Tom Malloy Exclusive Interview

Tom Malloy

THE STAR SCOOP:
Tell us about your work on the film Love N’ Dancing. You wrote the film?

TOM MALLOY:
I did, yeah. I wrote it and I was one of the producers on the film, as far as helping get the project going. I wasn’t a nuts and bolts producer on it. I was in this competition and I saw West Coast swing. They were dancing to Earth, Wind, and Fire. I was like, This is all music I like, they’re dancing to hip hop and R & B and stuff like that. Not like the east coast swing which is the big band swing that everybody knows. I said at that moment, I’ve got to make this into a film. This dance is so visually compelling, I’ve got to put it on the screen. The second thing that happened was I saw a guy compete and I said, I’ve got to put that guy in the movie somewhere. He’s in this scene in the middle of the film. When they announce the winners, they announced him as second. The winner came out, and he was okay, and somebody says, that guy’s deaf. So I thought of this whole story about this guy who’s a deaf swing dancer. There are multiple west coast swing dancers that are and feel the beat of the music. That’s where the story came from.

THE STAR SCOOP:
For people who aren’t familiar with Love N’ Dancing, how would you explain the film to them?

TOM MALLOY:
There’s this dance called West Coast Swing. What’s so great about it is it can be danced to any style of music. All the music that you listen to. Say there’s a movie with Salsa in it, which is a Latin dance. You would have to like that music, like those clubs, like that whole scene. With West Coast Swing, you can be going to the biggest country barn in Oklahoma, you can dance it. If you’re in the hottest club in Los Angeles, you can dance it. It’s that flexible that it can be danced to all these styles of music. People see it and they want to dance out of the movie theater. They dance up the aisles. It makes you want to dance and it puts a smile on your face.

THE STAR SCOOP:
You play the character Jake. What can you tell us about him?

TOM MALLOY:
Jake is this West Coast Sing dancer who’s deaf and uses it kind of as a crutch. He’s kind of lost the spark of his life with his competing. He gets it back. It starts in 2002 with him winning the world championships but never quite feeling he deserved it. Then it goes to present day, and here he is now, and he’s just teaching dance students, and kind of bored with life. And he meets Jessica [Amy Smart], who is also bored with life, and they just spark something in each other and they have a connection. They decide to go for it, and sparks fly.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What was it like playing a deaf character?

TOM MALLOY:
It was tough. The character went deaf when he was 16 in a swimming pool.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Love N’ Dancing
has a lot of established actors. Did you learn anything from working with them?

TOM MALLOY:
Yeah. It was interesting being kind of the lead role. It was great working with people like Billy Zane, even Betty White, who are just fantastic. Everybody brings a certain thing and it’s kind of like the best part about acting sometimes is that it’s almost like that first day of school. This person’s going to be in my class and you get to be friends with them. You know them, you see them around school but you never got to know them. Now it’s a class together and I’m going to get to know this person. That’s kind of the way it feels a lot of times.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Why do you think dancing has gripped the nation at this moment the way it has?

TOM MALLOY:
The fact is, it has always been hot. It’s just that right now, there happens to be some shows where you can see it. People love watching dancing. They just want to watch dancing in general. It’s something about it connects to the body almost in a Darwinian way and it makes you want to smile.

THE STAR SCOOP:
You also have a book coming out.

TOM MALLOY:
I do, called “Bankroll.” That hits bookstores at the end of [May]. It’s exciting. It’s just how I, for the past three films, was able to put together financing. I just hope that people are going to read it and be motivated to make their own film.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next couple years?

TOM MALLOY:
I would love to be acting mostly. And writing kind of on the side. That would be my biggest thing. I would love to do Dancing With The Stars. I’d really love to be doing all different types of acting performances.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What other projects do you have in the works?

TOM MALLOY:
There’s two projects. One called Killing Frank, with a guy named Tom Holland, who wrote and directed Child’s Play…he’s directing it. He wrote it. We’re doing it together. And I have another movie called Hero of the Underworld which is a slang term for Heroin, and it’s kind of my New York City street film. It’s the Oscar type film. Both of them, just working on getting them financed. [Watch for them] by the end of the year.

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