We had the good fortune of connecting with Brett Zimmerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brett, you love what you do. It’s clear to anyone who knows you. Why and what about your work do you love so much?
As I mentioned when we last spoke, “I’m a storyteller, a collaborator, an actor of all types”, and more recently I’ve committed more of myself towards producing as well. Acting in its purest form IS storytelling. Anyone can tell a story, but it’s about picking the right ones. I search for stories of purpose, told through a character or characters that drive a story down to each individual word. In this industry, we’re lucky because we have the freedom to create from a place that is meaningful to us. Acting, as one side to my coin allows me to engage parts of who I am into a character. The more separation between who they, the character are, and who I am, the more I give myself permission to explore. I shot a Netflix film titled ‘Only Mine”, where I portrayed a charming. yet sociopathic cop abusing relationships through coercive control. Do I have sociopathic tendencies? Absolutely not, but the portrayal of this character allowed me to explore and profile this type of personality in an extremely educational way, while our film as a whole shined light into a dark reality that sadly exists within relationships in our society. These type of projects require a level of trust from all creatives involved. Being able to lean on a co-star or your director is a beautiful thing because it removes the degrees of worry, and every little bit counts. The other side to my coin is producing. This allows me to be involved with a project as early as the first seed planted. If you’re a hands on producer, you collaborate from a place of openness, and add value everywhere you can. This means polishing the final product from start to finish, pre-production to post. For me it does anyway…securing funds, aligning talent, locations, and crew. As a producer, what I love most is simply this…I’m able to give opportunities to those truly deserving of it. I can collaborate with individuals that offer much to not only our story, but me personally. I look for growth through each individual on set, every department or department head. The more we can teach one another, the more we can grow. The more growth, the more control, and the more control, the more readiness we have towards handling future opportunity. I love what I do on both sides of the coin. No matter how you flip it, I’m thankful for what I do and those I share it with.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art is ever changing, as am I. When I think of what sets me apart, I track back to a question I was once asked…”Would you rather be relevant or remembered?” While my answer would be both, there’s a consistency that has to be delivered from an individual to keep others engaged, especially once we’re gone. In the present, relevance is vague…I can be relevant publicly for something I regret, and yet the public keeps this snapshot of you for some time until they find somewhere else to place their focus. My goal is to be the man I was raised to be, always…I aim to be fair in all things I do and to all I engage with…to be honest, humble, kind, real, authentic, and most importantly, I want to earn every bit of respect through action and ethic. Be the hardest worker in the room, and if you want something, go after it! Currently, I’m most excited about CLARITY, which is a short I worked on March of last year. I signed on as a producer of this project, but acted in this story as well opposite of the phenomenal Chris Browning, and wonderfully talented Jodi Moore Lewis. This project came at a very specific time in my career, and I couldn’t be happier I took a chance on it. My dear friend, Roy Arwas, who both wrote and directed this story called me with an interest of me to portray his lead, Tom. I was in a place where I was burnt out on ‘passion projects’, and shorts in general, but the second we spoke something ignited in me and I knew how special this project would be. This was roughly January of 2019. My journey with this project, even as a short, was so exhausting and yet I loved every second of it. Why? Because we poured love into a story that was so beautiful. CLARITY is a film that explores a family’s foundations and hardships through Alzheimers, abuse, forgiveness, and sadly regret that is forgotten. As Tom, our protagonist returns home from nearly 10 years of service to face his abusive alcoholic father (Chris Browning), he arrives home only to fight a different type of battle when he realizes his father now having Alzheimers doesn’t remember him or what he’s done. Tom’s sister (Jodi Moore Lewis), is the one thread that remains holding this family together, and Tom is essentially torn between the choice to forgive or forget. Before COVID hit, CLARITY was making a festival run. We were fortunate enough to experience Mammoth Film Festival just as things closed, winning the Grand Jury Award for Best Short, and I was humbled by receiving Best Actor: Short. As we see in this industry, and as IMDb reminds us all the time, there are no small parts. Mammoth was a wonderful experience, and while we came home with recognition for our work, the true victory was standing next to all the other creatives we stood against. I was so moved, so inspired by the impressive talent collective we circulated in during the festival. I came home inspired to be better, motivated to take our momentum and run. The truth is, no matter how many awards we win, there is always gonna be a new milestone we’re reaching for…the next great victory. It never gets easier, but we certainly learn to work more efficiently. We shave away those that hold us back, the things that weight us down. There has to be reciprocation of value or intent. If someone needs a push, take 2 steps back to gain 4 feet forward. Walk together towards a given goal until you both breakthrough the finish line. I strongly believe in coming up together. If I feel someone is better suited for a job, I want that person to beat me out every time. Life is all about time, place, preparation and opportunity. When these things align, we’ll find ourselves exactly where we are supposed to be.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big fan of hosting, especially if it means seeing loved ones. I’ve lived in many different parts of Los Angeles since moving here in 2011, and have discovered favorites across the city. I’m currently living on the west side because we wanted to be closer to the water. The pace over this way, as well as the overall air quality allows me to breathe a bit easier from the chaos and congestion this city sometimes permits. Our local grub spots include Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, Marmalade Café, American Beauty, Zinque, and Scopa. All great if you’re on the west side. In general, I love any restaurant/bar with a good rooftop. There’s something to a view that provides a sense of escape and relief when unwinding for dinner or drinks. E.P. & L.P. in West Hollywood is one in particular I’ve found myself at with visitors or during times of celebrations. The Sunset Tower Hotel terrace is another must see with a more formal atmosphere, yet classically cool with its old school Hollywood feels. Other favorites include Chateau Marmont, Ysabel, Mama Shelter, Jones, The Village Idiot, and The Nice Guy. If we can hit them all, trust me, we will! My choice towards a lot of these, outside of atmosphere, food, drinks, etc. is simply the staff and the service they provide. Working in restaurants for many years, I’ve gained so much respect for those that make each experience unique, comfortable, and memorable. For shopping or a movie, The Grove is always a fun introduction for someone newly visiting, as is the Third Street Promenade. Lastly, I think a visit up any hiking trail is one of the best ways to allow someone to see the lay of the land. When I first moved here, I used hikes as an escape and time of reflection, which helped me while planting roots. The beauty of LA, is no matter where you are or which direction you’re headed, there is always room for discovery. Sometimes the best itinerary is a blank one…

