It was a pleasure to welcome the wonderful Michael Wesley-Smith (JACK) back to Tribeworld for an exclusive live chat on The Tribe’s Official Facebook page on Sunday 28th August 2011.
Many ardent fans of The Tribe - and Michael/Jack in particular - joined in the event, which was a fun and engaging chat, with a lot of participants staying up late in their timezones till the early hours of the morning/late at night so as not to miss it.
Congratulations to the winners of the phone call with Michael.
And thanks again to Michael for taking the time out of his schedule to be available for the chat, the team of typists trying to keep up with all the answers, and to all the fans who joined in the experience. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
So to find out how everything about how Michael feels about playing Jack, being in The Tribe, what he’s been up to and plans for the future and so much more - here is a transcript of the entire question and answers saved from the session so you can relive it again if you were there for the live event, or read Michael’s answers to the questions in case you missed it first time around.
Hi everyone, how are ya? Please post your questions in this thread, looking forward to answering em!
Q Hey Mike, greetings from the Mediterranean city of Split in Croatia, will you come visit us again with the other actors??
A: Hi, that would be great, I’d love to go again, went there last year, fantastic!
Q Hi Michael, does it amaze you that there is still a huge following years after The Tribe series ended?
A: Yes, that is an understatement, I am consistently amazed at the level of loyalty and interest in the show, absolutely!
Q How did you feel when they had Ellie break up with Jack for Luke?
A: Hi Michelle, it felt extremely upsetting for Jack but did not feel like a permanent situation
Q What is your favorite colour?
Q Hey from Texas!!! Would you be interested in doing a Tribe gathering in America?
A: I enjoyed going before in Atlanta for DragonCon and would love to go if it was an official Cloud 9 event
Q Hi Michael! If you could pick any other tribe girl for Jack to be with other than Ellie who would it be?
A: Oooo that’s a difficult one, I’d say if I had been hit by a truck as Jack then Ellie would have gone out with Darryl and Jack would have gone out with maybe someone like Zandra, if he had the courage to ask her
Q How’re you Michael? It’s great to have you here. One question what’s your most memorable moment from filming The Tribe?.
A: Ohhh crikey, tough one! I think the first cast meeting was a very interesting experience and my favourite memory was probably a combination of the first meeting when we met everybody together with the cast and also the final cast party, a great experience where you make friendships to cherish
Q Hi Michael you are Cute Are you single lol?
A: Hi Tegan! Thank you, I am in between options right now!
Q Did you ever watch yourself in The Tribe?
A: Hello, I did, my parents were avid followers and I’d often sit down with them, they recorded every show!
Q What’s your favorite country to visit?
A: Um, I very much enjoyed France, love travelling
Q Hey Michael. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! I was wondering what was your favorite season of The Tribe to film?
A: I always very much enjoyed the last scenes of the series, each series when the story lines came to a head. Probably one scene I enjoyed the most which might sound odd was the scene at Dal’s grave. Scenes towards the end of the series I’d like, so I like all the series
Q Cats or dogs?
A: Dogs no question! Dogs have owners, cats have servants
Q Did You enjoy London Micheal? In the 2003 tour? Where about are you now?
A: I absolutely loved the Tribe Tours to London and Europe, a fantastic time and real pleasure and honour to meet the people who watched the show
Q What was it like to be on two shows Atlantis High and The Tribe at the same time?
A: Hi William, it’s a good question and I’d say it was initially quite an intimidating experience because I’d been used to the Tribe cast and characters but I quickly got used to Atlantis High and loved it
Q Hi Michael! How are you? Do you keep in touch with anyone from The Tribe?
A: I’m well thanks, and I do keep in touch it was like a secondary school experience we were all 13/14/15 and I was 19 when the series ended so it was a huge bonding experience for everyone
Q If ya could be any charecter of The Tribe who would you be?
A: I would have to say Lex because he is the polar opposite of my character
Q If it was possible, would you consider being Jack again for a movie?
Q Do you have a favourite band/artist? Who?
