An Interview with David James Elliott (James Conlon, Close to Home)

Photo Credit: Alan Silfen

He may be best known for his heart-stopping role on the CBS hit series JAG, but David James Elliott is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. From his hilarious role on Seinfeld to Allison's sex-addicted, football player boyfriend on Melrose Place, David has the ability to capture his audience and make viewers believe in his character no matter what type of role he portrays. I found David to not only be a completely warm, down-to-earth family man, but also absolutely hysterical at times during our interview.

He's everything you thought he would be and much more!

Q: What made you decide to get into acting?

David:
"I was in rock and roll for a while and I had been bitten by the performance bug, it seemed to be my calling, in my soul. I got frustrated dealing with musicians. It wasn't round enough for me, it was one-sided. So, I tried acting in high school briefly -- well, we read a play. It was more my calling and I auditioned for theater school and I got in and the rest is history."

Q: You were in a rock band in your teens, do you ever wish you had gone down that path?

David:
"I tried it, I quit school for a period of time. It was a rough time, we lived in a boarding house, I worked in a belt factory, trying to make a go with the band. We were gigging around Toronto. It was a rough go, it was fun, but it just looked like it was going to be a nightmare. I had quit school and I went back to school.

In the end, it wound up being the right thing."

Q: Would you ever consider doing an appearance as Harm on NCIS?

David:
"No, never."

Q: What do you miss most about working on JAG?

David:
"I miss my friends. I had a lot of fun. In the end, there wasn't really anything left. There really wasn't anything left for my character to explore.

I miss the comradery of my buddies and going in everyday. I still stay in touch with some of the guys. We were together for ten years. We used to say that you forge friendships in high school that last a lifetime. We've been together twice as long as you were with your high school friends."

Q: Any future plans for a JAG reunion movie?

David:
"I haven't heard of any, I can't see that happening."

Q: Tell me about your new role on Close to Home.

David:
"I play the Assistant D.A., I'm running the District Attorney's office. It's a different kind of a character, he's from Manhatten, he's a pretty fast moving, high-paced guy with political aspirations. I'm not duking it out in a courtroom anymore, I'm running a team of lawyers. I've been working in the war room. It's a different take on things, he's an interesting character -- he's fun. The schedule is not killing me, which is nice. I get to go in, do some stuff and I get some free time to have a life and spend some time with my children and do things I've always wanted to do."

Q: Do you think James and Annabeth will eventually get together?

David:
"I have no idea, no one has said anything about it."

Q: You've done comedy and drama, which genre do you prefer?

David:
"It's all interesting.

People tell me that I'm a funny guy and I should be doing comedy. I didn't want to leap too far from where I had been. From what I can tell, from watching other careers, when people make giant leaps from what the audience is used to, it's hard for them to accept."

Q: If you hadn't gone into acting, what do you think you'd be doing now?

David:
"[laughs] I'd probably be a garbage man. I like riding on the back of the truck. I was never really drawn in any direction, so thank God I wound up with this. Nothing really seemed that interesting to me. I've always been a hard worker."

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

David:
"That I'm only four foot one [laughs]! I lead a pretty boring life. I really don't do much other than beat myself up in the gym everyday and go home and spend time with the family.

I don't really go out much."

Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?

David:
"Thank you for all your support over all these years. Thanks for coming to Close to Home - hopefully we'll stay together for a lot longer. I'm really appreciative of my fans. I realize that it's because of them that I make my living."