CayFilm 2016: Interview with Reno Wilson

Billy Gardell and Reno Wilson in scene from 'Mike & Molly.'

Over the next few weeks, Weekender will highlight people and films scheduled to appear at the CayFilm Festival, which runs from July 1-4.

This week features Reno Wilson, star of the series “Mike & Molly” and the upcoming film “Officer Downe,” based on a graphic novel of the same name.

Wilson is known not only for his physical acting, but also for his voice-over work, most notably for a number of the transformers in the Michael Bay blockbusters.

This is your second time attending the CayFilm festival. Do you come back for just the festival or do the sand and the sea help?

Well, the sand and the sea definitely do help, [laughs], but it’s great being at the festival, watching the movies and being around all the people.

You’ve been in the series “Mike & Molly” for six seasons. What is it like working with that cast, and how do you feel about the series ending?

I’m so fortunate to have been able to do “Mike & Molly” for six seasons with the most grateful and thankful people I’ve ever worked with, not to mention the most talented. You know, the feeling with the show coming to an end is, I’m sad that it is over, but I’m happy that it happened, and I’m looking forward to all the new things that are on the way for all of us.

Do you prefer working on films or TV series and why?

I like working. [laughs]. Doesn’t matter where really, I’ll work in your living room for free. TV series are cool, especially sitcoms because that was the best schedule if you have a family. If you’re a family man and you are on a sitcom, you’re home for dinner most days. Film is a different kind of schedule, longer hours, but you get to work in a lot of different locations and really

Reno Wilson
Reno Wilson

cool places, some dingy places, it’s just a different experience. I like working in all mediums.

Beyond being an actor in front of the camera, you’ve provided voices for a number of major characters in video games and, most notably, the transformer movies. How does voice-over work differ from “normal” acting?

Voice-over acting for me is the best side-job on the planet. You do not need any hair or makeup done, no wardrobe, you can walk into a booth with a baseball hat and whatever you want to wear, so that was pretty cool. I also like the fact that in the booth you have the privacy to create your own world. When you’re an artist … when you’re an actor, you have this whole world that lives inside of your mind, anyway. Voice-over is a great way to express all of those cool, crazy, funky ideas and sounds that you have going on inside your head. Also, you get to work with great people like Michael Bay and these video game creators. These video game creators, man, they create whole worlds, and you just get to immerse yourself in these brand-new worlds, so it has its own perks and properties that I really enjoy and I’m thankful to be able to do that kind of work also.

You play Officer Carter in the upcoming film “Officer Downe,” based on a graphic novel.

How has that experience been, and are you a fan of graphic novels in general?

“Officer Downe” is probably going to be the craziest film that I’ve been a part of, just from shooting it. It was based on a graphic novel that in and of itself was insane, about an indestructible cop of unknown origin. It’s directed by Clown from Slipknot, [so] I can assure you that it will be something that you’ve never seen before.

Do you sing?

Yes, I do sing. My mom was an opera singer and my father sang and played organ in his blues band. So I’m the son of an opera singing nurse and a blues singing truck driver. [laughs]

What is your dream job?

I’m living my dream job.

For more information on CayFilm and to buy tickets, visit