Q How was it to do the Abe Messiah album? I think it’s so great!
A: Well for me it was very much a challenging experience because I’m not the most musically gifted but from what I was able to contribute it was an enjoyable experience
Q What do you think Jack would have done if the others hadn’t come to the Mall and did you enjoy playing the geek? Thank you.
A: I think Jack would have survived, probably did what he did at the start where he would consolidate, use his mind and skills to get resources and survive, I loved playing the geek.
Q Fave Jack/ Ellie moment?
A:Probably the moment after her and Luke’s relationship, it was an honest experience, quite nice
Q If the Virus actually happened, would you act as your charcter did, or if not, how would you act?
A: Good question, I think my character’s approach was quite admirable and with Kiwis it’s a number 8 wire thing, an ingenuity practicality approach so I would hope to do much the same, react the same Jack did
Q Hii! whats your favourite tv show?
A: The UK version of The Office
Q What do you like to do in your spare time?
^ Hi Talene, I play football socially and follow sport generally, I go to the gym probably often, meet with family and friends, some radio too.
Q What were the best and worst parts about being Jack?
A: The best part was the lines, the script, it was always very good and I understood the script writers wrote the story to play it accordingly that I had a sarcastic element of me in real life so Jack did too? and I can’t identify any negatives at all to be honest, it was a positive experience all the way
Q Would you consider going on a date with Sarah Saur???xxx
A: hehe, yeah! Always possible
Q What’s your guilty pleasure (eg. Chocolate)?
A: Chocolate is one! Probably some of the music I like if people found out on my iPod!
Q Did acting on The Tribe and dealing with the post-appocolyptic thing change your view on the world today?
A: Yes it did, the first series, very early on when he had Trudy’s pregnancy storyline which was as a 13/14 year old very eye opening so a maturing experience, very much so
Q On behalf of my sister Steffany. Who is in Delaware and unable to ask. Do you like any anime? Tv shows or books?
A: To be honesty not really, maybe one day
Q Just wanted to say you’re the main reason why I watch The Tribe haha, I personally think you are the best actor out of all the others and you have a great sense of humor xD my questions are:
What intrests do you have? Eg. Television shows, movies, music etc.
Did you have a crush on any of the other cast members while filming?
Also, just wanted to say, I heard your older interview and you had/have amazing music taste!
A: Hi Yura. A crush? I would say yes without revealing who! I love the Office, Family Guy and The Simpsons as well
Q Do you have any plans on coming to Sweden? You could stay in my house.
A: A couple of my friends are in Sweden this weekend and I would love to go to Sweden again one day and would take up your offer happily!
Q Hey, you as a person, if the storyline of the tribe truly happend, which tribe would you be in?
A: I think the only one I would qualify for is the Mall Rats, not suited to the others really!
Q What was the best part on Atlantis High?
A: The cast and crew
Q Will we ever see you before a camera again?
A: I would hope so!
Q What was the most embarrasing moment while filming The Tribe?
A: Oooo I would say one that goes back a way, I think I had a scene when my fly was open, it was kinda embarrassing and not intended
Q Who was your favourite nemesis (evil character) and why?
A:Hehehe, I would say it’s a tough one but probably say I liked Lex’s character very much but evil is a strong word to describe him because his character went from evil-ish to more of a normal reality guy
Q Did you like the red hair thing?
A: I did, I don’t think my mother enjoyed it though, I lost my bed linen to the wrong colour of red!
Q What’s your fav song?
A: Where the Streets have no Name by U2
Q What would you like to have happened if The Tribe continued? What would have happened to Jack?
A: Um?. I mean I suppose to continue along the path that had been written for him, he would probably have taken on a bit more responsibility as he got older perhaps, just a more senior role in the Tribe
Q If they made another series of The Tribe would you be in it?
Q What was the most challenging scene to film?
A: Most challenging scene? Probably the first kissing scene with Ellie, Jen Jewell’s character, because it was my first kissing scene I had ever done
Q Will you marry me?.? hahaha.
