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Interview with Kevin J. O'Connor


Kevin J. O'Connor is an American actor, model, voice over talent, and long-time healthcare executive. He was born in Kewanee, IL to Irish/English parents Martin R. O'Connor (deceased) and Elizabeth Joyce (Renfro) O'Connor. The youngest of five children, his family moved to Ft. Myers, FL when he was 2 years old. His acting career started with plays in middle school and high school, followed by numerous opportunities in front of large audiences in college and his early business career. Having graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Science Business (Pre-Medicine and Business combined concentration), O'Connor moved up the corporate ladder with career moves to: Tallahassee, FL; Orlando, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Winston-Salem, NC; and in 2008 to the Lake Norman community just north of Charlotte, NC. It was in Charlotte that he won featured roles in the Cinemax Series "Banshee;" the Showtime Series "Homeland;" the Fox show "Sleepy Hollow;" and featured roles in numerous movies including "Iron Man 3;" "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire;" and many others in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and more. In 2015, O'Connor was voted/named Charlotte's "Favorite Local Actor" in the Elevate Lifestyle "The Best of the City Awards." Given the proximity to (arguably) the nation's largest concentration of NASCAR races and drivers, he has been in numerous NASCAR related commercials and industry video productions alongside many of the world's elite drivers. One such highlight was a 2017 Super Bowl commercial starring among many others two-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin and fan favorite Danica Patrick. A 2019 Continental Tire commercial video with NASCAR legend Tony Stewart caused a huge uproar on social media given O'Connor's comedic talents and amazing wardrobe selection. Among many fun onscreen highlights in his career, he counts getting a high-five from Owen Wilson in "Masterminds;" purposely bumping into Robert De Niro in "Last Vegas;" helping to drag a kicking and screaming and cussing Claire Danes through The Capital Grille and out the door in "Homeland;" having his pulse taken by Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) on the Revolutionary War battlefield in "Sleepy Hollow;" being mistaken for actor Rob Riggle by his close friend Ed Helms and Christina Applegate in "Vacation;" chasing after Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff in a speeding car in "Paper Towns;" rollerblading alongside SpongeBob SquarePants in "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water;" saving Angelica Celaya's life in "Constantine;" being killed in several productions; being jailed in a few; among many, many other wonderful memories. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5672221/

Kevin J. O'Connor, thank you for this interview. My readers will not know you. Can you please provide details about yourself?

Well, my bio is fairly comprehensive but to share some additional personal details, I have now lived in the Lake Norman community (Huntersville, NC specifically) for the last 13 years. It is a beautiful lake community with lots of fun-loving people, casual day/nightspots, and gorgeous scenery. I used to spend a lot of time in Charlotte (a close 25 minutes south), but since the pandemic and so many businesses having to close (a horrible consequence of many bad decisions I’ll not discuss here), I tend to spend more leisure time in Lake Norman. My trips to Charlotte often involve filming opportunities, actor/author table reads, and various film group association meetings. There are still some active top-tier restaurants and clubs I’ll make the trip down for as well.


Mr. O'Connor, your most recently finished Inherit the Land.  Can you talk about the story?  Also, what platforms can people view your film online?


This is an incredible project and I am so proud to be a part of it. “Inherit the Land” shares the true story of Sally and Maggie Ross, who were unwed, white, wealthy sisters from Marvin, NC. More than a century ago — in the early 1900s — the Ross sisters, upon their deaths, bequeathed approximately 800 acres of land to Bob and his daughter Mittie Bell, who were black. Producer Jim Johnson and Author Gene Stowe, joined with Director & Narrator Cylk Cozart, the actors and staff to form this dynamic team to present this document to us so beautifully. Mr. Johnson passionately said, “the purpose of this story is to see how a family over 100 years ago lived in harmony without regards to their race on the same land and how the court system stood up and did what was right.” I played Monroe, NC Mayor and lawyer John Sikes.

