Your new movie Book of Monsters - in a few words, what is it about?
Sophie's 18th birthday becomes a bloodbath when monsters descend upon
her house and start to devour the party guests.
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how
much of Nicholas Vince can we find in Jonas?
Paul Butler, the screenwriter, provided me with a whole load of notes
on the inspiration for Jonas. In the original script, Jonas definitely has
a drink problem and I remembered reading that the children of alcoholics
are forced to assume the role of the adult, so I played on Jonas being a
child in the way he deals with Sophie.
I’d say Jonas looks a lot like me too, but I’ve deliberately lost
some weight since we filmed it so I look a lot slimmer now.
How did you
get involved with the project in the first place?
interviewed Stewart Sparke, the director, and Paul Butler on my YouTube
show, Chattering with Nicholas Vince, a couple of years ago
about their first feature film, The
Creature Below. I was really impressed by their attitude and what
they'd achieved on a small budget. We met up at FrightFest, London
and got on well. Then I got an email asking if I'd like to be involved in Book of Monsters.
be a stupid question, but in Book of Monsters
much left out of all of the actuall horror action - do you in any way
Not a stupid question at all. Hmmm. I didn't
miss having to get the blood off after filming, and there was a lot of
blood in some of the scenes, so 'No'. Happy, in this instance to miss out
on all that.
What can you tell us about Book of Monsters'
director Stewart Sparke, and what was your collaboration like?
was lovely to work with. Encouraging and insightful for both the cast and
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was fun! A lot of the cast had worked on Stewart and Paul's previous
Creature Below, which they'd obviously enjoyed. Also, a lot of
the crew were still studying or had recently graduated from Leeds Becket
University film course so they were young and enthusiastic. And very
professional. I remember there were instant coffee granules scattered on
the draining board in the kitchen on set. Now, you won't spot that on
screen, but for an actor it really helps understand who Jonas and Sophie
are and how they live.
Also this was the most organised set I've ever been on. Even on the
Kickstarter promo video shoot, they were terribly well organised.
future projecs you'd like to share?
There's quite a lot
coming to fruition this year. In the last couple of weeks I've recorded or
filmed DVD extras for For We Are Many, an anthology movie produced by
Hex Media, and for Borley Rectory, which is directed by Ashley Thorpe. Those
are scheduled for release later this year. There are also three feature
films where I have cameos, which are in post production; Heckle (dir.
Martyn Pick), Paintball Massacre (Darren Berry) and Fuck You, Immortality
(dir. Federico Scargiali). On May 11 I'm introducing a screening of
Nightbreed at the Mary Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth UK, and at the end of
April I'll be with Clive Barker and other cast from Hellraiser
What got you into
acting in the first place and did you receive any formal training on the
I did amateur productions from the age of 11 and
school plays from the age of 6. I trained at Mountview, London where I
first met Simon Bamford as he was in the same year. So, what got me into
acting was being a show off really.
From what I know, your first movie was the
classic Hellraiser -
and even if you might have grown tired of the subject by now, my readers
would probably tar and feather me if I didn't at least ask you to talk
about that film a bit, and what was it like working with Clive Barker -
also on Nightbreed
It was tough working on Hellraiser
in terms of dealing with the
restrictions of the makeup and costume, but huge amounts of fun when I was
off set. I got to know the guys at Image Animation, who did all the
makeup, really well and we had a lot of laughs between takes.
Same on Nightbreed, a lot of laughs and I got to work with some really
talented makeup artists, one of whom has since won two Oscars.
Other past films of yours you'd like to talk
I'm particularly fond of the feature film Hollower,
directed by Mj Dixon [Mj Dixon
interview - click here]. We shot my part in one day in a real police
interrogation room, which was fun. There's the Dark Ditties series on
Amazon, which reunited many of the Hellraiser
gang. And there are my the
three short films I wrote and directed, the latter two of which are
co-produced with Celtic Badger Media, in Ireland: The Night Whispered,
Your Appraisal and Necessary Evils.
Going through your filmography, one can't help
but notice that many of your films are of the horror variety -
coincidence, or is horror a genre at all dear to you?
into horror in my early teens, when I started reading anthologies of
stories edited by Peter Haining. The earliest films I saw were Universal
monster movies, but I really fell for the work of Vincent Price [Vincent
Price bio - click here] in the
Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe adaptations.
would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
These days I'm likely to be
cast as the father, grandfather, policeman, doctor, priest or other
'expert'. In terms of technique, it's always going to depend on the script
as how you approach the part. I've recently joined an acting class taught
by Daniel Dresner in London and I'm currently 2/3rds of the way through a
21 day self tape challenge which is proving very useful. At the end of the
day, you just need to find the truth of the character.
Actors (and indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
Apart from Vincent Price,
there's Anthony Hopkins, John Lithgow, Andrew Robinson, Bette Davis and
Your favourite movies?
the Red Death is probably my all time favourite horror movie. Other than
that Pixar's Up, screwball comedies such as
Brining Up Baby, and I really
enjoyed the live action version of Inuyashiki (Last Hero) as well as the
and of course, films you really deplore?
The bad films. I really deplore the bad ones. They’re usually the
films which I’m most disappointed in as they’re a waste of good
talent. Recently, I tried watching Ghost in the Shell and lasted 10
minutes. Looks great and Scarlett Johansson is a goddess amongst actors in
my book, but so poorly done in terms of character development. Look, I get
it. It’s based on a manga and aimed at hormonal boys, but really some
kind of intelligence and humour, please. Rather than ‘Grrrr, aargh!
I’m a real man’ characterisation levels.
Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
My website is nicholasvince.com,
and you can find me on Facebook under Nicholas Burman-Vince and Twitter as
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
watched Kurt Vonnegut talk about the structure of story on YouTube, which
led to another video which ended with “We are here to help each other
through this thing … whatever it is.” Yup. That makes sense to me.