From B.C. to the big screen, Cawston’s Joey Munroe is working to make his mark and inspire other small town kids to follow their own dreams.
Munroe recently co-starred in the film Detective Knight: Independence, the third in a trilogy and one of the last films to star legendary actor Bruce Willis.
“It’s definitely an interesting position, and I don’t think I’ll be able to full appreciate until I can look back on it, because in the moment it’s just this exciting thing for me to be kind of new in the industry and able to work with a legend, to be there at the end of their career and still be able to look back on all they did that inspired me,” Munroe told the Review during an interview from Hollywood, where he is currently living and working.
Independence is the third film that Munroe has acted in with Willis, the first where he had a co-starring role and the first where he didn’t end up dying at Willis’ hands as an antagonist. Independence is one of the last films Willis will be able to physically act in himself, after he announced his retirement in 2022 due to his diagnosis of Aphasia.
The first two that Munroe shot with Willis, American Siege and Apex, were both released in 2021. Independence released just recently with a theatrical run from Lionsgate Pictures.
“I went to see it on Sunday. It was the first time seeing myself on the big screen and it was pretty mind-blowing,” said Munroe.
For fans of Star Wars, Munroe also recently returned home to Vancouver to finish shooting the last parts of the first Episode of Bucketheads. The Star Wars fan series has been a hit on YouTube, with the first two chapters of Episode One already uploaded.
In 2020, Munroe and his directing partner Connor Lang brought their production company Joyline Pictures back to his hometown of Cawston to shoot Walk With Me, a short film that has so far gone out to a few festivals. According to IMDB, it even wracked up a few award nominations.
Going from that smaller scale production to Hollywood hasn’t been as much of a change as Munroe expected, and he felt right at home in the filming of the recent movies.
“It’s very similar, because it’s still just a group of people, a group of artists, a group of technicians, trying to accomplish something,” said Munroe. “Just people trying to find the moments, trying to get the shots, and I don’t want to say it’s the same, but it is very similar. “
The one message that Munroe focused on during his interview was the importance of building up a legacy. For him, he said that it’s about inspiring people, not just in film or behind the scene, but in all fields to push for their dreams.
“I couldn’t imagine being in elementary school in Keremeos and there in the paper is someone doing what I’m doing right now,” said Munroe “I just want to show that kids from a small town, wherever they’re from, that there’s no limitations, just the ones you make in your own head.”
With Independence having a limited theatrical run, Munroe is eyeing a few upcoming projects, but none that he can talk specifically about just yet. He does hope that he can be back in Vancouver to shoot more films in his native B.C. soon though, and hinted towards one particular project that he’s eagerly looking forward to.
Bringing more films back to Vancouver, to highlight the local talent and to inspire the local people, that’s what Munroe looks forward to most with his work.
“I love the idea of planting these seeds to continue to grow this conversation,” said Munroe. “We’re building legacy however you want to look at it.”
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