Home / CULTURE / Interview: Curt Bonnem Discusses His Role In New Web Series ‘Old Dogs & New Tricks’

Interview: Curt Bonnem Discusses His Role In New Web Series ‘Old Dogs & New Tricks’

Old Dogs & New Tricks just made its long-anticipated debut with great reviews. Part 1 of the first episode is Now Online! Catch the conclusion Tues, Jan. 10 at www.OldDogsNewTricksTheSeries.com

Queer Me Up recently had the chance to interview the talented actors of this witty and fabulous production. The series features four central characters who are all 40+ and dealing with growing older as gay men in a strongly youth-obsessed culture.

In previous interviews Leon Acord, David Pevsner and Jeffrey Patrick Olson discussed their roles and shared anecdotes from the set. Now Curt Bonnem talks with us about his experience in Old Dogs & New Tricks.

Curt Bonnem originally hails from The Windy City, where he began his acting career in the fifth grade. Some highlights of his early days were writing, directing and starring in a popular community theatre production entitled Big Louis’ Speakeasy, at the age of 16, and winning the 1987 Junior National Juggling Championship of the International Jugglers Association. Moving to Los Angeles in 1988, Curt continued his theatrical training, gaining a BA in Theatre from Cal State University, Northridge, where he starred in several Main Stage productions such as Little Shop Of Horrors (Dentist), and A Funny Thing Happened?Forum (Pseudolus).

Curt was also active in many student productions, both as an actor and director, including Kurt Vonnegut’s only stage play Happy Birthday Wanda June and David Mamet’s one act, The Shawl. Most recently, Curt jumped in to the hit production (and LA Weekly Musical of the Year nominee) Hoboken To Hollywood. The past few years have kept Curt quite busy on the boards, with productions including his portrayal of Frank Sinatra in the multi-award winning Louie & Keely Live At The Sahara at the Geffen; the premier stage adaptation of the 1980 cult film classic Forbidden Zone: Live In The 6th Dimension at The Sacred Fools Theater; the long running and major cult hit The Beastly Bombing, winner of the LA Weekly Award for Best Musical and successful Off?Broadway run at the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2007; and the continuing production of Lovelace: A Rock Opera, winner of the LA Weekly Best Musical Ensemble award, and favorite at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

As a member of the award winning theatre company The Road, Curt’s credits include the highly acclaimed West Coast Premiere of Marked Tree, the Off?Road production The Junto, plus notable roles in the award winning productions of The Pagans and playwright Tom Jacobson’s Ouroborus, staged by noted LA director Michael Michetti. Other theatre credits include Great Expectations, The Musical (LA Weekly Best Musical nominee) at The Hudson Backstage; Big River at The Actor?s Co-Op; The Traveling Lady at The Company of Angels, Hamlet at The Nevada Shakespeare Festival, and most notably as the star in a popular local production of the musical Hair, directed by the show’s creator, James Rado, who dubbed Curt “The best Claude I’ve ever seen.” This production eventually took Curt to Moscow for the first ever Russian production at the city?s largest theatrical venue, The Astrada Theater, where it is still running to this day.

One of his recent favorites was in the critically acclaimed comedy, Carved In Stone at Theatre Asylum in Hollywood, playing Tennessee Williams. He was lucky enough to share the stage with the likes of the multi-talented writer/creator of Old Dogs & New Tricks, Leon Acord. As a proud member of the Sacred Fools, Curt also frequently performs in their late night show, Serial Killers, which has become a Saturday night cult favorite in the Los Angeles area.

He has also been seen in several national TV commercials and independent films including I Want To Get Married (in post production), Visible Scars releasing this year, and Triple Threat. You may also have caught him in syndication as a twisted serial killer on the CBS hit drama Criminal Minds. His artistic aspirations extend to film production as well. He has produced, directed, edited, shot and created several short films, documentaries and music videos. Notable projects include Seat Fillers! which won the Oklahoma Downstream Film Festival and was named in the top 50 picks of the 2003 TriggerStreet.com online film festival, as well as the King’s X video for the song Smudge.

Currently you can see Curt Bonnem in Old Dogs & New Tricks playing Brad King: A one-hit wonder from the late 1980s, Brad contends ‘guys are more interested in inches than years’ — and has turned the on-line hook-up into an art form.

We asked Curt a few questions about his participation in Old Dogs & New Tricks, Here’s what he told us.

Is Brad going to have a new sexy hook-up on every episode?

If it were up to Brad he would! Suffice it to say that it’s difficult to keep Brad’s libido in check. You’ll just have to keep coming back for more…just like Brad.

Exactly how big is Brad?s log?

Larger than a cigar, smaller than a breadbox. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse during an episode…you never know, it is the internet!

How many sex scenes are we going to see from Brad?

Sadly, you will only get to see a fraction of Brad’s shenanigans. There just isn’t enough hard drive space for it all. But don’t fret, there’s plenty to go around.

How did you manage to master Brad?s peculiar accent?

I don’t think Brad has even mastered it. He’s a Florida boy who’s been posing as a Brit for the last few decades, so it’s going to come and go. The challenge for the viewer is to catch him when he lets the accent drop and his southern roots come out. Can you tell?

Queer Me Up asked the following questions to the fourth main actors in the cast, Here are Curt Bonnem’s answers:

What?s going to happen at Nathan?s 50 birthday party?

With Brad in the mix…lots of booze, boys and bawdiness!

Are there any deleted scenes in ?Old Dogs & New Tricks? and if so, what do they reveal?

As far as I know, there aren’t any actual ‘scenes’ that have been deleted. However, there is probably some rather racy, funny, ridiculous footage from Brad’s threesome that didn’t make the final cut. But don’t worry, I’m sure it will turn up in the DVD extras.

With working in web what are the biggest differences from your TV or film (or theatre) work?

Sometimes that little screen just feels claustrophobic! But seriously, working on this series is very similar to working on film or TV. Especially TV, where the production time is so short and you have to really work fast and hard, which is exactly the way Brad likes it. Theater, however, is a whole other ball game. There are no second takes, edits or cutaways when you are on stage. It’s the one true actor’s medium. Once that curtain or lights go up, it’s just you and your fellow actors and there is no turning back or stopping.

What kind of relationship did you develop with each other? Did you hang out off-set during filming?

I have the honor of having worked with and become friends with our amazingly talented and delightful writer/producer and star, Leon Acord, prior to the making of Old Dogs. And it has been a tremendous pleasure getting to work with and know my co-stars, Jeffery Olson and David Pevsner, over this whole process. A am a huge admirer of all of these guys, and I’ve really been enjoying all the extra time we’ve gotten to spend together lately while promoting the show. Part of what makes the show work is how effortlessly the four of us clicked, and I only see that developing further as we continue on.

Do you have any funny anecdotes from the filming you want to share?

There is something inherently funny about shooting a scene like the threesome flashback in Episode 2. Here you are, hanging out on set, getting makeup done, having a coffee and some craft service, standing around in your underwear and a robe and waiting to get into bed with two complete strangers. “Hi, I’m Curt. Nice to meet you.” And then you are sandwiched in between these people. It’s hilarious and ridiculous and a total blast.


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