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Tim Holmes   ('Oz the Great and Powerful') Tim Holmes ('Oz the Great and Powerful')

'Ladies & Gentlemen: The Great and Powerful, Tim Holmes!'

Tim Holmes, a Lansing, Michigan-born, action-suspense actor and stuntman and father of three-year-old twin boys, has successfully transformed his career as a firefighter into becoming a Hollywood actor.

Holmes began his career in entertainment by successfully pursuing music and was able to parlay his contacts into a thriving acting career, appearing in afternoon soap operas, B films and various other TV pilot projects.

In 2011 Tim was seen in multiple feature films, including DreamWorks Pictures’ 'Real Steel,' Raw Nerve’s 'Hostel 3,' Sony Pictures’ 'S.W.A.T.: Firefight' and in 2012 he appeared in QED Internationals’ 'Alex Cross.'

And with the just-released 'Oz the Great and Powerful,' Holmes in the role of The Strongman has just become a break-out star!

'Oz the Great and Powerful' is a 2013 American fantasy adventure film directed by Sam Raimi, produced by Joe Roth, and written by David Lindsay-Abaire and Mitchell Kapner. The film stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, Mila Kunis as Theodora, Rachel Weisz as Evanora, and Michelle Williams as Glinda.

Chatting recently with the Strongman himself Tim Holmes, taking it from the top, I first wondered (being that he is actually a Fireman by trade) when he had first gotten the firefighting bug? "I became a fireman in the late 90`s in Los Angeles CA. I was freaking out a bit because I did not make a career yet in the entertainment business. So I decided I better get a back up gig and a fireman was my choice."

Born here in Lansing, MI do you still live and work here or have you moved to Hollywood? "I live in the house I grew up in, in Michigan from April to October and travel in and out alot to California for auditions, meetings and acting work throughout that period. From November to March I live full time in Los Angeles. We have a place there in Woodland Hills, CA. Depending on where this acting career takes me will depend on where we live full time."

"If I hopefully keep working in film I can keep the same schedule. Yet if I get a gig as a series regular on a TV series I would have to relocate with me and my family to that area for the run of the show."

And the same question applies to your acting bug? When did that first bite you? "I got the bug in junior high school when I was in jazz band. We used to play alot of events and I would have to go out front of the jazz band and do my trumpet solos. The thrill of being on the spot in front of people was a great rush for me. I then took drama class the next semester and got the the same rush. And so the acting/performing bug bite me, baby!"

Having already worked in the business, you have just watched your latest movie break a lot of box office records, 'Oz: The Great And Powerful.' But, is it true that during your audition for the role of The Strongman, that Sam Raimi saw your shirt-removed physique and said, 'You are going to work out, aren't you?' "Yes, this is a sad but true event in my life. I worked out the morning of my audition video I shot, so I looked pumped on on the video. But when they finally saw me in person I was not in the best shape of my life. It was due to me and my wife raising twin boys and being so sleep deprived and all else that goes with that experience. I simply did not want to work out and took a year off from the gym. But after that experience where I could've almost lost an acting job because I was not in shape I have always kept up my training. And it is alot easier now that my boys are older. I can take them to gym with me."

Based on what he said, and knowing you had gone into the audition purposely for the role of The Strongman, and being an ex-Chippendale, hadn't you bulked up on the muscles regardless for the role anyway? "I sent in my Wednesday short film video to them on Friday and was booked on Monday. Then they called me in on Wednesday to meet Sam Raimi and head of wardrobe and head of hair and makeup. I started training at the gym every day on Thursday."

When filming was done, and you didn't have to do the seven days a week for 10 weeks workout routine, was it a relief - or have you actually kept some of it up? "I keep it up, but I change the workout routine. I do not lift the heavy weights and take all the weight gain stuff. I got my weight up to 245lbs training that way. And I can got it down to 215lbs training the other way."

Filmed here in Pontiac, MI what was your first impression of that incredible 'Oz' set that they had built across their soundstages? "Blown away man! Obviously the biggest budgeted film I have ever worked on or seen. They gave me a tour of all the sound stages. There were seven total and it was crazy cool. The forest sound stage was the coolest because when you walk into it you're actually in a forest with a lake in it!"

For your role as The Strongman, on set, what turned out to be the hardest part about the role undertaken? "Gaining the muscle and weight in the short amount of time I had to do it in. Also the wild track lines Sam Raimi has his actors do is a very pressured atmosphere. Wild track lines are when after all the scenes are shot for that day the director will have the actors come back into the stage. He then stands in the middle of the stage with all the cast, crew and extras gathered around in a circle. Which sometimes is in the hundreds and has you run your lines again into a boom mic in front of everyone."

