You’re working with Chris Messina on The Sweet Life movie right now?
Yes. It’s this great little film. Chris Messina is awesome. He’s amazing. I’ve always wanted to work with him and he and I kind of became friendly a year and-a-half ago. I was cast in this movie, and the producers and director went to him with it. He’s one of the greatest actors I’ve ever worked with. He’s so awesome. It’s like this dark romantic comedy about two people that meet in Chicago and decide to go on a road trip to throw themselves off the Golden Gate Bridge together.
Yeah, it’s super light fare.
You grew up in a small beach town.
In Gulf Breeze, right across the three-mile bridge from Pensacola. The sand is like sugar. The water is pure turquoise. It’s like the Caribbean. Every time I go back, I see the area thriving but keeping that Gulf Coast beach culture you find in Mississippi and Alabama, too.
Your father, Yancy, has been called the father of Gulf Coast surfing.
He was very much on the forefront of the surfing scene down there. He was on the beach one day when he was fifteen with a friend who had some surfboards. His friend seemed more interested in the girls on the beach, so my dad took out one of the boards. He caught his first wave and got tubed, but he noticed that everyone on the beach was watching him. He fell totally in love with surfing that day. He eventually ran a surf shop, called Innerlight. I think one of the reasons my dad got so good [he won the East Coast Pro in 1972] was the Gulf Coast surf conditions. Florida surfers learn how to be great on mediocre waves. It trains you, gives you endurance. He was such an artist when it came to surfing. He was my biggest influence