We ComiConverse With Simon Sinn
October 10th, 2015 | by Jonathan Thompson
Our Jonathan Thompson has been diving into an exciting new independent film titled Virtual Hitman. You can his previous interviews with the actors, writers and producers in our archives. The film was been part of the GeekFest Film Festival. Today, Jonathan speaks with the actor who plays one of the more interesting roles in the film; a father who hires a Virtual Hitman to kill off his daughter’s video game character. Here is our interview with actor Simon Sinn.
Virtual Hitman brought in a man that appears to be a “jack of all trades” type of actor to play Lily’s father. Simon Sinn has an impressive list of credits (Totally Recall 2012) for a man who considers acting to be a hobby while he works in the world of finance.
JT: What made you want to be in Virtual Hitman?
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SS: I had the opportunity to read the script first and I liked it very much (really). Besides, it’s a feel-good movie and all characters are likeable, thus it doesn’t hurt, and probably helps. Also, when the producers approached me, they were very flattering. So how could I say no?
JT: I’ve read your biography in the press release and I’ve looked at your IMDB page and you have quite a strong resume, to say the least, but do you really consider acting as a hobby?
SS: Acting is definitely my hobby – since day one, or my “Stimulating Diversification.” I enjoy acting very much, but I would be putting too much pressure on myself if I became a full-time actor. I have no intention to live outside of Canada, and unfortunately there are not enough acting jobs to go around in Toronto or Canada, especially for minorities. After all, I have been quite fortunate and doing quite well in my 9-to-5 job, and enjoying it too, thus too difficult to give up. If I quit, my wife will kill me and like my son always says, “Don’t quit your day job, Dad.”
JT: In the press kit it says that you have worked in the financial industry for most of your adult life. Is there a lot of pressure in that line of work and is it the same type of pressure as being an actor?
SS: There is definitely pressure working as a foreign exchange trader, even though what I am doing is not speculation. FX market is very volatile and my clients (corporations) rely on me for analysis, advice, timing of their transactions, etc. As I often stick my neck out, and even though clients understand it and know I am not “Moses,” you can’t help but always putting pressure on yourself. As for pressure in acting, may be because I’ve been doing it for over 20 years now, I don’t feel it at all. Nervous sometimes during auditions, yes, but not pressure as I always look at acting as my hobby. It may also have something to do with confidence as I always try to stay as positive as possible.
JT: Would you like to see Virtual Hitman be transformed into a full-length movie played around the world? Would you return as John Lee if it were?
SS: VH is a light, funny and feel-good movie, and based on audience reaction so far, we should give it serious considerations. There are too many action flicks, computer-generated movies out there, VH will be “a breath of fresh air” and should be well-received by all kinds of audiences. The full-length feature can cover what happened to Mrs. Lee, “funny” examples of “uneasy relationship” between the 2, how their lives changed after she becomes pro… Best of all, the low budget will make ROI very attractive. And of course I will return as John Lee, who else?
JT: The heart of Virtual Hitman is communication between different generations. Have you had similar experiences as to what John went through to talk to the younger generation or as to what Lily went through to talk with the older generation?
SS: I have a son who is in his early 30’s now. While filming, I actually tried to use some of the experiences I had when communicating with my son who was a teenager then. It was a good question, Jonathan, as it got me thinking how we (my wife and I) did it with our son in various stages – when he was young and totally depending on us, a stubborn teenager though he was never rebellious, in university when he thought he was smart, and now as Prime Minister’s security details, but is still like a boy sometimes.
JT: Your scenes with Richard Young were hilarious. Was it funnier than the movie portrays to be next to him?
SS: The scenes were hilarious alright. But the truth is, I am the type who is kind of serious on the set, and so was Richard, I believe, to a certain degree. But we did have fun and some good laughs with the crew, etc. on the set.
Some of the text speak that Richard uses I had to look up because it sounded like gibberish. Did you have any problem understanding it when you read the script?
JT: What Richard said while playing the video game was not in the script at all. It all came from him as I believe he plays video games often, thus came out quite naturally.
You’ve had a wide variety of parts in serious movies and shows to comedies to science fiction. What draws you to the roles you’ve played?
SS: Wow, Jonathan, I never thought of this question before. Maybe because of my “never say die” attitude or thinking. When I am asked to audition for a role, I immediately prepare myself, very seldom say I am not suitable for it, etc. So maybe when it comes to acting, I am the “Jack of all trades” type.
JT: I hope this question isn’t too personal but what motivated you to move from Hong Kong to Canada?
SS: I moved to Canada when I was in my early 20’s, had some university degree and already worked at hotel front desk for a couple of years. I think I was bored with the job and my girlfriend, and some old school friends in Canada talked me into joining them. Glad I did.
Jonathan Thompson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow on Twitter: @Jon_Toast