A: Hehehe, if my parents said ok then why not!
Q Hi Michael, greetings from Finland! Just wanted to say you were amazing on The Tribe, you were definitely one of my favs How’s your life been after The Tribe? And what was your favourite episode to make? And oh yeah, do you have a fanmail-address? I would love to send you something xx
A: Hi Sini, thanks for the kind words. You can write to email@example.com!
Q What was your funniest moment on set?
A: There are very many, probably the scenes with a sense of humour in the story were always fun, many to choose from
Q Wow totally had no idea about this? XD Lucky I was awake! What was the best part of pretty much growing up in the Tribe? ^^
A: Hi Kim, it was extremely enjoyable and couldn’t have been a better experience really
Q Do you remeber your journey to Germany. what did you like best?
A: I do remember going to Germany very much, it was great and every place we went to was enjoyable to visit. The highlight was going on the horse drawn sleigh near Munich, Bavaria where we went to the countryside, very beautiful
Q Do you think I could play a role as an evil guy in the Tribe movie?
A: I would have to ask Ray of Cloud 9 that one!
Q Hello Great to have you for the cast chat. Given the choice, who would you like to act alongside in the future?
A: Out of any actors or actresses, I would say I would have to appreciate their talent as an actor, it would be easy to say someone like Julia Roberts or Natalie Portman, probably Natalie Portman for a whole number of reasons
Q What are you planning for the rest of the day, today?
A: I am planning to meet my Auntie for lunch and then after that, a few things going on if the sun stays out
Q Do people ever call you Jack haha
A: Yes they do!
Q So with the way some of these questions are going, I have to say, did it ever get really weird awkward growing up with so many people loving your character and have you had any really funny or weird run-ins with your female fans?
A: None really weird no, probably one I remember most was my Mum had a German woman turn up to her surgery in NZ asking about me and I was in University so my Mum ended up having a coffee with this lady. And the fan got a photo of my Mum and that, it was nice but different!
Q Do you miss The Tribe?
A: Very much so
Q Do you have a close relationship with your parents??xx
A: Oh yes, absolutely much
Q Hi from Finland! Which one of Jack’s clothes was your favourite? And did you like the red hair? LOVE YOU
A; I did like the red hair! Thanks for the kind comments. I wore a lot boots which made me a lot taller than I was, so that was great!
Q Don’t know how much longer you’ll be able to say, so i wanted to give you a HUGE THANK YOU for taking the time to answering all our questions!!! it is deeply appreciated, it was awesome to chat with you!! i hope this can be repeated one day lots of love from Germany!!
A: Thank you for being there and for all the support, it’s a pleasure
Q Do you have any favorite authors?
A: Apart from Ray, hehe I would say Jeffrey Archer
Q What do you think of reality tv? Fan? Hater?
A: I tend to see it not as reality because I find it scripted usually so I am cynical about it, doesn’t seem to be reality
Q Who is your idol?
A:Oh, Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson before the latter had his unfortunate experiences lately, so Tom Hanks mainly
Q Are you on twitter?
A: No, I might be there in six months time
Q Is there anywhere in the world that you would like to visit (that you haven?t been too already) x
Q: My question is what is your favorite scene from The Tribe?
A: The end of all the series were very interesting.
Q: What do the words keep the dream alive mean to you?
A: An appreciation of what’s gone before.
Q: Would you reprise your role as Jack if it was offered for either the up coming movie or a Tribe Reunion show, or hopefully series?
Q: When you were in New Zealand, did you drink much L&P? (Lemon and Peroa, world famous in New Zealand )
A: Yes, I’ve drunk it a lot!
Q: Did you like your characters relationship with Ellie?
A: I did! It was a challenging one that always kept me surprised.
Q: You did a movie called the Last Great Snail Chase, do you know what’s happened to it? I would love to see it, but can’t find it available anywhere - but the trailer looks great. You’re in the trailer making out with Sally Martin
A: Good question! I’m not to sure what happened, guess it didn’t really get out of the film festivals.
