PRUNE: Hi Zack! Excited to have you for Prune. Give our readers a brief intro about yourself.
ZACK SCHOR: Hey, thanks for having me. I am an actor and a screenwriter in Los Angeles.
PRUNE: You are an actor in Amazon's "HUNTERS", but let's back up to the beginning. How did you first get your start in acting?
ZACK: I started doing theatre at a pretty young age in Chicago, where I grew up, and my love for it grew from there. Mainly, I did school productions, over time taking on bigger and more interesting roles. I ended up attending Chapman University, where I received a B.A. of Performing Arts. From there, I headed to LA where I met my acting coach and mentor, Keith Bogart, who I’ve been studying with ever since.
PRUNE: Now you're here, playing young Al Pacino. What does it mean to work alongside such a talented cast in HUNTERS, as well as Oscar-winning writer-director, Jordan Peele?
ZACK: It’s incredible company to be in. Not just Jordan Peele and Al Pacino, but also the rest of the series regulars who are an unbelievable, eclectic group of talented actors. And the thing that brought all these people together was the material; David Weil and Nikki Toscano wrote a beautiful series and brought it to life in stunning detail. We all came together to tell a story that matters, a story that says something about the world we’re living in today, and that, to me, is incredibly meaningful and important. I knew that everyone involved was going to work really hard and show up really prepared, so I had to do the same.
PRUNE: Can you talk to us about the plot of HUNTERS, and where your character Meyer Offerman fits in?
ZACK: Well, Hunters takes place in New York City in 1977. It follows a group of vigilante Nazi Hunters, led by Al Pacino’s character, Meyer Offerman. I play a younger version of that character in a series of flashbacks during the Holocaust.
PRUNE: HUNTERS covers heavy topics, and it's been said that this project hit home for you in a raw, emotional way. Talk to us about this.
ZACK: Two of my grandparents are Holocaust survivors. In fact, my grandfather, a Polish Jew, wound up in a concentration camp in Hungary near the end of the war. So, when I was given the opportunity to play a Polish Jew in a concentration camp, it felt really important to me to do justice to the portrayal of that character and the circumstances he was enduring. I learned Polish and lost quite a bit of weight — 35 pounds — and I did as much research as I could. But when it came time to shoot — on sets that were so fully realized, in wardrobe that was uncomfortably authentic — I’m not sure I have all the words to convey what that was like. It was definitely personally resonant. There’s no question that those were emotionally challenging days on set, but it was important to me, and everyone else, to be brutally, viscerally honest in our storytelling. It is more important now than ever that we remember.
PRUNE: Who do you look up to in the industry?
ZACK: There are so many super-talented actors, writers, and directors in this industry that I admire and respect. I'm reticent to name even a few because that would inherently leave too many off the list. I look up to people that make choices about what kind of art they want to make, before how much money they want to make. I look up to people who work incredibly hard. And I look up to the people that treat everyone with respect, no matter where their name is on the call sheet.
PRUNE: Advice to a new actor on the scene?
ZACK: First and foremost, study. Find an acting class that you connect with and get to work. Focus on process and let go of results. And secondly, get a survival job and get used to the idea that you will most likely have one for a while. Working on your craft and paying your bills are both necessary. If you can’t afford to stay in LA you won’t be here long enough for that shot to come, and if you’re not working on your craft you won’t be ready for it when your shot does come.
PRUNE: Favorite song to belt out in the shower?
ZACK: Oh, gosh.....can I give you list? I don’t know, let’s say Walking in Memphis.
PRUNE: 2020 goals?
ZACK: I have some irons in the fire. We'll see what takes off first. In the meantime, I’m just continuing to focus on process, both on the acting and writing fronts. It’s always about the work, which I am deeply grateful to be able to do.
PRUNE: Where can we follow you on socials?
ZACK: @zackschor on Instagram.
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