Your new movie Ugly
Sweater Party - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you
tell us about your character in it?
Sweater Party is about 2 characters (Cliff and Jody) who find a
sweater along the way to an ugly sweater party. Except, the sweater
happens to be possessed by a serial killer. All hell breaks loose on
I play Cliff, the high strung, anal and anxious counterpart to Jody. He
develops an “attachment” the evil sweater.
What did you draw upoon to bring your character to life, and how
much Charles Chudabala can we actually find in Cliff?
One of my first acting roles was on the stage show Odd Couple. I
drew a lot of my inspiration from Felix Unger (the neat freak), and Mark
Linn Baker’s character from the 80s sitcom Perfect Strangers.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of myself in the Cliff character. I love when
things go right, and become a bit anxious when I my plans don’t unfold
exactly the way I want them to. On the other hand, I have learned to go
with the flow in life and I am way less repressed than Cliff. I don’t
really care what people think of me as much. When we first meet Cliff, you
can tell that public persona means everything to him.
talk about Ugly
Sweater Party's brand of comedy, and to what extent does it correspond
with your own sense of humour?
I would describe it as
bathroom humor and raunchy at times. It is also playful and quite tongue
in cheek. I loved the opportunity to be able play in this world and say
or do things that I wouldn’t normally do in my personal life. Ugly
Sweater Party was a cathartic experience (chuckle).
How did you become
involved with the project, and how did you end up on the production side
of things as well?
Director Aaron Mento [Aaron
Mento interview - click here] cast me for a small part in his
series called Choose Their Kill and asked me if I would be
interested in meeting about his new project. Once he told me about it, I
was sold. I offered my connections and resources within the indie horror
world and we organically decided that I should be a producer from
What were the challenges of making Ugly
Sweater Party from a producer's side of view?
Filming in the mountains (Idylwild, CA) at high altitudes
where the roads are rocky and there’s exposure to extreme temperatures
was a challenge that none of us could completely prepare for. It was
extremely cold and also difficult to get vehicles to the location. Cell
phone service was spotty. I will never forget the final day of filming.
The temperature warmed up so fast that the mosquitoes and bees hatched and
came after us. Lots of stories, but the most fun ever.
What can you tell us about your director Aaron Mento [Aaron
Mento interview - click here], and
what was your collaboration with him like?
Aaron Mento is
an excellent director. He knows exactly what he wants and he’s very
organized. This also leads to having time for collaboration. There were
days where we actually wrapped early because he had prepared us so well.
A few words
about the shoot and on-set atmosphere?
We got to make a
movie and go to summer camp at the same time. What else is there?
projects you'd like to share?
Yes! Next you can see me in 2 horror films The Crossing
(directed by Thomas Haley) and Lilith (directed by Alex T. Hwang)
which will both playing at the Culver City Film Festival on
December 8th, 2018.
Lilith, a horror anthology which also stars Felissa Rose [Felissa
Rose interview - click here] will be released on Christmas
Day direct to Amazon Prime and other VOD platforms.
I'm also directing my first horror short called Nightshade which
stars Jennifer Nangle (Lilith,
Queen of Screams, Ugly
Sweater Party) [Jennifer
Nangle interview - click here].
2019, will also see the release of a few other horror features I star
in: Serena Waits, Irrational Fear, BEARRY and For
Aaron Mento [Aaron Mento
interview - click here] has cast me in his next project. It's
gonna blow people’s minds. That’s pretty much all I can say for now.
What got you into acting
in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
I took drama in high school and loved theatre and
film acting ever since. My dream was to be an actor who does horror
movies. I’m living my dream.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
It was my first year jumping into the industry full time. I played a
lot of roles in slashers but also some diverse experimental screenplays. I
was still learning to navigate auditioning, saying yes to every single
opportunity, and learning who I was as an actor. Ugly
Sweater Party gave me the opportunity to have dimensions and a story
How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of
your techniques to bring your characters to life?
I had a career in psychology prior to making the leap. Observing human
behavior and responding accordingly to “outside stimulus” is like
second nature to me. This gave me an entire bag of tools to use in my
craft. My current focus is character breakdowns and diagramming the
character's life, motives, desires and triggers. Increasing reactions before the “reactions” I’m no longer afraid
to let go, and move towards a deeper place.
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Lucille Ball, James
Dean, The entire cast of Buffy
the Vampire Slayer.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
The House of the Devil, Misery, Suspiria,
Labrynth, Rosemary’s Baby, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, I Know
What You Did Last Summer, Return To Oz.
... and of course, films you really
There’s something to be said about films I
originally dislike… I end up appreciating them in some way
(chuckle). With that said… The Witch has really grown on me.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Instagram: Charles Chudabala
Facebook: Charles Chudabala
Thanks for the interview!