Friday, May 24, 2024

Seniors in business: What happens in Vegas, happened to Jerry

by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud

Jerry V. Lindsay moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles after retiring from the U.S. Postal Service.

For many seniors, Las Vegas is viewed as an ideal retirement destination. Among them is Jerry V. Lindsay, who moved here from Los Angeles in 1994 after retiring from a 32-year career with the U.S. Postal Service. A seasoned real estate broker, Lindsay was attracted to Las Vegas because of its then-booming housing market. These days, Lindsay stays active with his church, participates in a wide range of community activities and enjoys a flourishing acting career  highlighted by his unforgettable role in the hit 2008 comedy “What Happens in Vegas.” Black Image recently sat down with Lindsay for a closer examination of how he keeps it moving.

You are very involved in so much.
Yes, but a lot is winding down now. I had been the vice president of my church, Second Baptist, layman’s department for six years, and I still work with the Nevada Senior Games, which puts on what was formerly known as the Senior Olympics. I help promote the senior games and try to recruit other seniors to get involved with the games and our health programs. I also work with disadvantaged youth with Coach (Gene) Tate and his Junior Giants educational program.

Each day you get up and work with a lot of nonprofit organizations?
That’s right. It works around my wife’s “honey-do” list.

How did you get the part in “What Happens in Vegas,” with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher?

That was the first part I had on a major film. It was filmed at Planet Hollywood’s wedding chapel. I volunteered in some community plays, and did some extra work on some shows — but winning the role in “What Happens in Vegas” was really a tremendous opportunity. Initially, I joined … Wild Streak Talent Agency, and they called me and asked if I wanted to participate with the project. I had no idea it was for an individual acting role, until I got there on set. The director and producers said they needed a preacher to perform the wedding scene, and asked if any of us were interested. I auditioned right there on the spot, and then a few hours later they shot the scene with me marrying (the characters portrayed by) Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. It was really quite an experience. I had to make up my own words for the scene—ad-lib — because there was no script. The director said “action” and I had to start talking. My church background gave me a great start, and in acting you have to embrace the character.

How was it working with Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz?
I have a great deal of respect for both of them. Cameron did a lot of funny and wild things impromptu in the wedding scene, and a lot was cut out. Ashton Kutcher has more talent than most people realize, and I predict he will be one of our top, top, superstars in the next 10 years. They were both very nice and down-to-earth.

Do you believe that more seniors should consider acting?
Oh yes. There are several little community acting groups you can get involved with, to give you the needed foundation. I was involved with the Flamingo Senior Center, and participated in several of their community plays. Acting in front of a live audience was great preparation for my role in “What Happens in Vegas.”  The director had the camera lens right in my face — about a foot away — when I shot the scene.

How was the financial compensation from working on the film?
I had a very good payday (laughs). I worked for about four hours on the movie, and I received a great check. Also, I receive another check every six months — depending on how good the movie is still doing nationally and internationally on DVD. It is still surprising that I still get a check from the movie, but I’m very happy to get it.

Do you plan to continue your acting career?
Yes, I do. What you quickly learn is that roles in films are few and far between, so you need to keep your main job. I will stay active in local community plays, which will keep me prepared when those film opportunities come around.

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