Interview with Timothy Quill

Timothy Quill is known best for playing the Blacksmith in “Army of Darkness”.  Timothy has also co-starred with Bruce Campbell in “My Name is Bruce”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Timothy about working on the series and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you became involved with the film “Army of Darkness”?
Timothy Quill: We actually need to take a couple of steps back.  It started in the early 70’s I went to high school with a couple guys you may have heard back, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel and Ted Raimi.  Back then we were making those super 8 classics way back then.  I went to business school and you know what those guys did.  It just so happened I shot this movie called “Thou Shall Not Kill” int he 80’s.  I let Sam Raimi know I was interested in coming out to California.  I moved out to California and he brought me to the set of “Army of Darkness”.  He told me “You shave your head and I will give you a role”.  I told him “Sam, I will shave anything to be in this movie.”  I figured it was a couple of days worth of work, so I agreed.  I go to wardrobe and I had this long blond surfer hair.  The girl said maybe we can just grease it back.  Sam said “Nope, off with the hair”.  I thought he was going to shemp me, make me show up on the set and put a helmet on me [laughs].  I showed up on the set and this was a real movie Sam Raimi actually built a castle in the desert.  It was a far cry from those super 8 movies, with a real budget.  Sam is up in his crane and he sees me with my bald head and the prosthetic mustache on.  He comes down next to me and screams “Perfect”.  He shows me this storyboard and it looks exactly the same as I do.  So he says “Your hired!”.  So the next thing I know I was working on the film for two and a half months.

MG: Would you consider the production to have been easy to work on?
TQ: For me it was just a new experience.  I never hung around my trailer.  I was always on the set wanting to learn and see what was going on.  Right in the middle of the movie, he decided he wanted to make it a full blown comedy and wanted to make the movie more campy than it already was.  Sam always has a great attitude on set.  He gets a lot out of his cast and crew because of it.  You learn to take care of cast and crew and the rest falls into place.

MG: Have you seen your character is in the recent “Army of Darkness” video game on the iPhone?
TQ: I just had a gentleman Scott contact me and I just signed like 200 cards. With every purchase of the game you will get a picture of me looking over the death pit, when the hand flies onto the guys face [screams].  So I think I am talking about the same thing you are.  So go out and buy that game and get an autographed picture.

MG: Tell us about working again with Bruce Campbell in “My Name is Bruce”, which he also directed?
TQ: Wow, it was really off the charts.  Danny Hicks and myself play the two tough guys in the film.  We were two farmers.  We didn’t really have any lines Bruce just wanted us to come and work on it.  Bruce is always like that their is a lot of ad libing.  He is a super director and producer.  He would take that hat off and become Ash [laughs].  Dan Hicks and I were just sitting in the courthouse.  We asked Bruce if we could throw in some lines because we really don’t like you in the film.  Danny says “I am going to brag about my character in “Evil Dead 2”.  I said “Hey I want to talk about the Blacksmith.  Of course Bruce says just go with it.  All the sudden Danny screams out “I would have gotten Jake from Evil Dead 2” and I screaming “How about that Blacksmith from “Army of Darkness”, that is one stud”.  Bruce gave this cock to his eye and said “Stud?”.  I gripped Danny’s hand and said “I don’t wanna quit you” and Bruce just started laughing.  Bruce really liked it and said “You guys are going to have more to say…but…you are both gay and walked away”.  So that is how we became gay characters the rest of the movie.  It went from 4 days on the set to a month.

MG: You continued to work with Sam Raimi on his other films like the “Spider-Man” trilogy, what was it like appearing in all three?
TQ: It has been very loyal to me since and I have appear in a few of his projects.  Those were great.  Bruce (Campbell), Scott Spiegel and myself were in all three of those.  If he found a part for you he would bring you back.  We were really fortunate.  I am next hoping to work with him next on “Oz: The Great and Powerful” this September.

MG: How did you get involved with working with Michael Kallio in “Paranormal, Burbank”
TQ: It was really cool.  I have worked with Michael Kallio on and off.  He was a lot of the behind the scenes on “My Name is Bruce”.  As we speak I have a new company called TheGreenManSolar.com, he is actually making our commercial.  We are doing a spot for Time Warner.  After all these years we are working together again on a project.

MG: What do you have planned next?
TQ: I have a script I am working on right now called “The Shemps”.  You know what a fake shemp is obviously.  It is about three gentlemen and all they inspire to do, in their 50’s, is to be a fake shemp.  They want to be just someone in the background or talking the background.  It is a very funny movie.  It is something that Sam is too big to do and Bruce is too busy to do.  So it is left for someone like me to do.  Then in September, fingers crossed, I will be appearing in “Oz: The Great and Powerful”. Shooting that in Detroit right in our home town.

Interview with Zack Ward

Zack Ward is known best for playing the role of Scut Farkus in the timeless holiday classic “A Christmas Story”. Zack has also appeared is various projects including “Transformers”, “Bloodrayne: Deliverance” and TV shows like “Dollhouse”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Zack about his experience on “A Christmas Story” and revisiting it every holiday season.

Mike Gencarelli: You are known best for your role of Scut Farkus in “A Christmas Story”, which is obviously how we met, do you every look back on that role and say “what if”?
Zack Ward: No. Not with ACS or any other project or any other part of life. I think I used to when I was younger; wishing things were different, kind of like wishing for “mutant powers” when I was the new kid in school. But as my dad says, “you can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first”. So I stopped wishing for things and just started doing. It’s a lot more fun and you don’t waste time complaining.

MG: Working on that film, what is your most fondest memory looking back?
ZW: When Bob Clark directed me and pretty much taught me how to act, not only artistically but as a respectful professional. He was a father figure to me and has shaped the way I live my life.

MG: How do you feel about them making “A Christmas Story” into a musical for stage?
ZW: Ecstatic! I love the show and love watching people enjoy it. I think they should make the bully more important, but that’s just me.

MG: You have worked quite a bit with Uwe Boll, tell us how that relationship start?
ZW:  I auditioned for “Postal” and got the job. While we were shooting he offered me the bad guy role in “Bloodrayne: Deliverance”. I learned a lot about film making from Uwe. Specifically what NOT to do, and honestly that’s just as valuable an education. Do I wish “Postal” was a good movie that had a nation wide launch with rave reviews? Absolutely. But you know my thoughts on wasting my time “wishing”.

MG: Partly due to that you have starred in 4 video game adaptations, are you generally a gamer? Where you familiar with the games prior to working on the films?
ZW: I like video game (just finished “Portal 2”) but it has nothing to do with it. That’s kind of like asking if I’m into books because the film is an adaptation. It doesn’t matter what the source material comes from as long as their is a character I can pursue and play with. As to the specific games; I played “Resident Evil”, loved the story but hated the controller. I thought “Postal” was a boring game. “Bloodrayne” was cool and the avatar was sexy. The other I never tried.

MG: Tell us about appearing on the show “Breakout Kings”?
ZW: Good fun. Shot in my hometown of Toronto. The director was the steadicam operator on “Titus”, so we knew each other. The cast is great. Got to do the big explosion scene, every guys wet dream. Script was intriguing and then got dumbed down in the edit. I like the show and hope they keep pushing envelopes.

MG: You also appeared this year in the TV film “Accidentally in Love”, tell us about working on that?
ZW: I got an offer from the Hallmark Channel to do a comedy and thought, “why not”. Silly fun stuff wearing a giant bunny suit? What’s not to like.

