For an actor who spends most of his time touring the Southeast in an RV and claims not to care much about getting film and TV work, 59-year-old Charleston native Jimmy Hagar sure gets a lot of film and TV work.
If you watch TV, you’ve surely seen him. At 5’11”, with longish white hair and a well-weathered face, Hagar’s a shoe-in for grandfather spots. But a richly-timbred, Gene Hackman-like voice that can go from zero to power saw in an instant gives Hagar a special sort of oomph, which lifts him above standard kind-eyed grandpa types.He’s appeared in numerous regional commercials and local theatre productions. He’s also shown up on NBC’s Surface, the WB’s One Tree Hill, and last year’s ill-fated Palmetto Pointe (not his fault, he says). National commercials on his CV include Sears, Morgan Stanley, Walgreens, BC Headache Powder, Citgo, and others.
This fall, though, Hagar will begin work on his first major role in a feature film when he starts shooting on the independent Three Words and a Star in the Rock Fill area.
Directed by British filmmaker Erica Dunton, Three Words and a Star is a road trip movie in which a rock star, played by One Tree Hill‘s Craig Sheffer, convinces a grocery store clerk to take him on a tour of America. In the film, Hagar plays Brother Earl, a homeless Vietnam Vet.
“I have learned to love the audition process,” Hagar says. I’m happy if I get one of of five. Which is pretty good odds, in this business. If they want young, beautiful people, there’s 2,500 of ’em gonna show up to an audition. But if they want old farts like me, there’s only about a half dozen of us around here. One of the things I’ve learned is if they want a white-headed old guy with a Southern accent who’s bumping 60 and who might have been around in Vietman, or if they want a grandfather or a Ku Klux Klan type, I’m usually their man.”
Although research on a historical novel-in-progress, and a 28-foot Fleetwood Jamboree have been occupying most of Hagar’s time lately, he says he’ll continue to audition whenever he can.
“You know how they say 50 is the new 30?” he asks. “Well, I’m betting 60 is the new 40.” – Patrick Sharbaugh