Hey guys! I’m so excited to share the new ‘TXTS’, with my friend Eric Todd. You might know Eric from the iconic show ‘The Sinner’ which he plays ‘Frankie.’ Eric and I chatted all about his time on the show, when he got in to acting, and what he think’s about a spin off or season two of ‘The Sinner.’ Be sure to follow Eric on Instagram to keep up with all of the crazy and fun things he does. Thanks so much for taking the time with me Eric, I adore you!
XO Diva D
David: Hey Eric! I am so excited to be talking with you, how are you?
Eric: I’m doing great thanks!
David: When did you get into acting? Was it something that you’ve always liked?
Eric: I went through high school planning on being a professional bicycle slope style rider. I broke a lot of bones. I crashed one day while in a competition, slammed my head, cracked my full face helmet into two and had a brain hemorrhage. I discovered acting shortly after when, just for fun, I auditioned for my high school show “Hamlet” my senior year looking to get a small part. They cast me as Hamlet and I went “oh shit.” So I learned quickly and found that I enjoyed acting and was somewhat decent at it. This was the time I was applying for colleges and I had heard about these “acting conservatories” briefly. I asked my drama teacher if she honestly thought I had a shot and she said yes. So I applied last minute to a bunch of conservatories, auditioned in NYC for them, got in to them and ended up going to University of North Carolina School of the Arts. It was an awesome program, it still is. God awful social life, I felt like a hermit crab in a tank full of goldfish, but it was incredible training.
David: What was the first role you auditioned for?
Eric: Man, my first real audition was for a Berkeley Reparatory production of “Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike” for the role of Spike. See ,four years ago I was about 3 times more jacked. You couldn’t tell where my neck end d and my shoulders started. I looked like a Baywatch cut out and I moved just about as fluidly. Since then I’ve gotten married and lazy. Anyway, the role came down to me and another dude. But he got it. I was happy with second place at that time. I’ve gotten greedier since.
David: Do you get nervous before auditioning for roles?
Eric: When I first started auditioning I was pretty awful. I don’t say that to get pity I was just honestly bad. It’s a strange thing going from a conservatory that trains you in, almost strictly, theater acting and then start auditioning for TV and film. They’re two different beasts and some people are lucky enough to have the instincts already there and can adjust seamlessly. I had to work. I’ve been on over 500 auditions in my career so far. Only within the past six months have I really felt comfortable at an audition. I hate Auditions. I hate the process but I’ve learned to live with it. I still get nervous from time to time but I’ve figured out my tricks to getting over it. Usually it’s just a matter of “letting it go”. Letting the work go and not bothering to think about the audition at all. I’ve done the work, then I just do it.
David: Are there any A-List actors or actresses you dream of working with on a project?
Eric: oh boy, I would love to work with Tarentino. I’ve watched his films growing up and I think he’s a genius. I’ve heard many horror stories but I like to think I could deal with it because his movies are so brilliant. Also, I’d love to work with Day Lewis, Tom Hardy, and Michael Shannon. Funny story, I saw Michael walking down the street a few months ago. It was 3am and my wife and I had been out at a bar with some friends and were walking home. Suddenly my friend David turns to me and goes, “Bud. That’s Michael Shannon over there”. I look over and, sure enough, there’s this super tall gangly man stumbling drunkenly down the sidewalk next to us. David goes, “We should go take a picture with him. I love the guy, you love the guy, it’s 3am. Why not?” Just then a guy passes him, realizes who he is, and asks for a photo to which Michael begrudgingly agrees. They take the photo and Michael moves on. David and I look at each other and are about to approach him when, all of the sudden, Michael stops walking. He throws his head back in the air with his arms spread wide and, looking like a drunken and angry angel, he shouts “FUCK EVERYONE!!” David and I decided we didn’t need the photo after all.
David: Your most recent project “The Sinner” just aired its final eighth episode, I was so hooked on the show! How did you first hear about the role and when did you guys start filming?
