Interview with Tarun Keram

TV Interview!

Tarun Keram of "The Stand" on CBS All Access

Interview with Tarun Keram of “The Stand” on CBS All Access by Suzanne 2/25/21

This was a delightful interview. He’s a very talented young actor, and I think we will see a lot more of him. I was excited to learn that he’s been in some of my favorite shows. I’m looking forward to seeing his “Debris” episode coming up.

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: So, tell us about your character in The Stand, which, I think, just finished up last week.

Tarun: Yeah, it just finished. So, I play Steve, the orderly. He used to be a vet technician, and the apocalypse hit. Everyone’s dead, so there’re no doctors around. So, I have to step up and become a doctor and assist in labors.

Great. And I heard you did a little research about being a vet technician.

Tarun: Yeah, I’ve done a little. I have a dog. So, I’d ask the vet some questions and all that, because there wasn’t – my character doesn’t exist in the book. So, the only information I had was the vet technician part and what it would be like to transition into being a doctor.

Suzanne: Great. What kind of dog do you have?

Tarun: I have a husky.

Suzanne: Oh, I love huskies.

Tarun: So great. So much hair, though.

Suzanne: They’re so pretty though. We almost got one.

Tarun: So pretty. Then, he’s got two different colored eyes.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s great. We when we had our first dog, we went to the shelter, and we wanted this husky there that was so pretty, but it had kennel cough, so we couldn’t get it.

Tarun: Aww.

Suzanne: I know.

Tarun: That’s too bad. Poor dog.

Suzanne: I hope it ended up okay.

Tarun: Yeah.

Suzanne: Do you have Instagram? Do you have pictures of your dog on there we can see?

Tarun: Yeah, absolutely. It’s just my first name last name, and you can check out my myself and my dog on Instagram.

Suzanne: Oh, cool. I’ll have to check that out. I’ll definitely do that. I follow a lot of dog and cat and other pet things on Instagram.

Tarun: Oh, really?

Suzanne: Yeah.

Tarun: I do too. Do you follow Loki, the wolf dog?

Suzanne: I don’t know. There’s so many that I follow. I don’t remember. I’ll look for him though.

Tarun: He didn’t do it, like the celebrity of dogs.

Suzanne: Oh, okay, cool. So anyway, you finished The Stand right before the pandemic, correct?

Tarun: Yeah, that’s right. I think it the first week of March was my final day, and I think everything shut down the week after or the week after that, but we just made it, and we didn’t have a wrap party.

Suzanne: Aww. Well, I know it’s a mini series, but is there any talk of a sequel that you’ve heard?

Tarun: Not that I’ve heard of yet. But the ending, if you’ve seen it, has changed from the book. So it’s sort of open ended.

Suzanne: No, I haven’t seen it, but I heard that it was left that way. So, that’s why I was wondering if maybe [it would].

Tarun: Yeah, I mean, I hope it does, but I haven’t I haven’t heard anything quite yet.

Suzanne: You’re also going to be an episode of the new NBC series, Debris?

Tarun: Absolutely.

Suzanne: What role are you playing there?

Tarun: I play a secret agent that’s a tech head. So, I deal with computers and spyware, figuring out where people go, that sort of thing. That’s pretty much all I can really say about it.

Suzanne: Are you in just one episode or multiple episodes?

Tarun: So far, just one.

Suzanne: I saw the first episode, and I interviewed two of the guys from there the other day. It looks like a good show.

Tarun: Yeah, looks like NBC is really pushing the sci-fi now for – What is it? They have a new streaming platform, right?

Suzanne: Do you mean besides Peacock?

Tarun: Oh, yeah, that’s the one, I guess. I don’t know if it’s out already.

Suzanne: Yeah. It’s hard to keep track. There’re so many.

Tarun: There’re so many now, yeah.

Suzanne: Do you have anything else coming out that you tell us about?

Tarun: Yeah. So, I’m in an episode of Nancy Drew that’s coming out. I just shot that. I just shot that one [recently]. It’s been super busy. Then, I’m working on Legends of Tomorrow, I think, next week.

Suzanne: Cool. Is that one episode or do you have a recurring role?

Tarun: It’s like a pseudo guest star for Legends.

Suzanne: Okay, cool.

Tarun: I don’t want to think too much, because there’s a lot of moving parts of that show.

Suzanne: Sure. I love that show. I watch all the CW superhero shows.

Tarun: Awesome.

Suzanne: I’ll watch for you on there.

Tarun: Yeah, please do. I actually quite like them. The last one I saw was Flash, but I haven’t seen any other ones since then.

Suzanne: Yeah, I think Flash is coming back soon.

Tarun: Yeah, that’s right. I have been auditioning…for for some roles. I’ve been in Supergirl already, so now I’m in Legends, and I was in Arrow before, so I’m trying to try to make the rounds here.

Suzanne: Yeah, I saw that you were in there. Those are all my favorite shows. It’s great.

Tarun: That’s awesome.

Suzanne: Well, there’re so many TV shows of all different sorts, and there’s a lot of good ones out there. So, you have to sort of like, figure out and prioritize which ones [to watch].

Tarun: Yeah, you’re going to have to get all the streaming services.

Suzanne: Right. Well, I pretty much do have almost all of them, but I try to watch them all, at least one episode for reviewing, for my site. But, I mean, for my personal viewing, I try to prioritize superhero shows and some sci-fi and other things.

Tarun: …Yeah, that’s right; you have to.

Yeah, because, otherwise, you’re always behind, and you’re always stressed out and like, “Oh, I can’t watch it all. It’s too much.”

Tarun: Yeah, I feel that.

Suzanne: Did you grow up reading comics?

Tarun: I did not. I did not read any comics. I mostly read – I wasn’t a big reader, to be honest. The last book I read was Eragon, all the way through, but then I picked up a Vertigo graphic novel. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. It’s called Fables.

Suzanne: No, but that’s okay.

Tarun: It’s all about fairy tales, but they all live in New York and have to deal with a bunch of problems. Beauty and the Beast is in it, Cinderella. It’s pretty cool.

Suzanne: Oh, it sounds a little bit like – there was a show like that on NBC awhile back…Grimm.

Tarun: Oh, I didn’t watch that one.

Suzanne: Yeah, that was a good show. Anyway, it’s similar to that with fairy tale characters in modern day society type of thing.

Tarun: Same idea. I guess [its], like Once Upon a Time; it’s kind of like that.

Suzanne: Yeah, it’s similar to that, but I think it was more of a gritty show than Once Upon a Time. So, are you back to auditioning now for other stuff, then?

Tarun: Absolutely. I don’t think that’s ever going to end. It’s changed a little bit now though, where I’m on set, and I have a call from my agent saying, “Send in a tape for before tomorrow morning.” So, it’s a little bit different than before where I’m sort of waiting around.

Suzanne: Well, I guess if you get big enough, at some point, you won’t have to audition.

Tarun: I hope so. I mean, I kind of like auditioning, but I remember Odessa Young from The Stand. One of the days we were there, she had an audition for the next day, and it was like twelve pages long or something, but she was on set shooting sixteen hours. So, I’m not sure. I’m not sure when when that would end, if the leads are doing it on The Stand.

Suzanne: But you actually like auditioning?

Tarun: I do. I do. The game’s sort of changed a little bit where there’s not many callbacks around for TV and film. So, when I showed up to set for Debris, I hadn’t met anyone, and I didn’t really know what their vision was for this character. So, I would do something one way, and then they would go a complete 180 on me. That sort of would have been figured out at the audition, or the callback, I would say, but it’s just adjusting.

Suzanne: Is that because of the pandemic and having to do everything remotely?

Tarun: Yeah, absolutely. You can’t really go in the room anymore.

Suzanne: So, they basically audition you on tape, and then they hire you, and then you sort of figure out the character together. Is that what you’re saying?