MG: You starred in two of the best episodes of the show “Dollhouse”, what can you tell us about that experience?
ZW: Just a big pile of AWESOME! And then they made comics for the DVD release so I’m in a comic books which pretty much makes all my adolescent fantasies come true. Guns, zombies, lesbians, saving the world….what more do you want?

MG: Are you planning on producing more in the future?
ZW: Yup. Just finishing off “Last Stop” (themovielaststop.com). We haven’t sold it yet but have a bunch of distributors lined up and asking. Not surprised as we’ve got Mena Suvari, Brian Austin Green, Joanne Kelly and Bob Picardo in it. And honestly they are amazing. If you check out the site you’ll see some cool pics and posters. The trailer is a temp done by one of our interns, but still pretty cool for what it is.

MG: What other projects are you currently working on and have planned upcoming?
ZW: I’m producing and directing my next film which is called “Experimental”. That sucker is gonna blow your mind.

Interview with Betsy Baker

Betsy Baker is best known for her role of Linda in “The Evil Dead”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Betsy about looking part on the cult classic film and also what she has been up to since.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your greatest memory working on the set of “The Evil Dead”
Betsy Baker: I think my memories all sort of meld into a few…. Even though there were many. I still clearly remember the awfully cold and frigid nights we shot. We only shot during the day on the river, while driving the car and at the bridge…the rest of the film was shot at night. It was cheaper, because then they didn’t have to spend money covering all the windows with black cloth. I remember driving down that long dirt road night…after night…knowing we’d be cold, tired, and probably come home with karo syrup sticky blood all over us (which we did!!). I also remember running into our cast and crew house and trying to get into the shower first every morning around 5:30 am, so I could get all the gunk off of me. It was always a race as to who got the most hot water.

MG: How do you feel that the movie has been so successful and become a cult classic since it release almost 30 years ago?
BB: It still amazes me to this day, what a cult classic this movie is. Of course, had it not been for video stores, this would have probably never happened with the great intensity that it did. But it’s still hard to believe.

MG: How was it revisiting “Evil Dead” for the “Ladies of the Evil Dead” documentary?
BB: It’s actually been a lot of fun… Not only to meet a lot of our fans at conventions around the US and around the world including Germany and London.  But just to sit together and laugh, and catch up from old times, and compare notes, and at the same time learn something new about the movie or the cast or crew.

MG: Shortly after “Evil Dead”, you took a break from acting, what was the reason? What made you return?
BB: I worked steadily for about 5-6 years after “Evil Dead”. I did a film with the great Karl Malden and John Malkovich, did plenty of commercials, some equity stage acting and I had 2 children! The greatest thing that ever happened to me! I wanted to devote time and energy to their upbringing as a family, and i didn’t think i could do that properly if i was rushing off to a play every night from 6 pm until midnight, or off on a film somewhere. No regrets… Just glad to be back acting again… and very, very proud of the great adults our children turned out to be!!

MG: Will there be any more seasons of the webseries “Dangerous Women” with Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly?
BB: We’d love to have a second season.. and a third… and a… well, you get the idea. Webseries, though, is a very difficult medium to forge ahead and continue to produce and make, if there isn’t a studio house or a production company behind it. We’ll have to just guess what happens to those three broads, since they had just begun to figure out that something really creepy and weird was going in their lives.

MG: How did you end up appearing in the TV show “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”? Was it fun?
BB: I auditioned for a tiny, tiny part and it took less than 1/2 a day to shoot. But I thought it was such a bizarre title, a bizarre show, and a bizarre premise.. I couldn’t turn it down.

MG: How was it reuniting with Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly in the horror comedy, “Brutal Masacre: A Comedy”?
BB: “Brutal Massacre” was a fun movie.  It’s great to say that we were all in it together, although.. as is often the case with a lot of TV or film work…we never worked on the set at the same time. I was flying back to Los Angeles the day Theresa arrived, and I barely saw Ellen…even at the hotel!

MG: What else do you have planned for the coming future?
BB: I just starred in a psychological thriller called “2084′”, which should be available now. Think “The entire world is threatened by a virus and forced to stay inside”.  Pretty cool stuff.

Interview with Theresa Tilly

Theresa Tilly is best known for her role of  Shelly in “The Evil Dead”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Theresa about looking part on the cult classic film and also what she has been up to since.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your greatest memory working on the set of “The Evil Dead”
Theresa Tilly: Remember we were a bunch of kids, just out of college, some still in college, and all of us loved movies and acting. So the fact that we were leaving town to go and shoot a movie, our first feature film, was just a dream come true. Once reality set in, that it meant performing in the freezing cold with karo syrup all over you and not having slept for 24 hours, etc. well, it became more of a nightmare. Still the collaborative aspect of it was incredible. Even though what were shooting seemed crazy, we all had faith that Sam knew what he was doing, he just had a lot of confidence.

MG: How do you feel that the movie has been so successful and become a cult classic since it release almost 30 years ago?
TT: It is really fun to be part of this legendary film. I’m not really a horror movie buff and its embarrassing that I don’t know that much about the cult itself but nonetheless, I really have fun meeting people who love this movie and chatting to them about all the details, they often know more than I do about it.

MG: How was it revisiting “Evil Dead” for the “Ladies of the Evil Dead” documentary?
TT: It feels like a high school reunion every time we all get together. It was one of those things that you just don’t know how you ever got through it and so the memories are still there, it’s fun to share that with those who went through it with you.

MG: Shortly after “Evil Dead”, you took a break from acting, what was the reason?
TT: It was more of a change of style. I actually began doing sketch comedy at the local comedy club The Comedy Castle. That evolved when my partner quit and I had to either quit too or do it myself, which is what I did. I performed as an opening act all over the Midwest for the likes of Tim Allen, Gary Shandling, Bob Saget, Mike Binder, Paula Poundstone…I must say I had a bit of a bad taste for film making and thought it might be fun to be my own boss for a while. I then started commuting to Chicago to study at Second City and do stand-up at night. I landed a pilot while there and that is really what brought me to Los Angeles. The pilot was never picked up but it made me believe I had to follow this dream. I spent many years doing voice over work and working a DJ as I wanted to be a mom that raised my own child. That allowed me the chance to have a little of both. Now that she is grown, I just can’t stay off the stage. I’m about to do my second play in three months!

MG: How was it reuniting with Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Parker in the horror comedy, “Brutal Masacre: A Comedy”?
TT: You mean after they were out on parole?! They’d like that one…I love traveling around with two ole pals and talking about the good old days it’s been a real blast.

MG: Will there be any more seasons of the webseries “Dangerous Women” with Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly?
TT: It’s a great little series and I WISH it would get picked up, then we could work together again, wouldn’t that just be so cool!!!

MG: What else do you have planned for the coming future?
TT: I’m about to put a little acting program into the local school system for kids who might not other wise have the chance to do a play, that’s keeping me busy.

Interview with Marilyn Burns

Marilyn Burns is best known for her starring role as Sally Hardesty in the ground breaking 1974 Tobe Hooper film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Marilyn about her role in the film and some her other experiences in the movie business.

