Richard Leacock --- Working the Entertainment Industry.

by Kees Boer

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I always enjoy talking with Richard Leacock. Richard is always very easy going and very friendly. He also is someone, who really appreciates his fans. So, I was glad to catch up with him on his latest work. He's been quite busy, not only acting in films, but he and his brother have actually been producing films and writing scripts.

We started talking about his fellow castmembers of DOC. "I talk to Tracy very often, because we were very close on the show. I saw Ron Lea. He got to meet my son for the first time. I was actually walking by another movie set and I recognize the people who were in the crew from DOC and they all said: 'Hey, Ron is working on this movie!' So, I went in to see him and I introduced my little boy to him. He hadn't met him at that point. That was probably about a month ago that I saw Ron. I talk to Andrea ever so often. I talked to Tyler who had just turned 15 on Wednesday, which is mind-blowing considering that I met him, when he was eight! I visited with him and his family in Los Angeles on February and I was just amazed. I saw Derek last year some time. I emailed with Gary and Joan some, when Nikki had that art exhibit. I ran into Ruth Marshall a couple of months ago. We have the same agent. I was going into the office and there she was. I hadn't seen her since DOC ended, so it was good to see her. We chatted about life and got caught up… letting her know about my son and everything. I spoke to Munaf a couple of days ago. Munaf and I talk ever so often. He's always been a good guy. He has a big heart."

Several of the DOC actors and crew have been working on a show called Angel Eyes. "Tracy and Ron did an episode, before I did. They were in the same episode and I did the one after. There were also some crewmembers of DOC on the show and that's always nice, when you go to a set and you see some people, you've worked with before for a long time. It makes it a little bit more comfortable. It's on the Lifetime Network, which is a US network, a division of NBC/Universal."

Another television show that Richard has been working on is "The Dead Zone." "It's a TV show on the USA network. It stars Anthony Michael Hall and it is based on a movie that Christopher Walker starred in. It was Natalie Wood's last movie actually. In this particular episode, there is a woman, who is an old girlfriend of mine from college, who is sought by her ex-boyfriend, which is a little bit crazy and she comes to me for help. It just aired, but it will repeat again, but they repeat their episode."

We spoke about a film called "Earth Storm" that Richard was working on. "That is a TV movie that will be on the Sci-Fi Network, which is also a US Network. It stars Stephen Baldwyn. It's kind of like an Armageddon type of movie as far as 'Save The World' type of thing. Remember back several years ago, there was a movie called Armageddon and Deep Impact. It's sort of along the line of that. And I work with Stephen Baldwyn's character in a company that does blasts and explosions to bring old buildings down. We're explosion experts and it is time to save the world and there are some natural disasters that are starting to happen around the world. So, basically, I'm helping Stephen Baldwyn save the world."

It all started pretty dramatic. "My first day, I had to dive out of the way of a pretty big explosion. We got pretty dirty. There was a lot of ash and dust all over us. In fact, we looked grey when it was done. It was pretty exciting, but pretty freaky at the same time, because we didn't know what to expect, we rehearsed and rehearsed it without the explosion, but you can't know until the explosion actually hits you. The explosion actually twisted me sideways in the air, when it hit me. We were landing on some pads of course. I got to see the playback, it looks pretty cool."

We spoke about the safety involved in doing stunts like that. "I talked to the guys, who were doing the explosion and they reassured us and they tried to tell us what to expect. They know what they are doing. They told us: 'The blast is going to come at you from this angle and it's basically going to shoot a bunch of dust at you.' So, with that, what we're also facing were torrential downpours on that day as well. So, we're running from the outside into this tent and the explosion hits us when we're in the tent. So, there was wind and rain an then the explosion. The explosion happened so fast, that you really didn't get to see it. You ran and then it was a complete whiteout. They timed it so that right when we were jumping, we get hit. When we were in air, all we had to do was to make sure that we landed properly. I was with another girl. She took the brunt of it."
Richard explained how they do fights scenes in movies without getting hurt. "A fight scene is like a dance really. I've done some of those too. It's so choreographed. You throw a punch… I move… and I throw a punch… you move or whatever. It's a dance, it's all timing. That's not to say that people don't slip up. People get tired. That's when people get hit. I've been hit and I've hit somebody else."

