Fans of Monk will no doubt remember Jason Gray-Stanford as having played the fun and lovable role of Lt. Randall Disher. On top of starring in that very successful series, he also starred alongside Russell Crowe in the films A Beautiful Mind and Mystery, Alaska. And if you have a keen ear you may also recognize his voice from one of the many television shows that he has leant his voice to, including Dragon Ball Z and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.
You can see Jason starring alongside Elizabeth Berkley in the film Lucky Christmas which premieres November 12th on the Hallmark Channel.
TH: What did you enjoy most about your time spent performing in the show Monk?
JGS: The great cast and crew and all the laughing we did!
TH: With the success that Monk had, do you feel it's difficult to get fans to see you as other than the character you portrayed?
JGS: The great thing about acting is if you build it they will come. There is always gonna be some resistance with people or the business seeing you only one way. It's my job to be good at what I do and change that. I've always found the audience to be very supportive with my character choices.
TH: Being a public figure entails that you lose a little bit of your privacy, but what do you view as crossing the line by fans? For example, does it bother you when you're approached while enjoying dinner?
JGS: Fans! I have fans! YES! Seriously though, no line crossing, I love saying hi to fans. It all comes with the territory. Well, maybe if I'm taking a pee or something, that might get a little weird.
TH: You mentioned in another interview that you almost turned down the role in Monk after seeing the script the first time. Ultimately, the show was a great success for you; have there been any other roles that when looking back you wish you would have tried out for?
JGS: This is always an interesting question ‘cause I truly believe you get the ones that are meant for you. It's meant to be. A bit esoteric, I know, but let's put it this way: I'm damn blessed I was a part of Monk! As far as other parts go yes, I would have liked to have had a go at Batman or Gladiator, but c'est la vie. Damn you Russell and Christian!
TH: Having done a number of television projects as well as movies, do you find that you enjoy one more than the other? Or do they (along with voiceover work) help break up the routine to keep it fresh and exciting?
JGS: Happy to be working is the best answer. I actually feel acting is acting regardless of the medium. Each one has its own charms, theatre as well. I do like being able to do a bit of each for the variety. However, a part of me really does enjoy the fast pace of TV, there's less farting around; make your choices, do your thing, and move on to the next.
TH: Which actor has had the greatest impact on your career, whether through advice, guidance, or otherwise?
JGS: Russell Crowe, met him on Mystery, Alaska along with a few others. We are all still a bit of a posse.
TH: You helped with backing vocals on the CD Gaslight for Russell Crowe's band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. Have you always had an interest in music, and is it something you'd still like to pursue?
JGS: I love music but there are far too many really talented folks doing it that they don't need me mucking about with it too much. The odd song or strum here and there is good enough for me.
TH: Having a hyphenated name myself, I'm always intrigued with the story behind hyphenated names; can you share the story behind yours?
JGS: Well, very simply, my father passed when I was quite young and when my mom re-married my now father, who sadly has also passed (one year today in fact), I took both names to honor two great men. Now on to something funny...
TH: Your IMDB page lists you in a number of upcoming projects, what you can you tell us about some of them?
JGS: I have a romantic movie coming out on November 12th on Hallmark Hall of Fame. It's sweet. Also, as I write these answers, I am in the midst of shooting a submarine thriller called Phantom. Take my advice, crawling around the bilges of a practical sub ain't glamorous, but it's a hell of a lot of fun!
TH: We end all interviews with word association, so I say "wombat" and you say...
JGS: Fuck you!!! No, no I don't. I say bug-eyed!