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article imageJeff Gum discusses 'The Forgiven,' working with Forest Whitaker Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 7, 2018 in Entertainment
Actor Jeff Gum chatted with Digital Journal about his lead role in "The Forgiven," where he worked with Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana.
On his role in The Forgiven, he said, "I play a character named Francois Schmidt. He and Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana) were part of these hit squads that would go out and capture and kill any political opposition. Now, years later, they clash over the things that they have done together and there is a twist to their story as Schmidt runs the prison where Blomfeld is held and is, therefore, in control of his future. Schmidt gets caught between Desmond Tutu (Forest Whitaker) and Blomfeld as Desmond Tutu is trying to get Blomfeld to confess to all the terrible things he and Schmidt did and Schmidt will do anything to keep him quiet."
In The Forgiven, he collaborated with such actors as Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana. "It was great. They're both incredible actors and I have admired and respected their work for many years. It's a very challenging subject matter so having a strong team of actors is so crucial and we were fortunate to have such a great director, Roland Joffe," he explained.
He shared that his acting is inspired by a wide variety of things. "It could be a really great script, a great story, or it could simply be watching another actor's performance. I've been inspired by Daniel Day Lewis, Christoph Waltz, Gary Oldman and many others," he said.
Regarding his future plans, he said, "I'm working on a film with Jamie Foxx called Groove Tails, another film with Antonio Banderas called Broken Ridge and I am about to start filming Primal with Nicholas Cage and Famke Janssen. Then, I plan to relax for a while!"
He listed the late Audrey Hepburn as his dream female acting partner. "If I was alive 50 years ago, I would have said Audrey Hepburn. I think she is one of the most iconic and talented actresses of all time," he said.
On the impact of technology in the film and television industry, Gum said, "Well, I’m a big tech geek myself so the coolest way it’s impacted the industry for me is filming with drones. It means less crane shots and time consuming set-ups and you can capture an awesome wide shot and scenery in one swoop, if you don't crash it! I also love the fact that you can pretty much do anything from your iPhone these days although, I must say, I miss the fingerprint access on the iPhone X."
When asked about how he stays in such top-notch physical shape, Gum revealed, "It's mostly about eating right because when I don't do it, it doesn't matter how much I go to the gym."
For his fans, he concluded about The Forgiven, he said, "I hope they walk away informed about some of the things that took place in South Africa during Apartheid and how the country has since evolved. It's such an important story and I feel it hasn't had the platform it deserves. There are so many stories covering the wonderful work that Nelson Mandela did but I feel the acts of Desmond Tutu haven’t had as much light shed on them."
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