Justin Arnold on 'Love & Air Sex'
Part-time Texan Justin Arnold credits his role as Levi in the indie drama 5 Time Champion as the reason why he had the opportunity to audition for former Austin Film Society staffer Bryan Poyser's latest movie Love & Air Sex, formerly called The Bounceback (Don's review), which opens a weeklong run tonight at Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter during the movie's nationwide roadshow.
Poyser enjoyed 5 Time Champion, winner of the Texas Filmmaker Award at the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival, Arnold said. This and the friendship between Poyser and the movie's director, Berndt Mader, led to Arnold being cast in Poyser's comedy short The Fickle.
"Bryan, he's the man," Arnold said.
But that doesn't mean Arnold wasn't put through a rigorous audition process for Love & Air Sex.
"(Poyser) put me on the hot seat for about two hours," he said.
Arnold plays Tim in the Austin-shot comedy that premiered at SXSW 2013. It follows a group of twentysomethings looking for love during a weekend in the Live Music Capital of the World (and the soundtrack includes some toe-tappin' ditties by artists like Austinite Shakey Graves).
And Arnold can relate to some extent to the movie's lead, an actor-turned-pizza-delivery-guy in Los Angeles. Not to say that he's struggling -- he has a number of movie's in post-production -- but he admits it took some time for him to find a day job, working for a veterinary clinic, when he moved to L.A. about a year ago.
"L.A. is what you make of it," Arnold said optimistically. He recently moved into a new apartment with another actor not too far away from his Love & Air Sex costars Sara Paxton and Zach Cregger. Although Arnold didn't know any of the movie's cast prior to his 15 days on set, he said it eventually felt like home.
The definition of home is transient for Arnold, having grown up in Texas and Oklahoma, then travelling around the world for four years as a Marine. This constant change may have had an affect on his career choices. He intended to become a veterinarian, and it was his original focus at Texas A&M Commerce -- that is, before switching to theater. Arnold caught the acting bug while still enlisted in the military and eventually transferred to the University of North Texas, graduating with a degree in radio-television-film in 2008.
He began to pursue acting professionally when he returned to Dallas after graduation, appearing in a Spike Jonze short film, Scenes from the Suburbs. But it's been only recently that Arnold has been able to be a full-time actor, thanks in part to him being laid off from the veterinary clinic in L.A.
"They kinda pushed the bird out of the nest," he said, adding that he wants to keep pushing himself as an actor to get out of his comfort zone. Family, however, will remain a source of comfort for Arnold, who said that members of his family will be in attendance for the Dallas screening of Love & Air Sex on Feb. 20 at the Texas Theatre.