Adam Lawton: How did you end up working on “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” as your first starring role?
Marilyn Burns: I had been with the Texas film commission and helped start that up way back when. I had also gone to the University of Texas and received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. I was doing any film that came to Texas such as Robert Altman’s “Brewster McCloud”, Sidney Lumet’s “Lovin’ Molly” and “The Great Waldo Pepper” with Robert Redford. They were all little walk on parts practically but I also tried to work with the production people and do my best to learn something. When I was doing “Lovin’ Molly” I knew these two film makers Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel. They came on the set one day to see what we were shooting. They happened to be serving chicken that day for lunch and I think Stephen Friedman who was a producer on the film saw these two people who were coming to eat chicken that weren’t part of the cast or crew. They came over and told them to put the chicken back. I recognized them and we kind of looked at each other before they were hustled of the set. A short time later I was called in for a reading for the part of Sally.

AL: What did you think when you first saw Gunner Hansen in the Leather face costume?
MB: Gunner had stayed away from the cast because he was the scary guy. They didn’t want us to do a lot of talking or become buddies. He looked very scary in his outfit and it was very impressive! We didn’t have to really fake it when we saw him. The mask and the different costume changes were frightening. Plus if you see an actor with a chainsaw and you’re a bunch of kids running around in the dark you’re going to be scarred! I don’t know what we were thinking because Gunner could have tripped and that chainsaw could have gone up in the air. They had taken the chain of it but everything else was still moving and it could have done some damage. When we were doing the chase scenes Gunner did trip and that was really scary. Another time when I was hiding in the bushes and Gunner was trying to get me with the chainsaw he couldn’t see very well out of his mask and my hair had gotten tangled in the branches. I was sitting there praying someone would yell cut before he tripped and got me with the chainsaw. It was pretty intense and when I look back on it I wonder what we were all thinking. It was crazy!

AL: What do you think was the most difficult part of the shoot?
MB: The dinner scene. That was a 26-28 hour shoot that was a smelly mess. It was so hot and we were all getting sick. We just kept working and working while the chicken and head cheese was rotting.  The lights were very hot and Gunner’s costume smelled quite bad because he didn’t have a change. It was a very intense evening.

AL: How was it working with Tobe Hooper?
MB: Tobe had already done “Egg Shells” and he was kind of looked up to in the Austin area. Everyone in the film and drama department was aware of anyone that actually made movies.  I was really pleased to work with him. He was delightful.

AL: You also worked with Tobe on “Eaten Alive”. How did that experience compare to working with him on “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”?
MB: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was all made up and we did everything for real because we didn’t have a sound stage or anything. We used real gas stations and houses. We did everything on the road in the van and it was just too many people in one van sweating trying to get the scenes.  Everything was very real. “Eaten Alive” was done on a sound stage where there was a pool for the alligator to run around in. Everything had sort of a surrealistic different kind of feeling. It was in Hollywood so that makes a big difference.  I had the spider monkeys put by my dressing room which didn’t smell very good! There is always a touch of realism as you do these things. I think they may have put the monkeys by my door on purpose. (Laughs) There were always fun little things happening on the set of both films.

AL: What are your feelings toward the remakes of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and the upcoming 3-D version?
MM: They are all interesting and entertaining. I was concerned at first thinking they were going to redo the film and that I was going to be competing with another actress in the role. I realized that no, they weren’t the same movie. They were all enjoyable and different.  “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” with Caroline Williams and Dennis Hopper was brilliant. There have been some good things but I don’t know how we are going to take a chainsaw in 3-D. It’s going to be interesting.

AL: Were you a fan of the horror genre prior to making the movie?
MM: It wasn’t the career choice I made.  I was surely a fan as when I was a kid I would go to all the Saturday matinees and watch all the movies. I like mystery and suspense but I never thought in a million years that I would be noted for the horror genre. However it has been very good to me and it’s a fun and exciting place that I have enjoyed.

AL: What do you think has been your favorite role from your career so far?
MM: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” has legs that I never thought would be possible. It’s amazing how much it still keeps going and the interest is still there. The part was very hard to do and it took a lot out of me but I have to give the part credit and people know me very well because of it. I also enjoyed doing the film “Helter Skelter” which was about the Manson family. It seems I am always offered these great gruesome pictures. I have to say that whoever would have thought that after all these years Sally Hardesty would still be so popular. It’s just amazing!

AL: Can you tell us about your role in the upcoming film “Bone Boys” and any other upcoming projects?
MM: I’m in “Bone Boys” for just a second. If you blink you will miss me. Kim Henkel who helped Tobe write “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” wrote “Bone Boys” and that’s his puppy. Being a great friend of Kim’s we had a good time. I actually saw him recently and we had dinner at the house we shot “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in. It has been turned into a beautiful restaurant. They had a showing of the film there and while we were eating I realized I was sitting in the same spot as I was in the scene. It was very surreal to be there during the dinner sequence in the movie and to be back sitting in the same place which is now a beautifully restored restaurant called the Junction. I have another project that I am working on right now however I don’t want to comment on it just yet. As soon as I know everything I will be glad to let everyone know about it.

Interview with Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson played the charismatic and almost loveable Bubba in Tobe Hooper’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”. Bill took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Movie Mikes about his work in the film as well as some of his other upcoming projects.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us how you got involved with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”?
Bill Johnson: Early summer of 1986, I got a call from my agent telling me that I was going to go and audition for Tobe Hooper. I had not seen the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” prior to that phone call however I saw it immediately afterwards. I went into the audition and read for the casting director. From there I got a call back to read with the casting director and the writer this time. Then I got another call back, this time to read with Tobe and Caroline Williams. It was mostly improvisational and they liked Caroline and I together…so they cast me.

AL: Can you tell us what it was like working with Bill Mosley and Dennis Hopper?
BJ: Dennis was a pretty amazing guy. He was doing pre-production for his film “Colors” at the same time as filming for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” was going on. Dennis would only be on set the days he was shooting. Dennis really had this enormous energy and when you were with him you really got that sense about him. Dennis had a great sense of humor and was always joking around. Working with Bill was also a lot of fun and he was really ready to play that role. He and I played cards quite a bit while I was cooped up in my trailer in full costume. (Laughs)

AL: Any great behind the scene stories you can tell us from that shoot?
BJ: The place we were shooting in one night almost burnt down, which was pretty interesting. We were shooting on the set of the underground building and for that set the design department had searched all the second hand and goodwill stores within a 50 mile radius for any lamps they could find.  After they got them all put up in there they actually clocked the temperature at 125 degrees. The idea for all the lights came because production had fallen behind and they lit the entire building to save time on set up. The University of Texas art department did the props and art work which was really great. From what I was told some of the wiring may not have been up to code and a spark or something set off the fire. Someone from the crew threw a ladder up and pulled down the stuff that had caught on fire. They really saved the bacon.

AL: Can you tell us about your role in the film “Jon”?
BJ: “Jon” is a film about a fledgling serial killer. Billy Instone produced, wrote and directed that film on a budget of just $5,000. I think he ended up with a really nice film! The main character has an imaginary friend  to speak that convinces Jon to do harmful things. I have four scenes in the film and play the role of a priest who Jon visits with to talk about the things he has done. The film has a really great ending that I think people are going to enjoy. Billy is just such a great artist and the director of cinematography Dave Griffin did a really great job as well on the film. I hope to have some of the DVD’s at a few of my upcoming convention appearances for people to check out.

AL: You also have done some voice work for a few video games. Can you tell us how you got involved with that?
BJ: I have a degree in performance and have done a lot of stage and screen work and voice over has been a part of that. I got a call one day from a guy by the name of Raymond Benson, who I had gone to school with. He tells me they are going to try something that has never been done before with computer role playing games in that they are going to use digitized voice. I went in the first day to record and it was pretty much a janitors closet with some foam walls and a dat recorder which I guess had been smuggled in from Germany.(Laughs) We recorded everything for that first project in that closet. I find doing the voice over work to be a lot of fun.

AL: Can you tell us about your upcoming project?
BJ: I have a role in a film called “Boneboys”. Kim Henkel who has been the co-writer on most of the “Texas Chainsaw” movies wrote this script and it is wicked! I play this really bad perverted baker that tries to lure in teens. There is some really cool stuff in this film and I think people are going to like it. The film is wacky and very intense. It’s quite edgy.  I have a cameo role in a film called “Supernatural Exorcism” which was directed by Derek Lee Nixon, who is also in “Boneboys”.  A few more that I have been a part of recently one being “Naked Horror” by Carlo Rodriguez another titled “Creatures from Hell” and I also did an old fashion comedy called “Camp Kickatoo”.

Interview with Richard Band

Richard Band is known best for scoring the film “Re-Animator”, which is one of my favorite horror scores. Richard has worked a lot in his career with his brother Charles Band specifically with scoring the “Puppet Master” series. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Richard about his scores, his favorites and what he has planning upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: What is your process like when starting to compose for a film?
Richard Band: What I like to do is look at the film numerous times. In the old days I would sit and watch the film in a screening room around four or five times. Now with the invention of quick time and computerized digitalization I will sit and watch a film as many times as it takes to get an idea for what the movie calls for. It has to kind of speak to me in a way so that it passes from my head down to my heart. A lot of times a film has a deeper context and that’s really what I look to bring out with music. I really like to use music to bring out that underlying momentum or meaning of the film or characters.

MG: Have you ever worked on a score prior to seeing a scene or film?
RB: It happens now and then. When you’re working on a musical you have to have the music completed before they start filming. I haven’t done any musicals per say but I have done some work where a song or music was required for the scene to be shot. In that case you have to get familiar with the scene and talk with the director and producer. I try to use a similar process as when I am able to see the project that way everyone is on the same page.

MG: “Re-Animator” is one of the best scores in horror history and also one of my personal favorites. Can you tell us what your inspiration was for that score?
RB: After watching the film quite a few times the thing that came to me very early on was Herbert West’s mania. This character is clearly a genius but at the same time he is totally nuts. This was a main driving force. This combined with the fact that the film was so out there and crazy for it’s time. If the film was treated on a serious level people would probably walk out in a second as it would be too much to believe on any level. I decided the music had to have a type of humor to it that was quirky and a touch off. I began thinking about different movies that the audience could immediately relate to and at the same time exemplify just how nuts and crazy the main character is. “Psycho” came into my mind and I knew it was a film that everyone would recognize. I used some of the motifs’ and or orchestrations from “Psycho” but I added my own original theme and a quirky drum that would give it my own signature but also give it something people could relate back to.

MG: You worked on all/most the films in the “Puppet Master” series, how do you differentiate when working on each score?
RB: In the case of the “Puppet Master” series when it started out no one knew it was going to become a franchise. I think an important ingredient in any film is there has to be a very identifiable theme that could go across that film and be strong enough for people to identify with. On the sequels there was no question that the main theme had to be a driving force in the subsequent scores. The theme its self has an element of sadness combined with a circus type element that shows that no matter how bad the puppets are in their deeds the puppets are actually the good guys.

MG: You have worked throughout the sci-fi/horror genre; do you have a favorite score that you have worked on?
RB: I have done so many different kinds of scores. Of the genre stuff I don’t think I really have a favorite. I did a score that’s not really genre called “Ghost Warrior”. I recorded that with the Royal Philharmonic and it has a very beautiful score. Of the genre stuff “From Beyond” is in the top five. I did a score for Paramount called “Dragon World” which is a really beautiful score that I like a lot. It’s hard to really pin point one favorite.

MG: Do you a have film score that you have not worked on that you really liked?
RB: I have always been a very big fan of Jerry Goldsmith’s work. He has done so many good scores. The score he won an Academy award for in “The Omen” was really incredible. Even going back earlier than Jerry his teacher Nicholas Rosa did some amazing scores as well like “Spartacus”. There have been a lot of great composers through the years. I wish we had more of those types these days. There seems to be a shortage of very lush scores these days due to cost’s.

MG: How do you feel that composing has changed since your first film, if at all?
RB: Scoring has changed since I started. The first 12-15 years I did mostly large orchestral work. My upbringing and training was much more formal even though I had done some electronic work during those years. I started before computers really came into use so the work was much more meticulous back then. We had a music editor who wrote music notes while watching a piece and at the end they would hand me around 500 pages of musical notation broken down to seconds and milliseconds. Everything was done from memory and notes which was much more intimate. A lot of times in those days it was me sitting at a piano with a lot of good pencils, paper and erasers. Today you have to be both a composer and a friggin engineer to work all the gear they have now. In the older days I could put in a good 10 hr. day of writing. These days if I put 10 hrs. of work in maybe half of it is writing and the rest is screwing around with equipment.

MG: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
RB: Right now I am doing a pretty cool 3-D short that I believe will start airing at the end of the month on one of the 3-D channels. Then In a couple weeks I start on a feature titled “Shiver” which is a suspense thriller starring Danielle Harris, Casper Van Dien and a few others.

Interview with Mike Christopher

Mike Christopher is known best for his role of the Hare Krishna Zombie in “Dawn of the Dead”.  Mike’s character in that film is one of the most well known zombies ever in films.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Mike about his role and what he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you became the Hare Krishna Zombie in “Dawn of the Dead”
Mike Christopher: I was playing in a rock band “FLUID” at the time and Mickey Lies (the Machete Zombie’s brother) gave our picture to Romero. The “FLUID” band performed a space themed theatrical show with our music and we all had bald heads. The Sax player, John Paul Musser got the role as the Plaid Shirt/ Airport Zombie. George came up with the idea to have a Hare Krishna for diversity. It was a great role and I just got lucky I guess. Having the bald head was the ticket to play one of those pesky Krishna guyz.

MG: How does it feel to be one of the most recognizable zombies in film history?
MC: It’s actually kind of scary. I think about all these thousands of people who were actually afraid to sleep on the 3rd floor of their parent’s house because of me. I still scare a few people at the conventions. Just last weekend at Saturday Nightmares I noticed a gal laughing hysterically pointing at me. (I was ‘in character’) I got up and started to shamble towards her. She screamed and ran so I began to follow her. She kept running and screaming. I believe she was genuinely terrified.

MG: After “Dawn of the Dead”, you didn’t act again till a few years ago, why was that?
MC: I moved to Los Angeles and performed laser light shows for Laserium and Laser Media. I also made synthesizers and drum machines for Oberheim in Santa Monica, colorized Black and White Movies for Color Systems Technology who was colorizing some of the Turner Library. I also worked in video post for a while before moving to Florida in ’96 and became a Graphic Artist. It wasn’t until after I lost my job in Graphics that I learned of the conventions, then my action figure came out and I started getting roles in indy films when I started networking on mySpace and the Florida film scene.

