David (pronounced Dahveed) Mazouz is a very talented young actor. Currently starring as Jake Bohm, a mute clairvoyant with an uncanny ability to see patterns in numbers, on FOX’s Touch; he has no problem holding his own alongside the seasoned veterans Kiefer Sutherland and Maria Bello. With a background in musical and sketch improvisation, David has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars. He honed his skills (and wrote his own material) at the legendary Second City and at The Improv. Other credits of his include Mike and Molly, The Office, and Criminal Minds amongst others. I got the chance to talk to David one-on-one on the phone and he shared some of his thoughts on his career. What a pleasure! Please enjoy!
TheTwoCents: What is it like working with Kiefer?
David Mazouz: He’s an amazing guy. He’s such an amazing actor and I look up to him because he started as a child actor also and I really think it’s so great that you can continue to be such a great actor the whole way through. And he’s such a nice guy; the intensity of the scenes we’re shooting is really high, but the minute the director says cut, we all just start laughing and he starts telling jokes and stories. So really, it’s just so much fun working with him.
TTC: Cool! Does playing a character that doesn’t speak or look anyone in the eye make it easier or harder for you?
DM: Really, I think that not speaking, I mean, I do speak in the voice-overs, it’s more difficult AND it’s easier. It’s easier because I don’t have to memorize any lines, but it’s more difficult because I have to show what I’m thinking or feeling through my facial expressions or reactions. And not looking anyone in the eye and playing the whole Jake spirit thing; I really love playing Jake, I really think I’m lucky for landing the role because I think actors live for interesting roles and Jake is definitely an interesting role, so I love that.
TTC: Did you do any special kind of research for the role?
DM: Before I got the job, when I was auditioning, I looked up kids that were autistic and I found a bunch of YouTube videos and I read about them; but really Jake isn’t autistic, he has a special gift to see all the connections in the world. He doesn’t speak because he doesn’t need to and he can’t be touched because he just doesn’t like the way it feels. After I booked the role, right before we started shooting, I worked a lot with the director of the pilot, Francis Lawrence, and the technical advisor and they gave me a lot of notes on Jake’s physical behavior and his attitude: how to sit, how to run, and also they gave me a marble that I always hold in my sleeve, because a lot of kids do that, just something to play around with in their hand. So I guess I did do some research, but you can’t really do research on someone who doesn’t have anyone like him in the world.
TTC: What do your friends and family think about you being on TV? And with Kiefer Sutherland?
DM: I really think I’m really fortunate because all my family, all my friends, they really support me in every way. None of my friends really treat me different. At the beginning, a few friends who I wasn’t really close with did, but my close friends and everybody else treat me the same. And with Kiefer Sutherland, I’m a huge fan of 24. I watched the whole series in two summers, like five episodes a night. I stayed up until 2am just watching 24 those two summers with my mom and my sister, we were like 24 addicts. So, we were huge fans. My mom rented a bunch of Kiefer movies for me to see and I think he’s just amazing in all of them. When I found out I was working with him, I was in shock and so excited.
TTC: That’s awesome, he is pretty cool! If it was up to you, what would Jake’s first words to Martin be?
DM: Hmm. That’s a tough one. Probably, “I love you, Dad” are the first words I would want Jake to say, because Jake really does love Martin and really appreciates that he’s going after all this stuff, because probably another parent wouldn’t. They would see this stuff and wouldn’t pay attention to it, they’d ignore it. The relationship between Jake and Martin in the second season evolves, they really get a lot closer. Jake is becoming a little less like a spirit and he’s doing things that he never would have done in the first season. Him holding Martin’s hand in the first season finale was a huge step for them.
*Bonus Fun Question*
TTC: If you had to recommend three TV shows to someone who has never watched any TV, what would they be?
DM: Number one, Touch, can that count as one? Number two, I Love Lucy. And number three, Glee.
Great choices, all three, David! Don’t miss David’s number one choice, Touch, tonight at 9PM ET on FOX!!
Anne – Assistant TO the Editor-in-Chief