Sometimes, people do get hurt though. "They are always very careful now, since we lost someone in 1993. We lost Bruce Lee's son, Brandon Lee on the set of "The Crow." My friend was a stunt choreographer on that movie. Brandon was his best buddy and it was a non-union crew and people were working really long hours and somebody got careless and didn't check a gun that should have been checked. When you're dealing with a big budget, big explosion film like that, there is a good chance that somebody is going to get hurt, because the stunts are so big."

Richard is also working on a show called "Across the River." "It's a new TV show that is coming out here and it is set in the Sixties and present day, so it goes back and forth. It follows a cast of characters and their lives and in it, I play a soldier, who really wants to start a family with his wife. She is a little hesitant, so that's where the drama is. He's probably going back to Vietnam. His idea of what a family should be may not necessarily mesh with what his wife is thinking. That's where the drama lies there."

Ken Hayes and Richard have also been working on another show. "There is actually one other show that I'm about to do called: "Till Death Do Us Part." It is for Court TV and the executive producer is one of the writers for DOC. Called Ken Haynes. I just got the gig for that. I ended up working with Ron Lea where I was the cop and he was the bad guy!"

I asked Richard if he was working on any of his own productions. "I'm in the middle of writing a movie. It is about three brothers, who are adopted and they are dealing with their father losing his faculties. He may have Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and they are dealing with that as grown men. One of the brothers has been gone for a long time and he returns. One of the brothers is always the favorite one and he was also the one, who was always responsible. He took on most of the work. So, we see what happens with these guys at dinner at their father's home. The whole movie takes place in the course of one evening."

We started talking about how his brother Viv is going to work with this. "I've been working with a couple of people, two of the other actors, who will be playing my brothers in the film. We've been working together. Viv will be part of it, but he won't be playing my brother in the film. We got a comedic part for him. My brother is very good at comedy. He's a funny guy. He could do the show "Pimp My Ride" with his eyes closed. He would love to host a show like that! He actually came up with the idea for one movie. We haven't produced it yet. After a while there were so many movies about cars and stuff that after a while, he didn't want to do it, because there were too many of them. We're looking for something new to do. But we're in the process of putting together another project as well. It's a crime drama story. So, we'll see what happens. We've been talking to a producer about doing it and we hope to get the script finished and to go into production."

It's always important to keep the idea of a film under close wrap. "We wrote a treatment for a movie that turned out to be the 'Fast and the Furious.' We had written it before the "Fast and the Furious" came out and we had written it about a guy, who goes undercover into the street racing gangs and then the Fast and the Furious came out and we said: "Ok, we won't do that one!' And just recently there is a new show coming out called "Daybreak." It's starring Taye Diggs. And it is about a guy, who's stuck in the same day over and over and over again. And Viv and I wrote a show called "The Next Day," about a guy, who's stuck in the same day over and over and over again. It is virtually the same show as Viv and I wrote. We wrote it long ago. And we were just starting to pitch the idea and we heard about Daybreak coming out. I don't know that they didn't steal the idea, because there is only one thing different about the character. The difference is that our character was more of a regular guy whereas this guy is a cop. He is capable of defending himself. Our guy wasn't necessarily that guy. He was going to be that person over time, being stuck in the same day as he learned different things. But that's the only real difference. There is a woman, who died in the piece, that he's in love with and the same thing happened in the TV show. It's virtually the same thing. This one actually hurts a lot. Theirs is called Daybreak and ours is called "The Next Day." It's pretty close. So that kind of stuff happens all the time and this one is the closest thing. We've written stuff before and then something came up that is like it. A thing happened a long time ago, that ended up being Tom Cruise's Minority Report. So, we couldn't do that. But this one! Viv and I knew that it was a great idea for a show and that it would work. And in the day and age, where people are watching the shows like Lost and 24 and really catching on to a serial TV show. This was that! And we knew that this thing would sell like crazy for sure if it went, but somebody beat us to it or stole one of the ideas one of the two."

I'm confident though that we will continue to see some really great things from both Richard and his brother in the near future.

If you'd like to know more about Richard Leacock, visit his website at: http://www.richardleacockonline.com.
Richard also has a MySpace website, which you can visit at: http://www.myspace.com/richardleacock