Sam Parker Rivman ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Emertainment Monthly had the opportunity to interview David Lipper, who plays Amos in the History Channel short series, Sons of Liberty. Lipper, an Emerson alumni, was kind enough to answer a few questions about the show and his own experiences.
Emertainment Monthly: Sons of Liberty is obviously based on true historical events. How much of the history from the show were you aware of? How much did you learn through your involvement with the project?
David Lipper: I was aware of all the big events we did in the movie—the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and the battle of Bunker Hill. All the personal stories of these legends like Sam Adams and John Hancock I learned through making this series.
Who is your character, Amos? What role does he play in the making of history on this grand scale?
Amos was a character the writers made up for this series. There were many merchants who were a key component of this gang, Sons of Liberty. There were already far too many lead characters to follow in this, so they created my character to represent all the merchants. The merchants were the go-to guys to find guns, booze—basically the street guys of those times. We actually had set up in episode one how Amos really put together the whole gold coin system used to buy and sell goods amongst the secret group. But they may have run into issues with my character being fictional in what is supposed to be a historical accounting, so they really cut up scenes like that, which made it a little confusing. But by episode three, the movie series really came together.
How did Emerson prepare you for your acting career? Do you feel as though there was anything specific that you took away from Emerson and transferred into this role?
Emerson was amazing for me. I really developed there. It’s funny, but I came in sure music would be a bigger part of my life, getting a degree in musical theater. But in my junior year, when Leo [Nickole] put me in the chorus of Pajama Game, I made a choice to do some straight drama. I ended up doing two straight dramatic plays that forever changed me. They proved that I could really act and gain the respect of the drama department, not just ham it up on stage with songs. They may have been the final push I needed to go to Los Angeles and pursue acting. It was then I realized I’m a better actor than singer and this is what I need to focus on.
What advice would you give to other college students, especially Emerson students, who are studying the art of acting?
I would first congratulate students for getting into Emerson. There is a very successful group from that school in our business and it’s a great group to belong to. Kevin Bright booked me in my first starring role in a pilot for a great TV series they made the same time as Friends. Students should take advantage of everything at the school. Do a film with a film or TV student and get some footage for a reel. Do every show you can. I did multiple shows almost every semester. This is the time to rack up experience, so when you graduate, you are ready.
Do you have any other projects that you’d like to speak about?
I have a lot coming out this year. My film Pioneer’s Palace just premiered at Sundance. This was especially rewarding because I not only acted in the film, but I was also hired to coach all these Romanian kids, most of whom were acting in their first film. That Sundance took in the movie and cited acting as being one of the standouts…that meant a lot to me. I’m also really excited for Lost After Dark, directed by Ian Kessner, where I play the lead dad in an ‘80s throwback to horror movies with Robert Patrick. I get to sport a Burt Reynolds-looking mustache in this one. Also coming out this year is a romantic comedy where I play the antagonist opposite Jane Seymour and another first time actor in the lead, who I also coached. It’s weird how lately, when I’ve been working on films, directors and producers hear about others that I’ve coached and end up hiring me to do that as well. Even on Sons of Liberty, they had me work with the British actors to have them speak with a standard American accent. I’m also in a movie called High Strung, which could be the next dance movie franchise, like Step Up. I am most excited, however, about my next movie, called The Gathering. I am the lead in this one, where I play a complicated but intelligent character who is both agoraphobic and has OCD. The last time I got to play an agoraphobic character was at Emerson, junior year. We are set to begin shooting in March with former Oscar-nominated director, Jonathan Heap, at the helm.