EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: David Banks Opens Up About his childhood, favorite projects, what makes him laugh and more…
David Banks is an American film and television actor and musician. He has appeared in more than 100 television commercials in roles of leading man, boyfriend, son, husband, father, “the regular guy/common man”, “poor sap”, “the dorky guy”, “complaining idiot” and more.
In 2004, David Banks made his film debut in the drama Doing Hard Time with Steven Bauer, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Giancarlo Esposito.
David studied and performed at The Groundlings in Los Angeles; its alumni include John Lovitz, Will Farrell, Chris Katan, and Lisa Kudrow.
David has appeared in commercials for Coors Light, Samsung, Eastwood, Reebok, Motorola, Best Buy, Hoover, Elephant Insurance, Little Caesar’s, Comcast, Red Robin, Mitsubishi, EA Games, Ditech, Milk, and Citibank to name a few.
Banks was selected to join Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo, and Fred Willard in the new cartoon Lovesick Fool, directed by Dominic Polcino (The Simpsons, Family Guy, and King of the Hill).
David Banks is also a writer and co-wrote the film CUT! in 2014, about an ex-con and an aspiring filmmaker who set out to make a film; however, when it goes too far – someone actually dies – the pair decide that “killing for real on film” is the way to make a truly terrifying movie.
David just finished shooting alongside Heather Graham in her directorial debut Half Magic with Chris D’Elia, Molly Shannon, Thomas Lennon, and Stephanie Beatriz.
In addition to being an actor, Banks is also a musician, playing drums. He is a member of The 3 Heads. His band has shared the stage with Sara Bareilles, Five for Fighting, The Crash Kings, Dishwalla, Gary Jules and DaDa.
WE GOT TO CHAT WITH DAVID BANKS ABOUT HIS CHILDHOOD, FAVORITE PROJECTS, WHAT MAKES HIM LAUGH AND MORE…WITH HIS TALENT, HIS KINDNESS, AND HIS DRIVE – WE KNOW WE’RE JUST SEEING THE BEGINNING FOR DAVID BANKS…
Tell us about your childhood. Describe your behavior as a child. Were you the class clown, or were you the “good boy”?
Well I was that kid dressed in all black. I hate to use the word Emo but I had a fully stocked closet of Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne shirts [LAUGHS] I wasn’t the kid leading my fellow boy scouts to camp.
I didn’t really break out of my shy shell until my final year of high school. I remember a few of my class mates asking me who I was and when did I transfer here? I’m like wait……Does a haircut and a sweater make that much of a difference? [LAUGHS]
How did you get into acting? Who/what motivated you to do so?
I will never forget growing up in good old Petaluma California and watching my classmate Winona Ryder, then Horowitz who was equally as dark and Goth as I was and how amazing she was in drama class. I not only knew she was going to be huge, but I knew this was also something I wanted to do. I also remember one of my teachers Mr Reischling telling me I would be lucky to be able to hold a job at McDonalds [LAUGHS] I have always worked better when someone tells me I CAN’T do something.
Do you have more fun with acting or music?
Music has always been such a big part of my life. It truly feeds the soul. I look forward to getting up on stage with my band as often as possible and breaking a few sticks in the process. I try to also catch at least one live show a month. I say this as I grab my jean jacket and head out the door to go see Queensryche and Armored Saint tonight! There is no better feeling than walking out of a concert and watching a band I grew up listening to on cassette tapes. Oops I think I just aged myself [LAUGHS]
What have been your favorite projects so far?
I have the most fun when I can be as irritating and as obnoxious as I possibly can. I think I feel more at home with that. I remember hearing a quote from Dane Cook saying “bring as much as your own personality as you can to your work” Not that I’m like that all the time, but I’m not saying I don’t have a collection of videos of me scaring my girlfriend on my cell phone [LAUGHS] OK I admit it, I’m pretty annoying.
One of my favorite projects so far is a film called 5th of July with Jaleel White. I play a high strung, goofy cop that follows him around and makes his life a living hell.
How’s it feel to finally be in the spotlight?
I still like to be in the back with a dimly lit flickering light. I have never set out to be super famous. I have always said I will be the happiest being “that weird guy in that one movie”
What makes you laugh the most?
I’m a huge fan of the whole physical “over the top” comedy. Airplane, Top Secret, Threes Company, Gilligans Island, I think Don Knotts is my hero! I remember practicing his faces in the mirror as a child.
What’s been your most rewarding/interesting on-set experiences so far?
I remember booking a pilot called “What Would Trejo Do” Again my character was an odd fast talking type of guy. I had met the director Kevin Donovan on a previous commercial shoot and was able to work with him again on this pilot which was a real blessing. He is extremely talented and has a clear vision of what he wants, but also allowed us all to bring our own flavor and flair to the role. The pilot was just picked up, so to be able to see this come to fruition was a real gift. The cast is amazing! Danny Trejo, Clifton Collins Jr, Jason Mewes, Donal Logue, and Jacob Vargas.
If you could co-star in a feature with any actor who would it be?
Ellen Burstyn! Everything she does is absolutely authentic in every way. I will never forget watching Requiem for a Dream and leaving the theater in tears. She steals each and every scene with just her eyes! I could watch her read the phone book and be entertained.
What’s a typical day for you on set? What’s your favorite thing to do to pass the time?
I will most likely be at the craft service table hogging the coffee or waiting for the next snack to be brought out. I will never be that guy taking pictures of my food and posting it since I’m too busy devouring it.
Lately to pass the time I have been watching classic MTV 80’s videos online. Anytime I can go back and recapture a memory from my childhood from a certain song I am on it!
What is it like to work with Heather Graham?
I know actors say this all the time, but she was seriously one of the greatest actors I have ever worked with. Her talent and gift for comedy is such a wonderful thing to be around. She wrote and directed this film “Half Magic” Was I nervous? YES? Did the sound guy tell me he could hear my heart beating through the mic taped to my chest? YES? [LAUGHS] It’s always a little difficult working with someone you had a little crush on. But her laugh definitely helped bring me back down to the not so nervous land.
What’s next for you?
I’m sort of addicted to working and staying busy but I’m really looking forward to shutting off my ADHD brain and spending the Holidays with my family. A table full of turkey and cherry pies is always a great excuse!
Official Website www.davidbanks.tv