Q: Finally, did you ever get freaked out by how “crazy” fans of The Tribe were while you were on the tours? What was your most memorable moment of fan meets? And would you do a fan meet again?
A: I’ve never been freaked out, it was a bit surprising at first, but I have a huge amount of respect for the “crazy” fans
Q: What was the toughest part playing Jack?
A: I think the first couple of girlfriend scenes were difficult, but there were no really hard scenes because I identified with Jack.
Q: Jack was so believable, even down to blushing when the occasion arose. How did you make him so realistic? I honestly think Jack was the character that was most realistic and believable.
A: A lot of the series felt real, it was easy to fit in to the character.
Q: Did you take anything from set like a prop or anything?
A: I have a few cast photos
Q: Would you ever consider traveling to Canada to check out this awesome country?
A: I’ve been to Canada, lovely place. Reminds me of New Zealand a bit.
Q: What’s your ideal pet?
A: A Monkey! No doubt about that.
Q: Do you have any phobias or fears?
A: I dislike Crabs.
Q: If you had to live on one type of food for the rest of your life? What would it be and why?
A: Big Macs.
Q: Are you obsessed or a fan of something? Like Doctor Who or Minecraft etc?
A: Liverpool Football
Q :What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A: You get out what you put in.
Q: Is it true you cut the end of your tounge off with a shaver?
A: I have no idea how you know that! It’s completely true.
Q: Which was your favourite series or costume to wear?
A: The floral shirt was very uplifting.
Q: My question is which cast member/members of the tribe was your favourite to work with and why?
Q: Also, Jack and Dal were pretty close in the series. How was your relationship with Ashwath offset?
A: It was a very close one and continues to be so.
Q: Have you travelled NZ? What?s your favourite spot?
A: Yes, Queenstown.
Q: Do you remember any of Jack’s lines?
A: “I am a genius!”
Q: Jack or Giles? Who was the cooler geek?
A: I think Jack, he came out of his shell towards the end of the experience.
Q: What’s one of your favorite personality traits of Jack’s or Giles??
A: Jack’s sarcasm, and Gile’s heightened sensitivity to surrealness!
Q: Do you ever miss the wacky hair and outfits?
A: In a weird kind of way I do, but it’s nice to walk around and not worry about getting makeup everywhere!
Q: If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
A: Mgyver, my smartphone, and a list from my Mother!
Q: What was it like for you when you were young to step on the set and knowing you had to take on your role as the genius of the group?
A: Hugely intimidating, but became very enjoyable.
Q: Evening Michael! Have you played any roles in other shows/movies? or are there any upcoming roles you can tell us about?
A: I haven’t been in too much I’m afraid.
Q: Who in The Tribe are you most like in real life?
A: I can’t go past Jack, after doing 5 seasons I think my own personality affected the character a bit.
Q: Whats your favourite type of cheese?
Q: How different do you think the show would have been if Jack or another member were gay?
A: I don’t think the show would have changed, it was quite flexible. Their markings may have been a bit more colorful though!
Q: Are you a ‘nerd’ in real life (into comic books, video games etc.)?
A: Not a nerd, I was never top of the class or anything! I probably have about 25% of Jack’s interest in computers.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Forrest Gump.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Football, Rugby and being disappointed in the clubs that I follow
Q: Out of all 5 seasons of TT which was your favourite to film?
A: All of them were enjoyable for different reasons.
Q: How has TT changed your life?
A: Hugely! It changed it in a hugely positive way.
Q: What attracted to moving to the UK/London? ? Hope none of the recent riots affected you
A: Like a lot of Kiwis I was attracted to the different country and culture, it was also a good base to travel to Europe. Luckily, I wasn’t affected by the riots, I moved away from those areas a few days before it all happened.
Q: (On behalf of Tasha) How did you become an actor instead of a doctor like you were originally planning?
A: Things change!
Thanks to everyone for taking part in this and I would like to say I am extremely grateful for everyone’s continued interest and without the fans the show wouldn’t be what it was or aspires to be, very humbling!