Red Deer College acting graduate Scott Janzen, who is typically cast as a tough guy, switched gears to add some laughs in the retro sci-fi rom-com 115 coming to theatres later this year.
Set in the 1980s, 115 follows the adventures of Emily, a quirky alien who crash lands near a small town and unexpectedly finds love with a local earthling TJ.
“It was something I wasn’t really used to. If you look like the tough guy, you know that’s the kind of roles you’re going to attract,” said Janzen, 49, who plays TJ’s best friend Terry.
“To get into this other character was really fun.”
Shot in Edmonton and the surrounding area last summer, the film was one of Janzen’s 13 acting gigs in the last two years, and his favourite role to date despite the 13-hour days or longer, and often working throughout the night.
“The people I worked with and just how big of a production it was, it was great fun.”
Among his upcoming films, Janzen, who is also a pastor with Westerose Gospel Church near Pigeon Lake, will step into a more familiar role in a film set in the 1800s that will be shot near Calgary next month.
“I play a dual role of farmer/preacher. My audition tape was to recite this bible verse. That was kind of funny,” laughed Janzen who was told that he really did come across as a pastor during his audition.
Janzen first started acting in middle school in Red Deer. His first professional role was in a Labatts Blue commercial that aired during the Superbowl and the 2002 Winter Olympics.
“That’s kind of what started it all.”
He graduated from RDC’s motion Picture Arts program in 2004. A few years later he earned a bachelor of theology in 2008, and took a break from acting. It wasn’t until closures during the COVID-19 pandemic that he thought about getting back into acting and landed a new agent in 2020.
Janzen said living in Alberta is important to him and his family because it keeps them connected to relatives, including those in Red Deer. But being an actor in Alberta takes work. It’s about really being prepared.
“It’s like if you’re an athlete, you have to keep training in the off-season so that once your opportunity comes you’re ready for it,” Janzen said.
“There’s a lot of competition. The biggest thing is to keep training. You can’t sit around and wait for a role to come. You have to market yourself and get yourself known. That’s how I did it. I started taking short film roles and commercials and just meeting people in the Calgary and Edmonton market.”
For more about Janzen visit scottjanzen.com.