David Haydn-Jones is an actor of both stage and screen. David got his start in theater and sketch comedy—avenues which he still readily performs in—but is currently best known for his portrayal of the sociopathic character known as “Mr. Ketch”, a James-Bond-like figure who appears on the hit television series “Supernatural.” Fans of the show wonder if the character is a bad guy or a good guy and David Haydn-Jones supposes that adds to the mystique of the role. Prior to this role, Canadian-native David appeared in Hallmark films, “Modern Family,” “Mistresses” and more. He recently took a few minutes to discuss his career and his goals for future projects.
AXS: What made you want to be a theatrical actor?
David Haydn-Jones (DHJ): The absolute joy of working with and being around theatre people. I did my first community theatre play at six, playing Wally from “Our Town”. I was hooked and have enjoyed every form of acting since (except politics, wink).
AXS: What kinds of shows do you enjoy watching in your free time?
DHJ: I’m a big nature show watcher and documentary guy. HBO, NETFLIX, PBS streaming you name it. I totally gobbled up “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” for drama and loved “30 Rock” for comedy. AND very much enjoying catching up and bingeing “Supernatural”!
AXS: You also work on screen. How did you land the role of “Mr. Ketch” in “Supernatural”"? What do you like most about the character?
DHJ: I auditioned three times. With various adjustments to the role along the way as it grew and changed. I did my final test and didn’t hear until over a month later. Safe to say I was ecstatic. It’s a great role. This guy is so mysterious, sophisticated yet brutal, working all the angles and has many masks. All of that is DELICIOUS for an actor to play.
AXS: What's the major difference between theater and screen?
DHJ: The major difference between theater and film is the size and scope of the technique. Whilst all acting should be investigating truth and honest belief in the circumstances at hand, theater acting has a technical requirement to fill a room or large space with sound and physicality. With film (TV and video) each framing has different size requirements for what the allowable size of the acting can be. A wide master is very different from a very intimate close-up. In general, with the camera, one merely need think truthful thoughts and the camera will catch it. That is the goal anyway. It takes a lifetime to hone and craft.
AXS: How many characters have you played overall? Do you have any favorites?
DHJ: Gosh, I’ve played well over fifty comedic and dramatic roles at this point. It’s into the hundreds if you count my many commercials. Not to be cheeky, but my favorite role is always the one I’m currently playing. The one I am living in the present…and also paying my rent!
AXS: As far as theater goes, what would be a dream show or role to perform in?
DHJ: I am so Jonesing (pardon the pun) to do a play again. It's so alive and exhilarating and still the truest form of acting. Real time and live. I would LOVE to take a crack at Richard Roma in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” I love Mamet dialogue and particularly that play. In about thirty years I'd love a pass at “King Lear.” Hopefully, I'll still be acting.
AXS: You’re also a comedian. How did you get interested in standup comedy? Was it hard to break into that venue?
DHJ: I never really did stand up per se. I hosted a couple of times and did okay but my real passion was Sketch Comedy. I was such a fan of “Monty Python”, “SCTV” and “Kids in the Hall” growing up, that when I went to university I met like-minded individuals and we started our own troupe. We started by sharing the stage with an Improv group and doing an original one hour show every other week in a local student pub. It was such a blast and such homegrown camaraderie you could only get with other drunken college kids.
AXS: How do you get your material for standup comedy?
DHJ: Material comes from EVERYWHERE and EVERYDAY! It's really just grinning through the absurdities of life. Tweaking your observations, turning convention on its head, speaking truth to power and loving wearing goofy wigs.
AXS: What mode of entertainment do you enjoy most? Why?
DHJ: I really do love them all and they each have unique skills sets required and rewards they give back. I AM aching to do a play again. There is something about the immediacy and feedback loop with a live audience that is impossible to describe. When it’s flowing, present and you can feel the audience with you on the journey it really is the purest form of acting.
AXS: What role would you regard as your “dream role”?
DHJ: Mr. Ketch has been and continues to be a dream role. I would really like to do a single camera comedy at some point in the wheelhouse of the Office and similar shows. I would like to return to my comedy roots but with a more grounded, real acting style.
AXS: Where do you envision yourself to be, career-wise, in ten years?
DHJ: Hopefully still working, really. The industry is so fickle and one never knows what is going to be a hit, be canceled, find a loyal audience, be a flop etc. As long as I can continue to grow and get better whilst still making a decent living I will be very content.
AXS: Do you have any exciting projects forthcoming?
DHJ: I will be starring in an ensemble piece called “The Unemployment Line”. Haha. But in all seriousness, I am still job to job at this point in my career so it’s always a mystery what’s coming down the pike and which audition I’ll get next. The roller coaster ride never ends. And off I go… Whoohoooo!
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