Comments: 124 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

flatchampagne43 karma

Do you get a decent amount of money everytime your commercial airs?

hwoodjamie94 karma

The first few years it was 'per use' as they say. Now I get what is called a 'buyout' which is a flat fee for the whole year (season). Because the other voices are Billy West and J.K. Simmons I'm in pretty good company so if I'm careful I can live off the one check for the whole year. I'm pretty lucky.

haemaker47 karma

Wow. You can live off the residuals of one 30 second spot made 16 years ago? You have one hell of an agent!

hwoodjamie65 karma

Union. SAG. And yeah. I have a great agent. It helps that people really seem to like this spot and look forward to seeing it every year. It's all about numbers so they must sell candy when they run it.

steelavian6 karma

I like your commercial and your comments. What struck me was that you said you live off this check every year.

Just curious, but are you actively going after new paying work? It seems like once they replace the commercial your income stream will vanish.

16 years worth of compounded interest on a check like that (I'm assuming) could set you up pretty nicely if you were able to live off of new income.

Food for thought, but if you started at $0 and deposited $50,000 annually for the last 16 years at 8% APY you'd have $1,637,511

hwoodjamie28 karma

Or I could have bought bitcoin. If I can pay my rent and buy my food and gas and stuff I'm happy. In this business you are always one audition away from a series. So that's where I reside in my mind. I'm always auditioning. Some years the M&M's money is a bonus, some years it's my lifesaver. It's feast or famine in this business.

steelavian7 karma

Some dude spent I think 10000 bitcoins on 2 pizzas in 2010, so you just never know lol

Edit: Also my next bar story will be that the guy from the M&Ms Halloween commercial replied to my comment on reddit. Puts me one degree closer to Kevin Bacon presumably, unless you've met him.

hwoodjamie10 karma

No but I did work with Kevin Spacey in Lost in Yonkers and yes, he hit on me the first day of rehearsal, but I was 24. Here is a photo.

steelavian14 karma

I think I want more degrees of separation from Kevin Spacey, not less

zuperfly1 karma

What do you mean?

hwoodjamie1 karma

In the play Lost in Yonkers.

shitsouttitsout-23 karma

i hate you. im not even joking.

hwoodjamie29 karma

I understand. I did take a huge risk by going into this business. And I'm not wealthy by any means. I hope you can be happy for me that I am able to pay rent and buy food while working in my chosen profession. I'm off to the The Actors Studio west to do the first act of a play called Tru about Truman Capote that I have been rehearsing for a few months and am just doing for 'fun'. It's nice that my commercials can support that. Also..Don't be bitter. It only affects you. LOL.

mattreyu17 karma

Do you give out M&Ms at parties?

hwoodjamie36 karma

I used to. At this stage all my friends are over it.

mattreyu6 karma

Yeah I guess it'd get old after awhile.

hwoodjamie20 karma

Not for me. LOL. But people are like, 'give it a break Jamie, I want a Snickers'.

easyaspiez10 karma

I think you misinterpreted. They wanted a Kit Kat. ;)

hwoodjamie6 karma

Just no 3 Musketeers. Never cared for those very much.

judgehood12 karma

Does appearing in a successful commercial hurt or help your chances of getting other acting jobs?

hwoodjamie25 karma

I'm not that recognizable so it's never been an issue. Sometimes producers/directors will know they've seen you somewhere before and they don't realize it's from a commercial. You're just a familiar face. That's always good.

jimbeam8411 karma

Did you get work work with Billy West? If so what is he like to work with?

hwoodjamie22 karma

Never met the man. I worked with little M&M's dolls and the script girl reading their lines to me.

thedexiz7 karma

Are you surprised that this commercial has endured for so long? How much life do you think it has in it? I mean, 3D animation looks quite bad and aged.

hwoodjamie11 karma

I'm floored. The director was great. I have to give a lot of credit to the costume and makeup and hair dept, because the look I have in it still holds up as 'hip'. Just put a lot of product in your hair, blacken your eyes and it's timeless. LOL

man_mayo7 karma

What's your favorite type of M&M?

hwoodjamie17 karma

Every single type of M&M's is amazing. They are without a doubt the most delicious candy or food product ever invented. If i was forced to choose I would probably pick peanut. But those new crunchy ones are pretty amazing. It's hard to keep up.

philtech16 karma

All hail corporate! But hey you have a good reason to blow the horn. Kudos!

hwoodjamie15 karma

You get it.

Snowbank_Lake5 karma

Love those seasonal M&M's commercials that have been around for years! Did you get any candy-related perks for your work? Like free M&Ms for life or something?

hwoodjamie9 karma

LOL. No. But I can afford to buy all the M&M's I want with what they pay me. Occasionally I'll walk into an M&M's store in a mall and think 'should I tell them?" But I never do. They would think I was weird.


Do you have any upcoming gigs? Any current ones?

hwoodjamie8 karma

Thanks for asking. I just finished an independent movie called 'Get Lucky'. And I'm working on a play about Truman Capote (it was done on Bway in 1987, I want to do it out here in Hollywood.). Trying to stay busy.

Realsan5 karma

if I'm careful I can live off the one check for the whole year.

