Tips to Remember While Playing Scratch Card Games Online

Scratch card games are the easiest games available on the online space. There are no strategies involved in playing them. The rules are simple and the gameplay is quite easy and interesting. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to match at least three identical symbols by scratching the cards.

Each scratch card game offers a distinct payout and the highest payout is being awarded for scratching and matching the symbols. The important thing before you get started is to make sure you have placed the betting amount/ wagering money.

Tips

  • Identify an online or Mobile casino that offers the best collection of scratch cards. This makes sure that you get entertainment along with lucrative wins.
  • There are some fantastic welcome bonus packages offered by the casinos, so claim your welcome bonus and spend it on the scratch card games. You can go for themed scratch cards, be more precise and clear, and check the software developer’s name before you choose to play.
  • Select the scratch card game which offers huge wins or rather have won huge money for players in the past. On any casino’s website, the names of the winners are always mentioned.
  • Scratch card games have to be played with an intention of winning some multipliers and not losing. As many of the scratches have smaller wins they also get you the huge jackpot wins. So remember that you are playing them to win so spend the betting money wisely.
  • The wins are also determined on the money that you have placed. If you have wagered £10 and you match the symbols which give you x7, then you win £70.
  • All the scratch card games have a demo mode. Make sure you practice the game first and then go on to play in a real money mode.
  • Play with a clear intention of fun and entertainment and hence spend smaller betting amounts. This will ensure that you are gambling safely.

Some of the Renowned Scratch Card Games

Some of the top-most scratch card games that are worth trying for are:

  • Germinator
  • Doctor Love
  • Doctor Love on Vacation
  • Foxin Wins
  • Emperor’s Garden
  • The Codfather Scratch

Summary

Scratch Card games are simply fun to play and are entertaining. Make sure you play them and win fantastic cash awards. Make sure you gamble responsibly by placing smaller bets first and then go for betting on the higher amounts.

Playing Film Themed Bingo and Slot Games Online

You can always find something to do as long as you have some form of mobile device or computer that will allow you to get online, and one thing that we are aware many people do get involved in, apart of course from watching films and TV shows is gamble online.

Therefore, will be a very good chance that you will enjoy gambling online yourself, or you may be thinking of doing so if you have never experienced doing it before, and if that is the case then we would encourage you to take a look at the guides related to bingo and slots bonuses as you may never look back when you do!

Whilst you could sign up to a casino site or download a casino app, one of the best type of gambling sites you can sign up to is an online or mobile bingo site. For when doing so you will get access to just as many casino games as you would at a casino site but will also have a plethora of bingo games and side games you can also play too.

Claiming bonuses will always give you plenty of additional playing credits and winning opportunities, and below is an overview of the types of bingo and slot machine bonuses you will be far better off claiming!

Deposit Match Bonuses – As the value of your deposit that is going to be matched by the casino when you claim a deposit match type of bonus these do tend to be the most frequently utilized bonuses by players.

However, it will be the bonuses on which at the very least 100% of your deposit amount will be matched by the casino with bonus credits that are going to be offering you the very best value, so be on the lookout for those higher valued bonuses!

Low Play Through Requirements – A play through requirement is the number of times that you have to wager your bonus credits collectively before you can cash out any winnings, so the best type of bonuses to claim will always be the ones on which a low pay through requirement is attached.

No Maximum Payout Limits – Never take any type of casino bonus offer if you are going to have to give up any of your winnings achieved when playing off your bonus funds if it is over a certain amount. Stick to claiming bonuses that do not and never have any maximum payout limit rules attached to them.

Instantly Credited Bonuses – One final thing worth knowing is that some casino sites have an automated bonus system, and as such as soon as you have made your qualifying deposit your bonus funds are added to your casino account balance instantly and in real time. Avoid casino sites that add your bonus funds manually as you can often be waiting hours or even days for those bonus funds to show up in your casino account when playing at such a site!

 

 

 

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Increasing Your Film and TV Show Slot Game Playing Pleasure

As you may have discovered if you have been reading through some of our large number of different blog posts, there are a huge range of different slot games you can play online which come with themes related to films, TV shows and even actors and actresses.

If you are getting a little tempted to test out some of those slot machines online or on any type of mobile device, then you are always going to be more than welcome to play them for free to see if you like them when you sign up to any mobile or online casino site.

However, for you to get much more value out of your gambling budget, and to give you even more chances of spinning in a winning combination you should always consider making use of some of the very best and the top casino promotions that many sites give away to their new and existing players.

To help you get a much clearer understanding of the type of bonuses and promotional offers that will be available to you at most if not all casino sites, below is a roundup of the ones most players tend to claim the most. So read on and then do make use of as many of them as you can do, for a large jackpot payout may just be one spin of the reels away!

No Deposit Bonuses – No deposit bonuses are a no risk way for you to test drive any casino site you like the look off, now one thing worth knowing about any of the no deposit bonuses many casinos will offer you is that they do tend to be very low in value and often come with rules which dictate you cannot win an unlimited amount from using them as the payouts could be and often are capped

Free Slot Spins – A free set of spins on a slot game is another bonus offer you may be given access to, and when you accept this bonus you simply have to play the slot with those free spins credited on and any winnings you achieve are yours to keep, unless credited to your account as bonus funds on which play through requirements will be attached before you can cash out any winnings!

Cash Back Bonuses – You have to lose before you can claim a cash back bonus, however as many sessions you will have will naturally be losing one’s these types of bonuses are always worth taking a closer look at, more so when you want something back if you do have a losing gambling session online!

One Hour Free Play – Some casinos will give you free credits and 60 minutes of play time in the hope you win more than they give you, if so you will have to make a deposit to get those initial winnings credited to your account as bonus credits and then achieve a play through requirement on the winnings before you can cash anything out.

 

Joseph Russo talks about playing Joe Pesci in Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys”

I’m sure it sounded easy for Joseph Russo. Cast in his first major feature film role, the actor portrays a name familiar to movie fans all over the world: Joe Pesci. That’s right, long before he was asking how funny we thought he was (and winning an Oscar to boot), Joe Pesci was a New Jersey boy who dreamed of being a singer (he actually released an album in 1968, “Little Joe Sure Can Sing,” billed as “Joe Ritchie.”

Joey Russo has worked a lot since his debut in 2010, appearing in such television shows as “Bones,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Parks and Recreation.” He even has a little “Jersey” on his resume’, starring in 2012’s television film “Jersey Shore Shark Attack.” This week he opens in “Jersey Boys,” director Clint Eastwood’s film version of the Tony-award winning Broadway hit. While promoting the film Russo sat down with me and talked about…..

Mike Smith: How did you get involved in “Jersey Boys?”
Joseph Russo: I got a phone call from my manager saying they were looking for an actor to play a young Joe Pesci. I went in and read for the casting director. Then I started to hear that I was on Clint’s short list…then I was on top of his short list….then I was his choice….and I found out a few weeks later that the part was actually mine.

MS: Did you know before you went in to read for the part that Joe Pesci had a musical background?
JR: Once I got the audition I did some research because I had no clue how he was attached to this story. Once I got word that I was seriously being considered for the role I really took the opportunity to piece together a time-line of his life from then until now to really understand how he was a part of that group.

MS: Playing a real-life person, especially someone as well known as Joe Pesci….did you have to reign in your performance at all so that you weren’t doing a caricature? I did notice in one scene you ask “Funny how?” about something and then in another you do a “ok, ok, ok” riff.
JR: I’m so glad you picked up on that. My main thing was that I didn’t want to make him a caricature. That was my goal when I went in to audition. Should I change my voice or not? I didn’t see the Broadway musical because I wanted to create something that was totally my own. I wanted to make him a real guy and at the same time earn the right to play a character like Joe Pesci. What I wanted to do was sprinkle a little Pesci-isms in each of my scenes. Show a little “Casino.” Show a little “Goodfellas.” Show a little Leo Getz (the “Lethal Weapon” series). I wanted to find a way to portray Joe Pesci from age 16 to 26. Because really, the first time the public saw him in “Raging Bull” he was close to 40. So I came up with the idea that everything Joe Pesci has done as an actor in his later life was drawn from something that was inside him when he was younger. Maybe at one time he did say “ok, ok, ok.” Maybe he did ask “I’m funny how.” I wanted to pay homage to a real guy. That was my main focus…paying homage.

MS: Once you got the role were you able to seek Joe Pesci out and maybe get some insight into his life and experiences back then?
JR: Once I got the role I immediately tried to get in touch with him. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to. My next avenue was to call up Tommy Devito. (NOTE: Devito was one of the founding members of the Four Seasons and, according to “Jersey Boys,” now works for Joe Pesci. Ironically, Tommy Devito is also the name of the character that Pesci plays in “Goodfellas”). I talked to Tommy and he gave me a lot of insight into how Joe was back then. He was a clown, always joking around and making everybody laugh. I also worked hand in hand with my acting coach and mentor, Jocelyn Jones, and she really, really helped walk my way through finding out who this guy was in this time period….what was going on in society during this time period…and coming up with my own guy based on that. It was really great. Jocelyn was phenomenal in helping to walk me through that.