This documentary is still making the film festival rounds and at the time of this writing, it has won the prestigious 7th Annual Hollywood Weekly Magazine Film Festival’s “Best Historical Documentary.” I imagine everyone will be hearing about this documentary as it is expected to be made into a feature film at some point in the near future. 


Mr. O'Connor, everyone has a story to tell. What one story do you wish everyone knew about you?


I’d just like everyone to know that I am a proud father, son, brother and friend to many and feel blessed to be where I am today with my life and career(s). Hopefully this isn’t viewed as a cop-out. It is sincerely what I would want people to know about me.


Mr. O'Connor, the film Skateshop will be released soon.  Can you talk about the movie and provide links to it?


The SAG feature film “Skateshop” is about a group of skaters who band together to save the local skateshop they call home. I play the big, bad banker (Mr. Carrington) who is desperately trying to evict them so I can build my big commercial business center and make lots of money. Lots of fun skating scenes and a whole lotta heart is portrayed by this bi-coastal cast and crew (Los Angeles and Charlotte).


“Skateshop” is now available on Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, YouTube, and Google Play with many more platforms already under contract. Amzn.to/3DJ4IK1


Mr. O'Connor, what book or movies have you been reading or watching? Meaning I am using this interview to find new books or films to watch. What have you been doing?


A few books I have recently read include “The Business of Film: A Practical Introduction (American Film Market Presents)” – a must read if you hope to make money in the film industry; “Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win” – this book is incredibly inspiring and really makes one look at oneself in the mirror. “The principles are simple, but not easy. Taking ownership for mistakes and failures is hard. But doing so is key to learning, to developing solutions, and, ultimately to victory. Those who successfully implement these principles run circles around the rest of the world”; and finally, I’m currently rereading “Inherit the Land.” I highly recommend all three of these great books. As for movies, I navigate through Netflix, Prime, and Disney+ like I suspect most people do these days!  


Mr. O'Connor, can you talk about your other work in production?  Are you planning to try any film festivals or are they going to be directly released?


I will be filming an upcoming SAG feature film down in Atlanta very soon which I am excited about. Unfortunately, I can’t share any details at this early stage. I have also recently finished filming a few local Indie films in Charlotte which have fared well in local festival contests. Check out my IMDb page for more information regarding these.


Mr. O'Connor, what are you doing to relieve stress during this time of home lockdown?



Dreams: what project or script or actor or actress would be a dream for you to get to work with?


I have so many actors and actresses I’d love to work with some day. I have already enjoyed being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man 3) and the DC Extended Universe (Constantine), so I’ve already been able to cross those off my bucket list. Of course, I’d love to film additional superhero projects as they are truly fun! Just to pull a few names out of a hat, I would love to work someday with Keanu Reeves, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, and sadly, I’ll never get a chance to work with the incredible Betty White. (RIP)  


Mr. O'Connor, the classic question: what charity do you work with and can you provide a link to it so others can see too please.


I am a big believer in Habitat For Humanity and love what this charity does for those less fortunate than othershttps://www.habitat.org


I also work with “Extra Hands” – a charitable organization made up of film and television talent, cast and crew. We are making a “Reel” difference by extending a helping hand to those in need. – On Facebook – https://facebook.com/1087383747943475/


A final question. What question do you wish I had asked?  And what would the answer be?


What was your favorite movie to work on – answer – Iron Man 3. Specifically, because Robert Downey, Jr. was the absolute best! He was so fun, funny, kind and creative. It was a pleasure to spend a few days on set with him. Also, it made my kids even more famous in school as their Dad was an onscreen actor in a Marvel film!

What was your favorite TV show to work on – answer – Banshee (on Cinemax)! Besides the fantastic cast and crew, it had hands down the best catering I’ve ever had on ANY set I’ve worked on in my career. It was Mario’s Catering and I was spoiled rotten during my three years of filming in and around Charlotte, NC for this exciting show.