The Team Grows – Another Cast Member Added!
We are extremely happy to finally confirm that we've added Jeff Gonek to our cast. Jeff will be playing the role of "Darcy", a running store owner.
We've worked with Jeff before on our "The Quiet Canadians" pilot, and we can't wait to bring his enthusiasm and talent to the big screen.
Here's a little more about Jeff:
Making his feature film debut with 13 Miles, Jeff was born and raised in Edmonton, AB. From an early age, Jeff had developed a love for the arts and athletics, and was thrown into Ukrainian dance, ballet, baseball and soccer at the age of 4. He knew he would one day end up as a creative very early on in his life.
With a Bachelor of Commerce under his belt, he set his sights on something bigger than Edmonton. So he moved to London, working in trend forecasting and advertising. After the world financial collapse, he returned to Edmonton, where he became immersed in the world of advertising, ballroom dancing, acting and film.
After much deliberation of leaving a career where he was at the top of his game, he moved to Vancouver, attended Vancouver Film School, and has spent the last 2 years pursuing The Dream.
Already racking up a bunch of credits in short films, commercial work and theatre, he is dedicated to his craft.
When not in the studio, in class or on set, Jeff can be found running lines while pushing around wheelbarrows on a plot of land where he is a successful gardener. Apparently "it keeps things fresh because you never know how lines will organically come up when you hit a bump with the wheelbarrow in tow." The outside space also allows him the freedom to explore animal work, dialects and character work in the comfort of nature.
You can follow Jeff on his instagram feed where he is often found posting photos from his organic farm. We asked Jeff a few questions about his career and his involvement with 13 Miles:
1. What is it about Darcy's character do you relate with?
Darcy is a long-term relationship kinda guy. He values loyalty, and wants to see others shine, but still makes time to be the best he can be. He also loves to train hard, compete and values the choices he makes in life. Did I mention he loves to eat? And eat well. That was definitely the wedding ring between Darcy and I. We train hard and consume like beasts.
2. What is it about Darcy's character do you think resonates most with people?
Darcy and I would be best friends in real life, and there are a lot of things that make relatable and likeable. He is the type of guy who lets things slide of his shoulders, doesn't take life too seriously, and uses humour to ease tense situations. But underneath all that, he works hard and takes pride in what he does.
3. What attracted you to Darcy?
Did I mention the undeniable love food already? Right. Aside from that very important fact, his sense of humour, outlook on life and unwillingness to give up.
4. Have you done a triathlon before?
I have not. But being a competitive athlete, much like Jovi, I understand hard training, the relentless need to surpass former goals, and the mind-body relationship that is needed for an elite athlete. It helps that I love to work out, and in preparation for this film have been working on the swim-bike-run model and hitting weekly targets and goals.
5. What types of things are you doing to prepare you for this role?
In addition to the exercise training which includes a huge mental component, I am paying particular attention the diet and nutrition required of triathlete training. It helps that I have an organic farm, or plots rather, out in Richmond, where I essentially grow every and all produce that exists.
6. What running shoes are you training in?
Currently training in my Adidas Energy Boost, and also my New Balance Minimus trainers for very different purposes.
7. What bike are you training on?
With the lack of a real bike at this point in training, have been using a stationary bike in the gym. Will be switching this up with a real bike soon. Currently figuring out those details.
8. What is the most challenging aspect of a triathlon for you?
The entire event is challenging. I've tended to be a sprinter in the past, so the 26 mile run is one. Likewise with the bike and the swim. So distance versus quick results, and the mental work required to become comfortable with it all is the biggest challenge thus far.
9. What do you love most about being an actor?
Getting into the truths, the nuts and bolts of the character and the research. I love being a detective and finding the small gems and details about a character that make them special, unique and rooted in authenticity. I'm a big text analysis geek, and there is something so magical about the freedom that comes when lines and dialogue become secondary to character and being in the moment, truly listening and reacting to everyone else in the scene.
10. List 5 fun facts about yourself.
Fun to the public? Or fun to me? Haha. Well, here we go:
1. I make a lot of pie. And eat a lot of said pie.
2. I once wanted to be an ornithologist. Yes, I love birds. And act. All at the same time.
3. I have trained in Ukrainian dance all my life.
4. I grew 6 types of watermelon this year. Most people only think there is one type.
5. I had the biggest crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar growing up. And Rachel Bilson.