MG: Any neat behind the scenes stories that you were saving up for this interview?
MC: The best one is when I surprised George Romero at HorrorFind in 2008. I waited in line and he looked up at me, read my badge and said “Mike, you look kinda familliar.” I had a pre signed action figure which I set down on the table in front of him and he looked back up at me saying “You’re the GUY . . . I DON’T FUCKIN’ BELIEVE IT! He stood up and grabbed me in a bear hug and apologized for not recognizing me. “George, it’s been 30 years I said.” I wish I had a movie of THAT!

MG: How can you reflect that with just one role you have such a loyal horror fanbase?
MC: I owe it all to the genius that is George Romero . . . they are actually fans of George’s Hare Krishna character, I just brought the zombie to life or something.

MG: What do you like most about going to horror conventions and meeting fans?
MC: Meeting the fans IS the best part. Musicians don’t get to meet their fans, most other celebs do not get to meet the fans either. I remember a guy telling me he totaled his car on the way to FearFest 2 after hitting a piece of black ice. He was so proud that he still was able to make it. “Dawn Of The Dead” fans are tops. . . I get to hold their children and get my picture in the family album for cryin’ out loud! I remember this guy saying “I can’t believe it’s 3 am and I’m talking to the Hare Krishna Zombie in a hotel hallway.” You can’t put a price on special moments like that.

MG: You recently composed a score for a movie, “Bikini Monsters”, any future plans?
MC: I actually played the role of Captain Nicholson in Bikini Monsters as well as composing music for it. My ghoulfriend Shade Burnett and Richard ‘Spaceape’ Kaltenbock also created music tracks. Spaceape and I played in a band together in the early 70’s which was actually the first incarnation of the bald space band in Pittsburgh.

MG: What other projects do you have planned upcoming?
MC: I’ll be working with Shade on her horror interview show “These Ghoulish Things Remind Me Of You.” and composing more music. No definite new film plans as of yet, just a few possibilities floating around.

Interview with Ian Patrick Williams

Ian Patrick Williams started his career working on the film “Re-Animator”. From there he was thrust into the world of sci-fi/horror starring in films like “TerrorVision”, “Dolls”, “Bad Channels”, King of the Ants, and most recently “Growth”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Ian about his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you start your film career off?
Ian Patrick Williams: While working as a stage actor in Chicago, I did my first film for director Andy Davis called “Stony Island”.  I don’t think it was ever released, but Andy went on to direct a lot of major films including “The Fugitive”.  Then Stuart Gordon directed a play we co-authored called “Bleacher Bums” for PBS-TV for which we (the cast and co-authors) were given the Chicago Emmy award.  After moving to L.A. in 1980, I worked mostly in TV until doing “Re-Animator” with Stuart in ’83.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “Dolls”.  Can you recall your experience?
IPW: The best way to learn about “Dolls” is to listen to the commentary track that Carolyn, Stephen, Carrie and I did a few years ago.  I had been in Rome the year before shooting “Terror Vision” with Ted Nicholau so I already knew my way around the city.  We shot on a small studio built by Dino DiLaurentis just outside of Rome.  What most people don’t realize is that the entire house was actually a set built inside one of the sound stages!

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on the film?
IPW: I suppose the only challenge was that with such a small cast, there was very little time off  – we were all working pretty much every day.  Fortunately, I had spent so many years doing theater with Stuart and Carolyn that we had an automatic shorthand together and didn’t need very much rehearsal.

MG: You have worked a few times with Stuart Gordon on films like “Robot Jox” & “King of the Ants”.  Tell us about how you started that.
IPW: Stuart had started directing theater in Madison Wisconsin when he was in college; he then moved to Chicago and started the Organic Theater Company with Carolyn and then-unknown Chicago actors Joe Mantegna, Dennis Franz and Meshach Taylor.  He first hired me to do a production of “Rashomon” at an open air theater on the University of Chicago campus; a few months later he invited me to go on a European tour with the company.  We’ve worked together on and off ever since.

MG: You worked on an episode “Freddy‘s Nightmares”.  Tell us about that show.
IPW: It was a treat to work with both Tobe Hooper and Bob Englund.  Because it was the pilot episode, there was a fair amount of chaos as the network and producers were haggling over exactly how the show should look.  As a result, we frequently worked 14 hour days.  Because of union turn-around rules, we couldn’t start up again for another 12 hours.  So on day 1, we’d have a 6:00 AM call and get home after dark.  By the time the work week was over, we were getting home at dawn and called at 6:00 PM to work all night!  But it was worth it to be known as the guy who ‘killed’ Freddy Kruger.

MG: Tell us about playing the ‘evil villain’ in the recent film “Growth”.
IPW: I had done a table read for the director and producers playing a different character.  But by the time production began, they had done a re-write and that character was omitted.  The role of Mason was cast with an older actor; but for some reason, he had to drop out two days before his scenes were to be shot.  They made a frantic call to my agent asking if I could fly to Martha’s Vineyard and take over the role on a moment’s notice.  It took about an hour in the makeup chair every day making me look like I was 70 or 80 years old, depending on the scene.  I think the special effects are quite good for a low budget film, which should give confidence to all first time directors without a lot of money.

MG: Do you enjoy working more in television or in film?
IPW: The process is pretty much the same.  TV is usually a little faster because they have to shoot an hour long episodic in seven working days.  A bigger budgeted film can take months to shoot, which can actually become pretty boring.  I shot a small role in a “Spider-Man” parody called “Superhero: The Movie”, produced by the Weinstein brothers in 2008.  There were several days when I sat in my trailer for 10 hours, only to be told they weren’t going to get to me that day.  I’d much rather be on a lower budgeted film if it means I’m working all the time.

MG: Tell us about what you are working on upcoming.
IPW: I’ve acted in a few more low budget films: “Dire Wolf”, “Action Hero” and “Simon Says”, but I have no idea when they’ll be distributed.  I’ve recently gone back to my first love: theater.  In recent months, I’ve performed in the plays “Lucia Mad”, “Puzzlers” and “Judgement at Nuremburg”, all in the L.A. area.  As far as future film or TV roles, like all actors I’ll just have to wait and see.

Interview with Tyler Mane

Tyler Mane is best known for his role of Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s reboot of “Halloween”.  Tyler is currently producing films through his company Mane Entertainment.  Movie Mikes got a chance to chat with Tyler about his work and also what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: How do you prepare for a role when you come on board a film?
Tyler Mane: Well it all depends on what you are doing.  With something like the iconic Michael Myers role.  I watched the other films to see what the other Michael Myers did and I wanted to bring something extra to the role.  You start my breaking down the script, reading it and seeing what you can bring the role.

MG: You got a chance to play one of horrors greatest villains, Michael Myers, how can you reflect on that experience?
TM: It just crazy how it came about.  I was up in Canada, getting ready to talk with producers about another project.  The phone rings and it is Rob Zombie.  He says “Hey, I want you to play Michael Myers for me for my “Halloween” film”  You could tell I did not know a lot about horror because I said “Why would I want to wear a hockey mask” [laughs] and Rob goes “You dumbass, it is not Jason it is the William Shatner/Michael Myers mask”.  He then explained his vision for it and I was on board.  It was such a fantastic experience to bring that character to live just by body movement.

