Bjorn Johnson may not roll off the tongue as a well-known name, but you know his face. The Minneapolis-born actor started 2009 starring in two Super Bowl commercials this year. And the one you probably don't remember him from is the Budweiser spot.
Oh, no, it's his whacky over-the-top Scot, Eddie McKraken, in Castrol motor oil's still-airing "Thinking With Your Dipstick" spot (from Ogilvy & Mather) never fails to crack us up.
"I like to do accents," says Johnson, a former child actor who lived in East Africa as a teen, and also is now appearing in current IBM and Nature Made commercials. He shot 14 spots in 2005 alone. "I had so much fun doing that character," he recalls of Eddie McKraken.
The film crew couldn't stop laughing, which pushed him to ham it up even more. The result: a sore arm. (The whackees wore protective pads.)
So he's done about a gajillion commercials and is currently best known for a character who attacks people with car parts while wearing a plaid cap. Where did he do his training? The theater!
"Theater is where you build your chops; there is no second take," he tells us, referring to his 15 years of stage work in Manhattan that included Shakespeare. This versatile artist also sings and trained at Second City in Chicago in the late '70s. He's appeared in numerous TV shows, including the finale of "ER," plus movies (2006's "Beerfest"). Johnson's latest project is directing a one-act play this summer in Los Angeles and he has his own acting school.
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