Brian O’ Halloran is best known for playing Dante Hicks in the “Clerks” series. He also recently appeared in the horror film “Mr. Hush”. Brian took out some time to chat with Media Mikes to discuss the future of the series and also his love for working in theater.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with the film “Mr. Hush”?
Brian O’ Halloran: I met the director, David Lee Madison, at a horror convention and he was finishing up the edit for the DVD release. He told me about the film and asked me to be apart of the teaser for the sequel. I said sure that sounds fine. So we shot my scene earlier this Spring and he edited in to the end for the DVD release. It is kind of a tease of the tease.
MG: What do you enjoy most working in the independent horror genre?
BOH: The reason I like working with independent filmmakers is that you are not dealing with a studio and them telling you what you can/can’t do. Yes, there is a struggle with independent that you have to do out and find distribution and sell your piece. Don’t get me wrong I like that studios can bring in everything you need to make your film. But with independent films, I find that the storylines are stronger personally because they don’t have the money to do the flashy special effects and giant budgeting for A-list celebrities. You have to count on a better script to bring people to your project. These writers and directors really put in their heart and soul. As far as the horror genre, there is no other fanbase that I find that is well as hardcore fans. They are like the Howard Stern fans of film. Horror fans don’t let you slide either, they are not afraid to let you know when something sucks. But that also keeps the genre honest, if you think about it.
MG: Looking back on “Clerks”, almost 20 years, how can you reflect on its cult status?
BOH: What is great about it is that it is this timeless piece of filmmaking. It is about this guy that gets calls in on his day off and everybody can relate to something like that. It speaks to generation after generation. I am glad the fanbase has followed along these characters and are still asking “when is there going to be another?”. They are still interested in it.
MG: What’s the word that I hear about Kevin Smith resurrecting “Clerks: The Animated Series”?
BOH: You are hearing the say thing I have been hearing [laughs]. I should be talking to Kevin soon about this. But I would love to bring this back. I think it is a lot easier and cheaper to produce something like that then it was to do back in 2000, when we first do it. At the time it wasn’t really the right outlet for us, especially since ABC screwed us and only aired two episodes. When he twitted about a few months ago, I got blasted with emails asking if this was true. To today that was still one of the easiest and best jobs I have had. We also had such great guest stars the first time like Alec Baldwin, Gilbert Gottfried, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Woods and Michael McKean. I know that still today so many people love it. So I would love to do it again.
MG: Smith also recently teased “Clerks III” on Broadway, care to comment?
BOH: I saw that also. I saw that someone recorded his saying that during a recent book signing. He say that I would obviously be on board since I come from a theater background, which is true. It is going to be Jeff (Anderson), who is going to be difficult to get on board. He was also difficult when we did “Clerks II”. Until he saw some of the footage and was satisifed that we were going to do it right, then he was on-board. To get him to do a movie, where it is five weeks of shooting and then done, is one thing. But trying to get him to do seven-eight performances a week for six months, that is going to take a big bulldowser. I think if he is not on-board, no one would do it. It would be impossible to replace him. So if it happens, I do theater all the time and it would be the highlight of my theater career. To get to hang out on Broadway, I would be completely down.
MG: Besides film you do a lot of theatre, what do you enjoy most about stage?
BOH: I enjoy most the live feedback from the audience. If it is a comedy, you are earning their laughter and that is awesome to feel that energy. The opposite side is that while working it each night you are able to correct or improve on your performance. Each night is a new adventure. It get’s my blood going.
MG: What other projects do you have planned upcoming?
BOH: I am working right now on a comedy web series and right now it is called “New Jersey Theatre Players”. There will be a website, NJTheatrePlayers.com but is still under construction. We are just getting a bunch of friends together and just having fun. It is based on a community theater in New Jersey and the kookiness that happens with that. We just started shooting it at the end of August. Hopefully we will have the first few episodes completed by December and ready to launch by the beginning of the year.