Eric: I think I first got the audition back in September or October of last year and we shot the pilot down in South Carolina shortly after.
David: The show is based around your character (Frankie Belmont) being murdered by Jessica Biel’s character (Cora Tannetti) on a beach one day out of nowhere. When you first got the script, did you know the reason that Cora had murdered Frankie or did you find out towards the end of filming?
Eric: Hah no. I auditioned with Masons sides actually because they hadn’t finished writing it. So I had no idea. I thought I was just a one episode, maybe two episode guest star. I had bought the book before shooting but I hadn’t bothered to read it. Because I’m professional like that ha-ha. As we were shooting the pilot Derek Simmons, the writer, pulled me aside and said “do you want to know what happens with your character?” So he gave me the low down.
David: What was your initial reaction to finding out why Cora murdered Frankie, where you shocked? I truly couldn’t believe that because the show was so clever at keeping everything a guessing game!
Eric: I was surprised for sure. It was way more disturbing than anything I had come up with in my head. But when I found out why Cora killed me I was also finding out I would play a larger role in the show. So it was this feeling of “oh fuck no” and “oh fuck yeah”
David: Can you tell me what it’s like working with Jessica Biel?
Eric: She’s an incredible human being. Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about her. She’s one of the most down to earth people I know. She would just as gladly sit around and chat with extras as she would with her co-stars. She cracks jokes and horses around and has a blast and she brings that energy everywhere she goes. And not only is she a fantastic person but she’s a phenomenal actress. I mean she would be laughing at one of my dumb jokes one minute and then the next minute, they would call action, and she’d be sobbing in front of the camera. After working with her I realized that she is the type of actor I aspire to be. And if you disagree with me…. you’re wrong ha-ha.
David: Did you have a favorite moment from the show or filming?
Eric: I lost a bet and I had to tell Jessica Biel a Justin Timberlake joke. So, one day, after we were talking she got up to shoot a scene and I went, “Ok bye bye bye”. She just stopped, turned around, and went “Wow. Just wow. You just did that.” And walked off laughing. I take my bets very seriously and my pride not so much.
David: I think the show ended in a great way, but I would definitely love it if they somehow did a season two. Would you be up to that? I think it would so awesome to have the show back and maybe go in a different direction about your characters life!
Eric: With the series being based on the book by Petra Hammerford, there wasn’t the intention on creating a second season going into this. But with its large success I know the network and everyone is considering it and hoping. If they do make a second season it’s going to be similar to AHS or Fargo in the fact that they will follow a few of the same characters we saw in this season but it will he completely different story line. I’d love if my character was involved but, honestly, I seriously doubt it.
David: I know that you did a film called “A Cure for Wellness” and also made a cameo on “Blue Bloods”, but have you had a favorite project you’ve done thus far?
Eric: Favorite project thus far would have to be this honestly. Meaty part, amazing cast and crew to work with, not sure how much more I could have asked for.
David: Can we expect to see you in any more movies/shows in the near future?
Eric: I will be in the new season of The Americans as a small recurring role. Besides that, still on the audition grind. However I’m moving to Norway with my wife here in February (she’s a full on Viking). The city is exhausting and draining. My wife, Elise, was about to move back to Norway when we met. She has stayed in NYC for an additional four years for me, so that I could pursue my acting career. I’ve had some success here and there but nothing really that I could sustain myself on, let alone a family. I want a family as does she. We want to be able to relax and enjoy our lives and not have to worry about working 50-60 hours weeks to live comfortably. I think that if I stayed in NYC and continued doing what I’m doing, I could be very successful in the next five years. But I’ve come to realize that value family more than my potential career. And if I was to stay here I think I would self destruct honestly. And besides all that, there’s all of the benefits that the Norwegian government offers, it’s beautiful landscape, and my wife’s family being so supportive and welcoming. For us it’s a pretty easy choice between starting a family in NYC or Norway. I cannot wait.