Dean Sills with Melissa Hollett
First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who
don't already know you?
Hi, I am an actor and writer from South Yorkshire, England, who began
acting in indie feature films last year. I started out as an extra and
soon became a supporting actor/co-star. Every acting job just gets
bigger and better. I believe that everything happens for a reason and
The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead gave me the perfect opportunity to
follow my dream, I'm loving every moment of this remarkable journey so
far and it's only just the beginning.
As far as I know, your first
acting job was on The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead - now what can you tell us about
that movie, and how did you get involved with it?
It was my
first acting job on a feature film. Today we have more
zombie horror movies being churned out than chocolate at Mr. Willy
Wonka's factory, but this one is totally different. The fantastic
director, Damian Morter [Damian
Morter interview - click here] brings to the screen his stunning storytelling
and makes a great vision come alive. The Eschatrilogy gives us three
amazing stories which charts three stages of a zombie outbreak.
involved by contacting their website
I applied to be a zombie and
thanks to the lovely Louise Beaumont, I soon found myself on-set many
times during the summer of 2012, the rest is history. Working on this
film was just amazing and I loved every moment especially all the
friends I made from this, including the actor Paul Sutton [Paul
Sutton interview - click here].
photo courtesy of Kath Alexander, Damian Morter
- make-up by Anne Derbyshire
courtesy Light Films Ltd, make-up by Deborah
seriously, how much fun was it playing a zombie - and do you personally
enjoy the zombie genre as such? And yeah, how do you even prepare for
playing a zombie (always assuming you've never actually been one)?
was huge fun playing a zombie. I am not really a fan of the zombie
genre like a lot of the zombie actors I worked with on The
Eschatrilogy, but I did enjoy playing one. We all went to zombie
school, learning how to walk like zombies. This was so hilarious
watching people walk like Frankenstein instead of a zombie. The
fantastic make-up artists did a superb job, we all got covered in mud
and fake blood plus many of us wore zombie contact lenses, you soon
got into character and had nothing but fun from start to finish. I've
never been a zombie before The Eschatrilogy: Book Of The Dead, after
this I played a zombie again in the feature film Wasteland
short film Zombie Run.
of zombies: Wasteland
- you have to talk about that one and your
on-set experiences for a bit!
was a great film to
work on. The director Tom Wadlow [Tom
Wadlow interview - click here] is a
really nice guy and a fab director, very calm and relaxed on-set - unlike a lot of directors I have worked for. I met some great people
on this film including Mike Rhodes, plus I got to work with Sandy Slade [Sandy
Slade interview - click here] for the first time. The movie follows the story of Scott, played by
Shameer Seepersand, who is caught up in a world taken over by the
walking dead. I was in make-up for a long time but it was so much
fun, and I even scared the hell out of the actress, Rachel Benson,
thanks to my zombie contact lenses. What I enjoyed most about this
film was the fact it was totally different from The Eschatrilogy, yet
it was still a zombie movie. I would love to work for Tom and his team
at Light Films Ltd again and hope I get the opportunity in the near
You have recently also
worked on two of Philip Gardiner's recent features [Philip
Gardiner interview - click here], Exorcist
Chronicles and Dead
Walkers: Rise of the 4th Reich - now
how did you get involved with these projects?
I saw a post
on Facebook asking for actors/extras for Exorcist
Chronicles, and I just contacted the producer, Michelle Gent [Michelle
Gent interview - click here]. I did a
day playing a possessed villager. At the time I never knew much about
Philip Gardiner, but I loved how quick he shot everything unlike a lot
of directors who do many takes for one scene. I then asked for a small
speaking role in Dead Walkers: Rise of the 4th Reich and was thrilled
to bits when I got the role of Lt Botis. I've also worked for Philip
Gardiner this year playing the part of Mr. Lutz in the USA documentary An Exorcism of
An Exorcism of Evil
you tell us about your experiences on these sets, and what kind of a
director is Philip Gardiner to work with?
experiences I enjoyed very much, each one was totally
Chronicles was filmed outside in the summer, I was
just playing a possessed villager in the crowd scene. Dead Walkers: Rise of the 4th Reich
was filmed in a freezing warehouse during the
winter, the location was perfect but it was bloody cold. I worked on
this film for a week and the cast and crew were all like family, happy
You of course
also have to talk about A Total Thug Up, your character in it, and
your on-set experiences?
