Both a performer and businessman, actor, and entrepreneur David Johnson Wood is known for his roles in films such as “Vixen” and “Ghost in the Shell.” United States Marine Corps Veteran, David, is also a skilled businessman. He founded a company known as Virtus Outdoor Group and runs several other organizations under the banner of DJW Holdings in Hong Kong. David is also very involved in an array of charities such as the Nomi Network and Veteran Adventure Therapy. He recently discussed his career, movies, businesses, and charitable causes via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get into acting, and how did you break into the industry?
David Johnson Wood (DJW): I was taking my wife to one of her shoots. My wife was a model for many years in Europe and Asia. One of the directors at the shoot saw that I was a big guy that looked like a prior military guy and asked me if I had any experience with weapons. Within a month, I was doing several roles in Hollywood and Asian films. I’ve had roles in over a dozen projects in the past decade. Now I’m excited to be working on some near and dear to my heart that deals with the restoration of the scarred warrior.
MM: How, if at all, did your experience in the military influence your performance skills?
DJW: Well, the majority of my roles are military, warrior, or mercenary. So, I’m typecast to play someone similar to myself in every role. It’s a blast because I’m getting to double as a military advisor on most of these sets, and now my VOG clothing line and patented camouflage are being brought in for the roles and cast.
MM: What sorts of roles do you most enjoy playing, and why do you find yourself drawn to certain characters?
DJW: I have played a Marine several times, the last two with Donnie Yen films. First in “Big Brother,” and following it with “Ipman 4,” which will be releasing this Christmas 2019. The majority of the filming I’ve done the last 18 months and am in a contract with now are “Spartan Race” and “Agoge Evolutions.” I play myself and am using my background from the Marines, leadership, survival knowledge, and extreme outdoors skills to lead these evolutions with a carefully skilled team, while being all decked out in my company VOG ‘Virtus Outdoor Group’ gear. The first project we did was in Mongolia last year, and it’s aired on ESPN, we wrapped up Namibia a few months back and it and next month’s Greek Isles “Agoge” will be aired on some other major player networks.
MM: How did you establish Virtus Outdoor Group, and what’s the primary purpose of the organization?
DJW: I started VOG six years ago with a dear friend and mentor, Tim Scott. We wanted to build functional apparel in cutting edge tech fabrics and also bring in a patented camouflage that we designed in house. The goal was to give the elite special military units much better gear based on my experience as a Marine and as an extreme athlete. We started the company fully vertical, meaning we designed, sourced, filmed, tested, and marketed all in house. Fast forward six years, and we are launching our new VOG LINE globally B2B in over a dozen countries and running numerous JV’s, camouflage licensee, and collaborations from gaming to athletics, from tech to film.
MM: What led you to create DJW Holdings, and how does that company operate?
DJW: DJW Holdings is my Hong Kong company that I use as a global investment arm. I see so many opportunities to partner or to assist new projects that the most effective way is always through a holdings company that allows you to venture into multiple arenas.
MM: Do you enjoy being an actor or entrepreneur more?
DJW: I’m an entrepreneur through and through. The movies have helped me understand production and make great friendships, but here on out, it’s strictly about pursuing our productions with VOG, Spartan, etc. I’m much more into the creative side then the acting. I’m grateful for the experience, but I’m not an actor at all.
MM: What fan feedback has been most memorable, and why?
DJW: I don’t post much about the films I’m in as I’ve always been building companies, so it’s fun when people freak out seeing me in a movie on Netflix or wherever. I’ve gotten the most feedback as of lately when VOG and Spartan were headlining ESPN and ESPN2. That’s brilliant because we are doing what we love, and in our own skin, it’s real-time, no scripts, all authentic.
MM: What movie projects are you involved with now that are due to be released in 2019?
DJW: “Ipman 4”, the next 2 “Agoge” projects (Namibia and Greek Isles), and then taking on a large project with my Marine/Navy Seal brother, Marco. He’s a man’s man and a hell of a mentor to me on all walks of life. I’m beyond grateful and excited to work with him starting in 2020 and have VOG involved as well as other companies that care about the real mission of global service and protection of the helpless.
MM: You give to many charities, so which causes touch you most and why?
DJW: We work with ones that we feel are really serving. The Nomi Network battles sex slavery and allows rescued victims to have a real life again. It’s mind, body, and soul restoration. There’s nothing important than this. I work with several others that are helping to rebuild the Warriors that battle PTSD and addiction. We have a limited time on this earth, what we do matters. It’s essential to support warriors of the Light.
MM: How do you want your career as both an actor and entrepreneur to evolve over the coming years?
DJW: I want to be efficient and consistent in making the world and its inhabitants healthier from the inside out. I will continue to and strive to put the self to death and to emulate what is pure and righteous. If my moral compass is aimed to the Telos, if I live in and by the Logos, then the Trajectory will lead me home.
MM: Would you like to mention anything else?
DJW: Our new line drops this November globally. Active military, veterans, law enforcement, and first responders get a discount for life. The new link is www.VOG.group