given day on a film set. All you can do is hope and plan and prep for any and everything. The biggest thing is surrounding yourself with good capable people that are going to help you and push through when those problems arise.
When and where can people catch the film?
On iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox, YouTube Transactional, Fandango Now, Dish Network, Direct TV, and through local cable providers
What else is happening next in Josh Stewart’s world?
I’m writing the next story. I’m hoping to bring another one to everyone very soon.