Monday, July 12, 2010

Exclusive! Video Interview with Matt Passmore of The Glades

We already mentioned Matt Passmore's character, Jim Longworth, as a potential Hurricane Season Boyfriend and we are pleased to report he is still in the running!

I had the opportunity to interview hunky Australian actor Matt Passmore yesterday evening at the landmark Fort Lauderdale hotel, Hyatt Pier 66. Passmore was quite friendly and so was his lovely girlfriend Rachel. We didn't really talk about the show very much, but rather his experience in Florida -- he first visited years ago on a backpacking trip that included distractions due to many mojitos (we already love him for this). Recently, he's been busy, of course, shooting on location throughout the state, including (we've heard from VERY reliable sources), some choice locations in prime Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods, as well as Pier 66.

Passmore also told me that the trained alligator he worked with on the set for the pilot was so docile that he had to be insulted to get angry (you know we love us some good gator wraslin' ... I hope the screenwriters get all cracker on us at some point!). Unbelievably, Passmore has yet to visit South Beach because he's been terribly busy filming, which I hope he will do soon, and give us something else to talk about besides bloody Lebron James. As for hurricanes, Passmore delighted my ears when he said he'd pass on that "cheeky pleasure" (that's what hurricane novices always say) so that the oil spill won't go from tragedy to worse.

The new A & E series The Glades reminded me of a Carl Hiassen novel with the same kind of gritty characters and outlandish plot twists. (Interestingly, everyone I spoke to at the premiere last night had never heard of the renowned author.) Jim Longworth was indeed hard to get along with, perhaps because of his annoying persistence. The script is funny, actually, and Longworth, along with his police pal Carlos Sanchez (played Carlos Gomez) deliver lines with witty, sarcastic punches.

I'm not going to give up more, but I will say I'm tickled pink that this show does feel like the real Florida because it doesn't seem to be going in the direction of South Beach. The opening scene with the camera panning in a swamp sets the backdrop for what promises to be a refreshing departure from heavily photoshopped Miami CSI, which as we all know, rarely films in Miami. I mean seriously, what investigators show up in stilettos and pant suits in the heat and humidity? At least Longworth looked sweaty and he does get bit by a gator. I did wonder, however, why the actors were not told to swat mosquitoes.

(Ironically, part of the pilot was filmed in Georgia because, as a little birdie told me, Florida wasn't giving film companies tax breaks at the time. The rest of the pilot was filmed in Tampa as far as I know.)

Ben Johnson, National Account Manager for the Hyatt, was very happy to accommodate the cast and crew for filming on location. "We have a lot of history here," he said. "We represent Fort Lauderdale with the intracoastal background. We're more of a water culture rather than a beach culture."

Kudos to the Hyatt Pier 66 and the Broward Film Commission for welcoming the cast and crew. Geez, everybody's talking about LeBron James putting a dent in the economy, but no one want to talk about how important it is to have a film industry here and how great it is that the show is utilizing many local actors.

But we digress ... and the search for Hurricane Season Boyfriend candidates continues! We'll see how Jim Longworth performs in the next few episodes as he gets his Chicago honky ass used to the ways of nation's dicktip. We wouldn't want him to run out on us when the wind is blowing.

As for Passmore's looks and charisma, let me quote myself, referring to the alligator bite: "I can think of a lot of women in South Florida who would probably want to take a bite out of you."

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