Do you ever worry about what would happen if they'll just filmed a new commercial or got rid of that one completely?

hwoodjamie17 karma

It's my worst nightmare. But that's the biz. I never ever expected this one spot to turn into this. It's a miracle every year (but my agent already negotiated next year so I'm good for another year). But, yeah. That'll be a super bummer.

easyaspiez2 karma

Have you ever done any other commercials?

hwoodjamie6 karma

Lots. I was also on The X-Files. Here is a link to an old reel.

easyaspiez1 karma

Awesome man! X-Files!

hwoodjamie2 karma

That was a fun week.

easyaspiez2 karma

What are some rolls you auditioned for but never got that really still bum you out to this day? Did you ever audition to be on The Office? Thanks for such an easy AMA. You seem like you have a great head on your shoulders even though you are damn good at acting crazy! =)

hwoodjamie9 karma

Thanks for the compliment. As far as roles I auditioned for and didn't book (I don't say 'lost') I don't even go there. It will drive you crazy as an actor. I've auditioned for hundreds of jobs I didn't get. A big regret...hmm, the tweeker who got his head crushed with the ATM in Breaking Bad. I would have nailed that part. But the guy who got it was great and it was his job, not mine. That's that.

rjtoca8212 karma

Are you Jon lovitz?

hwoodjamie4 karma

No. I'm Jamie Marsh.

Licensedpterodactyl4 karma

Do you know John lovitz?

hwoodjamie5 karma

Sadly no.

coryrenton1 karma

Which famous actor do you run into in commercial work consistently that most people wouldn't think does that many commercials? What is the strangest piece of direction you've received?

hwoodjamie2 karma

First question IDK. Second question. I was asked to pick a bug out of my hair and eat it, once (pretend to, don't actually have lice). So I went very specific. I killed the (pretend) bug with a finger against my head, then rolled it out on a couple of hairs and chewed it with my front teeth. They loved it. Luckily it didn't make the final edit. Too graphic.

Vharr1 karma

As a swede, and since wiki said you lived there, I have to ask. How was it to live in Stockholm?

hwoodjamie3 karma

Amazing. I love Stockholm. I try to visit every summer.

Vharr1 karma

If you have to pick one, whats your favourite spot there?

hwoodjamie2 karma

Gamla Stan.

Vharr1 karma

Good choice :D , Gamla Stan sure is beautiful! Do you get recognized alot when you're visiting Stockholm?

hwoodjamie3 karma

LOL. NEVER! I never get recognized anywhere. The most that happens is someone thinks we went to school together or something.

easyaspiez1 karma

You are a really talented actor. What was it like working side by side with Gillian and David? Holy hell.

hwoodjamie2 karma

Thank you. They were very professional and friendly. I really had to step up my game. Especially with Gillian. She doesn't mess around. She was incredibly prepared and generous. Duchovny was just a cool guy. Gary Shandling was hanging around with him on set the days I worked with him so that was really cool.

easyaspiez1 karma

Awesome response. Thanks! This is a cool AMA. I hope more people see it.

hwoodjamie2 karma

Thanks. I'm just a working actor in Hollywood. There are lots of us. It's a job that has some perks and status attached, but in the end it's just a job. I'm trying to answer the questions as best I can, from a redditor's perspective. As I watch Bel Air burn on local TV news.

humanoidfrog1 karma


hwoodjamie3 karma

Depends what I'm drinking.

matrix_man1 karma

Not sure if you're still answering questions, but here goes: What percentage of actors would you say can actually make a living off acting? I'm not talking about being stupid rich and famous, but just making a decent living without having to work any sort of side-jobs.

hwoodjamie1 karma

I think it's less than 1 percent.

matrix_man1 karma

Wow...that is super-low! I guess it's easy to forget that for every multi-millionaire Hollywood blockbuster actor/actress there's thousands of people just trying to put food on the table through acting. How do you think aspiring actors/actresses can stay motivated knowing how few ever get to make a living off of acting?

hwoodjamie1 karma

Tough question. Find a group of like minded artists and work amongst yourselves. Do scene nights, Make you tube videos. Just create content and have fun. Community theater. Acting classes (can be a financial drain). Stay creative. With digital technology a world has been opened to everyone. You can create content and distribute all on your own. That has never ever been the case before.

[deleted]1 karma


hwoodjamie1 karma

Wow. I am so flattered that you think someone would pretend to be me. LOL.

[deleted]1 karma


[deleted]1 karma


hwoodjamie1 karma

That picture doesn't prove who I am?

[deleted]1 karma


hwoodjamie1 karma

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hwoodjamie1 karma

You are definitely not getting any candy next Halloween.

hwoodjamie1 karma

A mod just made me prove I am me. LOL. Amazing to think that someone would pretend to be me.'s me.

snark_billy1 karma

How did you get cast for it?

I ask, because I have done a few TV commercials and a couple of episodes of a TV show, but would like to do more.

hwoodjamie4 karma

Agent submission to casting director. Union- SAG all legit.

snark_billy3 karma

Right on. Not a member of SAG and just got 1099's.... and my agent sucked. :)

hwoodjamie3 karma

Stay with it. Congrats on 1099.

daxriggs1 karma

Do you get M&M's for free?

hwoodjamie5 karma

Everyone does on Halloween!