MG: Tell us about the differences between working on “Halloween” and “Halloween II”?
TM: It was like working with family, after everyone caught up on what everyone had been doing it was down to business. For me it was how was I going to top the first “Halloween”. I spoke with Rob and we both agreed that we needed to amp up the kills and I think right out of the gate with the nurse we did that!

MG: With “Halloween 3D” announced for 2012, are you going to be taking over the role again?
TM: We will see… I do know that they finally have a date locked in now.  I have talked with them the first time about it back after “Halloween II”.  They put it on the shelf for a while and now they are starting up again.  So we are going to see what happens.

MG: What would you say is your most difficult role to date?
TM: The one thing I was concerned about most was Michael Myers because you do have no dialogue.  I wanted to get it right because the fan following for “Halloween” is just insane.  I wanted to also make sure I brought what I need to to the role.  But I also wanted to give Michael Myers the depth and humanity that I think he deserves.  He is not just a one dimensional character.

MG: What is your favorite genre to work in?
TM: I started with action.  When I was young kid watching pro wrestling and action movies, I thought I wanted to be an action star.  So I got to do some of that and I am doing some horror.  Through Mane Entertainment, we are doing “247ºF”, which is a thriller, then we are doing a supernatural thriller and then we have a horror thriller coming after that.  So we are staying along the genre and hoping the fans will like them.

MG: What can you tell us about your new film “247ºF”, which you star and produce?
TM: I came on board that project and we shot it in Tbilisi, Georgia.  The cast is Scout Taylor-Compton, Travis Van Winkle, Michael Copon, Christina Ulloa and myself.  It is the first time that Scout and I are reuniting since the “Halloween” films.  We are looking at that coming out sometime this Fall.

MG: You are working on your production company, Mane Entertainment, is that currently your primary focus?
TM: It is the best way to do the projects you want is to create them yourselves and do them through your own company.  That is what we are doing with Mane Entertainment.  With producing you get to step on to the other side of the fence so to speak.  It has been an interesting eye-opening experience.  For the female roles in “247ºF”, we had over 1,000 submissions.  It is crazy to see the other side of it.  You really understand the other side of the business.

MG: What else do you currently have planned?
TM: We are going back to there to Georgia for a project called “Compound Fracture”, which will be coming out in 2012.  Then we starting a web series called “Chopper” that I am also co-producing, which we are releasing this Fall.

Interview with Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for author Dallas Mayr. He has written over twenty books, including novels, short-stories and contributions to anthologies. He has had several of his novels turned into films over the last five years including “The Lost”, “Red”, “The Girl Next Door”, “Offspring”and the most recent “The Woman”. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with him about his numerous film adaptions and also what he has planned upcoming?

Mike Gencarelli: What is your process for writing a story, do you have film adaption if you mind when do it?
Jack Ketchum: No, I just write the story. But movies have influenced me greatly over the years, so I think my stories often have a cinematic feel to them.

MG: Some of the content in your novels are pretty intense, are you weary of how they can translate into film?
JK: Well, the movies which have been made based on my books have pretty much kept most of the intensity. So I don’t see why that shouldn’t continue.

MG: How has it been working with Lucky McKee on “The Woman” and “Red”?
JK: Lucky’s great to work with. I’d only collaborated on a handful of short stories before with Edward Lee and P.D. Cacek, so I was a little leery going into writing “The Woman” with him, a much longer project, and I think he’d never worked with a novelist before so he probably was too. But we’d been completely in agreement as to how RED should work, so we were optimistic. And even though I’m old enough to be his father, we might have been exact contemporaries — that’s how much we thought alike.

MG: How do you feel that the adaption for “The Woman” has turned out?
JK: I love it. I’m proud of it. I was on-set for most of the shoot and saw how well it was going so I’m not surprised. We knew we had something special all along.

MG: How would you put the film adaptions, “The Lost”, “Red”, “The Girl Next Door”, “Offspring” & “The Woman”, ranking from most liked to least?
JK: Sorry, I’m not going to do that. It’s like picking your favorite kid. All I can say is that in each case the filmmakers have tried their best to stay faithful to the source material, and for that I’m quite grateful.

MG: How much input have you had with the film adaptions of your novels?
JK: Some more than others, but everybody’s asked me for some, particularly in the scripting stage. As I said, I was there for most of the filming of “The Woman” and that was cool, because if something wasn’t going right Lucky and I could fix it right then and there together. I was also on the set of “The Girl Next Door” a lot, because it was shooting quite near me, in New York and New Jersey. On “The Lost”, I saw three drafts of the screenplay and commented on them. I even worked with some of the actors, discussed their parts. Chris Sivertson, the director, was very open to that. In fact he even bought copies of the book for all the cast and crew to read! Unheard of!

MG: You have appeared as a cameo or role in most of the film, are you trying to follow Stephen King with his films?
JK: Alfred Hitchcock.

MG: How do you film you work has changed or evolved since your first novel?
JK: I think my characters are much richer. “Off Season” mostly sketched in the characters, which was necessary because I wanted the shit to hit the fan early on. But you take “Red” or “The Woman”, and there’s a much more gradual build. I think my writing’s grown more assured too.

MG: Do you have novel you have always wanted to get made into a film?
JK: I’d love to see “Ladies Night” filmed. I think it’s a natural. Stuart Gordon had an option on it for quite a while, wrote a damn good script which contained elements of a script I’d written long before. But the option’s lapsed, alas.

MG: What is your next novel that you are working on?
JK: Right now, no novel. A screenplay. But I’m not going to tell you what it’s about. If I talk about a story I generally won’t write it. I wind up talking it to death.

Interview with James Hong

James Hong is best know for his role of Lo Pan in “Big Trouble in Little China” and Hannibal Chew in “Blade Runner”.  Kids might know him as the voice of Mr. Ping from the “Kung Fu Panda” series.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with James about his classic roles as well as what he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you enjoy voicing Mr. Ping in “Kung Fu Panda” series?
James Hong: Yes I did, very much.  There is one scene I liked the most where Mr. Ping says to Po, that “You will be gone, you will go to a place with strange noodle, strange people…don’t go”.  He encourages him to go and then names a whole bunch of circumstances not to do.  That was funny scene.

MG: You are also reprising that character again in “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”, what can you tell us about that?
JH: I am working on that now.  I just finished three episodes.  They are all very good.  I think people are going to be very pleased.  Some of the episodes has a lot of Mr. Ping in it which I am very thankful for.

MG: You are no stranger to voice work, you also voiced Chi Fu in Disney’s “Mulan”, how was it voicing a character for Disney?
JH: I am another kind of crabby old guy, who is very fussy and so forth.  I actually saw some of it throughout the drawings.  I thought it was some of the best graphics I have seen in animation.  Each frame was like a painting.  They incorporated a lot of the Asian feeling as well.  I am very appreciative that I was involved with that project.

MG: You are known best for your role of Lo Pan in “Big Trouble in Little China”, can you believe this film is still around and finding new audiences?
JH: I just has this huge cult following.  Lo Pan still lives.  Never dies! [laughs].  He is still floating around in the universe…looking for the girl with the green eyes.  When I find her I shall marry her! [laughs].

