Icons of Fright Chat With AWAKEN’s David Keith!!

awakenDavid Keith has had a long career in filmmaking and being in front of the camera. Known for roles in films like AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, FIRESTARTER and countless others, Keith can be seen these days in AWAKEN, a film that has him playing a surgeon in charge of some questionable surgeries, taking organs from people and putting them in people who can pay top dollar.

We had a short chat with Keith about AWAKEN and what makes him want to be in particular films. Read on!


AWAKEN is a big ensemble piece, what initially attracted you to the project?

Natalie Burns, the producer, and I have been friends for years. She asked if I can do a role in it as a favor, and I said sure. She was friends with everyone prior to the shoot, with people in the cast.

You have been a long-time character actor for some time now and is there anything in this character that you maybe thought would be refreshing to play, something you perhaps haven’t been able to play in the past?

That is an interesting question. I haven’t thought about that, and wasn’t a part of me taking the role. So, that never occurred to me. I have never played a black market organ harvester. I have certainly played washed up drunks before.

How was the whole experience the shooting the film?

It was awesome. There isn’t much shooting time when you are on a low budget. Its pretty hectic, there is a guerrilla style film making, get the shots done, get the work done. I just found a comfortable chair in a library in this mansion we were filming in, in Los Angles and read a book, saved my place when they needed me, then went back to work. Everybody was very pleasant, good natured and easy to get along with.

You said you did the film because you are friends with Natalie, is there anything you look for when deciding on a project?

Yes. I look at location, Pay, How many days I will be shooting away from my family. Do I get to go visit a beautiful climate? Is it going to be comfortable, you know? I’m sixty one now, so I look for all of of these things as well as a good characters. For me when you have been doing it this long, and in 2017 it’ll mark forty years in this business. You start looking for the comfort factors of the location and hotel opportunities. As far as character goes, I will play anything. From Oliver North to Elvis Presley or “Gay Uncle Earl” in the PARIS HILTON MOVIE. There is no character that I would say no to, because of the character. It is such a process for me as a “Character Actor” I will get the role I will look at what I agree with. What is easy to play and what I don’t agree with and what would make “him” feel that way and the work is done.

You mentioned that it will be forty year of acting in 2017. I’m in my mid thirties and I grew up on so many of your roles being very memorable, films like FIRESTARTER and so on. How does it feel to be in a lot of movies that a lot of people hold so dear?

It is very flattering and means a lot to me of course. There is going to be a day when I don’t have any fans left..of course I might be dead by then. I seem to have fans in each generation, There are little girls that were ten when my Hillary Duff movie came out that remember me from that.  Other kids that in 1994 loved THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD. The boys that love baseball love MAJOR LEAGUE 2. There is always something in there somewhere that somebody remembers me from. Its not like it used to be, when I would go into a restaurant and have everybody stop what they are doing. Like when I would go out for lobster after AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMEN, now I don’t have an issue. Back then everyone would recognize me and would stop me or come up to sign a napkin. Its not like that anymore. I live in my hometown so everyone is used to me here.

Do you like the quietness compared to before, when like you said, people would go crazy?

That is why the thought of social media makes me cringe. When you are a public figure for thirty-five years. You don’t want to reach out to strangers, I have been doing that already. I have a late in life family. I was single for years and years. That’s what I like to do, they are the center of my world now. That and my organization protect.org, we train wounded veterinarians to be child rescue operatives with the cyber crimes unit with Homeland Security and arrest child predators, we track child abduction over the internet. It’s called “The Child Hero Core” and if you go to www.protect.org/hero I made a video on the site. That and my family are the center of my universe.

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