Colson Baker — known in the music industry as Machine Gun Kelly — is tired of being “laughed at” when it comes to his acting career. He hopes his new film, Taurus, in which he stars alongside his fiancée Megan Fox, will compel studios to finally take him seriously as an actor.
“This is my 14th or 15th movie, but this movie is really close to me. It’s about the last week that a musician is alive, and he’s just trying to battle between the good and the — just trying to find the good in himself. And that’s kind of how I feel, a lot of the times. I always get asked about what it’s like being a musician acting, but it feels a little bit to me like going in a toy store and just looking at a toy in a box. Like I don’t want to be in a box. I want you to take the toy out of the box and experience what the toy does,” Baker told the crowd at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, California on Sunday after being honored at the Newport Beach Film Festival Honors brunch hosted by Variety, which also presented its annual 10 Actors to Watch event.
“There are roles that I say that I want or dream scripts that, when they come across, I’m like, ‘Oh, I’d love that,’ and I get laughed at a lot of the times because the director doesn’t know who I am, or the studios don’t believe that I can handle it. But this is one step towards showing them that I can,” he added. “Also, I’m a gambling guy. I like to, you know — big risk, big reward. So I want to thank… my director Tim Sutton for stepping up to the blackjack table and betting it all on me. Winner winner chicken dinner, motherf—er.”
Colson Baker was joined by fellow Newport Beach Film Festival honorees including Ron Howard, Keke Palmer, Patton Oswalt, Jonathan Majors, and MovieMaker‘s own recent cover star, Aubrey Plaza. Receiving Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch honors this year were Kerry Condon (Banshees of Inisherin), Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At One), Christina Jackson (Devotion), Ximena Lamadrid (Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths), Thuso Mbedu (The Woman King), Zen McGrath (The Son), Amber Midthunder (Prey), Sam Nivola (White Noise), and Jeremy Pope (The Inspection).
The Taurus and Midnight in the Switchgrass star also told a funny story about the last time he paid a visit to Newport Beach.
“Thank you Variety and to the Newport Beach Film Festival. The last time I was in Newport Beach was about 10 years ago, I was fresh off of the plane from Cleveland — I’m from Cleveland. I was being escorted off of the lifeguard headquarters tower because I was very excited about being in California and I had way too much to drink,” he told the audience. “So here I am in a three-piece suit, in a different situation. I grew up sharing a bedroom with my father. It was a pretty dark house, so I kind of found my solace in film and music. And you know, I was a kid — when I saw Top Gun, I was like, ‘I’m going to be in the Air Force.’ Or when I saw Fight Club, I was like, ‘I’m gonna have abs.'”
At least Baker has achieved one of those goals.
Main Image: Colson Baker in Taurus