Jesse Pringle found out early on in his days as an aspiring actor in Hollywood that friendship only begets more friendship.
In other words, as Pringle says, “friends do favors for friends.”
Pringle’s friendship with veteran Hollywood actor Richard Tyson helped the Lee’s Summit native secure Tyson’s guest-starring role in an upcoming episode of Pringle’s “Kill Em All” web series that he created with fellow Lee’s Summit native Shawn Wright.
Tyson, whose credits include a role as a quick-tempered bully in the 1980s cult-like, underground classic “Three O’ Clock High” and a legendary turn as a confrontational police detective in Ben Stiller’s “There’s Something About Mary,” will visit the area and take part in a red carpet event Nov. 16 to premiere Episode No. 4 of Pringles’ Irish-American crime-family drama.
The red carpet event is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Screenland Theatre at Crown Center in Kansas City, with a viewing of the latest installment beginning at 6 p.m.
“Richard and I have been friends for several years,” Pringle said Nov. 11. “To get him involved in the project was fairly easy because we were already friends. One thing that I did find out when you do get in certain circles in Los Angles, friends do favors for friends. Obviously this is a (Screen Actor’s Guild) union production. I booked him as such and he got the appropriate billing and he was happy to come out and help us with the web series.
“I’m very excited for Episode Four to come out because it’s our biggest episode yet. Of course with our quality cast member Richard Tyson involved, I’m very excited.”
As much as Pringle was happy to have Tyson on board, Tyson was even happier to oblige.
“Jesse is a true friend,” Tyson said via telephone the same day from his perch in Los Angeles. “Jesse was out here and did a ton of movies and was pulled back home. I know he wanted to go back there and start something there…and I was all for it. We just went from there.”
As in some of his more famous roles, Tyson will portray a tough-guy in “Kill Em All.” He doesn’t mind playing the villainous roles that have defined some of his characters over the years.
“The crew was amazing,” Tyson said of the “Kill Em All” cast and crew for which Wright controls the show’s cinematography and editing. “They were very professional and they work fast. It looks great, which was very encouraging to see. That’s why I’m showing up this weekend.”
Tyson added with the advent of technology and the dedication of talents such as Pringle, bringing Hollywood-style productions to cities such as Lee’s Summit, Kansas City and his hometown of Mobile, Ala. is the wave of the future.
“I’m from a smaller town than Kansas City and we’re trying to get things going there, too,” he said. “I left Mobile, Alabama with $100 on a bus to be in the movies. You leave everything that you know and love. Well, nowadays, with the technology, you can shoot anywhere. You get some local investors and the legislators to back you (with tax credits and incentives) and you can do some surprising things. You don’t have to go live in Hollywood, which sounds great, but it’s different once you show up on the bus.”
Pringle said Tyson’s appearance in the web series validates one of the goals he set when he decided to return home from California to bring Hollywood-type productions to the area.
“One of my main motivations for developing the future market of film and television here in Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City metropolitan area is to basically further the industry by adding the locations of where I’m from – my hometown, my home city, my home state – and building the economic development of film and television here in Missouri.
“We’ve got such great architecture and backdrop just for film and television settings and that makes it extremely attractive for Kansas City and Lee’s Summit and the surrounding areas.”