Blu-ray Review “The Ray Harryhausen Double Feature: She and H.G. Wells’ Things to Come”

Actors: Randolph Scott, Helen Gahagan, Nigel Bruce, Raymond Massey
Directors: Lansing C. Holden, Irving Pichel, William Cameron Menzies
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Legend Films
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Run Time: 500 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Ray Harryhausen Double Feature consists of “She (1935)” and “H.G. Wells’ Things to Come (1936)” as well as a bonus film “The Most Dangerous Game (1932)”. Now, if you are a fan of Ray Harryhausen then you would already know that he did not do the special effects for these films. But what you might not know was that he was behind the colorization and restoration of these three classic films. So this release is presented by him in terms of him acting primarily as the color consultant. So it might be a little stretch calling this a “Ray Harryhausen Double Feature” but still these are classics and it is nice to see them getting a nice Blu-ray transfer to high definition.

“She” Official Premise: From the creative team that brought you King Kong, a thrilling tale of adventure, immortality and lost love. A group of explorers, led by the dashing Leo Vincey (Randolph Scott), sets out on a mission in search of the legendary flame of life, a mysterious force that bestows immortality. Their perilous journey takes them to the heart of a remote glacier where they are taken captive by the beautiful but impossibly cruel She.

“H.G. Wells’ Things to Come” Official Premise: A landmark collaboration between writer H. G. Wells (Island of Lost Souls), producer Alexander Korda (The Thief of Bagdad), and designer and director William Cameron Menzies (Gone with the Wind), Things to Come is a science fiction film like no other, a prescient political work that predicts a century of turmoil and progress. Skipping through time, Things to Come bears witness to world war, dictatorship, disease, the rise of television, and finally, utopia.

Both “She (1935)” and “H.G. Wells’ Things to Come (1936)” have been restored to high definition from their original 35mm film elements and for films that are nearly 80 years old they look quite impressive. Since these have been selected and personally color-designed by Ray Harryhausen himself, you know that there was some love given to them. Also in this collector’s set we get both the color version of the film along with the original black-and-white format. Even though the transfer looks good, the audio tracks are not really up to Blu-ray par standards. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono tracks may not be perfect but they are able to deliver for these aged film, especially with Max Steiner’s amazing score on “She”.

The special features are impressive, especially for a Legend Films release. The bonus film “The Most Dangerous Game (1932)” is available on the extra DVD included, also in both color and black-and-white. The Blu-ray disc includes a great commentary track for “She” by Ray Harryhausen and Mark Vaz. We get some great details about the colorization and restoration. There are “Colorization Process Interviews with Ray Harryhausen” and “Film Interviews with Ray Harryhausen”, which is a must watch for any fan of his work. There are 12 minutes of classic sci-toy commercials, which are a great retro piece. Lastly there is a biography and filmography included for Ray Harryhausen.

A Friend Remembers Ray Harryhausen

Many of you are familiar with the name Bruce Crawford because Media Mikes helps promote his benefit classic film screenings. Bruce was blessed to have been able to call the great Ray Harryhausen a friend. Here is a brief tribute he composed for him:

I am still dealing with the fact that I will not hear his booming baritone voice again, and his puckish sense of humor.

I know it isn’t common at all for someone to have been a childhood fan of such an artist, and then become such close friends. Even Ray would comment on that. When I would stay at his house in Kensington I would get the mail for them at the front door and, my God, there would be letters for him from around the world. And this for a special effects filmmaker, not Tom Cruise!

We would walk to the grocery store and pick up brook trout that his wife would prepare and was it ever good! I have dozens of stories I could share, but he was so much more than a great and legendary filmmaker to me. We had so much fun together. He would jokingly call me his illegitimate son! At my “King Kong” event, he addressed me as “Sid” Crawford, after the greatest showman in Hollywood history, Sid Grauman. Praise from Caesar.

