If you have the winter doldrums this March, we’ve found the solution: watch action-packed Den of Thieves, the latest adventure from director Christian Gudegast, with a star-studded cast including heavy hitters like Gerard Butler, 50 Cent — and NYFA Acting for Film Conservatory grad Ron J. Rock.
Rock has been busy since graduating NYFA in 2010. He is the founder of his own production company, Rocktober Productions, and along with making his feature film debut in a major action flick with A-list stars, Rock is also executive-producing upcoming Broadway musical Lucifer.
We had a chance to hear some of the story behind Rock’s meteoric rise. Check out his interview with the NYFA Blog, below:
NYFA: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and what brought you to the New York Film Academy? Why did you choose the Acting for Film Conservatory program?
RJR: I’ve been a theatre actor since the third grade in New Jersey, and after high school I wanted to study acting in New York. It’s an amazing city and the people I’ve met in my NYFA program have helped me sharpen my acting skills and create my own content.
I chose the program because it wasn’t just on-camera training: It was all the skills I need to know as an actor, taught in one program.
NYFA: Why acting? What inspires you most?
RJR: I love acting because you can start to understand circumstances and perspectives through different characters. It’s important to live life and be able to relate to others. Relationships become more real.
NYFA: Do you have any favorite NYFA moments from your time studying with us?
RJR: My favorite moments were definitely getting together with fellow students to film any idea we had. It’s a collective program of artists who are working toward the same goal, so it was a lot easier to find people to work with.
NYFA: Can you tell us how your role in Den of Thieves came about?
RJR: I was filming a short film in Atlanta, and I came across a producer who knew who I was, and he asked me to stay and read for the character “Junior.” I was hired on the spot.
NYFA: Shooting Den of Thieves with 50 Cent and Gerard Butler must have had some interesting moments. What surprised you most about the shoot? Any stories you’d like to share?
RJR: What was surprising was how organized the entire production was. The energy on set was fun and kept everyone going. It was an entire community of hundreds of people making this movie amazing.
NYFA: For our students, what is your advice for transitioning from film school to working on a professional film set?
RJR: Every little detail you learn in class matters when you’re on set and in front of the camera. Taking classes is very important. There is a reason why these [successful] actors are who they are. They train on their craft endlessly.
NYFA: You’re producing a new musical, Lucifer. What drew you to this project? What is it like working behind the scenes as a theatre producer?
RJR: I came across this project after I produced a short film of my own. It was intriguing because it is the story of the Bible through the devil’s eyes. It simplifies what the Bible is about for anyone to watch.
NYFA: Would you say your time at NYFA was at all useful in terms of the work you are doing now?
RJR: YES! The 2-year program helped me stay focused on my career, and it has paid off.
NYFA: What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
RJR: I’d like to create a TV series about issues millennials face — love, careers, and unspoken battles we all face in this generation.
NYFA: Anything I missed that you’d like to speak on?
RJR: I would also like to say thank you for having me at NYFA and sticking by my side during the successes.
Thank you Ron J. Rock for sharing your story with the NYFA Blog!