Tonight, film and television actor, Gary Ray Moore, will be presented with the Stephanie Digeno Courage Award from the Asheville Film Festival. Moore, best known for his role as Jack Warton on Netflix’s House of Cards, recently overcame his battle with cancer and is the first recipient of this Courage Award. The Tidbit spoke with Moore about his career, the award, and what’s next for him.
The Tidbit: What inspired you to start working in the entertainment industry?You’re well known as a TV, film, and voice over actor. Is there a type of acting you have a preference for over others?
Gary Ray Moore: I was inspired by my older sister, Debbie, when I was young. She was a professional ventriloquist and I would follow her around to different TV shows and gigs. My grandparents paid for my sister to take some acting classes at the Goodman Theatre and I tagged along and caught the bug. I grew up on stage but really fell in love with camera work after I got married and moved out to San Francisco. After working on a good number of films, I’d have to say film work is my favorite, but I enjoy TV and voice over also. My VO career has just grown over the years and I’ve been able to do everything from cartoons, commercials, and corporate voice overs.
TT: This weekend, you’re being awarded with The Stephanie Delgino Courage Award by the Asheville Film Festival. How does it feel to be receiving an award such as this?
GRM: Well, an award like this I don’t think anyone would try to get, just like I didn’t try to get cancer but I did. This is a special honor to be recognized for inspiring others while I went through stage 4 cancer. It was helpful to me to keep my sense of humor and share with others what was going on in my life. Life isn’t easy and when you can laugh about things and help someone else it helps you.
TT: What advice would you give to someone who may be going through a hard time and could benefit from hearing an inspiring story of courage, such as yours?
GRM: Don’t ever give up. Cancer can do a lot of nasty things but it’s limited to what it can do to your body not your soul. As the actor, Chris Pratt said at the MTV Awards, “God is real, God loves you, God wants the best for you.” God didn’t give me cancer, He helped me through it. I quickly learned even with stage 4 cancer not knowing if I was going to live or die, there are plenty of others out there in worse off circumstances. Being strong for your family and friends will help them and you make it through tough times. A pastor that lost his child through suicide said it this way, “You don’t know how much you need God until God is all you have.”
TT: You have quite the list of credits under your belt. What are some of the projects you are working on now?
GRM: I’ve had a fun career so far and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more. A lot of my films are streaming on several platforms including Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and VUDU. Last year a film came out with a very fun role I played as Freddie Highmore’s stepdad in “Almost Friends.” Freddie is as nice an actor as they come and very fun to work with on set. After chemo, I looked like a bad guy with my bald head so I got a role opposite Tommy Flanagan on the fun film, “Legal Action.” I’ll be starting my next film called, “Just Grace” soon where I’ll play a professor opposite my friend, Karen Abercrombie. Through all my films, the greatest thing about acting are the friends you make on set. You really spend a lot of time together and get close to each other. I’ve made some of my best friends on set and they were there for me last year during my cancer.
TT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
GRM: I’d like to add that my acting coach, Eric Kline, who teaches The Film Actor’s Workshop in LA, called me every day while I was sick. I’ll never forget that and of course I’d do anything for him. He got me through my first film back in the 1990’s and he’s helped me both on and off camera. You cherish real friends when you go through tough times.