MS: Did Clint give you a lot of lee-way with your performance?
JR: Yes, that was the great thing about it. I really didn’t know what to expect. I felt that I had won the right to do this role. I had done all of the prep work. The hours and hours of research, prep work and rehearsal. I knew I had won this right but then again, when I showed up on set, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know if he would let me play it as I wanted to play it. And he did. More so, really. He really let me take the role and make it my own. Even the day when I said “Funny, how?” I just threw that in there. We were rehearsing the scene and I thought how great it would be if Clint started laughing because we came up with that. We were shooting the master shot for the scene and I said “Funny how?” and the script supervisor said “I don’t see where that is in the script.” The camera operator told him “you’re not gonna find it in the script.” We all look at Clint and he smiles and says, “that’s genius!” He let us know we could run with our performances. If he felt something wasn’t right he would tell us. It was a great collaboration on set. It was nice to have that freedom.

Charles Baker talks about playing Skinny Pete in AMC’s “Breaking Bad”

Charles Baker plays the role of Skinny Pete in the popular AMC series “Breaking Bad”. The show is now in its 5th and final season and Charles took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Media Mikes about his experiences working on the show and how he turned a background character in to a recurring role on one of televisions hottest shows.

Adam Lawton: What was it that first drew you to the role of “Skinny Pete”?
Charles Baker: “Skinny Pete” wasn’t even a role when I first started on the show. He was originally just called “Skinny Stoner” and I was hired for only one episode during season 1. It was supposed to be just a day player role and what drew me to it was I was going to get to work on television. (Laughs) It was a job and people really didn’t know a lot about the show or anything like that. I had heard some things about the show but didn’t know how phenomenal it was going to be or that I was going to be a part of it.

AL: Being the role was written originally for a one time appearance were you allowed to provide any creative input or direction?
CB: Because of how things happened so consciously in season 1 they just told me they were going to bring me back for another episode and would see how things went. My first scene was very small so I came in with how I thought the role should be played and the director who worked on that episode had his own ideas about the role so what we created for that bit part kind of dictated my role for the rest of the series. A lot of times before each scene I would have to repeat one of my lines from that first episode as a way to get myself back into character. I would always have to repeat “Yo my pops is a contractor” in order for me to fall back into that speech pattern. Each time I was on the show I was working with a different director who would have their own idea for what they thought Skinny Pete was. A couple directors thought of him as a hardcore, mean, scary guy while a few others saw him has this lovable, goofy guy. However they saw the character was how they directed us. We would have to find a balance in their in order to keep consistency while still getting what they were asking for. That is how the many layers of Skinny Pete happened.

AL: Was it hard working with different directors all of the time?
CB: It was a challenge but I think it was a great learning experience. I love things like that where I have to find it in myself to make things like that work. It was better for me in the long run I think because I didn’t get stuck in a rut. I was able to give Skinny Pete more levels and layers to play with. For me it was a lot of fun and similar to an improve exercise.

AL: What do you think has been the roles biggest progression?
CB: He has kind of grown a little bit. Pete has started to follow in Jesse’s footsteps without having to learn all the harsh lessons Jesse had to learn. I think he has seen Jesse become more responsible up until the point where we see him start to be affected by the actions of his crew. You see Jesse start to become more of a business man than a thug. At the start of season 5 you see Pete acting similar in a scene between him and Badger at a music store. That’s a new step for Skinny Pete I think. He is actually taking something serious instead of just playing around.

AL: What do you think is in store for Skinny Pete as the show concludes?
CB: I wish I could tell you. I don’t even know what’s going on. That’s all part of the brilliance in how the show is shot and how tight security is. In the past If I had a scene where I don’t speak and I am just in the background I got to see that script so I knew what’s going on. With this last season they have been using a stand-in for scenes that I may or may not be in. They just didn’t tell me anything. (Laughs) If I had dialogue then it was just me. I am not even sure of what scenes I am in or not. I am ok with that because I am a huge fan of the show and I want to be surprised just like everyone else. I know Vince and the people who work on that show will never let me down. They don’t have to tell me what I am doing. They can put a blind fold on me, tell me what lines to say and I know it will be brilliant. I will trust them on that.

AL: What was it like for you working with Brian Cranston both as an actor and director?
CB: Brian is a wonderful person. Since the beginning he has been the leader and father figure of the show. Vince keeps a very tight hand on everything that happens but he is not always around during filming so Brian is the foundation and keeps everyone together. Having him direct was very natural since he has been such a guide through everything.

AL: What do you think you will miss most about playing the character?
CB: I am going to miss a lot of things. Every episode was a new adventure for me. They opened up a lot of things for Skinny Pete and gave him a lot of responsibility. To be able to sink your teeth in to a character for as long as all of have on “Breaking Bad” is great. This was a first for me as I had never played a recurring role on a series before. It was like creating an alter ego who becomes like a friend. I will certainly miss that and having a job. (Laughs)

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other upcoming/current projects?
CB: I currently have a small recurring role on the show “The Black List” with James Spader. I play a character by the name of “Grey”. He was originally called “The man in the grey flannel suit”. Luckily they shortened that down. I like to compare the role to if James Spader was Batman I would be his Alfred. I am his go to guy. It’s definitely a switch from that of Skinny Pete. Grey combs his hair and wears a suit. (Laughs) They say he drives a Bentley but I haven’t been able to do that yet. I also shot a pilot for NBC called “Murder in the First”. We are just waiting to hear if that’s going to go through. I really think it will because it’s a great show and cast. I worked on an independent film in Texas titled “Flutter” that I just saw a rough cut of the other day. It stars Lindsay Pulsipher from “Hatfields and McCoys”. From what I have seen of the film it is beautiful. I don’t know when it is coming out but I hope it is soon as I think people will really enjoy it. Lastly “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” which stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara is out now and I have a role in that as well.

Jason Newsted talks about playing with Metallica and his new album “Newsted”

Jason Newsted’s body of work reads like a who’s who of hard rock and metal acts but he is most widely recognized as a former member of Metallica who along with Newsted were inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Jason’s newest project simply titled “Newsted” released their debut EP in January of this year and is set to hit the road in support of the release this month. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Jason recently about the EP, the recent addition of Staind guitarist Mike Mushok and if he really is the new lead singer of Slayer.

Adam Lawton: You have worked with a number of amazing artists and bands. Was doing a self tilted project something that was always in the back of your mind or was it a more recent thought?
Jason Newsted: I have been doing projects for a long, long time. My studio Chop House has been going now for about 21 years. Over that time I have had the privilege of playing with lots of people. During some of those sessions we took things further like with Echobrain and Papa Wheelie where we actually released material to the fans. “Newsted” is a much different project than those in the past. I never had a thought of putting my name on a band but it was something that just sort of transpired. I am now quite happy that it turned out that way. Things really came out of doing a few shows with Papa Wheelie where I had a lot of fun just singing and playing. From there I went and did the 30th anniversary shows with Metallica and that lit my fire in a big way. I was completely overwhelmed by the reception I received from the fans as it was not something I had expected. I have certainly heard the crowds cheer a few times over the years but this was fucking overwhelming! I realized then that music was what I should be doing. I had never really stopped creating art and music but those performances really got the fire going again. About 5 or 6 weeks later I got together with the original line up of Flotsam and Jetsam and we did some weekend shows. We just kept looking at each other in disbelief as we all were still alive and smiling. 31 years later we were all still rocking stuff we hadn’t played in ages. That was a lot of fun and gave me time to sort of exercise my options and see who would be the best fit for me to chase things with again. The Flotsam thing was cool however logistically it wasn’t going to work out. I had been playing with Jesus Mendez Jr. and Jessie Farnsworth for about 5 years prior and we had quite a few chops under our belt and I really took pride in those guys. I ended up writing a bunch of songs from top to bottom with my IPad and then sent them out to my boys. They brought those songs back and that is sort of what you hear on the EP. We started off as a power trio and since recording those first 4 songs Mike Mushok of Staind joined the band and now we are a 4 piece. Mike has been in the band for about 7 weeks and we have already completed our LP. We will be delivering 13 songs to the record company in a few weeks and starting this Friday we have a bunch of shows lined up that will take us to 17 different countries.

AL: How was it that Mike was asked to join the band?
JN: Everything with this band has been very positive and because of that good things keep happening to us. Mike came recommended from a few people who I really have a lot of respect for in the business. I had been putting together a short list of people who I wanted to audition and I definitely had an idea of who I wanted in the band. I was looking for someone who was a hard working, honest and an accomplished musician. This band was not something I had to do. I could have just stayed at home and sat on the porch all day. I am doing this because it is something I want to do and it is something the people want me to do.

AL: What have you done to get yourself back in to the mind set of going out on the road again?
JN: Physically you have train like you would for a marathon as that’s what life on the road is like. Being the front man now I am fulfilling a lot of new roles. I now am not just playing bass but I have a bunch of other stuff going on that I must do on the stage. That part of things is both exciting and challenging for me. Mentally the thing that is getting the best of me now is the thought of being away from my wife. We just got married 6 months ago and things are still very fresh. To have to leave her now is kind of fucked up. Before I may have just had a cat or a dog so the only thing that was on my mind was just going for it. Nothing came before the band or the music and I had gotten used to that thought process. Things are a little bit different now with the new responsibilities I have. Plus I have grown up a little bit. Not much but a little. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and being able to see everyone.

