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‘Smallville’ star Michael Rosenbaum discusses directorial debut ‘Back in the Day’


Building upon his diverse film and television experience, actor Michael Rosenbaum   recently returned to his hometown of Newburgh, Indiana for his directorial debut, Back in the Day.  Rosenbaum, who also wrote, produced and starred in the film, plays the role of Jim, a struggling actor who returns home for his high school reunion.  

Of course, Rosenbaum is known to most audiences for his role as the charming and inscrutable young Lex Luthor in Smallville. The role (which required Rosenbaum to shave his head ten months out of the year during the seven seasons he appeared on the show) is a marked contrast from Rosenbaum himself, who is warm, chatty and funny; even saying his friends describe him as a “dork and goofball.”

The actor recently took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Philly2Philly from his home in Los Angeles. Photo: spinoff.comicbookresources.com

“I’m 41, I want to do what makes me happy, I can wait around for the right project,” says Rosenbaum. “Most of the stuff that gets sent to me is stuff I don’t want to do.  If I commit to another TV show, I want it to be something that’s as gripping, as diverse as the character I played in Smallville. Or something that’s really fun and I can grow as a character and something that I can have creative input. So I’m producing and writing, that’s what I want to do. That’s why I started a production company Rose and Bomb Productions."

In addition to Back in the Day, Mr. Rosenbaum wrote and starred in the award-winning short Ghild (which you can watch HERE), directed by David Yarovesky.

Mr. Rosenbaum assembled a fantastic cast for Back in the Day, including Homeland and Firefly star Morena Baccarin, Mad Men actor, Jay R. Ferguson., Kristoffer Polaha (Ringer, Life Unexpected) comedian Nick Swardson, and the Old Spice pitchman, Isaiah Mustafa.  Longtime friend and collaborator Harland Williams (Dumb and Dumber) also stars.

“Morena Baccarin, I can’t say enough about her”, Mr. Rosenbaum gushes. “You look at her and you think you know wow, how beautiful, and then you work with her and you realize she’s absolutely stunning inside out. She just was a joy to work with every day. You know, we’re shooting eight pages a day, not one page a day like these studio movies. To get actors who are just pros, and want to come and do the work and show their support because they know you are doing this as a passion project, they know this is your home town where you grew up.”

“We didn’t have money for overtime. We never went over one day.  We did a stunt scene with a big car chase scene. We had like six hours to shoot it, ” he continues. “Nothing comes easy, I’ll tell you that. I thought it was going to be a lot easier. I don’t think I’ll ever be the lead actor in a movie again, while directing. I think I might play a small part, but I really love directing, I fell in love with it and I like being on the outside looking in. I feel like I’m more creative and I can see things.”

Back in the Day provides a nice blend of scatological human and heart. Something  Mr. Rosenbaum was very cognisant of while making the film.

“I think sometime movies get too sappy. I wanted to have these nice moments, but you have to ease up. You have six or seven minutes of laughs, but then you come out take a deep breath, and now ok, we’re going to get a little serious now and tell a little story. If you’re going to have a serious moment, just make sure you follow it up with a laugh.”

Although the film was only released last week, Mr. Rosenbaum took a brief moment to reflect on his accomplishment, which he doesn’t take for granted.

“It was a lot of luck, it was getting the actors to come from Los Angeles in the beautiful sunshine to come to southern Indiana in the middle of the winter for little money.  I really give credit to everybody around me; from the crew, cast, the people in the town, they made it happen.“

Back in the Day is playing at AMC Neshaminy 24: 


Its also available through Video on Demand and iTunes.

Special thanks to Alex Klenert from Prodigy Public Relations

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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Photo: spinoff.comicbookresources.com

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