We went on a dinosaur dig in Canada with paleontologists… how amazing is that? Digging dinosaur bones with Ray! And he taped it on his hand held video recorder. I still have that tape today. Only a handful of people in the entire world had the kind of relationship I had with Ray and his wife and daughter and I knew it at the time. It seemed so normal and actually expected…like I always knew, even as a kid, that this would happen the way it did.

One of the most influential filmmakers in history…an artist, genius and for me someone who has been a part of my life…. all of my life…. and will always be so.

Visual Effects Legend Ray Harryhausen Dead at 92

James Cameron. Steven Spielberg. John Lasseter. Rick Baker. Peter Jackson. No, the category isn’t Oscar winners. It’s a list of people whose careers were influenced by one of films true legends: Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen, whose career spanned six decades, died today in London. He was 92.

Beginning with 1942’s “Tulips Shall Grow” and ending with his best known film, 1981’s “Clash of the Titans,” Harryhausen inspired moviegoers throughout the world.

Born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1920, Harryhausen’s life changed when, in 1933, he saw the original “King Kong.” Interested in filmmaking, and experimenting in animation, a friend introduced him to Willis O’Brien, who had created Kong. He showed O’Brien some of his work and was soon taking classes in sculpture and graphic arts. In 1939 he and an author friend joined a local Science Fiction League which was presided over by Forrest J. Ackerman. The author was Ray Bradbury and the three remained friends up until their deaths. One of my most cherished autographs!

After securing a job working on George Pal’s “Puppetoons” he was drafted into the United States Army, where he was placed in the Special Services Division under the command of Colonel Frank Capra. He was a jack-of-all-trades for Capra, filling in wherever a hand was needed on his film crew. After his discharge Harryhausen went to work on his first big film, 1947’s “Mighty Joe Young,” which allowed him the chance to work with his idol, O’Brien, who went on to win that years Academy Award for Best Special Effects. He went on to produce the visual effects for such films as “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Earth vs the Flying Saucers,” “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” and it’s sequels, “One Million Years B.C.” and “The Valley Gwangi.”

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Harryhausen on a couple of occasions and a nicer man with a genuine affection for his fans you will never find.

In 1992 he received the Gordon E. Sawyer award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But perhaps a greater honor came in PIXAR’s hit film “Monsters, Inc., where Mike Wozowski takes his dinner date to the best place in town. It’s name: Harryhausens.

Interview with Denzel Washington & the Cast of Broadway's "Fences"

“Fences” stars two-time Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington as he returns to Broadway, alongside Academy Award nominee and Tony winner Viola Davis, in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. This strictly limited 13-week engagement begins April 14th at the Cort Theatre. Both a monumental drama and an intimate family portrait, “Fences” tells the story of Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), a man torn between the glory of his past and the uncertainty of his future. Emboldened by pride and embittered by sacrifice, Troy is determined to make life better for future generations, even as he struggles to embrace the dreams of his own son.

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Movie Mikes recently had the opportunity to attend a press junket in NYC for the upcoming Broadway show “Fences” based on the August Wilson play. I got a chance to interview Denzel Washington and the cast. This show has one of the most amazing cast and it was a pleasure interviewing each member.

**UPDATE** JUNE 13TH, 2010: congratulates Denzel Washington for winning the Tony for Best Actor and Viola Davis for winning Best Actress.

**UPDATE** MAY 6TH, 2010: congratulates Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson and the cast and crew of Broadway’s “Fences,” which received a record-tying 10 Tony Nominations (non-Musical) this week, including Best Revival of a Play. The 10 nods also set a record for most nominations earned by a revival. was among the first web sites to feature interviews with the cast of this production and we hope all of the shows’ nominees “break a leg” on June 13th.

Photos courtesy of Ryon Horne/The Horne Brothers

Denzel Washington

Q: This is your third return to Broadway, what makes you come back?
A: Cause, I love it, I love it! I love the theater, it is how and where I started, at Lincoln Center and Fordham. This is a great play, this is a masterpiece, Pulitzer and every other award winning play. I am the right age, it is the right time, I am in the right city and it is just all good!