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
– God & Family above all else. – Courtney Blythe Turk (Actor/Producer – Nu Arrow Productions): my love, my everything and my everyday inspiration. She has taught me so much in the world of producing and always pushes me further in my work as an actor. @courtneyblytheturk – ROAR Management: my team in front of me, behind me, and beside me juggling the madness day to day. – Roy Arwas & Tiffany Kontoyiannis: producing partners, writers, directors. You name it, they can do it, and do it well. In my opinion, they are two of the best in the business. They’re a beautiful couple, incredible team, and I’m lucky to have worked with them on several projects. Our slate is full with many more… @royarwas & @tiffymkg – Eric Mitro: friend, brother, jack of all trades, but our collaboration more recently has been in creating Southern Slate Self Tapes Studio which we’re in the process of launching. @southern_slate_self_tapes – Christos Kalabogias: friend, brother, fellow actor, and someone I turn to always for honest hard truth, life advice, and a beautiful poem to invoke thought. Poetry found @poeticjustice

Website: roar.la/brettzimmerman
Instagram: @brettzimmerman
Twitter: @bzimmer777
Facebook: Brett Zimmerman
Youtube: https://youtu.be/g4PJg-00604
Other: Brett Zimmerman IMDb: https://pro.imdb.com/name/nm3894658?s=50b8e73f-ba1d-8fcc-fef8-67eada3dab11&site_preference=normal

Image Credits
Ryan Orange Photography @ryanunderfire Emily Sandifer Photography @emilysandiferphoto or @emilysandiferheadshots Sebastian Hernandez Photography @sebby1337