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An Interview with Cuyle Carvin, Star of Fog Warning

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2011

Films starring Cuyle Carvin on (re)Search my Trash

 

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What can you tell us about your about-to-be-released film Fog Warning and your role in it?

 

Fog Warning introduces a new, unique kind of vampire film. It's not just another run-of-the-mill Vampire horror film. There's a bit of mystery, action and even a little bit of drama. The story follows three thugs who kidnap a woman who they believe to be a real live vampire, and also who they think is behind the recent rash of murders in their small New England town. The three thugs lock her up in a cage and decide to torture her until she confesses she's a vampire. That would be the quickest ticket to riches and fame for these three guys. Soon enough their plan begins to unravel as the woman begins to show some odd behavior and the guys begin to doubt each other, which all leads to a violent ending.

I play Karl, the ring leader of the thugs and the most violent by a long shot. Karl lives according to his own rules.

 

In Fog Warning, you play a thug who enjoys tormenting women. How did you approach such a role, and how much of the real Cuyle Carvin did you put into your character?

 

Karl is a nightmare of a guy. Someone who no one wants to meet, much less be friends with. Even more so, you don't want to be on his bad side. Karl is almost the complete opposite of a person than me in terms of moral and behavioral standpoints. We all know what 'good' and 'bad' is and what we should and shouldn't do as responsible people. It's just a choice we make, to care or not. Karl doesn't care about those responsibilities so as an actor playing someone like that, I just chose to act almost the complete opposite of what I would've done in the situations that Karl was in. From an emotional standpoint however, there was a lot of me.

 

Honestly, how much fun is it to play the bad guy?

 

It was one of my favorite roles to date. Everyone who has played a bad guy will tell you that. Rules, standards and manners are out the window. We all have times that we've just wanted to lash out and punch some idiot guy in the face and wipe the floor with him, but we don't, well the majority of us don't anyway. But when you get the chance to play someone who would in fact go kick some ass or worse, that's a lot of fun.

 

What drew you to the project in the first place?

 

I am a HUGE fan of horror flicks and generally speaking anything that's dark and dreary. When i first became an actor, I wanted so much to be in a horror film. I had worked with the director of Fog Warning, Christopher Ward, before a couple of years earlier. We talked about the possibility of me getting in on Fog Warning and I told him how much I wanted to play Karl. I would've done anything, I wanted the role so bad. Not only was Karl an awesome character to play but it was my first chance to be in a horror flick.

 

A few words about your director Christopher Ward?

 

When I first met and auditioned for Chris on his first feature, Person of Interest, I was literally just beginning my career as an actor. I had no idea what I was doing, no plan, no skill. So naturally, when Chris offered me a lead role in Person of Interest I was shocked.

I had only ever done a few small plays in college and some stupid film projects with my friends. I told him I needed a few days to think it over. I wanted to tell him 'no' because I was so worried that I'd ruin his film and then both of our careers. But Chris encouraged me and I joined the cast. He was the first person outside of family and friends to really believe in me, and that meant a lot, it still does. Besides being so thankful for that, I really appreciate his 'can do' attitude. Chris is an intelligent guy and has a lot of great stories to tell, both on screen and off.

 

With Fog Warning being a vampire film (of sorts) - your take on the vampire genre as such?

 

Vampire films are my least favorite sub-genre of horror films. I do like them but I truly fancy zombie films the most. I do love a few vampire films though - 30 Days of Night and Let Me In were both fantastic. Daybreakers was interesting.

But I know there's an enormous fan base for Vampire films specifically and I'd really urge people to see Fog Warning because it's a unique vampire film. People may want to spit on their screen when they read this and send me hate mail, but I do like the Twilight films.

 

I've read somewhere that Fog Warning was the first horror film you've ever shot (and you have done several since) and that you are a big horror fan. Would you like to elaborate on that?

 

You bet! Like I said before - horror films are my thing. I've been really fortunate to be a part of many horror films since Fog Warning. I really really love low budget horror flicks like S.I.C.K., Satan's Little Helper and Crippled Creek. There's many many more. I like big budget ones from Hollywood too, and every budget in between, but there are also many that are just terrible. I've def seen some that I've had to turn off after ten minutes, but for the most part, I want to see any and all horror films.

 

I've picked a few films from your filmography (mainly based on the strength of their titles I have to admit) and would like you to say a few words about them and the roles you play in them:

Jacksonville?

