Interview with Chris Carnel

You may not know the name Chris Carnel since he is usually behind the screen doing stunts.  Chris is probably known best for his role of The Miner in “My Bloody Valentine 3D”.    Movie Mikes had a chance to ask Chris a few questions about his films and what he does besides movies.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did you get started in movies and working stunts?
Chris Carnel: I got started in movies by having a misspent youth. When I was a kid I was called crazy. there was no name for the things I was doing like jumping motorcycles and riding skate boards in pools. Now it is called extreme sports and people make a living at it. I am making a living in the movies biz as an actor and a stuntman. My martial arts skills are the first thing that got my foot in the door in the biz, but everything comes into play on a regular basis!

MG: Of course I have to ask, what was the hardest stunt you have performed?
CC: For me all the stunts have been hard. I am a stunt double generally. If it was easy, the actor would do it. Because of the degree of hazard involved in the shots I get called for it is because somebody is going to get hurt! I have no family in the biz so when I get a call it is because it is going to hurt. Going down a flight of stairs backwards always sucks but hey! It is just another day at the office. The car I rolled in the Crazies was pretty difficult because I had never done this stunt before and I had everybody convinced that I could do it, but there is always that chance!!! They only had one car and one shot at this so if I fucked it up the level of disappointment in me would be unbearable for me! To this day, that was the best day of my career!

MG: Do you have a favorite movie that you have worked on?
CC: Usually my favorite move is the one that is feeding my family at the time. But I have to say that “My Bloody Valentine” has to rank up near number one because it put me on the map in the horror world. Up to that point, I had not gotten any recognition or notoriety. I had the most screen time in “MBV 3D” but I had the most influence on “The Crazies” for sure. All the action, fights, fire, car work is all me and my crew!!!

MG: You have worked on quite a few horror films, is that one of your favorite genres?
CC: I love horror cuz horror loves me! The fans are off the hook loyal and super cool to me at the conventions! I love em!!!!!

MG: How was it playing the role of The Miner in “My Bloody Valentine”? Did you watch the original to get any inspiration or tips for the role?
CC: The director of “MBV 3D” did not want me to watch the original because he wanted me to bring a fresh very different look and feel to our version!!! Of course when I was through with my version, I studied the original and loved Peter Cowper’s work immensely! That was a super cool film and a great cast!

MG: Tell us about your work on the upcoming “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”?
CC: “Transformers III” looks very cool. But that comes at a price. The level of action is extremely high and people get hurt when the don’t have to! It should be a very exciting film to watch because of this high level of action. I played a Lennox guard. There are hundreds of these guys, but there were 5 of us that really did some huge action. Glad to have walked off of that set every day in one piece!!!!!!

MG: Where you aren’t working movies and doing stunts…what are you doing?
CC: Surfing, yoga, mountain biking, pilates, and training to stay in shape for the next adventure. I have a two sons one named Tyler that in in a band called Wicker. You can visit their MySpace page here. He is the drummer in that band. Also, I have a son named Wyatt that is in high school. he wrestles and plays lacrosse. Great athlete!  My wife Kim puts up with all of this and is an angel! Her nickname is Cookie!!!

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CC: Of course when I was through with my version, I studied the original and loved Peter Cowper’s work immensely! That was a super cool film and a great cast!

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