Q: You mentioned that theater is your top priority right now, then directing, then movies? Tell me why that is?
A: Because I started out in the theater, it is what I wanted to do. I didn’t think about Hollywood. It was a different time. It wasn’t like you do theater so you can become a movie star. Now young people don’t even do theater, they just think they want to be movie stars. The way I was raised as an actor was in the theater. So I thought one day I will be on Broadway and do plays, that was the goal, not to go to Hollywood. It was a different time in the 70’s, the movies I liked were kinda New York-based movies “Taxi Driver”, “Mean Streets”, DeNiro or anyone with an “o” on the end of their name. Pacino, DeNiro, or Dustin Hoffman…Hoffmano (laughs). So that’s how I started I didn’t have childhood dreams of being an actor, didn’t think about it at all. I wanted to be a football player, in retrospect, my father was a minister and my mother owned a beauty shop. There was theater going on all around me I just didn’t know it. I worked in a barbershop from the age of 11. The barbershop was filled with Troy Maxon’s (Denzel’s character in “Fences”). Somebody would bring up death “Oh I know Death, Death ain’t nothing, I know the Devil I talked to him, I wrestled with him” that is what I say in the play. “Oh yeah I wrestled with Death, Death ain’t nothing to me but a fast ball on the outside of the corner of the plate, that’s all Death is to me” Anything you say, World Series “Oh I was gonna be in it, I hurt my foot, you know i would have been there” “When did you hurt your foot?” “Well well when I was twelve but I was about to make it, I know I was gonna be with the Yankees and have gone to the World Series” That is the kind of storytelling and fun and brilliant way August structured the play with a lot of fun and stories that let you in and when he got you, it turns and heads somewhere else.

Q: What are the challenges in August Wilson in general and in this play in particular for you as an actor?
A: One of the challenges are familiarity, sometimes they say it is easier to learn piano if you’ve never played. If you taught yourself and go play and try to learn, it is a little more difficult. There is a lot of the language that is very familiar, the rhythm of it is familiar but his sentence structure and his line structure is specific. If you think you know the line, somebody says something about Jackie Robinson, he says “I know 100 guys that play baseball better than Jackie Robinson, Hell I know some teams that Jackie Robinson couldn’t even make, what you talking about Jackie Robinson, Jackie Robinson was nobody”. The line says “What you talking about Jackie Robinson?”, that is what it says, so you’re think your familiar with it, until the girl says you keep leaving out “what you talking about” or the lines are inverted, where he places the words are specific to the play he wrote. As an African American or as this particular African American (referring to Troy Maxon), I feel like I am familiar with it, but you have to relearn, like Shakespeare let’s say, it is foreign to me, the language. So I learned it specifically.

Viola Davis, Oscar nominated for “Doubt”

Q: What was it like working on “Doubt”, did you find the character challenging?
A: Yeah, it was very challenging, the character for me was very complicated in “Doubt”, even though I think she is on screen 10 minutes. I think she goes on a journey that is not linear. It is not an everyday decision that she has to make and it requires me to do some heavy duty character psychological investigative work. So it was very difficult.

Q: After being nominated for an Academy Award for the movie “Doubt”, why Broadway and why now?
A: I am a stage actor. I did regional theater and then Broadway, why not? I am an actor I go where the good work leads me. I am an African American actress over the age of 40, so I really go where the good work leads me because I am first and foremost an actor. When I can not create and do that, that is when I start to feel dead. I do not endorse Revlon or domestics, I do not get my jollies looking at myself in magazines, I get off being an actor. So it made sense.

Q: You play Rose Maxon in “Fences”, she is a very strong and loving woman, how do you prepare for such a role?
A: I would hope I channel my own energy (laughs). I am preparing for it by looking at the women in my family who grew up with lack of choices and had the all the potential in the world to have a gratifying life but couldn’t. Women who were in dysfunctional marriages who wanted more in life. I know Rose, so that’s part of it, the other part is just trusting the play it’s all in the script and that’s the work that you do. The script becomes the bible.

