Ep. 174 | James DuMont & Val Lauren
Actor/Producer James DuMont (The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club, Treme...) & Actor/Writer Val Lauren (Sal, ...) join us on The Matthew Aaron Show on Wednesday (11/6) as we broadcast LIVE from Taste Chicago in Burbank starting at 4pm PT.
James drops by with his daughter Sinclair to discuss working together for the first time on the upcoming mini-series BONNIE & CYLDE as well as some of James's recent work which includes DALLAS BUYERS CLUB THE BUTLER & AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN.
Val joins us to talk about his experience portraying Sal Mineo in the film SAL which was directed by James Franco and is currently playing is select theaters and is available on VOD.
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JAMES DUMONT was destined for television; his great Uncle Alan B. DuMont created the DuMont Television Network of the '40's and '50's, which featured Jackie Gleason in "The Honeymooners", filmed on DuMont television cameras and broadcast in homes on DuMont TVs. James began his career in Chicago as a child model as the 1966 Gerber Baby. Modeling led to television commercials for McDonald's and Sears and professional theatre where he performed in "Peter Pan & Oliver Twist". At the age of 10, James was paid to DJ at Dingbat's Disco in Chicago, where the local bouncer was Mr. T and his DJ mentor was none other than the originator of House Music DJ Larry Levan. This eventually led to his DJing at the famed Studio 54 in NYC and then to his performing with the Joffrey Ballet starring Rudolph Nureyev. DuMont got his SAG card by dancing in the street to Ray Charles in "The Blues Brothers." He then booked his first speaking role in the classic 80's film "Class" with Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. James attended Whitney Young High School with the future First Lady Michelle Obama and was in the 100th graduating class of Evanston Township High School, known for it's actor alumni, which includes John & Joan Cusack and Jeremy Piven. In his senior year, James starred in a production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (which was attended by many Holocaust survivors).
James went to Boston University where he continued to act in Theatre and DJ. In between his sophomore and junior years, James booked the play "American Buffalo" in NYC, and was offered company membership with Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) working with then up-and-coming playwrights John Patrick Shanley, Richard Greenberg and Craig Lucas. After leaving BU for NYC, James worked steadily in Theatre, discovered Buddhism (which he still practices today) and made his Broadway debut in the highly lauded play "Six Degrees of Separation" (which nudity was required for the part). Working opposite Stockard Channing and Courtney B. Vance. Journalist George Plimpton wrote a piece for Esquire Magazine about James and his experience as "the Nudist Buddhist." After "Six Degrees of Separation" closed, James performed in "Throwing Your Voice" co-starring Mary Louise-Parker, Brooke Smith, and Sam Robards in EST's One Act Marathon. This earned James rave reviews. James then decided to 'go nude' once more in the National Tour of "Six Degrees."
When that tour ended, James moved to Los Angeles, where he helped create EST-The LA Project (EST/LA), producing and developing over 200 plays. EST/LA performed at the US Comedy Arts Fest in Aspen where the company won the 'Best of the Fest' Award. During this time, DuMont worked on such TV series as "The George Carlin Show" and recurred as Ralph (the tabloid reporter) on "Lois & Clark." He also appeared in such memorable Films as: "Speed", "S.W.A.T", "Catch Me If You Can" , "War of the Worlds", "Seabiscuit" and "Ocean's 13."
Leading roles in Showtime's "Enemies Among Us" and "The Cellar Door" (which James co-produced and won the 'Best Actor' award as well as 'Best Feature'Award at 'Shreikfest' in Hollywood) soon followed. James also produced "The Confession", winning 20 of 25 international film festivals, with Michael Moore ("Bowling For Columbine") calling it "One of the darkest, funniest shorts I have ever seen." James co-produced the Feature Film "Statistics", which won the Audience Award at the Silverlake Film Festival, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Theatre productions of "Serious Games" & "Morphic Resonance" which won both the LA Weekly Award for Best Ensemble and the Los Angeles Times 'Critic's Choice Award'.
James can currently be seen in theaters in Lee Daniels' The Butler & Dallas Buyers Club as well as the small screen on American Horror Story: Coven, Nashville & Bonnie & Clyde.
VAL LAUREN most recently wrapped up the feature film, The Last Knights playing opposite Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, for director Kazuaki Kiriya’s theatrical release in 2014. He will next appear in Int. Leather Bar directed by James Franco and Travis Matthews, a re-imagining of the film Cruising starring Al Pacino, where he stars in Pacino’s role. The film will release late 2013/ early 2013. Also in 2013, Val filmed the leading role in Desires of the Heart, an independent feature film directed by James Kicklighter.
Val made his theater director debut when he directed a sold out run of the critically acclaimed original play theater production, No Way Around But Through, written by Scott Caan and produced by Garry Marshall and Mike O'Malley. Val and Scott starred alongside Melanie Griffith, Bre Blair and Robyn
He made his writing and film directorial debut with the 40 minute short film, Help about a man (played by Val) who one night sets out on a mission to save his dying Mother's life. Help was an official selection at numerous film festivals including the Hollywood Film Festival, Palm Springs International, Ashland Independent, Charleston International, Playhouse West Film Festival, and the Strasbourg International, earning Val awards in several categories including: Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Picture and Audience Award for Best Picture. Help also won OpenFilm's short film competition, earning Val a financing and a production deal with the production company, James Caan and Robert Duvall.
Val's other credits include a supporting role in Phedon Papamichael's soon to be released Lost Angeles and guest stars on the season finale of “Hawaii 5-0”, “Monk”, “CSI NY”, “Criminal Minds”, and “24”.