 

Jacksonville is awesome. It's a war movie that was shot on about 80% green screen. One of my earlier films and I'd suggest people see this if they can manage to find out how to get their hands on a copy. It's a really emotional story that follows a small platoon of American soldiers that are cut off from any support and have to protect the small town of Jacksonville from enemy forces. I play Lt. Jonas Devonshire who is the leader of the platoon and has to face the moral dilemma of following orders for the good of his country or ensuring the safety of his platoon.

 

Christopher Ward's Person of Interest?

 


My very first feature film. It's been relatively well received for a low budget indie film. It's available on wide release on DVD now.

It's the film that I started my career off with and although I may cringe a bit when I watch myself in this, it's definitely worth a watch. I play a psychic detective who uses his gift to help the local police discover the mystery behind a few missing women.

 

Dirge to the Sea?

 

A very low budget film that is actually based on the true story of the haunting of Ledge Lighthouse in the state of Connecticut. Ledge Lighthouse is notorious for being haunted by a ghost named Ernie, who was a lighthouse keeper there many years ago. Story goes that Ernie jumped to his death from the lighthouse into the surrounding ocean and has ever since haunted it. In Dirge to the Sea, I play Ernie is his living days. The story in the film follows the last few days of Ernie's life that lead up to his suicide.

 


Sasquatch Assault?

 

This film was a blast to shoot. I have a very small part in this. I play a rookie cop who's somewhat dim witted. This film was produced by Synthetic Cinema International. They are an amazing group of guys that do really solid work and have a lot of fun doing it. This film is fun to watch and as long as the viewer doesn't take it too seriously, will enjoy it.

 

Alien Opponent?

 

Again, this was an unbelievable film to be on. This film is crazy cool. The basics are that an alien lands in a junkyard and the owners of the junkyard want it out and so they offer a bounty to anyone who can kill it. An enormous variety of loony characters show up to kill and collect. Bloody, fun action ensues and once it starts, it doesn't stop until the end of the film. I play a dim witted farm boy type character who's caught in the middle of everything. It was just released on TV and I imagine it will be avail on DVD and other venues soon.

 

The End of Something?

 

This film is really really good. It's a film about the collapse of a small theater company in NYC. The film has a fantastic ensemble cast, in fact it was nominated for Best Ensemble Cast and Best Comedy at Bare Bones Film Festival this past summer. It also happens to be the film where I've played a favorite role. I got to play Fred, who is an offbeat, marches-to-his-drumbeat kind of guy. Very fun, personable, easy going. I had a blast with this role because it was so different than the roles that I normally get to play - and I got to grow a sweet beard for it too!!

 

Blood Moon?

 

A cool short film that was shot in the old west of Arizona. I think it was officially named a werewolf western. Very cool film about a woman and her husband who travel out west to start a new life. But she harbors a dark secret that even she's not aware of. Along the way they run into a few sketchy characters, one of which I played, who is a shape-shifter. A shape-shifter is technically a being that can shape into any person or animal that they want. In my case, a werewolf. That was a great role also. I got to be a bad ass and mysterious 'cowboy'.

 

Victimized?

 

Victimized was also one of my favorite films to work on. I guess I see a pattern here - everything was great to work on!

This is a very low budget horror film about revenge. We shot it in a very small New England town in Connecticut. I played the older brother to the main character in the film. I bully him and things go sour when he decides to stand up and fight back. Victimized is still in post production but hopefully it will be available soon.

 

Brian Kazmarck's Terminal Legacy [Brian Kazmarck interview - click here]?

 

This is the last film I've worked on. It's a fantastic sci-fi action film about a small group of scientists who create a wonder drug, or a 'cure-all' drug. They think they've discovered this miracle treatment that can help and cure any and all disease or infection of any sort. They secretly test it on humans and things go awry. Side effects that the scientists hadn't anticipated manifest and then hell breaks loose as the scientists and human test subjects both try to discover a way out of this disaster. I play the scientist that comes up with the formula for the drug and then has to deal with the consequences. This will be out in 2012.

 

Any other films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects?

 

I could talk about all of them but this article would surely take up all the space on the internet. I want to encourage people to check out the projects we've talked about and there's a bunch more on my IMDB page. Most of the films have trailers on YouTube.

 

Let's go all the way back to the beginning of your career: What made you want to go into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

Whenever I'm asked this question, I'm never sure how to answer it. I don't know exactly what made me want to become an actor. I think it was a combination of things but I never suddenly decided to be an actor, it just happened. What I can say is that when I first saw the movie Braveheart, I was 14 and I remember it was the first film that really made me emotional. I felt so many different things and especially inspired. I think this was the initial catalyst that got me moving towards an entertainment career. I just wanted to be a part of something where I could make people feel how I felt that day I first saw Braveheart.

