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An Interview with Nicholas Vince, Star of Book of Monsters

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2019

Films starring Nicholas Vince on (re)Search my Trash


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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?


I 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.


Might be a stupid question, but in Book of Monsters you're pretty much left out of all of the actuall horror action - do you in any way regret that?


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?


He was lovely to work with. Encouraging and insightful for both the cast and crew.


Do 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 film, The 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.


Any 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 at Motor City Nightmares.


What got you into acting in the first place and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


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.


on the set of Book of Monsters

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 of course?


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 about?


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?


I got 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.


in Hellraiser 

How 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 many others.


Your favourite movies?


Masque of 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 anime version.


... 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.


Your website, Facebook, whatever else?


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


I recently 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.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD