Kurt Yaeger does a fun Q&A with TVGrapevine about his life and career.
Tell me a bit about yourself and career.
My career has been a lot of hard work. I’ve probably taken a more difficult road in my career, but that keeps my soul intact, and I sleep well at night. I enjoy filming with many different types of people, from all backgrounds, learning what makes them tick. I especially like to film on location, in a place I’ve never been to before. It’s like getting to live a whole other life for a short period of time. It opens your eyes to how many different ways of living there are and also how similar we all are all over the world.
How would you describe LA’s Finest?
It’s a fun show, with three of the four leads as POC’s which makes it pretty unique in tv land. It gets into many relevant issues and tries to also show life behind the scenes with a healthy amount of humor to mix it up. It’s like the movies Bad Boys, a fun romp with serious overtones throughout.
What attracted you to the role?
I met with the ShowRunners, Brandon Marolis, and Brandon Sonnier before they wrote the roll. That is often the case with disabled actors; you have to make your own way into a room, show them this great opportunity to tell a story in a new, unique way utilizing your disability. Fortunately, the “Brandons” were very open to the pitch, loved it, tweaked it, and I was born as Clete Winslow. I truly cannot say enough good things about the Brandons. They’re kind, giving, collaborative, and yet won’t let you get away with sub-par work.
In what ways do you relate to your character?
Pain, suffering, anger is easy for me to connect to, but the character also was a man who felt very deeply, loved his family, and found himself lost when he lost those most important to him. I’ve felt that too in life, so it was something I understood.
What was it like working with such a great cast?
Um, yes, more, please! Everyone was amazing, amazing. Zack Gilford, Duane Martin, Jessica Alba, and Gabrielle Union were all great to me. Inviting, welcoming, and professional. Zack and I worked together the most, and he was brilliant in his role! I also had great people around me, my stand-in was AMAZING, reading with me off-camera, and even a production staff member who helped me out a TON, Ryan Gangl, love that guy. He did a stunt fall for Zack’s character! It was a family environment where we all worked together to make something great.
What were some challenges of playing the role?
The only real challenges were time. We were always up against the clock, trying to get the day in, and when you have three pages to shoot still and your 20 minutes away, you better be damn ready to shoot. That’s a lot of pressure, but I tend to do well under pressure, sort of shut down and just do it, then come up for air afterward.
What are some of your favorite memories from working on set?
I got to watch one of my stunt double blast through a plate glass window, 20 feet up, from a building and fly through the air into a mat, get up, and run away. Talk about a total badass!
Getting to see production friends from other sets like Cathy Zukimoto, who worked on Sons of Anarchy, great gal! And getting new friends like Ryan, it was just a lot of good people.
Tell me a bit about your charity work and how you got involved.
I get asked to do a lot of events and charity work, but I really prefer to do the smaller ones, where either I get to be directly involved in the work itself or at least know who I’m working with/for. I love AMfar because of the people involved. Kevin Frost is pretty damn amazing! Motorrad Angels is one of my favorite because we use motorcycles to go into hard to reach places and install water filtration devices. We went into Puerto Rico right after hurricane Maria turned it into a disaster. The PR people were so resilient and amazing, loved working with them. I hope to turn some of my adventures into a show at some point when I come up for air from filming.
What else are you working on?
Right now, I’m filming my new show, Another Life on Netflix, with the amazing Katee Sackhoff, who leads the show like a total badass she is. I also met AJ Rivera and Tongayi Chirisa recently who are on the show, and they’re pretty fun people already!
I’m also in post-production on a series I wrote with Alex Barone called Tommy and Bobby, a fun look at what happens when “those guys” realized they aren’t woke, and how they try to become so, in the worst kind of ways. Think Sunny in Philly kind of vibe.
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I was working on towards my Masters Degree in Hydrogeology, doing fluvial experimentation work at Berkeley Labs when I had a motorcycle accident that took my leg and changed my life.
What are you watching on TV these days?
The MMA show Kingdom. My gosh, what a great show I had never heard about. I am riveted and they NEED TO BRING THAT SHOW BACK. I’d be a loyal fan!
Anything else you want to share?
Give me a follow @kurtyaeger on Instagram and twitter, and Kurt Yaeger Fan Page on Facebook. I reply to everything I can, sorry, sometimes it takes a while. It’s actually me chatting, so hit me up and say hi.