Interview with Lance Kinsey - 30 Years Police Academy and more
-Hello Mr Lance Kinsey, thank you for your time for the Fans. How do you do today?
Hello, Bernd. I’m doing well, thank you. And thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.
-Lance, the Police Academy Movies are nearly 30 years ago. How did you wind up in the POLICE ACADEMY series, and how do you feel about those films looking back at your role as Proctor?
My character, Proctor, wasn’t in the first Police Academy film. I had originally auditioned for the role of Fackler in the first movie, but I didn’t get it. Bruce Mahler played Fackler and did a great job. When they were casting Police Academy 2, there was a new character added named Proctor, and they brought me back in to audition for that. When I got it I was very excited. Police Academy had been a big hit and it was exciting to be in the sequel. None of us ever dreamed that it would go on as long as it did.
It was wonderful to be a part of something that made such an impact. Police Academy turned out to be the most successful comedy series in film history and I had the opportunity to play Proctor for five films, Police Academy 2-6. When I look back on what the producer, Paul Maslansky, created, and what we all had a chance to participate in, I have only warm feelings about the experience.
-The last Police Academy Movie is many years ago and some of the Cast have passed away, Bubba Smith (Hightower) David Graf (Tackelberry). Did you have contact to these actors after the Police Academy movies?
Of course. David, G.W. Bailey (who played Captain Harris), and I did a publicity junket to Europe after one of the films, I think it was Police Academy 4. We went to England, France, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. It was a fantastic adventure and we all had the opportunity to bring our families with us, so that made it even more special.
I used to see Bubba all the time. We were members of the same gym and I’d work out with him. He actually taught me how to work out, not that I could ever do the things he was doing. He was a very kind, gracious, and funny guy and a great friend. It was such a shock when both David and Bubba passed away. Nobody expected it either time, so it was truly shocking.
-One Favorite Moment of your role as Proctor?
I met G.W. Bailey when I was doing Police Academy 4. I had been working with Art Metrano on Police Academy 2 & 3, but G.W. came back as Captain Harris in PA4. The first scene we were filming was the scene where I had already shot a hole in the hot air balloon and we had landed in a raging river. I arrived on the set which was a river bank out in the woods in Canada, and they introduced me to G.W. We had never met. We said, “Hi, how are you doing?” And then they threw us in the river on a submerged gondola and they shot the scene where we were racing down the rapids toward a massive waterfall. That was the beginning of our friendship. You tend to get close quickly when your life is passing in front of your eyes!
-But now let us talk about the present. All-Stars , after all these years as an
Actor now you produced and wrote a Movie. What made this the right time to try your hand at that side of things?
I have wanted to do this for a long time. I’ve worked in television as a writer/director/producer for years and wanted to direct a film, finally deciding that now was the time.
I had the idea for ALL-STARS quite a while ago. It’s really my story. My daughter started playing softball when she was 5. I coached her throughout her rec league career until she was about 10 or 11, and then she started playing on club and travel teams. I followed her, coached a little, but was mostly the parent in the stands. I always said when my daughter, Logan, goes to college I’ll come back to the rec league and coach again. All those years in rec league as a coach, I had experienced the crazy parents on my team and other teams. I always thought they would be great characters in a film and I needed to tell that story. The outrageous behavior of parents in the name of their child is a universally understood behavior, and it’s not limited to just softball. It’s certainly true in any youth sport, or youth activity for that matter. ALL-STARS deals with parents who live vicariously through their children and have unrealistic expectations for their child whether or not she has any actual talent or ability. The unrealistic dreams they have for their child result in the outrageous behavior of the parents that is so inappropriate and absolutely hilarious.
I wrote the script and then it took me almost 5 years to find the financing for ALL-STARS. When I finally did, I was lucky enough to assemble a fantastic cast including Angela Kinsey (THE OFFICE), Illeana Douglas, Kyle Howard, Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Nicole Sullivan (KING OF QUEENS, MAD TV), Richard Kind, Sam Richardson (VEEP), Fred Willard (BEST IN SHOW, WAITING FOR GUFFMAN), and John Goodman. The cast is hilarious and the film has won multiple awards on the film festival circuit. ALL-STARS is now available on VOD, iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, and all digital platforms.
-Do you still have contact to other Actors of the Movies?
Yes, we all pretty much keep in touch. G.W. Bailey is one of my best friends to this day. He’s had a great career and for the last decade has been working on the hit series “THE CLOSER” which has now morphed into “MAJOR CRIMES.” He also runs a wonderful non-profit organization called THE SUNSHINE KIDS, which offers children with cancer the opportunity to go on trips and have experiences that are once in a lifetime opportunities. I frequently have the opportunity to work with them on different trips and adventures.
Steve (Gutenberg) lives in New York, so I don’t see him much, but we do keep in touch. I talked to Bobcat when I was planning to do ALL-STARS, because he’s written and directed many independent films including WORLD’S GREATEST DAD and GOD BLESS AMERICA. He gave me some great advice! Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck) is a good friend. I’ve known him forever. We performed together at SECOND CITY in Chicago and have been friends ever since. Art Metrano (Captain Mauser) is a great friend. He lives in Florida now, but I see him frequently when he comes to Los Angeles.
The University of Southern California (USC) Film School recently had a screening of the original POLICE ACADEMY and invited several of us to be on the panel. It was a great evening! The panel included producer Paul Maslansky, Leslie Easterbrook (Sgt. Callahan), Marion Ramsey (Laverne Hooks), Donavan Scott (Leslie Barbara), Brian Tochi (Cadet Nogata), G.W. Bailey, and myself. It was an evening filled with many memories, stories, and laughs!
-When you look back at this time, would you do it once again when you had the chance?
Of course I would, Bernd. I made great friends and had a great time making comedy with an unbelievably talented cast, group of writers and directors, and crew. We shot one film a year for six or seven years. I used to say it was like going to camp, where every year you’d see a lot of the same campers and counselors with some new faces added that became part of the family.
-At the last some words for your fans?
I want to thank everyone for their continued support. It was a blast doing the POLICE ACADEMY film series, and I hope that those people that loved POLICE ACADEMY will seek out and enjoy ALL-STARS. It’s so difficult to get any film made that you just hope it will find an audience when it finally happens. ALL-STARS is hilarious and the cast is fantastic. If you like comedy and love to laugh, you won’t be disappointed.
Thank you very much Lance Kinsey, it was me a pleasure.
Thanks so much Bernd, to you and your readers. This has been my pleasure!
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