AL: What has been the biggest change for you since stepping in to the front man position?
JN: I have to do so much micro managing now. I like to be in control like everyone does but in the big band there were two very serious control freaks. In that situation I just assumed my role as the dude who was the live guy/people person who took it to the fans. In the new band I am responsible for everything. From booking hotels and travel arrangements to making sure I am represented in the media correctly. I am responsible for all of that. How I am represented when I am not around is very important to me. This is a really giant thing for me so the people I have put together to help me are still learning how I work and how I want things done. Hopefully in a year or so I will be able to step back from a few of these roles and let those people take over a little bit. In Metallica I never knew about all the detail stuff as there were tons of people handling that stuff. Things are considerably different these days and there are a lot more roles to handle other than just having my name on the thing and being the lead guy.

AL: What type of creative process have you taken on the material that has been recorded thus far?
JN: All of the seeds are mine. The skeletons of the songs were all created on my IPad with the Garage Band app. I build everything and then give it to my boys. They will bring it back and then we all work on it collectively. This newest batch of songs Mike got to work on from the inception. It has been equal parts all the way around and everyone puts in everything they have.

AL: Can you tell us about the first group of tour dates the band has booked?
JN: The first batch of 14 shows is to bust the rust off and to help the band get warmed up. We want to get things together in front of our core audience before we take things to the big stages over in Europe. Anybody who gets to see one of these 14 shows will be very lucky. I would love to be playing and watching from the crowd if I could. These shows are going to be really fun. After these 14 shows in smaller venues we go to playing Sonisphere and gigs like that. We are hitting all the big shit so we have to get ready. (Laughs)

AL: Has there been any talks of performing at the Orion Festival this year?
JN: Not this year. We will be in the middle of France during that time. I would really like to get firing on all cylinders and then some before doing something like that. If we ever get the chance to do something with Metallica I want to make sure that I am ready to fire it off. I want to be strong! I would like to have 90 shows or more under my belt before playing with those guys. I have something to prove in that way. If those guys ever notice that I have this going on and they decide to listen to it for a minute or two I want them to take notice. That’s not a vengeful thing it’s a brotherly thing that I want them to know I am alive and well.

AL: In the past year or so you have started appearing off and on with Metallica. How did those communication lines re-open allowing for you guys to work together again?
JN: We are still business partners for the rest of our lives. We all worked together to create this giant thing together. As far as talking on the phone together that’s something that won’t happen and never did happen. When I was in the band I think I may have talked to Hetfield on the phone 10 times in 15 years. Talking on the phone is something that just doesn’t happen. I talked to Lars way more than that as we had a different line of communication. As of right now we aren’t really talking. We sort of get our information about each other and our families through different people.  I am more interested in how their families are doing and that type of stuff. We are probably better friends now than we have ever been. Everyone is very chill and sort of found their place. Things are all good.

AL: What type of reservations did you have when it was first mentioned about appearing with them again?
JN: At first I had thought I would just get up there and play a few songs and then Robert would come up and play some new stuff with them but when I heard that we would both be up there playing together I wasn’t really in to the idea but, things did work out. For me things were only sour in the very beginning. Maybe the first 4-6 months of sour and then I got so busy with my own stuff. 12 years have now passed and we both are doing great. I feel I did the right thing and made a serious sacrifice in order for everything to continue. I hope someday those guys will realize that my sacrifice was for Metallica to remain in the world. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given and I will always be supportive of them.

AL: Can you put any of the claims made to rest about you replacing Slayer front man/bassist Tom Araya?
JN: (Laughs) That is something that was so funny. I had fans and friends coming up to me the day after that was announced cheering me on and congratulating me. I had no idea what was going on. We are doing some shows with Slayer in Europe so I thought they were just excited that we were going to be on the same bill. Then I find out that they thought I was actually joining Slayer. This all started because some of our fans think our drummer Jesus looks like Tom. So then it turned in to me leaving my band to front Slayer because Tom left Slayer to drum for my band. (Laughs) It’s fucking awesome!

Click here for Jason’s official website

Newsted Tour Dates:

4/19 & 4/20 Walnut Creek, CA @ Red House

4/23  San Jose, CA @ San Jose Rock Shop

4/24  Fresno, CA @ The Starline

4/26  Sparks, NV @ The Alley

4/27  Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades

5/1  Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy

5/3  Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl

5/4  Mesa, AZ @  KUPD Ufiesta / Quail Run Park

5/15 Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock (w/ Wilson)

5/17 Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot (w/ Wilson)

5/18 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge (w/ Wilson)

5/21 New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom

5/22 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East Downstairs (w/ Wilson)

5/23 Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony (w/Wilson)

Also be sure to check out our review of Jason’s EP titled “Metal”

Bruce Kulick talks about playing music with Kiss and Grand Funk Railroad

Bruce Kulick is probably best known for his work with the multi-platinum selling group Kiss during the bands non-makeup years. Kulick spent 12 years with the band prior to the group’s 96/97 reunion tour which featured all four original members clad in their signature makeup. Bruce went on to play in several other projects such as Audio Dog, BK3 and is currently the guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad. Media Mikes caught up with Bruce recently to discuss his career as well as his tour plans with both Grand Funk and former Motley Crue vocalist John Corabi.

Adam Lawton: You joined Kiss while they were still going through somewhat of a transitional period. What was it like for you stepping in to that situation?
Bruce Kulick: I was aware that the band sort of hit their peak in the late 70’s early 80’s. They were still doing good stuff but “Music From The Elder” was a weird time for them. I was always aware of the band as I lived in New York and my brother had done some work with them. After things didn’t work out with Vinnie Vincent I knew that they were looking for people. When I saw that they got Mark St. John it made sense as music was really changing at the time. Bands like Van Halen were very popular on the scene. I think it was important for them to find a guy who was a hot shot, gunslinger type player who could do all of the tricks as opposed to someone like Ace Frehley whose style is rooted in that of Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. When it came time for the Animalize tour to start Mark was having some health issues and wasn’t going to be able to tour. My brother had recommended me to the guys as did Mitch Weissman who is a singer/songwriter. When I first started working with Paul and the rest of the band they asked me not to cut my hair and told me I would need a guitar with a Floyd Rose so I could do some of the tricks that were popular at the time. I went in and played a solo on one song and did some little fills at the end of a couple others. After that is when they asked me to fill in for Mark. I was thrilled that maybe it was just going to be for a few weeks but it turned in to 12 years. When it was all said and done that I was going to be the new guy I remember getting a pep talk from Paul where he told me that he wanted me to be very competitive with my playing and that I should be able to cover both the older material and the new stuff. I was very grateful for the opportunity.

AL: On your website you have done several Kiss album retrospectives that are very in-depth. What was it like looking back on your work for those albums?
BK: For me celebrating stuff like that has always made a lot of sense. I found that if I don’t do it now I’m not necessarily going to remember more if I was to wait longer. The whole thing came out of an offer that came through for me to visit Australia and do some shows. I have always been well received there and this was going to actually be my third time there. The promoter said we needed an angle and it happened to be the 20th anniversary of “Revenge” being released so they asked me if I could do some things from that album. It was like a giant light bulb went off in my head. I was given some DAT tapes of the sessions by Bob Ezrin and I realized that I had a treasure trove of material. Things just started coming back to me from those sessions. The clinics I did over there ended up becoming very long even though I didn’t play much but the fans were mesmerized. From there I decided I would have to write all this stuff down and find a good time to release it on my social media sites. After I did the first one I started realizing the anniversaries for these other albums and followed suit with what I had done with the “Revenge” piece. I had a really great time going through the stuff I collected over the years and thinking back about all those stories. We raided all of my closets and boxes of photos and such to find things related to the particular albums I was writing/speaking about. I am always being asked about doing a book and your basic book talks about this tour or that tour and what you thought about certain people. It’s not my style to throw anyone under the bus so I just didn’t want to do something like that. I would rather do something like what I am doing. I don’t have a title or anything yet but even after things are posted on line I end up finding more stuff that could be included in those stories. Each one of these look backs is sort of a chapter. It’s very exciting to be able to tell these stories from an era of the band that doesn’t get a lot of attention.

AL: Is there a specific piece from your work with Kiss that you are most proud of?
BK: There are highlights from all of it but I would have to say working on the “Revenge” album really said a lot. We spent a lot of time on that album and really paid attention to detail. I thought the “Unplugged” album was another really great piece. I never realized how tight we really were on that show. The band looked great and it was filmed really well. Even though un-beknownst to me that was the catalyst to end my career with the band it was still a great performance. I am very proud of my work on that.

AL: You are currently playing guitar with Grand Funk Railroad. Can you tell us how that opportunity came about?
BK: The industry is actually pretty small and you never know who you are going to meet. Years ago I played with Michael Bolton and we ended up opening for Bob Seger. Don Brewer was Bob’s original drummer and he is actually doing shows with Bob on his current tour. We met then and later on at another music event we met again so I was on the short list when Don and Mel Schacher were looking at putting together a new version of Grand Funk. Once they had a singer in place they reached out to me but I had to think about it for a little bit. They were looking for a guy who could forge his own sound while not hurting the stuff from the past. This was similar to what I did with Kiss. I ended up going to Michigan where Mel lives and we rehearsed in a show room at a nearby casino. Things were pretty easy right away and it’s amazing that here I am 13 years later gigging with Grand Funk.