Tarun: Yeah, yeah, pretty much. You can give them your take, and you can show up to set with how you presented the character, but you’ve just got to be ready for some changes, as always.

Suzanne: To your knowledge, have they ever hired someone, and then when they get there, they find they just really can’t get this person to act the way they want to, and then they say, “Nevermind,” and they get somebody else?

Tarun: Oh, I don’t know. I feel like that might be a little costly. Yeah, you just kind of have to roll with the punches and work with what you’ve got.

Suzanne: Well, it’s good that they streamlined it, especially nowadays. Everything moves so fast anyway with the filming.

Tarun: Yeah, exactly.

Suzanne: …So, what have you been doing this past year to keep busy during the pandemic?

Tarun: Oh, I started a garden in my backyard. I built a fence, and I just relaxed. It’s a huge change of pace from auditioning all the time.

Suzanne: I’ll bet. Was this in Vancouver or somewhere else?

Tarun: Yeah, I live in Surrey, which is about an hour from Vancouver. It’s kind of like the [unintelligible].

Suzanne: That’s cool. So, did you know anything about gardening before, or did you have to learn everything?

Tarun: Absolutely not. I knew nothing. I just thought everything took the same amount of water; that’s not true. I ended up picking peppers and a bunch of other plants, and obviously, the peppers don’t need as much water, but I’d still water them the same amount. But after a week, I figured it out pretty quick[ly], because they did not look good.

Suzanne: I think that was very smart of you. Most people it takes awhile, or they just give up.

Tarun: Yeah, no, I didn’t. I actually enjoy cooking now. So, it’s nice having fresh thyme and fresh rosemary on hand. It’s so nice.

Suzanne: Great. And I see you’ve been a both a producer and a director. What do you like best actor, producer, or director if you had to choose?

Tarun: I feel like it depends on what kind of mood I’m in, because sometimes I just want to create my own project, and in that case, I love being the producer. Sometimes I just want to act. I don’t know. I don’t know. I would say that I like producing and acting more than directing, but I also like writing more than I like producing and directing, if that makes sense.

Suzanne: Sure. Well, I guess it’s a good thing you don’t have to choose, then.

Tarun: Yeah, exactly.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


Tarun Keram’s stirring and rooted performances have the industry taking notice. He was born and raised in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada where he grew up spending his days playing sports with friends after school. In grade eleven Tarun began playing Ultimate Frisbee where he won multiple MVP medals. He came to the craft in his last semester of high school when he enrolled in a theatre class and uncovered his joy for acting. It took him a few more years to acknowledge his passion and talent for it but soon after he began landing coveted roles in TV and film. After high school, he dedicated himself to acting through the Vancouver Film School and an agent and roles soon followed.

Tarun has worked on numerous TV shows including The CW’s “Arrow”, “Supergirl”, “iZombie” and “Supernatural”, Amazon’s “Upload”, Netflix’s “Travelers”, Lifetime’s “UnREAL”, NBC’s “The Arrangement”, FOX’s “Prison Break” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”. He also had prominent roles on CBS’s “Twilight Zone”, The CW’s “Charmed”, Hulu’s “Marvel’s Helstrom” and SYFY’s “The Magicians”.

Most recently Tarun landed the coveted role of Steve on CBS All Access’ anticipated limited series “The Stand”, an adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel. The series premieres December 17th.


ABOUT THE SERIES: The Stand is Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), the Dark Man. THE STAND will close with a new coda written by the famed author himself.


PREMIERE DATE: December 17th on CBS All Access

Get to Know Tarun

I did a DNA test and I’ve got Welsh and Japanese ancestry.

I was the Captain of my Ultimate Frisbee team in high school and won an MVP medal.

I’m very superstitious.

When I auditioned for Star Trek it was in a warehouse full of people who were auditioning for the Bridge Crew members.

I’m still in close contact with my Bridge Crew members to this day.

