Saturday, January 26, 2019

Interview with Actor Jeff Hephner: On Being Adrian in Newest Film An Acceptable Loss, A Proud Michigander and A Girl's Basketball Coach

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

You will recognize the dashing actor Jeff Hephner from his many roles on TV including Chicago Med, Chicago Fire  and Code Black as well as from film including Interstellar and Pepperming.
He's also just started on this season of the popular sci fi series Mars on Nat Geo as Kurt Harrelle. Here we talk to him about his latest film role, starring as the powerful behind-the-scenes operative Adrian in An Acceptable Loss with Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumter. An Acceptable Loss is a political thriller written and directed by Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, The Wire) that is full of twists and turns to keep you watching until the very end, and Jeff's character Adrian is the man responsible for a lot of the drama. And without giving away any spoilers... you may or may not agree with his decisions.

On Getting the Call for the Part

Jeff Hephner: Actually, I got a text from an entertainment writer named Brittany Frederick telling me that Colleen (Note: wife of Joe Chappelle, writer and director of An Acceptable Loss) wanted to connect with me.  When we finally did connect she said, “Joe wrote a scr-” And I said, “I’m in.” I’ve always enjoyed working with Joe.  He was such a steady hand on the rudder in my time on Chicago Fire.  And I have a ton a respect for his body of work and how he does his job. Also, Colleen used to make cookies for the crew on Fire and I was pretty sure if I did the movie I would get cookies.





On Driving the Herd

Jeff Hephner: The role of Adrian is that of the unseen hand.  Or, the sausage maker… But unseen hand sounds cooler.  The character is the representation of those players in government who actually have to move it along.  They reside in power’s orbit to carry out the directives.  In this story the directive is to keep the team together.  To drive the herd. That’s how I thought of him anyway.


Making Friends with Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter 

Jeff Hephner: I had not worked with either Jaime or Tika, but was of course familiar with both.  Now, though, we are all best friends!  I’m not sure they know it yet, and they don’t ever call me, but I just know our collective best-friendship has been life affirming.

Seriously though it's not everyday you get to work with one legend and another one who could be.  I enjoyed it immensely.




In a Few Short Words What 
An Acceptable Loss is Really About

Jeff Hephner: It's a story about two women who made a choice.  One with consequences.  Who are in a race to see who’s version gets recorded into the history books.



On Living in Pure Michigan

Jeff Hephner: Michigan is my home.  I moved my family from New York City to outside the Detroit area about 4 years ago. (It means I’m in the airport a lot, but lucky for us we have a good one.)  I grew up here and I really wanted to raise my kids here.  I say that as my kids are home because they had a snow day at school and they are screaming that they are bored.  In my head I’m saying New York never closes school…. Or, in LA it’s sunny and 75 degrees.  But, I’m one of those people that loves winter.   Loves the cold. I couldn’t imagine not living here again.

Juggling TV with Girl's Basketball

Jeff Hephner: Along with An Acceptable Loss, Peppermint has just come out on DVD and Nat Geo's Mars just aired season two so that has given me the time to coach my daughter’s basketball team. So, until March I will be trying to convince a bunch of 6th grade girls that I’m not crazy, I just really love basketball.


5 Fave Movies
Jeff Hephner: Braveheart, Bull Durham, Tombstone, Big, Die Hard

What He's Binged on Lately

Jeff Hephner: I just binged Killing Eve, and the Kominsky Method, and am now watching Homecoming.

Fast Food Drive-Thru of Choice

Jeff Hephner: If I had to hit a drive through I could still get down with a Big Mac.

Favorite Thing to During a Free Day in Michigan 

Jeff Hephner: When I have a day to myself I love to explore the city of Detroit.  A complex and fascinating place.

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