MG: What was the best part about working on that film?
JH: One day I was walked on the set and I saw the underground tunnel set with the water channel running through it and the monster jumping out.  It was a fantastic set.  In those days, it wasn’t popular to use a digital sets.  That set was an actual set and what amazed me is that each arch that was in the tunnel got smaller and smaller and smaller so that it looked like it went really long.  Actually though it was a series of hand made smaller arches leading into the distance.  I was amazed at the wonderful work the set director had done.  I said to (John) Carpenter, “Wow, this set should win an award”.  He said “Well how about you”.  I was very impressed what he thought of my acting as Lo Pan.  Of course none of us got any awards from the film [laughing].  But the award I think is with the appreciation of the fans.  The fans somehow latched onto that character and the whole film.  That has rewarded me 100-fold for my performance.

MG: You are in another cult classic, “Blade Runner”, playing Hannibal Chew, can you reflect working that film?
JH: It was a totally different feeling working on this film.  To me that was a memorizing film.  It just hypnotizes you.  You watch each frame and you get drawn into it.  Ridley Scott has that know-how of just sucking you into his film.  People really got into that film, almost like its part of their souls belongs to that film [laughs].  My character created the replicants in the film.  To make the eyeballs was something the character dreamt of doing.  Once he saw his children wearing his eyes, he was flabbergasted.  Even though he dies at their hands, still they were his creation.  He died in his glory in a way.  I enjoyed working on this film for sure.

MG: What other projects do you have planned upcoming?
JH: I just did another film called “Safe” with Jason Statham.  That movie is being released in October or November, I believe.  I am the head of the mafia in the film.  It is all done in Mandarin.  It is a fun evil part [laughs]. Another film I did, is a younger teen adventure called “The Lost Medallion”, which is going to also be released really soon.  In another month I will also be on “Funny or Die”.  That is really cool, you will love it.  It is a segment called “Fleshlight”.  Of course I also have the TV series “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness”, which should be airing in November.  I am actually looking to produce my own films.  I want to produce an anthology series called “Dark Tales by James Hong”.  If you or any of your readers have any good stories feel free to forward along a synopsis and we will go from there.  I would even encourage any filmmakers if they would like to make their own short film, I would consider incorporating it into my series.  So that is pretty cool!  I will be sort of like the Asian Vincent Price [laughs].

Interview with Chelah Horsdal

Chelah Horsdal is currently co-starring in the hit film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”.  She is also starring in the direct-to-DVD prequel “Marley & Me: The Puppy Years”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Chelah about her new films and also what she has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: How was your experience working on the film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
Chelah Horsdal: Delightful…Rupert Wyatt is a quiet genius who ran a really great set. Both James Franco and John Lithgow are hard working and easy to be around. Mr. Lithgow is such a veteran in this business…he carries himself with true generosity and kindness towards everyone…very humbling. And watching Andy Serkis as Caesar was a site to behold…he’s got mad skills.

MG: Tell us about your role of Irena in the film?
CH: One of the themes in the film deals with Alzheimer’s and the effects on a small family trying to deal with the disease. I play a home-care nurse brought in to care for John Lithgow’s character. She does her best to help James Franco’s character adjust to his father’s disease.

MG: What did you like most about working on the film, “Marley & Me: The Puppy Years”?
CH: What a dynamite time we had….not only were we on set with well over 20 dogs…but the subject matter was so light and the cast/crew so funny that some days felt like being at the circus. Just joyful. I fell madly in love with one of the puppies…and 8 months later, here he still is, curled up on my lap as i write this. Michael Damian is such a kind man, and Janeen, his wife and co-writer, was just lovely to spend time with. Working with the dogs was a totally new experience…you can imagine trying to hit your mark, say your dialogue, juggle props, manage a puppy hitting HIS mark, creating natural gaps for the dog’s dialogue….oh, and meanwhile, act! It can be time consuming and, at times, frustrating…but when it all comes together it’s tremendously satisfying. The trainers were so darn good with those dogs…we would have been completely lost without them.

MG: Talk about how this film differs from the first film, since the animals talk in this?
CH: This film is completely unique to the first…tonality, storyline…everything. My character is John Grogan’s sister (Owen Wilson’s character in the first), and my son & I take the puppy for a few weeks while he & Jen (Jennifer Anisten) go on a writing assignment. That set up is really the only connection to the first film. Yes, the dogs talk…so you may have guessed it’s directed at a younger audience. The storyline is one of learning to both commit and follow through, how hard work pays off and how important it is we be there for each other as family. And it’s got some fun puppy gags. The overall cuteness is off the charts…these pups were so precious, you can’t help but utter a lot of ‘awwww’s.

MG: What was your involvement with the film “The Cabin in the Woods”?
CH: I had a very small role in this very large movie. Can’t say too much due to all the secrecy, but my character works for a large corporation….and the highlight was working with the wildly talented Richard Jenkins. The group of actors who had small roles on the film reads like a who’s who of Canadian talent: Terry Chen, Ellie Harvie, Patrick Gilmore, Peter Kelamis, Adrian Holmes..just to name a few. Likely the most over qualified group of actors in day-player roles in the history of time.

MG: You starred in the recently Hallmark Channel movie, “Three Weeks, Three Kids”, tell us about working on that film?
CH: What an awesome and rewarding experience that was. Mark Jean, who directed the movie, had done another film almost two years earlier, in which a played a supporting role. When this came around, I’m told he had me in mind….I read the script and immediately responded to the character. Mandy is a hard working stay at home mom to 3 kids, as the title implies. Her children are starting to grow up and she’s faced with what many parents face: the reality that she better reconnect with her husband and what’s important in her life beyond being a mom. Will deVry plays my husband, Brian, and Anna Chlumsky plays my sister, who swoops in to care for the kids while Brian & Mandy take a long overdue honeymoon. We shot on a really tight schedule, knocking off 10-14 pages a day (a lot, for those who don’t work in the business). Each day required an emotional rainbow & flipping through hair/make-up changes at the speed of light. I love working with Mark…and you can just feel that he really loves actors. Will was my rock…he’s so very supportive and i felt like the two of us were totally there for one another. Anna is so emotionally available it made being truthful in the scenes easy.

MG: You also have the TV movie, “Identity” upcoming, tell us about that?
CH: Identity is a pilot shot for ABC is Montreal earlier this year. I had just worked with director Gary Fleder on an episode on Life Unexpected, and Deb Spera produced the pilot for Criminal Minds, which had been one of my first big gigs. When i saw both of their names attached to this show i threw myself into the mix eager to work with them again. I’m glad i did…it was a joy. There was lots of action and awesome performances led by Orlando Jones & Angela Bassett. Sadly, the show was passed over by ABC, but there’s a rumor that it may air as an MOW…we shall see.

Interview with Molly C. Quinn

Molly C. Quinn is know for her role of Alexis on ABC’s “Castle”. With Season four around the corner, Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Molly about working on the show as well as her numerous other upcoming projects.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how your character Alexis in “Castle” has changed since season one?
Molly C. Quinn: The great thing about the Alexis character is that she is growing and changing each season just as I am. In the first season Alexis and her dad have all these systems such as the one that they use when he ends up in jail and Alexis has to bail him out. When Alexis’s grandmother comes into the picture Alexi’s starts to see things differently and her and her Grandmother start to work together to help her father. There also starts to be more pressures from school and boyfriends start to become an option. Alexis is also seeing that her dad’s infatuation with the police and Beckett are beginning to become more dangerous than helpful. Even I don’t know how she is going to respond to all these things in season 4. I think it’s going to be extremely interesting to watch Alexis grow from this vantage point.

