Interview with actor Kenny Johnson

NOTE: This interview was first published on until the site ended on July10. Kellie Haulotte is the author.

On March 18, I had the pleasure to speak with actor Kenny Johnson through a phone interview. The "Bates Motel" actor has a new film coming out called "Check Point." It's a thriller about homegrown terrorism. So I asked him five questions about "Check Point" and his role in the new film.

So here are some of the things that we talked about:

1. For those who don't know, can you explain a little bit about "Check Point" and your role in the film?

"Check Point" is about a small town, that is like a cozy little cafe. Where everyone grew up together, but there are some dark secrets. My character was married with two soon to be three kids. Part of the Special Forces and did three tours. Then he loses his wife, children, and parents because of a tornado. Nobody tells him that they are gone during his tour. Well he loses it, is homeless, and decides to live off the grid. He's a mess of a guy.

Well he meets and befriends an autistic guy. Everyone thinks he's crazy, but in reality he knows what's really going on and tells my character about it. That there are sleeper cells in this little North Carolina town. Not everything is what it seems!!!

2. Was your character in "Check Point," like any of the other characters you've played before?

No, it's a first time with this kind of character. Definitely made it about the military. Did a lot of research and tracked a guy in San Diego. He went through things like the my character. Watched interviews also about PTSD and other related things. I find the humanity in all the characters I play and also go from the ground-up with the characters I play. It's all about honoring the subject matter. My teacher, Larry Moss instilled that into me.

Though the film, "Going Back," which starred Caspar Van Dien is another film where I played as a solider. It's a period piece about the Vietnam role and then 30 years later. It's based on a true story about a military cover-up, where a captain bombed his own men.

3. "Check Point" is said to be set in the "mood of today's headlines," so do you feel like the films message will really hit hard with the audience?"

It is feasible, so yes. People get in here (America) too easy. It's also easy to lose track of someone. I would hope thousands, wouldn't do it. The beheadings are happening (like for example French/American journalists), though this film is about what if people decided to go anti-American. Take the laws in their own hands and attack the military.

4. The film also stars Bill Goldberg and William Forsythe, so what was it like working with them and the rest of the cast?

William Forsythe was awesome. He was the kindest guy in the world. Couldn't be more awesome. He and I had an unspoken bound. Goldberg was super humble and very respectful. He had a solider, who hung out with him. He did three tours also. So much respect and was phenomenal.

5. So is there anything you would like to share about "Check Point?" Maybe a favorite scene?

Personally, some of the fights on the U.S.S. North Carolina were crazy amazing. Johnny Lewis choreographed our fight scenes and I enjoyed them the most. He played a James Dean obsessed terrorist.
The other stuff was emotionally painful. Wore the same clothes for a month, for the role. Seeing the forts, had such history and was defining. It made it all so surreal and big.

So I would like to thank Kenny Johnson for taking the time to talk to me about his new film. For those who would like to learn even more about "Check Point," here are links to the official site and the official Facebook page.