AL: Did you have to spend a lot of time reworking your sound/tone when you first joined the band?
BK: Not at all. I really do what I do well. To be honest I get to play a solo in every song and I am not trying to imitate Mark Farner’s tone in any way. I have always had this talent for picking out signature riffs that people identify with and they want to hear those a certain way so I try to keep things as close as I can. You definitely have to make things your own so you don’t come off too stiff or clone like. I like to take my finesse and add it to the Grand Funk material. They are another one of those iconic bands.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your appearances/tour dates for the coming months?
BK: Grand Funk just keeps adding dates. The site was just revamped and it looks really great. Things are always being added to it so people should definitely check it out. I also have a string of acoustic dates with John Corabi. He and I have a certain chemistry that just works together. When I realized Grand Funk wasn’t going to be as busy this spring due to Don working with Bob Seger I got a little more aggressive with the people I know in Europe who book shows. We tried to work things out so that we could take the Eric Singer Project over but unfortunately Eric couldn’t commit due to various Kiss things that were in the works. The promoters still wanted us to come so John, I and Chuck Garric who plays bass in the Eric Singer Project and who also has his own group happened to have some shows that are double booked with us. During those shows the plan is to do the acoustic thing and also jam as an electric group. There aren’t that many gigs on this run as its set up to fit in between my Grand Funk gigs. I never seem to have the ability to say I am free for two months or something like that but that’s not a bad thing. I am glad the band keeps me busy.

AL: Have you thought about putting out a new album with any of your other projects?
BK: It’s been 3 years since my last solo album “BK3” has come out and it is time for me to get some new material out. I have been writing and compiling some things so I like to think that I can get something out this year. I have mostly been looking at doing some gigs with my brother when time permits. People seem quite excited about seeing a Kulick brother’s thing. We are also looking at a few songs to possibly record for an EP. I am always a phone call or an email away from working on another project. Every day is exciting.

AL: Are there any other things going on with you lately that you can tell us about?
BK: I just got back from Europe where I appeared at large event called “Movie Days”. That was a lot of fun. I get excited myself meeting people who are iconic. Especially sci-fi people as I am a big fan of that genre. I have done many Kiss conventions around the world that are specifically unique to Kiss but this was only my second time I think appearing at a more movie themed event. I like when fans are excited to meet me and I get it because I am a fan myself. Getting to meet people I idolize is really amazing. That’s something I love about the entertainment industry.

Richard Riehle talks about playing Santa Claus, “Office Space” and “Texas Chainsaw 3D”

Richard Riehle is best known for his cult favorite role of Tom Smykowski in “Office Space”.  He has played Santa Claus more than five times, including films like Disney’s “The Search for Santa Paws” to “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”.  Besides comedies, he has also broke out in the horror genre with films like “Hatchet” and the upcoming “Texas Chainsaw 3D”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Richard about his amazing career to date and his love for what he does.

Mike Gencarelli: After playing roles in over 150 films and over a 100 TV series; what keep you drives and keep you inspired?
Richard Riehle: I love it because every project is a new experience and adventure. You go from playing Santa Claus one day to a serial killer the next. It offers all sorts of opportunities to try new things. Whether it is for a physical or psychological role. It is just great.

MG: Since it is the Holiday season, I have to ask what do you enjoy most about playing Santa Claus five times now, most recently in “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”?
RR: They are all different. It ranges from “The Search for Santa Paws”, which is a family film with talking dogs, to “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”, where I am a bong smoker [laughs]. I just love it.

MG: Can you tell us about how you got involved with “Office Space”?
RR: “Office Space” was just an amazing experience. Mike Judge spent a long time casting it, partly because he wanted a group of people that enjoyed hanging out with each other. I think that aspect really shows in the film. We got down to Austin and he told us flat out that we are going to be working some long hours but that every night he would take us out to the clubs or dinner. We just had a great time. It was a 26 day party.

MG: Can you reflect on the cult following that the film and your role Tom Smykowski has developed over the years?
RR: It has been absolutely amazing. When it first came out it wasn’t in theaters very long. We were excited about the good response it got and our work in it but we figured that it was done with. But about six months later, people were stopping me in the streets and asking me to quote the film. It just so happened at the time, I was doing a show for Fox, so I ran into Mike and he said it just came out on VHS and cable and has developed this whole new life. The most amazing part for me is that it has continued still through today. People are still quoting the film and spreading the word to their friends that haven’t seen it. It is just great.

MG: I have the “Office Space” stapler on my desk [laughs]
RR: [laughs] I will tell you a fun story about that stapler. I was at a cigar place in Beverly Hills. We were about to leave but my friend said that Sammy Hagar just called and said he was coming in and always brings a bunch of really beautiful girls. So we ordered another round and waited. Sure enough he came in with all these beautiful girls. Before we left my friend said he wanted to show me his humidor, which was right under Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. So as we were leaving two of Sammy’s girls where heading to the bathroom and they stopped me and said “Oh you were in “Office Space”, can we have an autograph?” I said “Sure” and they asked me to put down the line about the stapler. I said that actually wasn’t me and that was my buddy Stephen Root…but I was in the film. I asked them again if they still wanted an autograph and they said “Yes, please…and can you put down your line about the stapler?” [laughs].

MG: You not only just play roles comedies, you have a nice range into horror genre like “Hatchet”; what do you enjoy most about switching it up in films like that?
RR: “Hatchet” was sort of my introduction to horror. I have always enjoyed watching them but for some reason I never got cast in them. A buddy of mine, Joel Moore, was played the lead in the film and called and asked if I wanted to fill in for someone that dropped out. I told him “Of course” and that I was waiting to do one. It was just such a great and fun experience. Since you are dealing with these horrific things, it is usually one of the most fun sets to be on – horror films in general. Horror films are also shot all over, so you get to go to all sorts of strange and cool places. I did one called “Growth” and we got to shoot in Martha’s Vineyard, which was terrific and we got to explore the island, which was amazing.

MG: Tell us about your role of Farnsworth in “Texas Chainsaw 3D”?
RR: “Texas Chainsaw 3D”, which comes out January 4th, was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana. I had never been there either. We shot a bunch of it on this old munitions plant from WWII. The film is really a great idea and it works really well. They go back to the original “Texas Chainsaw” from 1974 and start from the last shot of that film with Sally jumping into the pickup truck. Leatherface goes back to his house after his dance of frustration. The local police chief shows up at the house and tries to bring him in but the family will not let him do it. A group of vigilantes show up and level the place and everyone is thought to be dead. 18 years later, the grandmother of the whole group, who is living in a mansion outside of town, dies. I play Farnsworth, her lawyer, and I have to find this girl that supposedly didn’t die during the attack and bring her back and offer her this mansion. But then of course…all hell breaks loose!

MG: Do you have a role that stands out for you’re as most memorable or challenging?
RR: I certainly love Tom Smykowski in “Office Space”. It was a wonderful experience doing it and since then it has lived on. I really like playing Carlson in “Of Mice and Men”, which was a while back. He is the guy that shoots the dog. I also did a TV series on Fox a while back called “Grounded for Life”, which was a wonderful experience as well. The thing is that it goes back to your first question; every role is so interesting and different and each with their own individual challenges. My next role is always going to be my favorite.

MG: What other projects do you have in the cards for 2013?
RR: It is hard to tell. A lot of the projects I do are these little independent films. The greatest difficulty is not so much getting them in the can, as it is finding distribution. I did this Western called “Dead Man’s Burden”, which I really liked. Clare Bowen, who is one of the leads in “Nashville” right now, is the lead in that. It was shot in New Mexico with no time and money. So that was recently shown in an LA film festival and I thought it came out really good. So keep an eye out for that one hopefully soon.

Eric Jacobus talk about playing Stryker in “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”

Eric Jacobus is the founder of  The Stunt People with Ben Brown and Chelsea Steffensen in 2001.  He released his film “Death Grip” in which he took on the role of Writer, Director, Lead/Stuntman, Choreographer and even Editor. He recently worked stunts in the upcoming “”A Good Day to Die Hard” and also took over the role of Stryker in “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric about his role in Mortal Kombat Legacy 2″ and what else he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Give us some background about how you got started in martial arts?
Eric Jacobus: I was a late bloomer in martial arts. My small town of Redding, CA didn’t have many martial art schools, so I took to weightlifting. Martial arts may have helped with the bullies in school but I had a knack for talking my way out of everything, plus the weightlifting made me stronger than them anyway. I remember a kid was once pushing me around in the locker room, so I just grabbed his arms and pushed my foot against his chest and pulled until he dropped… Come to think of it I think that’s a Fatality move from Mortal Kombat. When I began producing action films in San Francisco around the age of 20, I wanted to exhibit the authenticity of a real martial artist, which made me seek out training. So I didn’t start training until I was 20. First I studied Tae Kwon Do under Andy Leung, and then Myung Jae Nam-style Hapkido under Dennis Ruel and Ray & Troy Carbonel. I’ve been doing Hapkido for eight years. Now the town I grew up in has either a mixed martial arts or trick martial arts school on every corner. Things have changed so much in just the last decade – everyone in America understands martial arts thanks to the widespread appeal of MMA, and you can see this paradigm shift influencing fight choreography in major Hollywood films.

