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HARTZAK Chats With Hollywood Actor Joe P. Harris! Exclusive Interview!!!

Photo Ownership and Copyright - Mike Marsalisi

Hello All!

We hope that you are keeping Hairy and Beary? You are?! Good, because that’s how we love you!

It may not have escaped notice that HARTZAK has been a little bit quiet on the Blogging front for a while, but now we’re excited to be coming back with all guns blazing! Not only is it the Season to be Jolly, so we are busy promoting our ‘Xmas Bear’ design, but that an exciting whole New Year is fast approaching!

To make things just that bit more special, we are giving you a real end-of-year treat in the form of an in-depth interview with HARTZAK friend and all-round gorgeous Hunk o’ Beef, Hollywood Actor Joe P. Harris – plus photos!!

Going back to the end of last year, we were fortunate enough to make a connection with Joe via his Publicist, P A L Public Relations Ltd, based in Los Angeles where, of course, they both live and work.

Joe has worn HARTZAK at some amazing and very high-profile events – for example, the Season 9 recorded live Finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race and other Red Carpet events (here he is photographed with Season 8 Drag Race winner, Bob The Drag Queen):

Photo Ownership and Copyright - Joe P. Harris

Although we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Joe face-to-face yet (L A is a looong way from little old Bristol, here in the U.K.), we have communicated many times and we think that He is completely AWESOME and just a great, down-to-earth guy! Of course, we are also knocked-out for the support he is showing to HARTZAK and we hope to be working with him for many more years to come.

Anyway, enough of our Star-struck chatterings! As promised, here is the interview with the lovely Joe in its entirety – Bigger, Longer and Uncut, you might say! 😉

Photo Ownership and Copyright - Mike Marsalisi

Joe P Harris is an actor based in Los Angeles, CA. He is most well-known for his roles in NBC’s “This Is Us”, the Oscar nominated “Straight Outta Compton” and CBS’s short-lived sitcom “The McCarthy’s”. He can next be seen in Paramount Picture’s “Downsizing” starring Matt Damon, which is out this Christmas.

He discovered HARTZAK on Instagram and has been wearing designs to red carpet events into a 2nd year. We sat down to have a chat with him!

Hartzak: Where are you from?

Joe P Harris: I have always lived in LA adjacent since I was born in the then small city of Rancho Cucamonga. But now I live in the perfect weather town of Long Beach, CA. I can’t live in the heart of LA as its too busy and the traffic sucks!!

HZK: Did you always want to be an Actor and what was your inspiration for getting into the profession?

JPH: Funnily enough, I only wanted to be an actor in my 20’s. I have always loved and watched movies and television shows and wanted to see what is what it was like on the other side. The person that gave me inspiration to start was Jennifer Lawrence because she made being an actor look fun. I thought to myself “I would love to get paid to be ditzy, charming and self-deprecating”.

HZK: Can you tell us about your first Acting role - when was that and what was it for? Can you remember any details? Like any first career step, it must have been nerve-wracking!

JPH: My first ever acting role was Edgar "Fatty" McFadden on the CBS show, The McCarthy's. I wasn’t supposed to be a featured character with a character name. I played a dead man holding a basketball in a coffin. You have never seen such range lol. Apparently, they liked what I did as they wrote my character back into the script as a living breathing person and didn’t recast the role (as they do so frequently in those situations). It was this role launched my career and I will never forget it or the amazing and talented people on that show. It’s a shame it got cancelled soon after, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

HZK: We imagine that competing for roles in both tv and movies is a pretty tough process both physically and mentally - how do you deal with the 'before' and 'after'?

JPH: The anticipation before an audition is the killer part because you do not have any idea what the people in the audition room are going to be like or what they are looking for. You must be the best prepared for your choice and leave it all in that audition room. As for the "after", since you do not have any control in that part of the process, you just have to accept the outcome. If you have been acting long enough you develop a force field for rejection. You learn not to take anything personally and just move on to the next project. I got cast in a role on a TV show starring Gilmore Girls Lauren Graham this past Pilot season called Linda From HR. The cast had already been replaced and the pilot shot 3 times before I was cast. The show was really funny, Lauren was a delight to work with but alas the show didn’t get picked up and is sitting on a shelf somewhere. You have highs and lows, but you learn to roll with the punches!!

HZK: You are on record as being a self-confessed fan of comic books, superheroes and computer games - can you tell us more? Why do you love them so much and who or what are your favorites?

