Jaason Simmons – who most of you may remember as Logan Fowler in Baywatch from 1994 – 1997, protected us by running up and down the beach saving lives, in and out of the water. Now Jaason is protecting us from sharks in Sharknado 2013 as Baz Hogan. In between these movies he has been very busy with stage & screen work. Jaason has a new film coming out in 2014 called The B Team, but he has graciously taken time out to speak to Movie Vine.
Aprilyn: Hello Jaason and welcome to Movie Vine! Thank you for taking time to speak with us.
Jaason: Hello! Nice place you have here.
Aprilyn: Thank you! Let’s get started by talking about Sharknado! I watched the movie and was really surprised by it! It’s not what I expected and I found I actually liked it. What made you decide to do the movie?
Jaason: With Sharknado, everything was last minute! I got the offer on a Monday and we started shooting on that Wednesday. I have had some time away from TV, mostly doing theatre, and had not done a movie with so many visual effects. I wanted to see what it was all about and if I could pull it off, while having fun doing it.
Aprilyn: It actually looked like it was fun. Baz Hogan had a great sense of humor in the movie. How much of you is a part of his character?
Jaason: The sense of humor is very much a part of who I am. I however had not played such a broad Australian character in ages, so that was a blast and I think adds to the playfulness. Some of the lines that ended up in the film were last minute improvisations.
Aprilyn: I’m sure it was a blast. How was it to watch the filming of the movie?
Jaason: The production was full on. We only had 18 days to shoot it, everyday things changed. I would look over my stuff the night before, turn up to set watch the day unfold, and adjust accordingly.
Aprilyn: That had to be challenging, but you pulled it off. I don’t want you to give away any secrets of the movie but having sharks in tornadoes was crazy! Did you get to see any of the special effects filmed? What was the craziest thing you witnessed?
Jaason: NO, never saw anything! That’s where the imagination comes in. I didn’t really have a reference point for this genre, so I just had to trust, stay present and have fun. The craziest thing I witnessed was trying to get this movie made in 18 days!
Aprilyn: That is a very tight schedule. With all of the action in this movie, did you finish the movie sore? Also what injuries did you incur while filming?
Jaason: Sore yes, hurt no. I’m Australian 😉
Aprilyn: I love it! What was your favorite scene in the movie?
Jaason: The bar scene in the beginning of the movie. We got to establish some character relationships before the first shark comes flying through the window. Then it was Game on!
Note: For our international readers please note the following two questions/answers contain Sharknado spoilers.
Aprilyn: I know your character didn’t survive Sharknado; will you have any involvement in Sharknado 2?
Jaason: He didn’t? Are you sure about that?…If sharks fly, I would say anything is possible.
Aprilyn: Wait, you’re right they never showed what actually happens to you and if someone survived being swallowed you could have survived. I love it! Do you think you will ever go back in the ocean again?
Jaason: I will always be in the ocean. Hopefully not so much in the winter time.
Aprilyn: Too funny! What was it like to play Logan Fowler on Baywatch?
Jaason: It was fun, intense and a bit crazy. When I joined the show it was at its peak. I was on hiatus from my first year in Drama school when I booked the job. I made some amazing friends, but it wasn’t really for me at the time. I asked to be let out of my contract after 3 years and went back to finish my training, then moved to London.
Aprilyn: Filming on the beach seemed like a lot of fun. Did you enjoy filming Baywatch?
Jaason: It was fun, but was also a lot of work. If anyone with pale eyes has ever been on the beach without their sunglasses knows, its not easy. Add more lights and reflectors bouncing off the sand, I’m surprised my retinas didn’t get burnt out. That being said, I was 24 and grateful to be working and learning.
Aprilyn: Do you still have fans that recognize you from Baywatch?
Jaason: Sometimes. I like creating characters. Logan Fowler was a character. Very far from who I am personally. One of the first things I did when I left was to shave my head. That helped.
Aprilyn: I noticed you’ve done theater, TV series, independent films, cult films & SyFy. Do you have a favorite genre to do?
Jaason: Theatre and Syfy are my favorite. It just depends on who is involved and what I want to experience at the time. Most importantly though, it is to tell a story and to have fun while doing it.
Aprilyn: How much can you tell us about your next project (B-Team movie)?
Jaason: The B. Team is a project that several former Baywatch Alumni are involved in. It’s an action comedy and we are actually having our first cast table read next week. It’s a whole lot of fun!
Aprilyn: What or who inspired you to go into acting?
Jaason: My father died when I was 7 years old. From the time I was born until I was 7, he was in and out of hospital. Very drawn out and painful. The way I coped with this was through my imagination….Then I heard you could make a living out of this. Acting is living truthfully under an imaginary circumstance. I think I nailed that in Sharknado.
Aprilyn: Sorry to hear about your father, but from your pain a great actor was born. If you hadn’t gone into acting what profession would you have gone into?
Jaason: As a creative you always have to do more than one thing to keep you’re sanity, so I would probably do something else in production.
Aprilyn: Have you ever thought about writing a screen play or directing a movie?
Jaason: Yes I have thought about writing and directing. I’m currently working on a book, once this is out of the way, I may attempt a screen play.
I have directed theatre, but no film or TV. I do enjoy it, but a part of me likes turning up at call time and leaving at the end of the day. As a director that never happens, and considering the end of the day could already be 12 to 18 hours, as an actor, it would definitely have to be a passion project.
Aprilyn: What’s that one question you have always wanted to answer and no one has asked you?
Jaason: Yes there is, but if I told you no one would ever ask it.
Aprilyn: Good answer!
Jaason: Thanks Aprilyn, I look forward to chatting with you again soon, and maybe I will answer the question that no one has asked me the next time we chat. 🙂 Jaason
Aprilyn: I will make sure I’m prepared to ask that question the next time we meet, LOL. I love a challenge! Jaason Simmons I appreciate you taking time out to speak with Movie Vine. I’m looking forward to seeing your next project, The B Team. You have a new fan!