"So here I am, little ole Tim Holmes, in my tights wardrobe yelling at the top of my lungs! And, of course, I had to go first being the rookie. And all as Franco, Williams and Braff look on and watch me be a strongman!"

As you yourself have noted, your role as The Strongman is a "short, but flashy" role! That said, did you take anything from the set (literally) to remember the experience by?! "No, I could have, but my morals get the best of me every time. Thank you God for your little voices that tell me DON'T DO THAT! Haha. But they did send me a piece of the yellow brick road and a gold coin, so karma does pay off."

How did you actually prepare for this role as The Strongman? Did you talk to any such performers, perhaps? "I researched carnival strongman from the 1800`s. Printed pictures out of them and had them plastered all over my dressing room and every where else I could think of. I visited a fair in my hometown and watched all the carnies do there jobs and interact with each other too."

As previously mentioned, you've actually had a thriving acting career thus far, appearing in afternoon Soap Operas, B-movies, various TV pilots, and even big films such as Real Steel, Hostel 3 and Alex Cross. Taking these categories one at a time, please talk about just one (1) project in each (listed below) - revealing which are, still today your favorite working experience, and why?

Which Soap Opera? - "The Young and The Restless was cool. I had some recurring under-five-line roles and even got to audition for a lead role at one time."

Which B-movie? - "Private Lies was a cool role. It was my first bad guy role. And it was alot of fun to finally play a character where you get so much leeway in your performance. Bad guy roles, for the most part are the roles where you get to do whatever you like!"

Which TV pilot? - "I shot a TV pilot in Europe in Greece for two months. It was a Baywatch-meets-a-hotel type teen TV show. It was cool except the part where we didn't get paid and the American Embassy had to bail us out of a Greek mafia hotel! But that's another story ... haha!"

Which Big movie? - "I was lead in a Polygram film, which would have been a big break for me, but it got shelved. And I was cast as Rocky in the next Rocky Horror Picture Show 2, which was also pulled a month before principal shooting was to take place! Arghhh, sooo close, so close."

You are also a musician, so please do tell us more about that side of you "I went to California to become a rock star. Well, that was my goal. I went there in 1985 and finally got signed to MCA records in 1992, toured in Europe and then the east coast of the US. They dropped me off the label when I turned in my second album to them though. I tried to shop it to other labels after that, but no one liked it. I still tried pursuing music alongside the acting gigs up until 2000. I have on my website all the music from my second album if ya want to hear me screammmm!!"

So, what's next for you in the acting world? "Next for me is my film that I wrote titled 'DETROIT RIDERS.' We are trying to find the rest of the money to get it financed, so any investor out there please help me out. It is a Sons Of Anarchy meets Biker Boys movie shot in Detroit. We have some good actors attached to the lead roles and just need the money to finish it. other than that my team of people being my agent, manager and lawyer have been getting me some great scripts. Which I am reading to see which I like. Then we see who is attached and directors and yadda yadda."

"I have also had some great meetings with Marvel comics and some big directors in LA. Basically just waiting for a great project to come my way. I need to pick great gigs now and make them equal to, or greater than my role in 'OZ.' Oh, and I have been getting ready in the gym for the sequel to 'OZ,' which will be shooting the end of this year in Los Angeles!"

And finally, throwing you a journalistic curve ball, we here at Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... so, we're wondering if you have any love for them, or any stories about them, perhaps? "OMG, that is so crazy you asked that! Me and my wife went on a cruise to Alaska, the cruise ship broke down and we were stranded for weeks. The freezer and fridges broke down on the ship so they had us eat penguins that they caught in the wild! Penguin omelets, penguin sandwiches, penguin soup, penguin filets ... and so on and so on! If I never see a penguin, or eat one again it would be just fine with me!!!!"

"Just kidding ... I love all animals! We have a dog and a cat. We used to have two dogs, but the older one passed away. We watch the penguins a lot at the Potter-Park Zoo here in Lansing with my boys. I love how they stick together as team and always have each others back. And they do not taste like chicken at all ...!!"

Any last words for the readers? "Please support us and go see me in 'OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL' as the STRONGMAN, at a theatre near you. And please buy the DVD when it comes out. Thank you so much. Sincerely, Tim Holmes."

Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED 'OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL' poster, just answer this question about the man himself: After graduating high school, Holmes moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in acting and music. Soon after, MCA Records signed him as a solo artist. What was the name of is debut album for MCA Records?!

Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED 'OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL' poster! Just send us an e:mail here before September 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL POSTER to:

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