"Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four" chronicles the history of the incredibly popular comic franchise and the film that never was. In the early 1990s, FOX commissioned director Roger Corman to produce a movie based on the Marvel series. The movie was never released and the story is explained in “Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four”. Jay Underwood, a major teen star in the 1980s and 1990s, played Johnny Storm the Human Torch. He readily spoke about “Fantastic Four” and the documentary which was released in October 2016.

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Origins 

Blasting News (BN): What inspired you to launch a career in acting?

Jay Underwood (JU): Always loved doing puppet shows for my grandma and entertaining the neighbourhood kids with magic shows. I did grade school and church plays then youth theatre classes at the community theatre in Hayward, California, where I grew up. I always loved playing make-believe. 

BN: How has the industry changed since you started?

JU: During my time, it was the advance of cable TV and individual stations creating their own programming with original series and Movies.  There were many more opportunities for jobs with increased production.  Nowadays, I suppose it’s the internet that has changed things.

BN: How did you initially break in? 

JU: After grade school, it was onto other theaters and plays in the bay area including the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.  I ended up at a performing arts high school in Minneapolis, MN.  It was there I got auditions for film and television including my first two movies, a supporting role in “Desert Bloom” with John Voight and the title role in 1986’s “The Boy Who Could Fly”. I moved to LA after graduating high school (‘86) and made my living in the entertainment industry for over twenty years.

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BN: What was your very first movie?

JU: “Desert Bloom” with Jon Voight and Annabeth Gish. It was a young girl’s coming of age story in Las Vegas in the 1950’s.  I play her school friend who helps her run away from her abusive step-dad.

BN: Do you have a favorite that you’ve worked on? 

JU: “The Boy Who Could Fly,” “Uncle Buck,” “The Sonny and Cher Story,” “No Greater Love” and of course the original “Fantastic Four”! I played Johnny Storm the Human Torch. The movie has probably had a greater life-span to it because it never was released.  I mean, here we are almost 25 years later still talking about it!

BN: How did DOOMED! Come about?

JU: Producer Mark Sikes and director Marty Langford asked the whole cast including Oley Sassone, the FF director, if we would be interested in doing a definitive documentary about what happened.  It would attempt to take all the pieces from the last 25 years and put them together to give the most complete picture as to why the movie never came out.  Mark was someone close to the production as he worked for Roger Corman at the time and did the casting for FF so we know the project was in good hands.  His friend Marty joined the team and did an excellent job putting everything together into a fascinating, truthful tale!

Present 

BN: Do you have any upcoming projects? 

JU: The Lord has directed my life onto another avenue, that of pastoring a church.

I have basically left the entertainment industry to fulfill this calling. However, I have so enjoyed being a continued part of the Fantastic Four and now Doomed story. When time allows, I also enjoy taking part in faith-based films and directing theatre at my kids’ school, hopefully inspiring the next generation of young actors the way I was.

BN: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to enter acting?

JU: Do it because you truly love the art of acting, not because you want to “make it big” or become famous.  Plan to work hard and have a thick skin.

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Start in the theatre, it will create a solid work ethic for you.