The talented Wesley MacInnes took time out of his busy schedule to talk to TVGrapevine about his career, life and what he is doing now.
Tell me a bit about yourself and career.
I am a musician, actor, director, producer, writer and overall creator. The longer I’ve spent in the entertainment business the more hats I’ve found myself wearing. I think the common thread is a mixture of storytelling and the act of converting my imagination into something tangible, ideally that makes people feel something. I feel the most at ease, and happy when I am making something. I like the idea of finding the things in life that make you feel powerful and inspired. And for me I get that feeling most when I am creating something.
I’ve been fortunate in my career to be able to work with and create things with some really amazing folks. From the A-List moments touring with Shania Twain or acting alongside Liam Neeson, to the quiet behind the scenes work I do with my best friends, many of whom are writers, producers, artists and other creative people. There is a Willy Nelson lyric: “The life I love is making music with my friends”… that really resonates with me.
How would you describe Project Blue Book?
Project Blue Book is a very well executed meeting between historical facts and imaginative fiction. The show draws its source material from declassified military documents, memoirs, and other accounts from some very strange incidents. There is always so much public fascination with this kind of material and the show does a good job of placing its protagonists right in the middle of some of the most intriguing, controversial and wild moments in history. It makes you question things, in a fun way.
What is your role?
I play Damon. He is one of the fairly buttoned up military men on the show. He’s following orders despite any reservations he and his men might have; hence he butts heads with Hynek and Quinn, who care more about uncovering the truth than respecting authority. I think Damon is a good representation of so much of that hierarchal culture. There can be real reasons for keeping information out of the hands of the public. And there can be very real reasons that the public should have more information. That power struggle and that question are at the heart of the show.
How did you get involved?
Audition, audition, audition…
What are some memorable moments from filming?
We were fortunate to shoot a lot of my work on this show up near Kamloops, which doubled as our Roswell. When we were shooting the sequence at the checkpoint, we shot a number of wide takes on a very long lens. The result is that all of the film gear needed to be moved away from the playing space, as we were wide enough to see everything. On a period-piece like this those kind of shots are a ton of fun because once all the costumes are on, and everyone is in character, and the trucks and jeeps and other set dec is all in motion, its very satisfying to look around and so easily suspend reality and slip into this world. Everything is period appropriate, right down to the buttons on your own shirt. I love those moments. They allow my inner child to just play and I couldn’t help but smile between takes because you live for those fun little moments. Just acting and embracing it all.
What was the biggest challenge?
It was very hot and very sandy when the wind whipped up. But honestly that just comes with the job so I have no complaints there whatsoever.
You’re also working on an album. Tell me about that.
I actually just put out an album called SOUL. I spent 4 years creating it and it really changed the way I look at art. It is the first album I’ve released where I am a writer and co-producer on every track. Somewhere in the middle of making it I realized I was chasing other people’s sounds around and I didn’t like that feeling so I stripped a lot of the songs back to nothing and really just proceeded to make music that makes me happy. I hope that some of the journey and emotions I felt in making that record are hard baked into the tracks as I think that is my job as an artist…. To communicate feelings and allow people to relate.
We just released a single of the album called Just Getting Warmed Up.
Who are some people (in music and acting) you want to work with?
Musically I would love the chance to work with John Mayer, Lewis Capaldi, Noah Kahan, Raine Maida, James Bay and David Bowie from beyond the grave.
As an actor I don’t know that I have quite the same kind of list. I like work with people who have small egos and big imaginations, and the biggest hearts. I will say I have a lot of love for Christopher Nolan’s work and would love the chance to work with him.
What else are you working on now?
I have a couple of TV shows I’m developing with a few partners and I really enjoy working on that stuff. Writing allows me to just convert raw creativity into something tangible. And I can do it in a pair of sweat pants from just about anywhere.
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
My first TV role was in the pilot episode of The Vampire Diaries. I play Peeing Guy #1. I auditioned to play that role and Make-out guy #1 and was a little disappointed to get the peeing role. However, when the episode aired, the sequence with Make -out guy #1 got cut out and I’m still there going strong, with the infinitely strange line “Woah, pants down chick!”
What are you watching on TV these days?
Bucky O’Hare (it’s a deep cut). I’m about to start watching Star Trek: Picard, and as a die hard TNG fan I cannot wait to dive in. I’m re-watching The Office and loving it. I can’t wait to see the new Wheel of Time series as I’m a big fan of the books. I just finished The Mandalorian and loved it.
Anything else you want to share?
I recently started playing Pokémon Silver from 2000 once again and I am having a ball.