You might not remember Jonathan Malen from his illustrious career as a child actor. You might not know that he’s been behind the scenes on the music vids of Canada’s hugest Hip Hop icon. You may also be unfamiliar with how this ginger-freak gets down. So, in the interest of educating your own self about one of Canada’s up-and-coming content creators, keep reading…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
I am an actor, writer and producer. My company is By Any Means Necessary Productions (BAMN), yes it’s a mouthful! I started BAMN five years ago with some friends, just as a way to get more involved in the industry. We all shared the same interests in film-making and kind of just stuck with it.
How did you get involved in movies and television?
When I was a 7-years-old, a television production was shooting on location at a family friend’s house and they needed extras. I had a huge red afro at the time and was a very, very cute child. I got the acting bug and it kind of started from there. That’s not entirely true actually… I quickly realized that if I did acting, I could get out of going to school. Me and my huge red afro managed to book some jobs in children’s programming – YTV, Family Channel type stuff. It was tons of fun and taught me a lot about acting. The bigger and more over the top the performance the better – it’s the number one thing they teach you in the “Disney School of Acting.” Just ask Miley Cyrus.
How did you get involved with working with Drake?
Basically, we grew up in the same neighbourhood and went to high school together. He needed help producing some music videos and we were nice enough to say yes. We produced The Motto, Headlines, and Marvin’s Room. We also wrote for him when he hosted the Juno Awards a few years back. Nothing gives you better experience then being thrown into the world of producing hip-hop videos. It was actually the most fun I’ve ever had working on anything.
What do you love most about the film and television industry?
I love the team effort that is involved; unless you are working with people who take themselves and the project too seriously – it sucks the fun right out of it. Creating something from the ground up and then executing it. It’s a thrill.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…I can walk around anywhere and feel right at home. Unless I am in Etobicoke… but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
Three things I can’t live without. My laptop, millions of dollars, and my SoftTouch hair diffuser.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
My favourite restaurant is Terrazza on Harbord Street. It’s a quiet little spot with great atmosphere and comfortable chairs. The food is amazing and well priced. I’m a sucker for home-style Italian food.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
Just give me some Stolichnaya and a couple of ice cubes. I get it from my fridge, Terrazza, or my office. Always keep a little bit of vodka at the office for those long days.
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
Whichever brand my mother or girlfriend buys me. I hate shopping. It’s stressful. Everybody in the city looks so damn cool all the time – so much style and what not. I’m awkward about style.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your projects on the go?
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