Mykelti Williamson, best known for playing Bubba in “Forrest Gump”

Q: This is your Broadway debut, how do you feel?
A: It is on a completely different level but I was trained on it back in the day. The last play I did was probably six years ago with Samuel L. Jackson. It played in Los Angeles and was very well received. I am fortunate enough to be working with my man Denzel now. I am used to seeing him at church on Sundays, when we are in town in LA and we talk briefly before the crowd sniffs us out. It has been good to catch up and work together because we do a lot of soul searching, especially in theater you have the time to do that. I love New York, there is no other city on the Earth like New York City, so I am excited. So I am making my Broadway debut in August Wilson’s “Fences” with my man DENZEL (shouting).

Q: What is your method for trying to get into a role? What are the challenges here that are you going to face with this role?

A: Well for me, it’s the pursuit of truth. It always has to be honest and truthful and it has to be a decision that I would not make personally. For me I am a character actor. I am happier to play someone way outside who has nothing to do with Mykelti Williams. That is when I do my best work and that is when I am most focused and concentrated. That is what I am able to do working with Kenny Leons (director of “Fences”), you can completely go there. There is a few times we got lost in the moment last week in rehearsals. We finally got to the end of the play when we ran it top to bottom and it was wonderful. So wonderful that Kenny couldn’t figure out which notes to give and he was like, “I don’t know what to tell you guys, ok let’s break up, we’ll see you tomorrow”. Everyone was so effective, everyone was on it. I consider this cast The A-Team, everybody even the babies when they show up, they have a show to do. They come to PLAY (speaking excitedly), they are not jiving. It amazing!!

Chris Chalk, Broadway debut

Q: You play the role of Corey Maxon, how do you feel about taking over the role originally played by Courtney Vance?
A: It’s awesome, Courtney has been doing alright, he is pretty awesome. I didn’t get to see his performance but I know his work, so I know it is amazing. You look at the role and it is a great role. It’s got everything you want in a role. Then getting to be Mr. Washington’s son in the role is pretty awesome as well. I am kinda like his son, I am looking up to him saying, “Hey pop, how do I do that again?” I was a little nervous every day but really excited. The role is fantastic and I hope to do it justice.

Q: This is Broadway your debut, what has it been like to prepare?
A: It has been very exciting, not only cause it’s my Broadway debut, but it’s the cast and it’s because of the play and the time period we are doing it in. Everything about it is setup perfectly in order to bless the world with the wisdom of this play. Because of the cast, a bunch of people are gonna see it and that is exciting to share this text and this family with the world, it’s really very exciting.

Russell Hornsby, best known from TV’s “Liberty Heights” & “In Treatment”

Q: What was your best moment on the set of your TV show “Lincoln Heights”?
A: There isn’t a singular moment. The moment I will always remember is working with the young people, Mishon Ratliff and Rhyon Brown, who played my son and daughter respectively. Being able to share moments of insight with them and being able to help them grow as actors and more importantly human beings.

Q: What are the challenges of August Wilson in general?
A: We can often lose sight of the fact that these are really people. A lot of times as actors you can get lost in the words and it is so cool just to speak his language and forget to tell the truth. You can’t live a lie in life and tell the truth on stage. You have to identify with these characters and find it in yourself who you are.

Stephen McKinley Henderson, stage veteran

Q: You starred in the TV movie, “A Raisin in the Sun” in 1989, does it compare to Kenny Leon’s recent adaptation?
A: Well I can’t compare it first of all, it is a fingerprint. As they say every writer says that every play they write or book they write is like a child. Every production is like that. I wouldn’t even begin to compare productions or plays. When I did the production of “A Raisin in the Sun”, I worked with Esther Rolle and Danny Glover. You can’t compare being in it and watching another version. You just can’t compare.