MG: How did you end up replacing Tahmoh Penikett to play Stryker in “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”?
EJ: I don’t know the logistics behind the change itself. It could have been a schedule issue, who knows? These kinds of things happen all the time. But the kind of character I’m known for playing in films is the underdog tough guy who is always looking for a way out of a fight, using his head for the most part but able to throw down when necessary. Some people have even called me the “white Jackie Chan.” Stryker is
a human in a supernatural world, a Jack Burton with handcuffs, and he brings real human emotions like fear, confusion, and humor. These are emotions I’m comfortable playing, so when the choreographer Larnell Stovall told me I should play Stryker I knew it was the perfect part for me. Hell, minus the cop part I play this character on a daily basis.

MG: How did you research to play such a well-known character as Stryker?
EJ: I played Mortal Kombat to the death as a kid at the local arcade. The funnier, underdog human characters like Stryker and Johnny Cage appealed the most to me because I could relate to them. Stryker’s also a riot cop. He protects the innocent, keeps the peace, and shoots to kill, a very black and white character (or black and blue). His gear is typical police equipment; gun, taser, mace, cuffs, and a baton, which I didn’t know how to use. This is where my stunt team The Stunt People comes into use. One of our members Yun Yang is a Kyokushin Karate practitioner, and he showed me how to use one. I also had a fair amount of on-set sidearm training with a firearms expert. But training in the art of police brutality itself was a non-issue – you could call that a personal character trait of mine. Protect the good guys, beat up the bad guys, no problem.

MG: What can you tell us about your episode this season?
EJ: This season I team up with Johnny Cage and we have some good scenes together, plus I have a badass fight scene. I get to be in more than one episode, too. Beyond that I can’t reveal much else. Did I mention I have a badass fight scene?

MG: Tell us about your stunt work on “A Good Day to Die Hard”?
EJ: I had just finished my martial arts action film Death Grip, and Chad Stahelski from 87Eleven Action Design took notice of the final knife fight from that film that I performed with Alvin Hsing. Chad brought me and Alvin to the 8711 gym where we choreographed a fight with J.J. Perry for A Good Day to Die Hard and filmed it, which is called a “pre-viz”. I got to pretend to be John McClane, toning down the flashy martial arts and playing more to his strengths, which again is the kind of character I’m most apt at playing. He’s vulnerable, faced with a superior opponent and always bringing the human element to the fight. He gets hurt, has to improvise, and avoids conflict whenever possible. It was a blast. Bruce Willis is another actor who inspired me to get into action film. If only I could’ve met the guy!

MG: Tell us about “Death Grip”, which you not only star but also direct, co-wrote, produce?
EJ: “Death Grip” is a martial arts thriller about a criminal who sets his life straight by assuming care for his estranged, autistic brother, but the brother inadvertently gets them wrapped up in the theft of a priceless artifact, and to clear their names they have to recover it from a Satanic Cult. Virgin sacrifices, killer monks, and a maniacal cult leader played by Power Rangers star Johnny Yong Bosch all stand in their way. I produced Death Grip with co-star Rebecca Ahn, who helped me pull together a sizable budget. It allowed me and my stunt team The Stunt People to go all out in the fight scenes: we destroy a bathroom, do a fight in the dark where the audience can what the characters can’t, and pit me against 15 other evil monks ala Armor of God. It’s pure, Hong Kong-style martial arts action mixed with American sentiment that you don’t typically get from mainstream action films. Whereas Hollywood films often rush the fight scenes and rely too much on fast editing, shaky camerawork, and stunt doubles, we do all our own stunts and have full control over the camera and editing. We don’t hide anything, and the audience can actually see what the hell is going on. People like that, especially since America now understands martial arts better than ever due to the popularity of MMA. I’m now producing a new martial art film called Marine Core, written by Steve Carolan. Imagine “Ninja Scroll” starring Rambo. Keep your eyes peeled for it!

MG: Where can people check out this action-packed film?
EJ: I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con this year at Booth 4015 with other cast members, so stop by, get a Stryker autograph, and pick up Death Grip or any of my other films. You can always check out my YouTube channel, and you can always grab a copy of Death Grip on DVD or Blu Ray at our online store here.

Brad Loree talks about playing Michael Myers and doing stunt work

Brad Loree is known best for playing Michael Myers in “Halloween: Resurrection”.  He is also has performed stunt work on numerous TV and film projects including  “TRON: Legacy” and “Watchmen”.  He is the star of the recently released “Mr. Hush” directed by Dave Madison.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Brad about his film and stunt work.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved playing the role of Holland Price in “Mr. Hush”?
Brad Loree: Well Mike, I meet writer/directors at the con’s all the time who claim they want to work with me, but Dave Madison actually sent me a script and then kept his word by using me as Holland!

MG: Can you reflect on playing such an iconic character such as Michael Myers in “Halloween: Resurrection”?
BL: When i got offered the part of Michael Myers, I was already on another show. But when they explained that I wasn’t going to be just the stunt-double, but actually play The Shape, I quickly left my previous gig and jumped into the role! It was a great honor!

MG: What do you like most about working in the horror genre?
BL: My favorite thing about the horror genre is doing conventions and meeting the fans. Great people!

MG: You’ve worked stunts in two of my favorite films, “TRON: Legacy” and “Watchmen”, can you tell us about those experiences?
BL: Well, on “Tron” I got to meet ‘The Dude’, Jeff Bridges. Awesome guy! Did a little gag where he gets kicked by his younger self and slides several feet backwards on this platform. “Watchmen” was fun because I got to be a motorcycle cop, an arresting officer and also the lead character’s fist punching thru a wall! And Zach (Synder), the director, is my fav of any I’ve worked with!

MG: What has been your most challenging role stunt performing?
BL: My most challenging stunt was on a TV show called “Mantis”. I had to jump thru an 8ft by 8ft window from the 3rd story and, across a 14ft abutment below! If i’d fallen short, well….

MG: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
BL: My next project is to be determined. I’ve been laid up for a few years now due to a motorcycle wreck. But i am hoping to do more acting in the future and may try my hand at writing/producing. Wish me luck!

Ron Perlman talks about “3,2,1…Frankie Goes Boom”, “Sons of Anarchy” and Guillermo del Toro

Ron Perlman is known for his many unique roles like Hellboy or Vincent in “Beauty and the Beast”. He also plays bad-ass biker, Clay Morrow, in “Sons of Anarchy”, which just started it’s fifth season on FX. Ron tackles a completely different role in the new comedy “3,2,1…Frankie Goes Boom”.  He is playing the role of the transsexual ex-con, Phyllis. This film is a absolute riot and Perlman really steals the show. Media Mikes had the honor to chat with Ron about this new role, his recently “reset” character on “Sons of Anarchy” and his continuously growing resume working with  Guillermo del Toro.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the role of Phyllis, the transsexual ex-con in “3,2,1…Frankie Goes Boom”?
Ron Perlman: It was not a childhood aspiration let me tell you [laughs]. However life its strange way of taking twists and turns that you never see coming. It turns out that Charlie Hunnam, my co-star on “Sons of Anarchy”, was going to to this film as his summer school pet-project. I get a call from him that the filmmaker would consider reading this script and play the role of Jack (this ended up being played by Chris Noth). I started reading it and I got to page 2 or 3 and I just said “Holy shit, this is really funny and I need to be in this movie. I started reading Jack’s part and I really loved Jack…but then I got to Phyllis. I get this mental image

of Jax Teller from “SOA” coming in and seeing Clay Morrow in a house dress, red nail polish, lipstick and being asked to kiss his hand. I said “Well, if that doesn’t get these fuckers nothing will” [laughs]. The more I read of Phyllis, the most I realized that this will be a really fun character to explore and unlike anything I have ever done before. I really admired the comedy in the writing. I called up and told them what I wanted to do and they said “It just so happens that you are the only person with the balls enough to ask to play Phyllis and by default you got the part”.

MG: Where did you get inspiration for the character?
RP: There was really no real inspiration from her that came from my life personally. Everything I used as a jumping off point as with what Jordon (Roberts) wrote. I just love the notion that Phyllis starts off as Phil, a guy who is an outlaw and is this computer hacker. He has this amazing ability to rip off Bank of America for $2 million bucks and that is how he ends up being Bruce’s (Chris O’Dowd) cellmate. He always had this notion of being a woman born in a man’s body and feels compelled to fix that. I said to myself “Jesus, if I can’t figure some interesting idiosyncrasies for the planning of this guy, then I should really turn in my Screen Actor’s Guild card.” [laughs]

MG: How was it going from working with Charlie Hunnam on “Sons of Anarchy” to this film?
RP: Some of the scenes that could have been very uncomfortable, and if fact where very uncomfortable, it helps that I had a bro on the set. I could say “Dude, it behooves us both to never get into the press as to how the filming of this actually looked and smelled like”. That fact that it was my bro that I was doing this with really helped a lot.

MG: Do you find that comedy comes natural for you?
Comedy was what started me off as an actor. I did some stand-up when I was really young, growing up in New York. Then I joined a troupe with a group of friends doing sketch comedy. So that was my first love. Hollywood does afford me to do a lot of comedy. So in order to find these opportunities, I have to go underground and find projects like “Frankie Goes Boom”. But when I am able to do it, it is a real pleasure.

