Interview: Jonathan Stoddard on ‘Bone Cold,’ ‘One Little Finger,’ and What He Looks for in a Role

Jonathan Stoddard is best known for his years on The Young and The Restless in flashbacks as a young John Abbott, the patriarch of the Abbott family. Most recently he starred in the Lifetime movie Killer Ambition and MarVista Entertainment's Student Seduction. He has been hard at work over the last few years with six movies in post-production, two waiting for distribution, and in between the handful of projects filming and in pre-production, Stoddard chatted with Wealth of Geeks about his career.

Maggie Lovitt: You have a lot of projects in post-production right now, which is very exciting. Which project are you the most excited about seeing the final cut of? 

Jonathan Stoddard: I am incredibly lucky to have so many movies coming out, and in post-production, I wouldn't change that for the world, so it makes it hard to look forward to or to single out a single project. I'm sure this is what every parent says about their kids! (laughing). All I can say is that the movies coming out range from romance to comedy to horror to suspense, and I can't wait to see all of them.

ML: Was it a role that really tested you or something you had always wanted to try out? 

JS: One role that really stretched and pushed me as an actor was in the upcoming film BONE COLD in the role of John. One of the hardest things to play is someone who is losing their mind or being haunted without going over the top and losing the audience.

I truly hope this film takes a stand and offers an insight into PTSD and what our military veterans go through on a regular basis.

ML: Out of all of your upcoming films, Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana really caught my interest. It looks like you filmed on location up in Montana; what was that like? Had you ridden horses before? 

JS: Finding Love In Big Sky was such a wonderful film to be a part of for several reasons, and it was a dream come true to work in Montana; there are very few places that I've been to that are this naturally beautiful. I grew up riding horses, so not only did I get to experience Montana as a landscape, but I got to work with and ride some remarkable horses like Butch that I still miss and think about today. I would work in Montana again in a heartbeat!

Jonathan Stoddard
Courtesy of CBS

ML: What was it like working on The Young and The Restless?

JS: The Young and The Restless was a dream come true, and I'm so grateful I got to work on the show and with the CBS team. When I was a kid, I remember watching the show with my siblings, specifically watching John Abbott, who I later got to play in a series of flashbacks, and just being so impressed and in awe. So then find myself, years later, was a full circle and powerful chapter in my life. I'll forever be grateful.

ML: I've always thought that working on soap operas has to be some of the hardest work because you have to learn so much material so fast and then shoot it pretty quickly. Is there anything that you've learned from working on The Young and The Restless that's helped prepare you for roles that came after it? 

JS: Being on a soap opera is easily some of the best training you could ask for. Whether you have pages of dialogue or just a few lines, every word matters. There's no improv on The Young and The Restless; everything you hear and see was designed and scripted, and the actors don't stray from the page; it's a wild artform. I will never forget my time on those sound stages and the people I worked with. To this day, I still use techniques I learned in order to absorb so much dialogue so quickly and strategies for playing on a multi-cam sound stage; this experience changed my life.

ML: I interviewed your One Little Finger co-star Tamela D'Amico back in 2020; what was it like working on that film? 

JS: Tamela D'Amico was an absolute joy to work with on our production of One Little Finger, which is still one of the most beautiful and inspiring stories I've worked on to date. One Little Finger is based on a true story, and it shows you what human beings are truly capable of on both sides of the spectrum, from pain and defeat to selflessness and love and support for others. The movie employed over 80 disabled actors and ends with an amazing concert that will blow your mind for what you think is possible. I loved every part of this movie, and I'm so grateful I got to work on it.

ML: What draws you to the roles you audition for? Do you look for roles that challenge you?

JS: I'm always looking out for roles that challenge me as an actor or bring me to a new location like Montana or Iceland. Everything from the script to the filmmaker to the production team to the other actors all contribute to my decisions. Most importantly, I trust my instincts. Sometimes, you just have to go for even if it doesn't, technically, seam right and vice versa, sometimes you need to turn it down even if it has a budget. It's hard to say, but you have to trust yourself as an artist.

ML: Do you have any routines for getting into character?

JS: There are a handful of things that I do to prepare for each character, no matter what the role is. The general idea I always start with is asking myself how to immerse myself into this role/character/person? Sometimes, that's watching tv shows of similar characters, reading books, or going out into the world and doing what they would do. Other times, I'll journal and do writing exercises to connect to them mentally or emotionally. Ultimately, the most important thing is to do whatever you feel is necessary to embrace the character and get to know them.

ML: So your parents are a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Have you ever gone to them for guidance with any roles you've taken on? 

JS: My parents are remarkable! I wouldn't be who I am today without their love and support. I always try to talk to them about roles, whether that's in preparation for a role or coming back from a role. It's easy to get attached to a character, and my parents have always given me a space to find my way back home. I owe them everything.

ML: I always like to wind down my interviews with some fun questions. And as an actor myself, I always think it's fun to give readers a glimpse of what set life is like. What is something that you always have to have in your trailer on set?

JS: I always start by having production remove all the ‘W's from my M&M bowl! (laughing) I'm simple. I pride myself on being simple. Maybe some water and the sides (which are the scenes for the day) but other than that, I don't really ask for anything else. Everyone is already working so hard, and I love making everyone's job around me easier and more enjoyable. Being on set is like a giant summer camp playground, and it's one of the few places I feel really comfortable and thrive.

ML: I have always joked that I got into acting because I love set catering. What's the best meal you've had on the set?

JS: You and me both! (laughing) Set catering ‘can be' amazing, and honestly, I have no idea how to quantify the best meal I've had on set.

There have been times when I'm completely blown away by catering, and I feel like I'm at a high-end restaurant, and other times, it can feel like a Costco run! I've learned to bring my own powders and supplements, just in case, because I never really know what they are going to be serving or if it will send me into a coma during lunch if I eat it like Mac and Cheese or pastas… yummmmm.

ML: What do you always have to grab at crafty on set?

JS: Ohhhh, this is a dangerous question. What I ‘have to' grab are Oreos! Should I? ABSOLUTELY NOT! (laughing) Otherwise, it depends on the role and how much emotional eating I can do on-set! I have a sweet tooth, and it's always something I have to manage during production.

ML: Here on the East Coast, there's always a heated debate on set about whether the best water is La Croix, Bubbly, or non-sparkling water. So which would you pick? 

JS: (laughing) These are good questions. I'll start by saying La Croix doesn't compete with Bubbly or Non-Sparking Water, AS LONG AS they are from good sources; otherwise, La Croix all the way! For example, if it's between La Croix and a plastic bottle of flat water that's been in and out of the sun all day… La Croix it is. But get me a cup of Glass Bottled Sparkling Water with some lemon. Sparkling all day long!

You can find out more about Jonathan Stoddard on his website, Twitter, and Instagram.

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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Image Credit: UPtv.

Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.

In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.