A Total Thug Up was a real joy to
work on. I only went into the film
as an extra but the director and producer ended up casting me as
Chris. My character is basically a thug, but a likable one. The film is
all about two lovable rogues who get a job working for a gang boss.
Everything is going well until he tells them to pick up a stolen
antique sword and sell it on.
It was great working with the director
Steve Call for the first time and producer/actor Terry Barron Turner,
I loved every moment especially since it was a comedy action movie.
The cast were all amazing to work with, including Wayne Phillips, Azz
Mohammed and Kuljit Singh. It was probably the most relaxed I have
been on-set. I loved doing the big fight scene which was amazing and
so much fun. I also enjoyed working in different locations during the
other past films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects
you want to share?
No Place - picture courtesy Joe Beverley
I've worked on a number of different
projects in the last year
including acting in a video game, and playing a football Hooligan in the
feature film, The Hooligan Factory. I've also worked on A Robber's
Tale, which is a new BBC drama starring the Hollywood actor Luke Evans
about the great train robbery - plus I played a Victim in the film No
Place. This was a great little drama to work on, I got to do my own
stunts and film at Canary Wharf in London. The film is all about a
young man's slow corruption and how in life there is always a personal
reason to break a moral code. The director Joe Beverley did a superb
job and all the cast and crew were amazing.
I am currently learning my lines for a stage play plus I'm doing some
filming on a few future projects, including Blaze of Gory. This new
horror movie is going to be fantastic. The film is 10 short stories
adapted for the screen and brought to you through the eyes of 10
independent horror directors. I will be working on the segment Young
and Naive, which is directed by Antoni McVay.
How did it all start, when did you
decide you actually want to be an actor? And did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
It all started with The
Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead. This is the
film that gave me the acting bug big time. In the past I did act in
two short films (one which was shown on TV in the UK) plus I did a
Direct Line TV commercial. I have always enjoyed acting but never
followed my dream of becoming an actor until last year. The
Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead just gave me a real passion to do this
and it was the perfect film to make my feature film debut in. When I
was a kid my two sisters and I would always put on shows for our
family and friends. The only formal education I have on the subject is
Drama CSE at school, which was my best subject at school.
How would you describe
yourself as an actor, what are your strengths, and some of your techniques
to bring your characters to life?
I am reliable, dedicated
and passionate about acting and what I lack
in experience I make up for in enthusiasm. I try to visualize exactly
what my character would be like in real life and how I can make each
one more convincing on screen.
Actors (or indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan
and have over 70 of his films on DVD. I
love his style of acting using little dialogue and how he started out
as a bit-part actor, moving on to TV with Rawhide and then “The Man
With No Name” in the Dollar-trilogy, which would lead him to stardom
in the ‘spaghetti westerns’ and then 'Hollywood'. Clint Eastwood has
established himself as one of the most respected actors and directors
of his time, a true movie icon.
Your favourite movies?
favourite movies are The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Outlaw
Josey Wales, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Young
Frankenstein, Die Hard,
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, King Creole, The Evil
Dead, The Thing and
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Crappy sequels to
great movies, films like Jaws: The Revenge. It's one
of the worst movies of all time and I really hate stuff like this.
Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Yes, I also
write for Awesome Online Magazine so please check it out.
I recently did a feature on Kyle Eastwood. Kyle actually got to read
it, thanks to his manager sending him a copy of my three page feature.
You are welcome, thanks. Keep up the great work with your
Photos courtesy of Philip
Gardiner unless otherwise noted