I grow my own ghost peppers to spice up my mom’s curry recipe.

I’m the owner of a print shop.

It takes me an hour to get to my auditions on a good day. I commuted an hour and a half every morning and evening .

When I was going to film school, I once thought I met Idris Elba , but it was actually his stunt double in an alien costume.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Tarun Keram of "The Stand" on CBS All Access

Interview with Brad William Henke

TV Interview!

Brad William Henke

Interview with Brad William Henke of “The Stand” on CBS All Access by Suzanne 1/15/21

It was fun to talk to Brad. I’ve watched many shows that he’s been in.

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: Tell us how this role on The Stand came about for you.

Brad: The writer, the creator of the show (Benjamin Cavell) called me, and he wrote for me on Justified, and he wrote on Sneaky Pete. So, he called and offered me the role.

Suzanne: Oh, cool.

Brad: So, I got to read all the scripts, and I said, “yes,” of course. Then I had like three months to prepare, which was awesome. That’s how it happened.

Suzanne: That’s great. So, have you done so much TV work now that pretty much they just call you and offer you the role, or do you still have to audition?

Brad: I think the funny thing is, sometimes when you audition, you hear someone else already has an offer, and they don’t know if it’s gonna go through or [not]. So, I do audition, but most of the roles I get are offers.

Suzanne: Sounds like it’s a little bit like a regular job interview.

Brad: Yeah, I guess so.

Suzanne: I’m glad you mentioned Justified. I was looking at all the roles you’ve done. You’ve done some of my favorite shows like Justified and Dexter, and I remember the show you were on October Road.

Brad: Oh, you do?

Suzanne: Yeah, I watched that.

How did you prepare for acting as a developmentally disabled man?

Brad: Well, I’ve had a couple of friends – like I had someone that I knew in high school. He was two years older than me. He played football in college, and he got a blood clot in his head. After that, he was never the same. He was kind of like Tom.

Then I knew another person who was born mentally challenged, and when I was actually teaching at a junior college and coaching football, and he took my weight training class, I made him the manager of the football team, kind of like that movie, Radio. I just did a lot of things like that.

I learned the voice, because a lot of times when someone has a head injury, they learn to talk again by singing, and so I used a Dolly Parton song, “Coat of Many Colors.” It was like, “My coat of many colors – Hi! My name is Tom Cullen,” so I kind of made it so I could match that pitch. So, that’s how I kind of invented his voice.

Suzanne: Did you have to learn how to move a particular way?

Brad: I just made it so like one of my arms and one of my legs felt a little heavier, just because my character fell off the roof and was also kicked in the head. He had a head injury like that, so I just studied the effects of that.

Suzanne: How long did shooting take for The Stand?

Brad: It started at the beginning of October, and it ended March 12th.

Suzanne: Last year, right? It started in 2019.

Brad: Last year.

Suzanne: What did you like best about doing the show?

Brad: Well, I liked the producers, Benjamin Cavell and Taylor Elmore. I liked all the actors. They were really into it, and they made it fun. Angelina [Kekich], the costume designer, like everyone was just really into it, and so I really liked that. I liked being in Canada shooting it. It was really rainy and cold and isolating, and I thought that was really good for my character. I was just there with my two, fifteen year old Puggles. Some days in December the sun never even came out. It just felt good for the mood of the show.

Suzanne: Your dogs are so cute. I went on your Instagram.

Brad: Thank you. One of them is sixteen now.

Suzanne: Oh, wow.

Brad: I [saw] this kids’ movie called Soul. Have you seen it?

Suzanne: I haven’t seen it. I’ve heard about it. I haven’t watched it yet.

Brad: It’s really good. It won’t ruin anything, but when you die, your soul goes up this escalator into the sky, and sometimes I feel like he’s on that escalator. I’m like, “[unintelligible] get off the escalator.”

Suzanne: What did you like least about doing it? Was there a particular challenge that you had?