Years later I ended up at Hartwick College. I didn't have a focused plan for study but the theater courses seemed most interesting to me. I decided to devote my college career to the theater and film studies programs. Even then I wasn't convinced I wanted to become an actor, but I just enjoyed the theater more than other aspects of the school. After school I moved to NYC and decided to give acting a go. When I got started, it was all so confusing and I didn't even know how to progress in any way. I didn't know how to get headshots, how to get auditions, who to meet, etc. It took a couple of years before I really got on the right track and along the way I just became so enthralled with acting and auditioning, I decided to really put all my efforts towards making a career out of it.

 

From what I've heard, your first appearance in front of a camera was for the Japanese TV series Sekai Gyoten News. What can you tell us about that experience, and how did you get the job in the first place?

 

Haha! Indeed that was my very first 'professional' gig. I had just graduated college and I was living at home and saving $ to move to New York City. I saw an ad in the local news that said that a TV show was shooting locally and they needed extras. I went to meet them, along with hundreds of other locals who all wanted their shot at fame. We stood around for hours just waiting for our name to be called and go into a room and improv a 'cops and robbers' scene.

Two weeks later I got a call and the show wanted to use me not as an extra but for an actual part on the show! I was stoked. I ended up playing a lawyer. We shot for two days in upstate NY and then traveled to Ohio for two more days.

The show is Japanese and so all of my words are dubbed over, I'd love to see it. It was a good shoot but tough communicating as none of the crew spoke English and the translator had very broken English. It worked out though and they paid me in cash which made me feel like Donald Trump.

 

You've also had small roles on daytime soaps including One Life to Live, As the World Turns and All My Children. What can you tell us about those experiences, and how (if at all) does work on daytime soaps differ from working on a regular movie set?

 

Soap work is tough. I had very small roles on all of those that you mentioned. There's a big difference between soaps and other TV shows and especially films. They move very fast. Most hour long TV shows shoot a single episode over an eight day period. So when you see your favorite episode of Law & Order, typically that show took a good eight days to film everything that you see. Movies, which run from 90-120 minutes can film over the course of 28 days to 6 months, depending on many variables. But Soap Operas shoot an entire episode every day! They do an hour long episode every single day!!! They're able to shoot fast because they have minimal rehearsals, practically none and they have a very specific formula. As an actor on these sets, you have to get your job done on your first try. There's just no time to do things over.

 

Roles you'd really love to play (no matter how improbable)?

 

I'd love to take on the role of Spartacus. I love that show and I love anything that's ultra macho. I love sword fighting, medieval times, barbarians, gritty roles... gladiator type stuff. I think I have the physique for it and think I'd do really well in these types of films but at this point in my career, I just don't get those opportunities. The dirtier, tougher and grittier I get to be as an actor, the better.

 

Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?

 

There are so many. And I meet or see more everyday. Some of the more common ones are actors like Leonardo Dicaprio (on and off screen), James Franco (on and off screen), the late Andy Whitfield, James McAvoy is fantastic, Kate Winslet. Oh man, I could literally name so many. I love so many actors and actresses.

In addition to those you know, there are just as many actors who inspire me that no one's ever heard of except their own mother. I meet so many talented actors in class and seminars that just never get their shot in this business and it's a shame because they deserve to be working alongside of those I mentioned above.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Again - a list that could go on forever but a few that stand out. Braveheart, Lord of the Rings-trilogy, Gladiator, Seabiscuit, PS I Love You, King Arthur (Clive Owen version)... and of course I just love the horror genre. I also really like heavy action films like the Bourne-series, Bond-films. I fancy the Harry Potter-films also.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

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Not that many actually and most of them you've probably never heard of. Some of the low budget horror films I've seen are just terrible, just terrible. Something out of Hollywood that I've hated would be Alexander (Colin Farrel, I like him and Oliver Stone, just atrocious film)

 

Your website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

I do have a Facebook account but I generally don't use it with people I don't know. Only if I've ever met you or at least had a conversation with you. Otherwise I don't really want that much more of my personal life completely out there for anyone and everyone.

www.CuyleCarvin.com

www.IMDB.me/cuylecarvin

I do have my own production company too: www.BytheCproductions.com

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I do want to give a huge THANK YOU to Fred Grandinetti who does a really great job in getting my face out into the great big universe.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you, Michael. It was a great interview and you're a good guy. Thanks for the opportunity.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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