Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Peake
Observer Staff Writer 

Up Close And Personal With A Star On The Rise: Renown actor Jim Meskimen Certainly Impresses Again In The New Amazon Prime Series 'Impress Me'..

And He Does!

 

December 3, 2018

Actor Jim Meskimen delivers an astounding and memorable performance again in the much anticipated 'Impress Me'

In the much anticipated debut season, Amazon Prime Video's series 'Impress Me' has introduced viewers to Jim and Ross, the cream-of-the-crop of celebrity impressionists.

This dynamic duo is as impressive as they come when it comes to doing impressions however, they have a problem: They want to quit imitating others and become serious, dramatic actors.

In the show's premiere, Jim and Ross unveil their '12-step program' for making their transition a reality.

Starring Jim Meskimen ("Parks and Recreation"), who will be appearing in an upcoming episode of Amazon's acclaimed series, 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,' Ross Marquand ('The Walking Dead'), and Angela Kinsey ('The Office'), 'Impress Me'is available at http://www.amazon.com.

When it comes to dramatic transitions that leave an impression, Jim Meskimen's role in 'Impress Me' showcases the actor's diversity. In the wake of his starring role in the award-winning film 'Son to Son,' his new series highlights his astute comedic abilities.

Released this past summer, the Taron Lexton directed drama, 'Son to Son,' which also starred Nick Lane, was written by Meskimen.

Documenting a late-night conversation between a father, played by Meskimen, and his son, portrayed by Lane, emotions erupt as an insidious secret is revealed over coffee in a small diner.

In a twist on the typical story of a parent confronting a child on their destructive behavior, this riveting encounter presents a father, clearly in trouble and begging for his son's help, albeit, not the right kind.

Confused, disgusted, and angered by the revelation he's being served along with his coffee, Lane's character struggles to understand that, what began as an innocent way to relive pain following an operation, has led to an addiction, one that has become a modern-day epidemic leaving destroyed lives and families in its wake.

"I came up with the idea for the film after reading an article in Freedom Magazine about the opioid epidemic in America," says Meskimen.

"I have experienced the ravages of substance abuse and addiction in my own family," says Meskimen. "Because of that, I know any family impacted by this crisis will be able to relate to this film."

An actor, stand-up comedian, writer, voice-over artist, and immensely talented celebrity impressionist, Meskimen smiles and shrugs when it's mentioned that the character he plays in 'Son to Son' is a vast departure from the comedic roles he plays in 'Impress Me,'and his own good-natured demeanor.

"I do comedic impressions, but in this film, I do an impression of a man in serious trouble," he says. "It's my serious side, focusing on a very serious issue. I personally know people who are dealing with this problem, and when you look at the number of people who are in serious trouble with opioid addiction, they are just staggering and heartbreaking. There are tens-of-millions of Americans who are in the ravages of these insidious drugs, which, in turn, have spiked the use of heroin."

The product of a theatrical family, Meskimen is husband of actress Tamra Meskimen, who appears in a camo role in 'Son to Son' as the diner's waitress. He is also the father of Taylor Meskimen, who has carved out a niche as a voice actress, the son of actress Marion Ross, best-known for her role as Marion Cunningham in the popular television series 'Happy Days,' and the late actor Freeman Meskimen, who battled a debilitating life-long alcohol addiction.

Frightened by the toll he saw alcohol take on his father when he was young, Meskimen says his childhood fears evolved into frustration and anger when he became an adult.

"I tried everything I could to help my father, but he didn't want my help," he laments.

"He was in desperate need of getting on a new path, but he was incapable of ever finding that path. And even if he had, I don't think he could have stayed on it."

Meskimen's character in 'Son to Son' is dealing with that same problem, but, unlike his real-life father, he pleads for his son's help.

"I need a new path," he tearfully admits.

Sadly, the new path of redemption he seeks is a delusional one, formed by a mind that has been blurred by the effects of OxyContin. It is a path that has tragically cost so many their lives, and, as it does with Lane's character, leaves loved ones with unanswered questions, guilt, frustrations, and anger.

Shot in Santa Monica's Rae's Restaurant in one evening, 'Son to Son' was produced by Studio Lane and TXL Films. It is a powerfully disturbing film that serves as a mirror reflecting a nation that is seeing this epidemic rapidly becoming a pandemic with no regard for whom it destroys.

It chronicles one of the most severe plagues of our time, one that leaves families with little or no understanding or resources of how to handle the devastation. It has also received inadequate address from the federal government, that has, largely, chosen to ignore the problem, and been abetted by a pharmaceutical industry that does everything in its power to keep that political ignorance healthy, alive and well.

Jim Meskimen was a regular on the television show 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' He played the father of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's characters in the feature film 'Our Lips Are Sealed,' and portrayed Officer Wholihan in the big-screen version of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas.'

He voices numerous cartoon characters including the voice of the Genie in the Disney's 'Aladdin' franchise, and several different characters in 'Lego: The Lord of the Rings.'

Along with his film and television work, Meskimen also stars in 'Jimpressions,' a one-man show of celebrity impersonations and original characters. He will also be appearing in an upcoming episode of the new season of Amazon's acclaimed series, 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,' which will debut on December 5.

A period comedy-drama web television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' stars Rachel Brosnahan as the titular Miriam 'Midge Maisel,' a housewife of the 1950s who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy.

The series has won two Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards.

For more information check out Jim's website at http://jimmeskimen.com/

To arrange an interview with Jim Meskimen on 'Son to Son,' or 'Impress Me,' please contact

Jacqueline Lewis at

(818) 720-4221.

 

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