Back in the day when the CW was the WB, before the days of Punk'd, there lived a fantastic series called The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. The series consisted of practical jokes played by one of several hilarious characters created by Kennedy on unsuspecting people. Ashton has nothing on Jamie -- this man is a creative genius!
I had the fortunate opportunity to chat with Jamie Kennedy and found this genuinely charming and soft-spoken actor as normal as you and me. It should come as no surprise that Jamie landed a guest starring role on the CW dramedy (and one of my favorite new series this season) Reaper as an untalented musician who unwittingly sells his soul to the Devil....
Q: Is it true you posed as your own agent to get yourself gigs back in the early days of your career?
Jamie: "Yes, very true. I was just doing characters and stand-up at night and had this old man character. I started calling agents, managers and production companies just trying to get work. I did it for five months and it worked! I think sometimes I was my own best agent."
Q: Were you the typical class clown in high school?
Jamie: "I was in junior high school. Then in high school, I got weird and kind of quiet for a couple years and then I got crazy again."
Q: You pulled some of the funniest pranks I've ever seen on The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, how did you come up with those ideas?
Jamie: "They come from how I feel about things, something that irks me or makes me think about things. There were also great writers who would help brainstorm."
Q: Do you pull practical jokes on your friends and family?
Jamie: "Nah. It's so funny, people who get paid for a living to do what we do, we're not funny off camera. We're tired and people think we're like that. We hear about people like George Clooney being a jokester and he's always so serious on camera. The last thing we want to do is be funny."
Q: Do people try to play jokes on you?
Jamie: "Yeah, my mom was the one who really got us into it. She used to put on masks or act like she was the boogeyman."
Q: Tell us about your guest starring role on Reaper.
Jamie: "I play a struggling artist who's a rock-n-roll singer. He wants to make a deal, so he ends up making a deal unbeknownst to him -- with the Devil. He ends up having to pay for it in the end, kind of like all the people in the show. I had a lot of fun doing it, I love the show."
Q: Will the role be recurring or does your character wind up at the DMV office?
Jamie: "Ah, you never know, you'll have to see what happens."
Q: Did you have fun with the guys on set?
Jamie: "Yeah, they're awesome. They're a great group of guys. It was really cold when we shot it, so there was nothing to do there but act and drink hot chocolate."
Q: What have you been up to since your show ended?
Jamie: "I did a movie last year called Kickin it Old Skool. I did a special that's coming out over the summer called Heckler. It's a documentary about how heckling starts and how everyone has to deal with it. I'm producing a new game show for CBS called Splitsville. It's a game show where recently divorced couples have competitions for their possessions."
Q: Anything to say to the fans?
Jamie: "Watch Reaper! You guys should really support the show, it's a great show. I love this show."