With roles such as playing a detective in The Devil May Care Trilogy and Black Jack in action movie Jungle, Joey Vieira has also written and starred in a short film titled Serena which will be released later this year. During his career as an actor, Joey has also guest-starred in an episode of The Simpsons and will be playing the role of Nico in Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the upcoming live-action cinema release of Dora the Explorer. Talking to us recently, we find out about guest-starring in The Simpsons, playing Black Jack in Jungle and his role of Dora’s Uncle, Nico.
How did you get into acting and what do you remember from your first professional role?
I started as a ballet dancer, which I loved and then musical theatre. I had a director tell me to major in something you love doing so I got a bachelors in Theatre and never looked back!! My first TV role was playing a rich high school kid in Pacific Blue alongside Maria-Elena Laas (Vida)… still friends to this day!!
Who is your character Black Jack in Jungle?
Black Jack was part of a hallucination that Daniel Radcliffe’s character was having, that helped motivate him to keep on going and not to give up. It was great to be working inside the famous Palazzo Versace with Daniel!!
How was it acting alongside British actor Daniel Radcliffe?
Daniel was such a nice down to earth guy. Very professional… no ego! My scene was with him and we had to learn and perfect a few card tricks for camera. It was an honour to work with him.
You appeared in the award-winning short production The Devil May Care Trilogy as Detective Constantine Klein, can you tell us more about this role?
I’ve loved jumping into the independent film world here in Australia. It’s given me a chance to work with some very talented creatives like writer/director Jonathan Creed who cast me as Constantine a bad cop trying to cover his tracks.
What was it like on set of San Andreas?
San Andreas was my very first big studio film and unfortunately… most of my scene was cut. I was pretty bummed about it but it happens all the time in this industry. I was working with Ioan Gruffudd, a short earthquake scene in a parking structure, but you only catch a glimpse of me in the final edit. They always overshoot and usually go over budget. It is what it is, and you just have to do your best always knowing that you may or may not make it in the final cut.
How was it voicing a role for The Simpsons?
The Simpsons was a dream job!! I kept pinching myself in the sound booth, as I couldn’t believe I was working on THE SIMPSONS!! A show I grew up watching and loved. I was nervous and not sure what to expect but played it cool. I was starstruck working with Julie Kavner and then meeting the rest of the cast at the table-read… but again I played it cool… really cool.
What was it like filming for your role as Nico in Dora the Explorer?
Another dream job with some of the hardest working people in this industry!! I play Dora’s Uncle Nico. Everyday started with a smile from everyone… crew, cast, cinematographer, director and producers. I can’t say too much about the film but I can tell you it’s going to be good!! James Bobin is a genius and Isabela Moner is one of the kindest actors you’ll ever meet. I can’t wait to see it in August 2019!!
Had you worked with any of the cast or crew previously?
I’ve worked with some of the cast and crew on other features like Jungle and At Last. They become like family on set because we spend so many hours together… which is why it’s so important to be likeable and easy-going on set.
If there are film premieres around the world, do you hope to attend?
I’ve got a few coming up this year with the release of At Last, Dora the Explorer and Reef Break… plus a few others that are making the film festival rounds. So easy for us guys to just wear that same old suit over and over, but I hope to get a little more creative with how I present myself on the red carpet.
What’s it like bringing an iconic animated series to live action?
My son grew up watching all the Dora and Diego shows and I grew up speaking three different languages so I’m proud and honoured to be representing a show that is so diverse and known around the world.
What can you say about the short film you’ve written and starred in, Serena?
I loved having more control of the story and I got a chance to collaborate and write with a very talented actress/writer, Alexandra MacDonald. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I will continue to do. It’s so much more work but so much more fulfilling.
Do you have plans to do more writing?
Writing is something that I hope to be doing for as long as I live. I’m actually working on a kids project now that I’ll be pitching later this year.
How is it being on the other side of the camera as casting associate?
I really enjoy working with other actors in the room! I get hired to run casting sessions and I absolutely love it. There’s an acting for casting technique that is very different to what you do on set. In the room I get to wear a directors hat and an actors hat, and I want them to be good and I want them to get the job.
📷 : ‘Photo provided by Wrigleton’
What’s been the most challenging role of your career so far?
There’s a new film that will be coming out later this year that I can say has been the most challenging for me. The audition was emotionally draining and I still get emotional just thinking about it. It’s one of them stories you read and it’s so disturbing that you never want to read it again… but that made me want to do it even more. I wanted in and I wanted it bad. I think that’s about all I can say about this one.
Do you have any productions you’re currently working on or that you have coming up?
There are a few TV projects coming up in 2019 including the comedy series Welcome to Wrigleton set in small town Australia and an ABC drama called Reef Break. And then there’s the film 5 Moons of Pluto which will start filming in July and an animated project that is set for later this year.
As an artist and storyteller, you never know when the next job is coming so I’m always keep myself busy with social media, teaching and writing. Thankful for all the support from family and friends that I’ve had throughout the years.
Thank you again for this chat and I look forward to the next one!!
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