Brad: No, I loved it all. It was a challenge to play this character, because it could be simple; it could be offensive. You can really fall on your face, and that’s what I really liked about the – I don’t want to call it stress, but the [idea that] I could ruin the whole show, or I could make the show better. So, I like that feeling.

Suzanne: Did it shock you that the pandemic happened right after you guys finished shooting The Stand with a similar story?

Brad: Yeah. Sometimes I would fly back and forth, and you have to go through customs and stuff, and it takes like two hours. So, I flew back, and I only had two weeks off or something. I was basically done, but I had to shoot one more scene. I had to shoot the scene from Episode Four where I ride away on my bike. I get to Canada, and there was absolutely no one in customs. It was like a ghost town, because Canada was ahead of the US. Then I go to this hotel, and there’re like five people in it. I’m like, “I hope we did this justice.”…But then when I watched the show; I think we did.

Suzanne: Had you worked with any of the cast or crew before?

Brad: Just Ben and Taylor on Justified and on Sneaky Pete, but no one else.

Suzanne: Do you have any fun anecdotes about shooting? Any fun things that happened?

Brad: Every day was fun. A cool thing that happened, was my dogs had never been in snow before, and I was taking them one day from my my trailer to the makeup trailer, and one of my dog’s girlfriends, she just held up her paw in the air like, “I can’t do it anymore.” It was so cute. Then I picked her up, and I took her in there, and I told them what happened, and then every day they would give my dogs little hot towels on their paws. It was so cute. That was really cool, because they’re getting old, so it was kind of like our last big thing together. So, it will always be special to me in so many ways.

Suzanne: Wow, that’s nice.

So, had you read the original book or seen the other mini-series before doing it?

Brad: No. Well, I read the book after I got offered the job. I didn’t watch the mini-series, because I didn’t want to be influenced one way or the other.

Suzanne: It’s actually funny, because we saw a part of the original miniseries being filmed.

Brad: Oh, really?

Suzanne: Yeah, we were in Las Vegas, and we were staying at the Golden Gate downtown, which is right in the corner there, and this was before they had that whole canopy in Vegas with the light shows and all that. They had roped off that part of the downtown, and they had made it for their movie. So, they had a lot of the windows blacked out, and they said stuff like, “stay away” or “the virus,” whatever. I can’t remember the catchphrases. They had built all these things, and they had a giant horseshoe – like the horseshoe had fallen fallen off Binion’s in the middle of the street, and we could see them filming right below our window. So, that was fun.

Brad: That’s great.

Suzanne: Yeah, if you’re not living in LA, or you’re not in the industry, you don’t get to see those things too often, unless you just happen to be where they’re filming.

Brad: Yeah, but, you know, so many things don’t shoot in LA anymore.

Suzanne: That’s true.

Brad: This is the longest I’ve ever been in LA in years. They shoot in Canada; they shoot in Chicago.

Suzanne: Yeah, a lot of it’s in Canada, and a lot of it’s in Atlanta.

Brad: A lot of it’s in Canada and Atlanta too, yeah. I had never really worked in Canada. I shot one movie in Canada, but it’s [unintelligible], so being in Vancouver, I really really, really enjoyed.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s surprising, I guess. It seems like everybody I talk to nowadays are filming in Canada.

Brad: Yeah.

Suzanne: So, what have you been doing during the pandemic to keep busy?

Brad: At first I worked out a lot, then I stopped that. I’m back on it this week. Got two kittens. I got a Doberman puppy, which if it wasn’t a pandemic, I would not have time to train and take care of. So, I love her, but she’s a lot of energy.

Suzanne: Yeah, I have a dog that’s about three and a half years old, and we we got her when she was three months, and I had never trained a dog before. So, I know what you mean.

Brad: I have little dogs, so you can let them get away with a little more. [Not] like with big dogs jumping on people’s legs.

Suzanne: Yeah, I understand.

Brad: I get on the couch and curl into this corner like she’s tiny or something.