MG: Can you tell us what it’s like working with Nathan Fillion and Susan Sullivan?
MQ: Working with both Nathan and Susan is a real pleasure and we all get along really well. It’s great that we can all help each other bring more satisfaction to our acting! Susan is such a professional. Nathan is the same way but he also likes to bring the fun! I just try and keep up.

MG: One thing I love is the family relationship that is displayed between you all and how your discussions always leads to clues for the cases, what do you like most about playing Alexis?
MQ: I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you that Alexis knows exactly what’s going on but is letting her dad piece things together by giving him just enough information to find out the answer on his own.(Laughs) I like Alexis because she’s a real teen. As an actor its fun playing a versatile person that is capable of doing so many different things. I also like that the writers have had the courage to keep Alexis true and good! As we know there are a lot of girls like that in the world and they are often very under represented on screen. I feel very fortunate to be the person to represent these girls.

MG: In second to last episode of “Castle” this season, we find out that your character is planning on going to school outside of New York, what can you tell us about that?
MQ: Alexis is thinking about following her boyfriend to college but, I don’t really know what will happen now especially after what unfolded last season with the murders. Me personally I don’t really see her going anywhere.

MG: Tell us about your role in Nickelodeon’s “Winx Club” playing Bloom?
MQ: “Winx Club” rocks! I love being on there and kicking trolls butts.(laughs) Bloom is a girl that finds out she is a fairy and goes away to a special school to develop her fairy skills. While there she meets a friend and together they decide to start a club dedicated to fighting evil. The show really promotes teamwork.

MG: You also have done quite a bit of voice over work. Can you tell us about that?
MQ: I did an audio book titled “City of Fallen Angels”. Being a huge fan of that series I had read all the books and developed voices in my head for each character prior to the project. Getting to use all those voices was a dream come true! I think I cried at the end of it because I was just so happy. “The 3rd Birthday” was a video game I did that was just awesome. We converted the game from Japanese to English using some really sophisticated equipment. The hardest part was getting the dialogue to match up with the characters mouth movements. The animation is beautiful and the story line is super intense. I can’t wait for it to come out. For “A Christmas Carol” a lot of people think that was animation and we did the sound in a booth but, it really was motion capture. Motion Capture is very different and extreme. You wear a special suit and that’s really it. There is no makeup or props and the performance really has to come from each actor’s imagination. I really treasure getting to work with Robert Zemeckis, Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman on that project.

MG: What can you tell us about your role in “Finding Hope”?
MQ: “Finding Hope” is an ongoing project that started out of a short called “The Sacrifice” when I was 13. It really is to bring awareness to teen homelessness and runaways. We have been able to do a longer sequel to the short where my character has made it out of her bad family situation only to find herself in a worse situation. Hopefully this Christmas we will be able to turn the story into a full length feature. This project has really woken me up to the real world.

James Hance talks about his art and his book “Wookie The Chew”

James Hance is the genius behind Relentlessly Cheerful Art. He has created many great pieces of art by mashing up his childhood favorites, whether it be cartoons or movies. James has already created the brilliant book titled “Wookie The Chew”, wonderfully mixing “Winnie The Pooh” with “Star Wars”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with James about his work and what existing projects he has planned next.

Also check out our giveaway for James Hance’s Relentlessly Cheerful Art, click here to enter top win some great prizes.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s start with Wookie The Chew, how did you create this wonderful book?
James Hance: I had a dream about it, woke up and all the characters were there. I knew exactly who everyone was. I just recently decided that C3PO is going to be rabbit but I’m not entirely sure what to call him. Maybe Threepit? Christopher Robin was always going to be Han solo. I posted a few pictures on Facebook to see if anyone would dig it and people really got into it. I did a few and someone jokingly asked when the book was coming out, so I wrote the book.
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MG: Why did you choose to do the pictures inside the book in black and white?
JH: I wanted to keep in theme with the early E.H. Shepard Pooh illustrations. Also my printing guy would’ve charged 2x as much for color! [laughs] Once the trilogy is finished I’ll release them as a single full color volume.

MG: So you have plans for another book “Wookie The Chew”?
JH: I am about 2/3 of the way through episode two right now and I’m releasing new prints to coincide with the story. The first one was loosely based on Episode IV, the second book will be ‘When We Were Very Jedi’ and the third, ‘Now We Are Sith’.

MG: Tell us about the animation clip for “Wookie The Chew”, are you planning turning it into a feature also?
JH: Billy Allison and I put that little sequence together as a promo for the book, prints and upcoming audio book. We wanted to let the reaction to the clip determine whether or not to go ahead with something more feature-length. There’s been an amazingly positive response so far in such a short space of time and it was so much fun to put together. Now it’s just a case of working out the logistics of making the movie. Lucasfilm have been amazingly good about this so far.

MG: You have a lot of work inspired by “Star Wars”, my favorite is ‘Force By Northwest’, tell us about your inspiration?
JH: “Star Wars” has been a huge influence, as you can tell. Jim Henson and George Lucas practically walked me through my childhood. As a kid I’d constantly be doodling, on any flat surface I could find. I remember drawing Link Hogthrob (Pigs In Space) piloting an X-Wing and being ridiculously proud of it. I should really do that one again, that’s gold!

MG: Tell us about your latest prints inspired by “Firefly”?
JH: “Firefrog!”. People kept requesting “Firefly” art but I’d never actually seen the show. Eventually I picked up the box set and washooked. Half way through the first episode I was plotting out each character and their Muppet counterpart. I was posting my progress pictures on Facebook and it started this big snowball of suggestions and amazing feedback. I’m very happy with how it went.

MG: What is your first step in starting a process for a project?
JH: I’ll usually sit down with endless coffees and watch the movies or episodes of whatever it is I’m working with. I don’t really mash-up anything that I am not passionate about. I’ll sketch like a mad thing through the movie (I often take a sketch pad into the cinema and doodle in the dark. That sounds a bit weird, actually) and then go online and and source pictures for inspiration and just go from there. It’s really just me in my pajamas watching cartoons and eating
cereal all day. That’s the dream.

MG: What has been your favorite artwork to date you have created?
JH: One my personal favorite pieces has to be “The Creation of Muppet”. Kermit and Jim as Adam and God, with Jim surrounded by various Muppets. That was a 4ft x 2ft painting, It took about a week and I’d add a few characters in each sitting. I’m really happy with how that turned out. It was hard to let the original go when the time came!

MG: When are you going to start selling originals on your website? How about work for hire?
JH: I take commissions as and when I can but I’m pretty busy with
writing and the Chew series right now. I’ve put together a lot of
digital art and t-shirt designs lately but these past couple of weeks
I’ve actually gotten back to painting. I forget how much I enjoy it
until I actually have the brush in my hand!

MG: What are you currently working on now?
JH: I’m currently writing book two of the ‘Wookiee The Chew’ trilogy, I’m also working on ‘The Timelord At The End Of This Book’ which is a Doctor Who / Sesame Street parody. That one’s had an amazing response so far. I’ve finished the writing, onto the illustrations now. Then there’s a ‘Star Wars’ / ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ book in the works, the Wookiee The Chew movie, etc. I’m planning on hitting the conventions all of next year so I’m working hard to have an abundance of relentlessly cheerful art to take with me.