Interview With Actor Don McLeod, “Stake Out”

By Ruth on January 27, 2017 in Interview, movie, television

One of my favorite things to do on social media is to “stalk” the tweets of the actors that I fully support (that sounds uncommonly creepy, I know, but better I stalk their tweets than them, right?). I have just over a hundred actors that I follow habitually, and I am certain they grow weary of seeing my name in their feed as I tend to retweet and/or comment on practically every one of their tweets! Then when you add in instagram and Facebook, well, I suppose it can be decidedly overwhelming. Of those actors I champion, there is a smaller group that I “super-stalk” (is that a word?), and Jesse Hutch happens to be one of those. Poor guy–he even had the “misfortune” of meeting me a few months ago which led to a very interesting picture that we just don’t talk about (well, it’s on all my social media accounts, so you can look it up if you are so inclined). Because I follow Jesse extremely closely, he has often “introduced” me to amazing people in the business, and Don McLeod is one of those people. I noticed him first because of Jesse’s web series Stake Out, and I was so elated when Don decided that it would be a marvelous experience to answer a few questions about how his career began, his involvement and aspirations for Stake Out, and even some advice on acting and movie recommendations.


RH: Why did you decide to become an actor? 

DM: To be honest, I can’t say I decided on being an actor as much as I fell into it and then realized how much I enjoy it. It was through my good friend Graham Wardle that acting was first really introduced to me.

What kind of training had you had in acting?

I have trained with many acting coaches for scene study, movement, emotionality etc, I’ve worked with a few stunt fighting coaches, trained with a vocal coach for almost two years, had a dialect coach, worked for two years with ex-special forces, rappel training, weapons training (Pistol,Riffle,Archery,Sword), martial arts (Krav Maga, Kempo) the list goes on and on 🙂

It appears that most of your work is with independent film. What are the benefits and challenges of indie film?

I like indie film because you never know what challenges the day will bring. I get to help others create something while practising my craft. It’s a win-win.

 Please tell us about a couple of your favorite/memorable roles so far.

I really enjoyed the small role I played on the TV show Frequency. My character had a quick arc, which was a nice challenge. But honestly, all my roles have been great in some way. Even my first role on Heartland, though it was just SOC {silent on camera}, it was still fun.

Please tell us about how you and Jesse Hutch worked together to develop Stake Out

LOL! Jesse Hutch and I came up with Stake Out while we were both between gigs and wanted to do something fun with our friends on our down time to keep active. We both like to make people laugh and things can get pretty crazy when we hang out so… we started making up these two characters and it kinda just came together.

What has been the fan reception for Stake Out? What are your future aspirations for this series? 

I feel the reception for Stake Out has been good so far. We are growing slowly. Which is how we want to grow. Gives us time to enjoy the learning process.

For the future of Stake Out:

We hope to grow steadily and eventually get distribution on a network like Netflix. There’s talk of a full-length show being made… but we will see.

What are the benefits/challenges to developing a web series?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say for Jesse and I that the challenges for building our web series Stake Out have been:

– Finding a budget or finding a way to make things work without a budget

– Scheduling: because we do this for free… it costs us (and the other volunteers) time and money. Which in turn becomes a factor in scheduling priorities.

The benefits:

– We have a LOT of fun. We like to make sure everyone is having fun on set.

– It feeds our passion

– Receiving tweets and messages from fans saying that it made them laugh or made their day … that is priceless and truly builds the desire to continue.

If you could choose any two or three guest stars for Stake Out, whom would you choose and how would you like to feature them in the series?

It’d be great to work with Jason Statham; I have a couple ideas if we could get him.

Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, The Rock. Can’t tell you how they’d be featured because… what if we get them on the show?

Any other upcoming works you can mention?

I have written an action/adventure/espionage script that I am very excited about. It’s currently on lockdown, but stay tuned; it’s in the works.

What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers and actors?

My advice to aspiring filmmakers and actors is this:

For actors: Train now for the part you want to play, so that when the part comes, you’re ready.

For filmmakers: Dream it, write it, plan it, do it. Stop waiting for everyone else and stop waiting for the money… go out and get it done

To both: NO ONE LIKES WORKING WITH A JERK. Be nice to everyone on set.

What are your top five must-see films for a weekend of fun viewing?

Top five films?… wow. That’s a tough question; there’s so many good films. Here’s some (of the many) I can watch over and over:


Liar, Liar


Schindler’s List

Stand By Me

The Book of Eli

Back to The Future (the first one)

The DaVinci Code


Although my interactions with Don have been brief, I have researched him enough to know that his responses here represent exactly who he is (except he MAY tend to be a bit zanier than these answers foreshadow). He is an unpretentious, pragmatic man who loves what he does, and he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Furthermore, he and Jesse appear to have the same sense of humor (As I write this, I am attempting to decipher who is crazier, and I think it may be a toss up.), and they get the biggest kick out of producing works that take us away from our troubles for awhile. Whether he is portraying the uproarious Bro in the alternate universe of Stake Out or immersing himself in a role abducted from our most horrific nightmares, Don is a true professional with a inane knack for giving stellar performances regardless of the role. More importantly, however, is Don’s fervent passion for the industry. Some people decide to become an actor for fame, fortune, and notoriety. When things don’t go the way they envision, that is the end of their attempt at show business, no matter how gifted they may be. Don, on the other hand, is perfectly content to just be doing what he loves for a living, and there is no greater reward than that. Of course, the money is important (it is in any job), but his dedication, pertinacity, and willingness to do whatever it takes are the kinds of admirable qualities that are essential to him continuing his dreams of enthralling his viewers and even inspiring them. Some might scoff at Don’s paltry list of credits on IMDB and declare that he is not a genuine actor and that he should choose a different profession. And of course, those are the kinds of naysayers that Don instructs aspiring actors and filmmakers to avoid. And rightly so, Don does eschew them, and by the grace of God, he will never be an arrogant prick who inflates his ego into overdrive. I cannot thank Jesse enough for connecting me with someone who is crazy, talented, fun, inspiring, benevolent, and genuine. Those are the kinds of people with whom I attempt to align myself, and I look forward to what is in store for Don in the near and distant future. In the meantime, be sure that you are following Don at all the links below. I overheard that another episode of Stake Out is on its way very soon, and if you have not looked up this hilarious series yet, YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE MISSING! Don is one of the good guys. I am incredibly honored to have featured him here, and I greatly anticipate his future endeavors. I invite my readers to come along for this wild adventure of Don’s journey to accomplish all that is within his heart and mind as he perseveres to fulfill his sacred calling within the performing arts.











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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


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