MG: After five seasons, do you feel that that Clay Morrow has changed within your portrayal?
RP: In the first four years, he has this station in life and this stability and marriage with Gemme (played by Katey Sagal). Now in season five he has lost everything. He is on a reset now. No one knows where he ends up at the end of season five, including yours truly. But he is definitely on a journey where the sand is shifting under his feet and he is re-adapting himself. What an amazing opportunity that is

for me as an actor. You sign on to do a TV show, the conditions of which are highly well articulated and then all of the sudden five seasons in you are almost playing a new character. It is the same character but under completely new circumstances. Yeah, it is awesome and you don’t get to do that often on television. We all feel very blessed that this show is such an un-obvious exercise in storytelling. It sets a completely unpredictable set of circumstances and also while continuing to be very dynamic and violital. It is flood with very explosive violence and it is like a bad car accident…you can’t take your eyes off it.

MG: Are you and Charlie planning to work together on every project, after this you have “Pacific Rim” coming out?
RP: Yeah, for life man. This is it. Charlie Hunnam and I. We are the new Laurel and Hardy or Martin and Lewis or Abbott and Costello or probably Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen. But I am not sure which one is the dummy.

MG: How was it working with Guillermo del Toro yet again on this film?
RP: Oh my God, this is number five for me and GDT! We felt like family members from the very first project, “Cronos” and on. We became really good friends. So to get to go through life together celebrating this friendship and doing it in such a way that we add-in these wonderful creative opportunities into the mix is great. I am watching him evolve as a filmmaker and he is watching me grow old as an actor. We are getting to do it in each other’s presence. That is in a category that I can only label as “Undescribable”. There are no words to describe how phenomenal that reality is. Now that we hit the number five [laughs], it is pretty clear to me that it is not a fluke. It is probably something we will continue to do until one of us drops, and I got a really good feeling I am going first.

MG: You got to get him to do another “Hellboy” film man!
RP: I am working on it. Trust me I am working on it.

MG: You’ve been successful in both film and television, do you have a preference?
RP: I really love working for the camera. I really love working on interesting material. I would have to say the opportunity I have on this particular television show is probably 500 percent better than any other television exercise that one could hope to be on. There are some really great TV shows out there now like “Newsroom”, “Breaking Bad” and “Boardwalk Empire”. There is a lot of great stuff now being done on television. But for the most part those are the exceptions to the rule. And I am on one of the most exciting shows to be a part of. It is almost like doing a movie since it is such a charged and intelligent setting. So yeah, I don’t have a preference as long as it answers to those edicts.

Robert Englund chats about new film “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter” and reflects on playing Freddy Krueger

Robert Englund is known best for his iconic role of Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series.  Robert is such a legend in the horror genre.  He is co-starring in Syfy’s “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter”, which airs on September 29th.  Robert took out some time to chat about the film and reflect on his career and his alter ego Freddy Krueger.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter”?
Robert Englund: Well, I’ve been involved with the SyFy channel several times over the years. I’ve pitched projects to them and recently I just pitched a reality show to them, and I’ve done TV movies for them. Every boy has to fight his giant snake, his killer bees, and when they called me to fight giant alligators, I signed up. I was at a premiere for a film in Barcelona with my wife and all I had was a tuxedo, and a dress suit, and a couple of shirts, and a couple of pairs of underwear when I got the call for Lake Placid. So I went directly from Barcelona, with hardly any luggage, to Sofia, Bulgaria. And there is a lake just outside the capital of Bulgaria, that’s exactly like, it’s the exact same kind of geological features as Maine. It’s got that rocky shoreline and the exact same kind of pine trees. It’s amazing, I thought I was – I was looking around for lobster rolls it looked so much like Maine. I showed up and there was the lovely Elisabeth Rohm, who I had a crush on since the first time I saw her, you know, in court on Law and Order. And Yancy Butler, who I’ve known – not known, but I’ve run into over the years at Comic-Con and things because she had such a huge fan boy following with Witchblade, and we just all got to work. We worked real hard, real long days, because we were losing Indian Summer. We had a little bit of Indian Summer in the beginning, and it started getting pretty cold. We were all on the water all the time. Because that’s where the gators are, but yeah, it was really fun, you know, and the coincidence was when I got there and got picked up at the airport. It was guys I’d worked for years ago, you know, in a giant snake movie. So now they have a big huge studio, over there in Eastern Europe, and they’re doing real well. In fact they shooting, Expendables right when we were wrapping, Expendables 2 came in and used a lot of our crew towards the end. So things are hopping in Romania.

MG: Tell us about shooting this film, was it difficult on a low budget?
RE: Well, yes and no. What you have to understand is, if you’re shooting in Detroit or you’re shooting in Louisiana. Or you’re shooting in New Mexico, you know, you get these great tax rebates. And the same thing happens in Europe. Sometimes it’s just because it’s so beautiful there and you get this enhanced production value. And even though we had to pay to fly everybody over there, there’s already a huge studio and production company in Sofia, Bulgaria. They’d been shooting a couple of Lake Placids there. So you get a big bang for your buck, which is nice. So you work hard and there is that problem of language with the foreign crew that you’re dealing with. And also just explaining yourself, or your taste, or trying to describe what you might require in terms of wardrobe or something. Because sometimes idioms can get convoluted. And so you’re always dealing with that, but I’ve done a lot of movies in Europe now. So I’m kind of an old hand at that. I did a giant snake movie with these guys years ago. And even they had realized that Anaconda had a huge fan base, you know, the J-Lo film. And they already, a low budget version that we’re doing, they had a better snake effect than the movie Anaconda. Because that’s how fast and how quickly the technology grows in CGI and animation right now. If you watch a movie like Starship Troopers now, with my friend Casper Van Diem, you know, it looks old fashioned now. You can actually see the same bug getting shot, that they’ve used over and over again. Because CGI was so expensive back then. It’s kind of like the old cowboy movies where you see the same Indian getting shot off a horse as he circles the wagon train. And they show it like maybe 2 minutes later in the sequence as if we haven’t seen that before. Because they only had that stunt twice, and they use it again later in the movie. And it’s like, “Wait a minute, I saw that Indian get shot. I saw that fall, I saw him get his ankle caught in the stirrup and get dragged. I remember that.” And it’s the same thing with old CGI now, you see the repetition shots where they used them. Or you can kind of see where the mat just flips and continues the same foreground action in the background, slightly out of focus. Because they didn’t have enough soldiers in Troy that day. And so when I do these new movies, if I’m doing a SyFy channel movie with killer bees or giant alligators. It looks better than the last giant alligator in a feature film, you know, because that’s one of the reasons they do it. Because they figured out a better way to do it. And even though the movie may be less expensive, and a little exploitative, many times you’re actually getting a better effect.

MG: If Jim Bickerman crossed paths with Freddy, what would his first words be to him? And if Freddy crossed paths with Jim, what would he think of him?
RE: Well, Jim Bickerman is a pretty ornery guy. And he obviously would have to meet Freddy in his dreams, and I think Jim Bickerman’s dreams are probably pretty strange. He’s a dirty old man that Jim Bickerman, as you saw in the film. So there’s probably some point where Jim Bickerman like of, they both like them teenage girls. They’re bad boys. So I’m sure that Jim Bickerman, before Freddy killed him would want to join forces with Freddy. Maybe Freddy could turn Jim Bickerman and the two of them could work together. I don’t know if it would be Bickerman versus Krueger. Freddy is always going to win, and once you fall asleep Freddy gets the drop on you.

MG: Throughout your career has there been anything that has given you nightmares or maybe something that you are scared of?
RE: Nothing really scares me. When I did the first Nightmare film, I mean there’s films that scare me, I just even got a jolt the other night watching Cabin in the Woods. And I remember the original Alien got me several times, and I was a grown up when I saw that, and I dragged my poor father to see it. But now, when I was in the makeup for the original Freddy, I fell asleep, we were shooting nights. And I fell asleep trying to get a nap and the AD banged on the door and said, “Mr. Englund hurry up we’re going to try and get this shot before the sun comes up.” And I sat up, and I forgot, this was during the first film, forgetting I was in this make-up. I sat up with, you know, that kind of bad breath you have after a little nap, and I rolled off of my cot in my little tiny, you know, honey wagon dressing room. And there in the recesses, in the forced perspective of my make-up mirror, opposite my bunk, surrounded by dim light bulbs – make-up light bulbs, that had been cranked down on the dimmer. I saw this old bald man with scars and burns all over him looking back at me. I kind of went, “Oh geez.” And I put my hand on my head and so did he. So it became this sort of nightmarish Marx brothers routine. And it literally took me about the count of 5 or 6 to kind of come out of that semi-conscious state you’re in when you wake up real fast. And, you know, when you’re fighting for the alarm clock. That kind of moment of time. I was very disoriented. The point of this story is that moment, looking into the mirror, which I recovered from in 5 to 6 seconds, but that moment, I can remember it like it was yesterday. And occasionally, and I don’t want to like guilt the lily here, but occasionally that does enter into my subconscious and it does get into a dream, or it comes in as a random image that’s still stored in my brain somewhere. Because it was so disorienting. There’s that funny distancing of where I was sitting, and then the mirror 2 or 3 feet from me. And then in an equally far back and deep in the mirror Freddy, looking back at Robert. Because I was Robert obviously. But that really was a strange moment, and it was so early in the film experience for me, of horror films. I had been doing a lot of very normal fair up until then, except for science fiction. That really did disorient me, and it did stay with me, and do a little kind of a – I think there’s a definite crease in my gray matter that makes a home for that image.

