Your upcoming movie A Grim Becoming
- in a few words, what is
it about, and what can you tell us about your character?
Michael, thank you for the opportunity to speak to you and your readers
around the world. It's an honor. Yes, I do have a small role in director
Adam Steigert's A Grim Becoming
a dark comedy about a man who witnesses The Grim Reaper
taking a soul and is forced into becoming a Reaper himself. I play the
father of the young man whose death sets the chain of events in motion.
far as I know, you and your on-screen wife Melantha Blackthorne [Melantha
Blackthorne interview - click here] have changed
your characters quite a bit from their original concept - so how did that
come about, and since we're at it, what was your collaboration with Ms.
Blackthorne - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1520852/
- is sexy, funny and talented - we hit it off right away.
Melantha and I played husband and wife - written as rather plain. Adam was
open to us adapting the characters for a better fit, and Melantha had the
idea of making them a bit deviant, but in an innocent way; sort of like a
middle-class Morticia and Gomez. The next thing I knew I was feeling up Devanny
Pinn [Devanny Pinn interview -
click here] - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1922788
- at a funeral and licking peanut butter off of Melantha
Blackthorne's fingers. I really do love my job.
Melantha Blackthorne, Brandyn T. Williams, Bill
All that in mind, what did you draw upon to
bring your character to life?
I enjoy characters that push
the boundaries of accepted behavior; people not bound by societal norms.
That can play out in very destructive ways or very endearing ways. In this
case it was the latter. I live a very quiet and sedate real-life, so it is
cathartic for me (and, I hope, for the audience) to create a fantasy world
where the rules do not apply.
How did you get involved
with the project in the first place?
My manager Matt
Chassin (who is quite indispensable to me) called and said "You're
going to be in this movie." I have learned to do what Matt says -
life is easier that way. And, of course, he was right. When I got the
script I was delighted.
What can you tell
us about your director Adam R. Steigert [Adam
R. Steigert interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Adam is a very driven young man, which I mean as a
compliment. In this business you have to be driven or you don't make
it. He is not only cinematically proficient, he is an actor's director,
very open to collaboration, so of course I loved working with him. Adam's
company, Deftone Pictures Studios, is on the rise. This guy is more proof
that there are talented filmmakers thriving outside of Hollywood.
What can you tell us about A Grim Becoming's
brand of humour, how easy was it to adapt to it, and since we're at it,
what can you tell us about your own sense of humour?
the absurd funny. My tastes have always run more to the bizarre in humor,
so the dry wit of Adam's script and the weirdness that Melantha [Melantha
Blackthorne interview - click here] added to
our characters was right up my alley. In general, horror film sets are
always oddly humorous places, anyway.
talk about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere for a bit!
horror is a small world, so as usual, there was a lot of camaraderie.
Devanny Pinn [Devanny Pinn
interview - click here] and I are friends who have worked together before - it is
always fun to be with her. Melathana and I had adjoining bedrooms at the
guest house, so we had time to laugh and get to know each other, too. It
is always helpful to have those relationships with people you're going to
be close to on-screen. The atmosphere was relaxed and the food was great.
Truthfully, all that actors talk about on set is is food, the business and
future projects beyond A Grim Becoming
you'd like to talk about?
you, yes. I have three feature leads being released in the first half of
Of Sorrow - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1942828
- from director Jourdan McClure and After Dark Films will be
released on March 4th by Lionsgate. I play a cult leader. The film has
already won some awards. The trailer is on the IMDb page.
- from director Trevor Juenger will be coming a few months after. It is a
blend of arthouse and horror that critics are comparing to the work of
Lynch and Cronenberg; very bizarre. There's a sneak peek clip at
Circus of the Dead -
from director Billy Pon premieres at Texas Frightmare
Weekend in May with a release to follow. I play a necrophiliac clown (yes,
you read that correctly.) A teaser trailer is at
have about a dozen others in post-production. I'd invite folks to please
visit my IMDb page at
see what is coming up. Messages on the message board are welcome - I read
got you into acting in the first place, and what can you tell us about
your training as an actor?
I was a fat kid, a smart kid, an
ugly kid and a sissy kid; all in one kid. I got the heck beat out of me on
a regular basis until I learned how to do two things: box and act. I had a
good jab, but I lacked the power punch to make it as a fighter, so I
became an actor. I think if you scratch any entertainer, you will find a
misfit kid right beneath the surface.
Can you still remember your
first time in front of a movie camera, and what was that experience like?
I can. It was in 2007 and the role was General W.T. Sherman in
docudrama Sherman's March. I had made my living as a professional
stage actor for 14 years and had never done a lick of camera work. It was
terrifying. I knew nothing. Perhaps I know more now, but one is never
sure. The audience decides that.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to A Grim Becoming?
sums it up pretty well on it's Actor
Trademarks page about me
plays murderers (his roles always involve violence and frequently sexual
menace;) known for a lean
muscled physique, an unusually prominent ribcage and a scarred face with
piercing eyes. Plays macabre,
menacing characters with an undercurrent of melancholy." I
am sometimes (charitably, I hope) described as
a "one-man horror movie machine"
There's a lot of hyperbole there,
but some truth, too. I do like to work.
movies, you've also done quite a bit of theatre - so how does performing
on stage compare to acting in front of a camera, and which do you prefer,
As a trained stage actor who made his living
trodding the boards for a decade and a half, I never thought I would say
this: I prefer camera work now. The unblinking intimacy of the camera both
frightens and excites me. One can lie a bit onstage and still pass. Not so
with the camera. If you don't tell the camera the truth, it will look
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
How would you describe yourself as an actor,
and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
most guys, I am visually-oriented, so I need a mental picture of the
character first. I want to know what the guy I am playing looks like, how
he walks, etc. Then I want to know the lines. Then I want to know the
blocking. Then I want to know where my light is and how I can help the
camera and my castmates to make the shot work. Once I know those things,
the rest comes out of my heart and my head. Jimmy Cagney really did have
it down to the essentials: "Stand on your mark, look em in the eye
and tell the truth."
(or indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Lon Chaney, Willem
Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Humphrey Bogart, Daniel Craig... I will stop there
for brevity's sake but the list goes on and on, of course.
Jesus of Montreal
... and of course, films you really deplore?
I deplore my performances in a few, that's for sure! But I can honestly
say that I don't truly deplore any films. Being in the business and seeing
how much work it takes to make even a bad movie, I try to find some
redeeming quality in any film. I may not enjoy the subject matter, but I
can always be charitable and find something that is done well.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
My IMDb page is my online
headquarters: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994, I
appreciate FB likes there. My Twitter is
my Facebook is
- thank you for asking.
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Mark Twain said "It's a terrible death to be talked to death."
So I will quit while I'm ahead and just say thank you.
for the interview!
It was my pleasure. I enjoy SearchMyTrash.com
- there's always something interesting here!