Craig Jackson plays Cliff, one half of the psychotic couple of Cliff and Domi, these are two people you wouldn’t want to hitch a ride from in Blood Drive, but you might have a blast if they picked you up Craig and Jenny. Let’s see what Craig and I talked about and decided to share with you guys!
HMF: Here is the one everyone knows is coming. What is your favorite Horror Movie?
CJ: It has to be between “The Exorcist” and “The Fly”. I watched them when I was very young and they have scarred me for life.
HMF: When did you first discover acting was it for you?
CJ: I loved performing little shows for my friends and family when I was young. I stopped performing when I was a teenager and I focused more on making my friends laugh at school. It took a fantastic English teacher, who told me to channel that energy on the stage. Next thing I knew I was playing Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello and I was hooked!
HMF: Who were you biggest influences in acting?
CJ: I was obsessed with Peter Sellers and “The Goon Show” (A 1950’s radio show) from the age of 10. I would listen to “The Goons” and let my imagination run wild. That’s the beauty of radio. Watching Peter Sellers’ visually was delight too. His physical comedy as well as his creation of different characters was genius!
HMF: What was the transition like switching from theater to film and Television?
CJ: It was pretty smooth. After leaving Drama school, I hadn’t trained a lot in the medium of film and television. I remember my first professional audition for a movie and the casting director just said, “you’re too big and stop acting!”. I took that note and worked at it. I used to prefer Theatre to Film/Television, but that’s changed. I love the fact that you can try something spontaneous on film/television and if it works and they like it, that moment has been captured forever!
HMF: Do you ever return to the stage? If so what was your most recent production?
CJ: I am currently doing the West End Hit, “The Play That Goes Wrong” in South Africa. I haven’t been on stage for 7 years so I’m shaking off the cobwebs. I’ve missed performing to a live audience, as opposed to a dead audience. I find the dead audiences’ very unappreciative and a lot quieter than live audiences’!
HMF: How has the experience of Blood Drive compared to other television and film roles you’ve had?
CJ: I had just come off 3 years of “Black Sails” which was absolutely amazing. To be honest, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to my “Black Sails’ experience; but I had nothing to fear! We had such a great team and I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time! The show was SO out there and the directors/producers/writers gave you room to play and if you went too far they’d pull you back, which I love! I was very lucky to work with such a talented and supportive team and I think that translates onto the screen.
HMF: Was Cliff your first choice on Blood Drive, and what attracted you to the role?
CJ: The casting director put me forward for Cliff and I’m so glad she did! Who wouldn’t want to play a ball busted whipping boy with lots of impotent rage. Oh! Who is also a psychopath! James Roland created such great characters in Cliff and Domi. When have such great writing to work off, it makes the process so much easier and enjoyable.
HMF: I love watching you and Jenny interact on the show as Cliff and Domi. How did you prepare for the role and how did you keep the chemistry so fun (and violent) between you?
CJ: Jenny and I got each other from the start. We immediately, sat down and chatted about our characters and their backstory. Jenny lives in Cape Town and I live in Johannesburg and we would constantly send each other messages with ideas and general banter. We eventually started calling each other “work husband” and “work wife”. When you have chemistry like that, the process becomes hugely rewarding and you find deeper subtext in your character.
HMF: Of all the racers in the Blood Drive, Cliff and Domi appear very out of place. What has been the Bleeders reaction to the Disarming Duo?
CJ: Jenny and I felt very out of place. We looked like we’d walked onto the wrong set. But it added to our process in creating these characters, who lived in their own little crazy world. The #Bleeders reaction has been astonishing. I’m really glad Cliff and Domi struck a cord with the Bleeders. The appreciation of the fans on Twitter and Facebook makes what we do so much more rewarding! If the viewers don’t like what you do, whats the point?
HMF: What is it like being the couple that drives the man-eating Prius?
CJ: Emasculating! I was genuinely jealous of the other cast members and their cars! Just imagine how angry Cliff was! He had no choice. As a man who has been married for many years, you have to pick your battles in a relationship. Poor old Cliff has never won one!
HMF: What’s next for Cliff?
CJ: If I told you that, I’d have to kill you!
HMF: What can we expect from Craig Jackson after this season of Blood Drive is over?
CJ: Lots of stage work in South Africa. I’m in the process of getting an overseas agent, so hopefully you’ll see me more of me on your screens. Thanks again for all the Blood Drive love and support!!! You guys rock! Oh!… All the best for the wedding, Scott! Just don’t model your marriage on Cliff and Domi’s!