Suzanne: Yeah. I have a sort of – she’s low to the ground, but she’s kind of big, fat, but small. It’s hard to explain. She’s part Corgi and part Bassett, and she still thinks she’s a lap dog, but she’s a little too big and fat to be a lap dog.

Brad: Yeah.

Suzanne: Well, I’m going to look forward to those pictures of your cats on your Instagram. Do you have any yet?

Brad: Yeah, I have one, when one cat was laying with my dogs, like, “If they do it, why can’t we?”

If I have a minute, I’m gonna start posting, because I wasn’t posting anything until the show started being on TV. I’m not that interesting. People don’t want to see me eat a salad [unintelligible].

Suzanne: So, I read that you gained a lot of weight and then lost it for your roles. What was your secret? What did you do to lose the weight again?

Brad: To lose the weight, I ate five tomatoes a day, because they have – it begins with an “L.” It has something –

Suzanne: Oh, lycopene?

Brad: Yes, and that will help you lose weight. Actually, Henry Zaga, who played Nick told me about this, because he went to like the Hollywood – because he lost a lot of weight. And I would drink a glass of water and a tomato five times a day, and then that makes you not as hungry.

Suzanne: And that’s all you ate?

Brad: You know, pretty much, but I wasn’t that hungry. I mean, like if you eat that before your meal, you’re not that hungry.

Suzanne: Oh, that makes sense. It’s like eating a salad, practically.

Brad: Yeah. Then, you know, for me, like whey-wise, I can gain weight easy. I was a pro football player. Not everyone can weigh 300 pounds and move around. [Gaining] it’s not hard, and losing, it feels like it’s hard to stop the train for a while, and then the train stays in one position. It’s hard to get it to go the other direction, but once it goes the other direction, with eating right and exercising like six days a week, it starts to come off.

Suzanne: Do you have anything else that you’re working on or that is coming out that you can tell us about?

Brad: No. I have a couple things that I hope that I get, but nothing that’s been going on. It’s like really, really frustrating. I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I had a couple of things that were supposed to go in – like, I started working on them in October, like, “Hey, it’s gonna go in December,” and when everything started to spike up, they’re like, “No, that’s not happening.” There’s a couple that I’m waiting on. I know there’s one that for some crazy reason, I’m the second choice, so I hope the first choice doesn’t take it.

Suzanne: Right.

Brad: [Unintelligible] but any job that I wasn’t the first choice/

Suzanne: Yeah. Well, break a leg, good luck, whatever it takes.

Brad: Whatever it takes, exactly.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


Breakout “Orange is the New Black” star and SAG Award winner Brad William Henke makes a statement in the star-packed limited series adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic 1978 novel, THE STAND, which premieres on CBS All Access on Thursday, December 17th. Henke plays Tom Cullen opposite Whoopi Goldberg, James Marsden, Amber Heard and Alexander Skarsgård.

In an ominously well-timed series, THE STAND is adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name which is about the Biblical aftermath of a global pandemic that kills 98 percent of the population, setting a stage for a clash of good vs. evil. The series stars Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abagail, Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg, James Marsden as Stu Redman, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, and Owen Teague as Harold Lauder. The nine- episode new series will air weekly on CBS All Access. The new version will include a new coda at the end of the finale written by Stephen King himself.

Henke is an accomplished character actor in Hollywood, appearing in some of the most iconic TV series including “Lost,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Justified,” and in a number of films including the David Ayer films FURY and BRIGHT and opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal in SHERRYBABY and CHOKE with Sam Rockwell. Before heading into acting, Henke was drafted out of college into the NFL for the New York Giants. He was subsequently picked up by the Denver Broncos and played in Super Bowl XXIV against the San Francisco 49ers.

When he’s not on set, Henke is usually boxing, doing Jiu Jitsu, riding his bike or playing with his three dogs and two cats (lovingly documented on his Instagram @bradwilliamhenke).

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Brad William Henke in "The Stand" on Paramount+