MG: With you being a horror icon and legend; Do you ever kind of feel pressured to hold up that title? How would you feel that the genre has changed over the years for you?
RE: Well I get a lot of scripts, in fact, as I’m talking to you right now I’m behind one script at least. And there is one that I have to download and print out. But, I don’t like feel a pressure. The back of my mind, I’m always looking. I’m trying to help out right now with a project, I did a cult film a couple of years ago called Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. That’s really a great, smart film. And so I – the sequel script to that is just phenomenal. It’s the second best sequel script of something I’ve done I’ve seen in a long, long time. There was a great one years ago for a great contemporary spinoff of Phantom of the Opera. I had done a Phantom of the Opera over in Europe and the follow-up script – the reason I did the original was because the follow-up script was so strong and interesting and really great contemporary version of an extension of the Phantom of the Opera legend and myth. But this one, you know, so I’m always kind of looking Mike. I’ve always got one eye peeking or one ear open for something that I want to do in horror. That’s different, or that I just think – even if it’s derivative is really strong. And also because I get – to be honest with you, when I do a genre piece I get a bigger pay day. Than if I’m just guest starring on, you know, Criminal Minds or Hawaii Five-0, or Bones or something. Then I’m just Robert Englund, character actor again. And when I do my little horror movies like Inkubus, that I brought out last Halloween on DVD, when I do my little down and dirty horror movies I’m getting more money. Or when I got over to Europe to play a Prince in some strange cult film in Spain or something, it’s a nice payday for me. So I do make an effort to do one or two a year, just on an economic level let alone. But I’m always looking, I’m always looking for that new one. I spent a year and a half in Italy scouting locations, and casting, and talking to Christopher Lee, and Donald Sutherland, for a project back in 2006/2007 that did not come to fruition. And that was very disappointing for me, you know, that takes a lot out of you when you get to be my age, spending a year of your life. I’m obviously turning down other projects if I’m trying to develop something. So, you kind of have to be careful. So I just now see the stuff that’s sent to me. I’m not really developing it on my own. But I am always checking the stuff that’s sent to me and trying to keep current on that.

MG: Looking back at your iconic role of Freddy Krueger, have you ever regretting taking this role?
RE: No, I’ve never regretted taking the role or my association with the great Wes Craven, and the success it brought me. You know, both economic and career success. Now, am I somewhat funneled into genre films, yes I am. I’ve done, I’ve done, I think I’m about to do, I’m about to start my 77th movie. Feature length film. And I think literally if you added up all my horror movies I think it’s less than 20. So horror movies less than 20, there’s another 55 films that I’ve done. Now, a couple of those are sci-fi, some of them are thrillers, you know, some of them are a little bit fantasy. But most of them are just other movies that I’ve done. And, or TV movies. I’ve done a lot of quality TV movies as well. So they’re not really out and out horror. So, but the thing that I’ve been telling people that this happy accident for me is the fact that after I got out of the make-up and I got enough baggage and enough reputation that I’ve sort of become like a surrogate Vincent Price, a surrogate Klaus Kinski. A go to guy for those roles, and somebody has to do that and you know, we don’t really have a Cary Grant, or a Steve McQueen anymore. But if I can kind of fit into Vincent Price’s loafers, or Klaus Kinski’s boots a little bit. Even if it’s a low budget genre film, which both of those gentlemen did a lot of. I can remember seeing Dr. Phibes, you know, (unintelligible) the day it came out. I’m happy to be that guy. I do a lot of other things. Tomorrow I go to work on a little send-up spoof on workaholics for comedy central. And I’ve been guest starring on all of the top 10 shows in the last year. You know, I’ve been on Criminal Minds, and Bones, and Hawaii Five-0 doing just guest starring on those, doing normal roles. So, it’s fun for me to do these. And I’ll be honest with you guys, I get paid better. If I do a horror movie or a science fiction movie, I get paid more because I fill the seats. Especially in certain countries, I can still open a movie, for instance, in Spain and Italy, and even in Germany to a degree. So that, there’s enough genre fans there, and they’ve been fans long enough. And as long as our sort of early Comic-Con fans, that that’s just another benefit that I bring to the table.

MG: With people being so desensitized in films and horror. What would you say it takes to make a good scary movie these days?
RE: Well scary is subjective. I think there is room now for all different splits. Just like there is in music. You know, Lake Placid has some real jumps in it. Lake Placid 4, we’ve got some real jumps in it. And there’s something really primal. That’s about a part of the brain that goes back to when we were reptiles. It’s an instinct that we have. And there’s also a little something in us that makes us afraid of snakes, and afraid of spiders, and afraid of alligators, and crocodiles. And so those thrills come easy in ours. But there’s also room for the fun. There’s a certain amount of fun, I think, a little bit of undercurrent fun in a Lake Placid movie. I mean, we kill our teenagers, but there’s a little bit of fun in it too. I think there has to be room for all of these. I just saw a very clever movie last week on demand, with a cocktail in one hand and a cold pizza slice in the other, and my wife with her head in my lap. We watched The Cabin in the Woods and I really thought it was clever, and smart, and well-acted, and sexy. And it scared me, at least three or four times. It really got me, and I’m hard to get. Some things can be creepy though, there’s creepy scary. The great director Lucky McKee, very underrated. A film called May, he did a film called May that really is a creepy, creepy great film. So I like that too, you know, and sometimes I’m a little more distanced from films and I just love them for the actual film-making in them. And they may not scare me as much, but they may have a creepy factor too. The Brian DePalma film Sisters. That movie really kind of works on me. There’s something hypnotic about that film. Plus the split screen and the use of microfiche flashbacks in a dream sequence that was induced by drugs. There’s a really great, primal, primitive, early, kind of hallucinogenic hypnotizing quality to that. You know, you see that in old George Steven’s movies, and you see it even in classic films like Black Narcissus. Sometimes those movies become hypnotic. There’s something kind of hypnotic even in the recent Kirsten Dunst film Melancholia. But I like that, when that starts to happen to me in horror and science fiction, you know, I think Cameron can get into that. I’ve seen Cameron get into that before. I think especially in the Alien movies, there’s a point where there’s no dialogue for so long and time is suspended. And we hear the breathing. And I love that, that really, I love that disorienting, hypnotic quality of films. And that’s just as effective to me as horror or the cheap thrills scare. The William Castle lunge into frame, you know?

MG: I’m actually a huge fan of “Behind the Mask”. I’m actually a backer on the sequel. So I can’t wait for that to come out…
RE: Well I’m telling you, the script is phenomenal. Because it plays with the great pun that fans love of doppelgangers. So there’s actually actors playing us, the actors who played the parts in the original. Making a movie, about the story of the original. About Leslie Vernon and his tale. And we’ve been hired as technical advisors. And the whole project is being filmed by a Making of crew of a cable channel. So it’s a movie, within a movie, within a movie. And it’s all during the making of a movie, on the location of the movie. In the motel with all of the cast and the crew. And they start going down like ten little Indians. It’s really layered, and rich, and fun. And there’s a great gimmick with the actor they’re going to get to play, the actor, the Hollywood actor who will be playing Leslie Vernon. He gets to finally have a showdown with the real Leslie Vernon, which I think is fun. And you won’t know who he is, because he’s a method actor. He wears the mask for the whole movie, it’s really fun.

MG: What else do you have planned next?
RE: Tell people to look for me in Sanitarium with Malcolm McDowell, and John Glover, and Lou Diamond Phillips, and I’m off to shoot this, which is very kind of M. Night Shyamalan-ian. I’m going to be doing that next month, and yeah, and everybody tune in and check out. It’s really fun. Lake Placid 4, yeah. Freddy versus Yancy Butler. Thanks a lot.

Tim Rose talks about puppeting Admiral Ackbar in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” and working with Jim Henson

Tim Rose is best known for his his work in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” playing Admiral Ackbar, Sy Snootles and Salacious Crumb. Tim has also worked with Jim Henson on projects like “Labyrinth” and “The Dark Crystal”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Tim on this film work and reflect on his cult fandom with Admiral Ackbar.

Mike Gencarelli: How can you reflect on the fan base behind your role of Admiral Ackbar?
Tim Rose: When you create one of these characters you have to work 14hr days, sacrifice your home life, and get paid very poorly by you Masters. My reward comes at the Conventions when I get to see just how many people, “my silly little playing with dolls” has managed to touch and communicate with.

MG: Was the costume easy to work with during shooting “Return of the Jedi”?
TS: Compared to some of the prosthetic characters that can take up to 5 hours to get into, mine was a doddle, just a simple mask to pull over my head. And when my body temperature got to 100f, just as easy to pull back off again.

MG: Why did you end up not voicing the character? TS: When you are inside the character, the recorded sound of your performance is too muffled. It’s good enough as a guide track to get the sinq right, but not as final performance. I lived in England and the film was edited at ILM. They never would have paid for me to fly all the way out there for 2 hours work in a dubbing studio.