JPH: X-Men has been and still is my favorite comic book series of all time. I love the team aspect of this series, but also the parallels to real life and social commentaries the series took on. Jean Grey/Phoenix is my favorite super hero because perceived to be one of the weakest characters but when she is embodied by Phoenix she becomes one the most powerful characters in the universe. A strong female protagonist is my weakness. I think there is a through line for my loves of acting, super heroes and video games... they all give you a chance to embody something or somebody different. You get to experience something new from the point of view of the character you are portraying. As for my favorite video games, I love the friendship ending games of Goldeneye for the N64, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. I am currently playing Gears of War 4 for Xbox, Uncharted 4 and South Park's Fractured But Whole on PS4.

Photo Ownership and Copyright - Mike Marsalisi

HZK: Obviously, you love movies, but do you have a preferred Genre and individual movie or movies? - something that you never, ever get tired or re-watching and can you tell us why?

JPH: One of my favorite movies of all time is Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof". To me the car chase scene is epic and an amazing homage to the car chase movies of the 70s, but the ending is the most satisfying ending in any movie I have ever seen. The 3 female leads kicking the ass of Kurt Russell's character is grand and I jumped out of my seat in the theater and cheered when they jumped in the air. Comedy is my favorite genre, but more and more recently the most enjoyable movies I have seen are the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Movies like Doctor Strange, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and the most recent Thor: Ragnarok blend action and comedy very well making the movie-going experience fun and exciting! I am one of those people who doesn’t really like to re-watch things repeatedly, but I can watch the Marvel Movies and Star Wars Movies over and over.

HZK: Can you tell us what would be your absolute Dream role?

JPH: I would play a role in a Star Wars or Marvel movie in a heartbeat! Of course, getting cast as a Jedi would be a dream! Although, it sounds like Luke wants to end the Jedi, so I may have missed my chance. Also, when the inevitable remake of the live action version of Wreck It Ralph occurs, I would love to play the live action version of Ralph. I already own a Ralph costume, so the role is practically mine anyway and any auditioning is just a formality HAHA!!

Photo Copyright and Courtesy of Getty Images

HZK: The U.S. has produced some fantastic television shows of recent times - a few of our personal favorites have been 'The Good Wife'; 'Scandal', 'Suits'; 'Glow' and 'The Walking Dead' - are there any British shows that you like to watch?

JPH: My guilty British reality show pleasure is the Great British Bake Off. I mean you just swim in Paul Hollywood's eyes... oh, they bake on that show too? Good to know. I loved Little Britain because it created such memorable and funny characters. Garth Merenghi’s Dark Place and Snuff Box are weird but entertaining. And, of course, my nerd shows Doctor Who (I can’t wait to see the new doctor in 2019), Black Mirror and IT Crowd. Did you try turning it off and on again?

HZK: We were very excited when your Publicist, P A L Public Relations, contacted us a few months ago to discuss working with you. Can we ask when you first became aware of HARTZAK as a Brand and what was it about our products that attracted you?

JPH: I first became aware of HARTZAK when I would see other bears wearing the t-shirts on Instagram. I am attracted to the nerd and bear mashups. There are not enough nerdy bear designs out there! Once I got my first few shirts I loved the fit and the way they looked when I would wear them to events, so I had to have more!! It’s also hard to find things that fit well especially in the arms and these shirts are great. It’s also great that the team at HARTZAK are some great guys who have a love for all things pop culture and bear-related so they design stuff that I and many other people want to wear and not just slap a bear in a mashup tee just for the sake of it. There’s a lot of thought behind their design process and it really shows!!

HZK: We are always thinking about new designs that we can make - is there anything that You would like to see on a HARTZAK T-shirt?

JPH: For new designs, I am always partial to Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Men, Deadpool and anime characters. Maybe Bear Yoda, (well, I guess that's just an Ewok!!), Star Trek Red Shirt Bear, Bearpool and bears in Sailor Moon Outfits! Does that make me sound nerdy?? Oh well!! As I said before, I just love that thought goes into every design at HARTZAK and it really shows so I will happily take whatever you guys come up with!!

HZK: What’s next for you?

JPH: I can be seen in a little movie called Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig this December and a movie I shot 3 years ago with my This Is Us co-star Justin Hartley, “Another Time”, is finally released in the first part of 2018. I’m going to be coming back full force for Pilot season in January and who knows where it can go from there!!

HZK: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions and share your thoughts with us Joe and as always, a huge thank you for being so supportive. Wishing you great success with “Downsizing” this Christmas and for “Another Time”, plus the television Pilot Season in 2018 – we hope to be seeing you in absolutely everything! Big Hugs!

Photo Ownership and Copyright - Joe P. Harris

Well, there you have it.

We really appreciate that fact that Joe was candid about his experiences and it makes for great reading! We hope that you enjoyed our chat with him and we are sure that there will be many more as we follow his career.

Wishing you all A Very Beary Christmas and a Happy New Year and keep a look out for our next Blog article, coming very soon!

Big Hugs!

Alex, Kike’ and Steve - The HARTZAK Team.

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