JOSH DUHAMEL. He’s the proverbial guy you want to have a beer with. He’s been a successful actor in Hollywood for a couple of decades, but there’s no pretense about him. He’s thoughtful, charming, genuine, and willing to dive into virtually any topic. Chatting with him is like catching up with someone you wish you could see more often.
It’s easy to understand how Josh’s big yet humble personality informs his work and enables him to connect with an audience. He has resonated with viewers through his way-back television work (like in Las Vegas with James Caan), through the Transformers franchise, and through a variety of other projects that have showcased his charisma and talent through the years. My kick-back conversation with Josh covered a lot of ground. His career has always had a steady trajectory, but 2022 looks like a banner year in the making.
You have a very high-profile year ahead of you. The Thing About Pam, Shotgun Wedding and Blackout for starters. The first is a true crime drama series with Renée Zellweger; Shotgun Wedding is a romantic comedy action film, and Blackout is a crime thriller.
What do you find challenging or rewarding about working in different genres?
Actually, I love it. It’s part of the beauty of getting to do what I get to do. Every day is different, every job is different, and every scene is different. I play a defense attorney in The Thing About Pam, which I’ve never done. That’s completely different than Blackout, where I’m a double agent for the cartel.
Shotgun Wedding, with J.Lo, is about a couple who get cold feet and everything goes sideways.
Those are really diverse projects.
Oh, man, there’s nothing better. It’s been one of those magical years where I’ve been able to do a lot of the things that I’ve always dreamt about doing. Doing things that I got into this business to try to do, and I was able to do a lot of that this year. It’s been a lot of work. It’s been a lot of time on set, and a lot of time away from home. That’s the part that I don’t love about it—being away from my son. But we’ve been able to work it out where he comes to visit me, and I get back to him. So, I’m not away as much as I might’ve been.
Switching gears a bit. You said that your farm in Minnesota really speaks to your soul. What does it give you?
It’s not a farm as much as it’s a mini compound, I guess. It started as a little cabin in the woods, deep in the woods. I wanted a place away from everything. My dad found these 12 acres in Northwestern Minnesota with nobody around. This beautiful crystal clear lake, and I just loved it. I was going to build there, but then the other half of that parcel went up for sale about a year or two later, and I bought that and it had a little hunting shack with no electricity, no water. Then I suddenly had 26 acres with a little structure on it.
It wasn’t the most comfortable place because it was rodent-ridden. I needed to clean that up a bit, but then the one next to that one went up for sale for almost nothing. It was another little cabin, it had electricity but no water. Then all of a sudden, I had two little cabins out at this place. It was like my little heaven on earth, I just love it out there. I don’t really go up there to relax. I go out there and I’m usually chopping wood, or I’m on the tractor, or I’m just fixing stuff. It’s very basic, and there’s something about that basic sort of back-to-the-simple-life thing that I think it resets me in some way.