MG: Do you still get asked to say “It’s a Trap” at conventions?
TS: Only, ALL THE TIME!

MG: Besides your own, who is your favorite “Star Wars” character in the saga?
TS: Pre CGI Yoda of course, I learned everything I know from the master. (Frank Oz)

MG: From “Star Wars” to Jim Henson, can you reflect work on such classic films as “Labyrinth” and “The Dark Crystal”?
TS: “Dark Crystal” had a four year pre-production, that had never happened before or since. Four years of getting paid to play in the worlds best toy shop, creating the dreams of Jim Henson. Because he was a performer himself, he insisted that every thing he made be an instrument that a puppeteer could play. Three quarters of what is made today is a torture chamber that a performer has to endure if they wish to get paid.

MG: How does a puppeteer still stand prevalent in a world of CGI efforts?
TS: Animatronics is much more restricted in what it can visualize than CGI. But it can offer ten times the dramatic interaction on set, the ability to create a magic moment on screen that was never in the original script, and do it all at one quarter the cost of CGI. Producers are slowly beginning to realize this.

MG: What would happen if Admiral Ackbar, Sy Snootles and Salacious Crumb where all in a room together?
TS: The Admiral would be having his afternoon nap. Sy would be looking for the nearest exit to get back to where the action is, and Salacious would be trying to stick rolled up napkins up the sleeping Admiral’s nose.

Marina Sirtis reflects on the 25th Anniversary of “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”

Marina Sirtis is best known for playing Deanna Troi in “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”.  The show is celebration its 25th Anniversary this year.  Marina took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about reflects on her role on the show and what makes this show so timeless.

Mike Gencarelli: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is celebrating its 25th anniversary, what is your most fondest memory looking back?
Marina Sirtis: The best memories all circulates around my fellow thespians. They were the best bunch of people I ever worked with and became family. We just hit it off from the get-go and they are still my best friends. That was honestly the best part of the job.

MG: You attend many “Star Trek” conventions, what do you enjoy most about meeting fans?
MS: The great thing about going cons is getting to meet you fans. I think we have a very symbiotic relationship with our fans. We get as much out of them as they get out of us. I can’t tell you how many time people would come up with me and say “I become a psychologist because of you” and that is just what a compliment. I am an actress and I just played this part. It was a job [laughs]. I could have ended up on “Law & Order”, you know what I mean? To have some such an impact on people’s life is something that when I was studying at drama school never entered my consciousness.

MG: What do you think makes this series so timeless?
MS: The thing about it “Star Trek”, especially “TNG”, is probably one of the one shows that every generation of the family can watch together. I always used to say apart from The Weather Channel [laughs], it was the only real family show, since you can’t even watch the news anymore with kids. People always tell me it was family night for them and they used to order a pizza and sit around and watch “Star Trek”. Some people tell me that even with 25 years past, when they watch it now it brings back just great memories for them.

MG: How is it for you being know as the sex symbol of the entire show?
MS: Mike, I have to tell you I was a very ugly child. When I say this to people they don’t believe me. But I was have pictures to prove it [laughs]. I have to tell you a story, Mike. When my mother passed away, my sister-in-law called me and asked what I wanted out of her apartment and I just told her I wanted photos. She called me up a few night later hysterically laughing because she was going through the photos and told me she found the ones of me when I was young. This is what she tells me, “You were right Marina, you WERE really ugly!”. So to be regarded as a sex symbol, I am thrilled [laughs]. The little ugly girl inside of me is going “Woo Hoo!!”.

MG: I feel that season six was your characters strongest, including “Face of the Enemy”, can you reflect on your favorite season?
MS: I have to be honest, if you go back to the first season there was a lot of episodes that I wasn’t in. I was very worried, I was going to be written out. I knew the writers had created this character but didn’t really know what to do with her. She was an empath, so if she did her job right we had no storyline. Rather than deal with the situation, I was just written out of the episodes. Come the season one hiatus, which was very long due to the writers strike at the time, Jonathan Frakes got married to Genie Francis. We all went to the wedding and Gene Roddenberry was there also. He approached me at one point and said to me that he wanted to talk with in private. We stepped outside and he told me that the first show of season two is going to be a big episode for me and that I would be in fact opening the season. That meant more to me than anything. It was huge. So that was a very important season for me because they finally got her as a character. From there she just kept evolving.

MG: Did you have any creative control with your characters direction?
MS: Oh, no no no no [laughs]. I couldn’t change a word, none of us could.

MG: What you say was the most challenging aspect for you throughout the series?
MS: The biggest challenge was keeping Marina out of Troi. Marina is not a sweet as her [laughs]. She is not as sweet and not as nice. She is very temperamental, as well as loud and obnoxious. So that was definitely the biggest challenge for seven years. Sometimes though, I tried to sneak her in especially if Jonathan was directing [laughs].

MG: Did you ever keep any memorabilia or costumes from the show?
MS: I am pleading the 5th on that one. Draw your own conclusions [laughs].

MG: Have you ever considered writing a memoir for your experience on the series?
MS: Well I have thought of writing a memoir of my life, because I have had quite a fascinating life. I am one of those people that things just happen to [laughs]. I just have these adventures. As far as writing a book on our experiences on “Star Trek”, in the culture we live in now it is the bad behavior and the scandals that sell. There is not a publisher on the planet that wants to buy a book that tells the story of how we all loved each other [laughs].

MG: Have you had a chance to experience “Star Trek: TNG” on Blu-ray yet?
MS: I saw some of the first episode and it just looked amazing. It looks like we actually shot it last week. It is really great.

MG: I have been reading that fans have been requesting you to be on “Doctor Who”, what are your feelings?
MS: You know what, I would so love to be on “Doctor Who”. Sir Ian McKellen, who is one of our premiere actors on the planet, when he was asked what his ambitions where a few years ago, he said he wants to be a pantomime dame and he wants to be on “Coronation Street”, which is like the longest running show on the planet. Well he has managed to do both and that was really cool. So who knows? Anything is possible. There is a lot of things that I still want to do. Being Deanna for the rest of my life isn’t a problem, actually. But I don’t look like her anymore [laughs]. So I am just glad that it is that Deanna in HD and not me today [laughs].

MG: Tell us about what upcoming projects you are currently working on?
MS: Michael Dorn and I have been trying to get a romantic comedy off the ground for a couple of years now. Well, mostly Michael. It is going to star basically a bunch of “Star Trek” actors. It will be cool for the fans to see us star in something different. So it is a really cool project and he recently posted it through Kickstarter (click here) and it is called “Through The Fire”. Some of the things are pretty cool that you get for backing the film, llike getting to hang with us at a convention or a walk on role. So definitely check it out and spread the word. I also just did a movie based on a video game that doesn’t have a title yet but I am sure you will be hearing about it soon. Next year, I will be shooting a horror movie in Australia and also another possibly called “Shadows from the Sky”. So we have a lot of great projects coming up.

Ronny Cox revisits “Deliverance” and playing the villain in “Robocop” & “Total Recall”

Ronny Cox is best known for playing the villain in film’s like “Robocop” & “Total Recall”.  You may also know his from the Dueling Banjos scene in “Deliverance”, which was his first feature film.  Ronny took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about his new book which revisits his work on Deliverance” and also playing the villain.

Mike Gencarelli: What was it like revisiting the film” Deliverance” in your book “Dueling Banjos”?
Ronny Cox: It meant the world to me. That was my first time in front of a camera and it opened a lot of things for me. In lots of ways that film meant more to me than any other.

MG: What was the idea behind putting the book together?
RC: I didn’t want the book to be a literary work. I wanted it to read like we were sitting down and telling a bunch of stories. I think we were successful with that and a lot of people have said that they felt like the book let them on the inside. Oddly enough people have started saying they want to go back and look at the film again. The book kind of gives you some insight on a number
of the scenes in the film like we actually did all the canoeing.

MG: What was the most challenging part of the writing process?
RC: I did everything orally for this book. I was going on a long trip and got a recorder to take with me. I had someone with me that I was telling the stories to and we recorded those conversations. This was how I always envisioned the book being done where it was just two people sitting down and talking. It was very daunting trying to make sure we didn’t lose any of that feel. I often would tell the same stories over but in a different direction as repetitions like that I feel are important. We had to make sure we got the story told the way I wanted it told without making it incomprehensible.

MG: What do you enjoy most about playing bad guy roles?
RC: They are about 10 million times more fun to play than the good guy roles. Playing the good guy is pretty easy and predictable. The bad guy is the one making the interestingchoices. Those are the guys I love to play. I try to be a good person every day of my life and playing those roles allows me to step out of that. (Laughs)

MG: What are your thoughts on the recent “Total Recall” remake and the upcoming “Robocop” remake?
RC: Personally I am not a fan of remakes. I thought both of those original movies were pretty damn good! I was given a description of remakes and sequels once and I have really subscribed to that thought. Remakes are like putting on a wet bathing suit.

MG: What do you enjoy most about touring and performing live?
RC: I love playing music. I almost love music more than acting. With any type of acting there has to be that imaginary fourth wall between you and the audience. You can’t step through the camera. When I’m up performing music and telling stories I get to use all of the arrows in my quiver. It is almost a one on one sharing experience that you can have with the audience.