Q: Do you have a favorite production that you worked on?
A: It’s usually the very next one (laughs), the joy of this show that I am doing right now. I am so in the midst of it, I got to tell you, such joy. I did my first Broadway show with Viola Davis in “King Hedley II”. It was my first Broadway show and the fact that I am doing another show and she is in it, are you kidding!? The production that would have made my whole life different if I was not apart of would be August Wilson’s “Jitney”. That show was the greatest joy and I can say that is one thing I am happy I did.

Kenny Leon, Director

Q: You made your play, “A Raisin the Sun” into a TV film, would you consider making “Fences” into a movie?
A: Absolutely if they asked. I think “Fences” would be an incredible film and before August passed away, he finished another draft of the screenplay. That is one of the things that was important to him. I had the opportunity to work with him on his last two Broadway plays and I know he would have liked to see that happen.

Q: What is your dream project to direct?
A: I have many projects I would want to do, cause I am a storyteller. I had never done an opera until a couple of years ago. Toni Morrison asked me her to do her opera, “Margaret Garner”, so that was great. I am getting the opportunity to direct a Broadway play in the fall about Martin Luther King and I am looking forward to that. I want to stay in this moment and hope that a door opens that will allow me to do great storytelling, it is important. I do not like to do frivolous things. I have always wanted to do a major production of “The Rose Tattoo” by Tennessee Williams. I like stories like that. Who wouldn’t love to do a movie about “Fences”? I would love to make all 10 of August’s play into films, especially “Gem on the Ocean”. I would love to do “Gem on the Ocean”. As an artist, I would love to continue to do all of it. I want to do stage, I want to do television, I want to do film. This past year, I did “Private Practice” and “Ghost Whisperer” with Jennifer Love Hewitt, but I want to do more of that because it has its own challenges. I would probably do a nice beautiful love story musical right about now. I want to do it all.

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Denzel Washington talks about FENCES :

Interview with Kristin Bauer

Kristin Bauer stars as the vampire Pam on the HBO TV series “True Blood”. The show returns for season three this June. Kristin sat down to talk with Movie Mikes to discuss her involvement with “True Blood” and also her involvement with animals and her favorite charities.

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Mike Gencarelli: How do you feel about the success of HBO’s “True Blood”?
Kristin Bauer: Terrible. I feel sickened by it (Laughs). It is such a wonderful surprise because you never know when you are on a set shooting something. It is a pretty good bet with Alan Ball. I love vampires. I was excited to do it. It is the greatest gift.

Mike Gencarelli: Were you a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris? Have you read them since starring in the show?
Kristin Bauer: Never heard of it. So then I realized just of late about the books and I started reading them while we were shooting season one. I started to get confused though saying “Is that in the book, or in the script”. So I stopped but in the off season I have got through three of them. They are so different than the series.

Mike Gencarelli: With “True Blood” returning this June, can you tell us what is in store for Pam?
Kristin Bauer: I am so afraid. I can’t tell you anything. I think Alan slipped a couple of things about Pam’s sexuality. That will be explored and there will definitely be more Pam.

MG: Was your role in “Dancing at the Blue Iguana” challenging? How did you prepare?
KB: Extremely, the gym that is how I prepared. It was challenging because the auditions were improvised. You had to make up a character. So either improved your way into the movie or out of the movie. It was very intimidating. I was in the gym constantly because part of doing the movie was that you had to do nudity. Nudity is a still photo is one thing but when you are moving that is a whole another ballgame. When you are not controlling the lighting, that is yet another ballgame. The strip number was bright and it was very intimidating. I can’t say that movie was fun but I am glad I did it. It was nerve-wreaking.

MG: Besides acting what are you other hobbies or passions?
KB: I have a huge passions animals and the innocents of the world. Basically children and animals, that is my big thing. Right now I am working with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), trying to help whales. It has been illegal to kill whales since the 80’s but they are doing it anyway.

MG: Tell me about some of your charity work?
KB: I also met with a group PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). They are trying to stop and doing a great job of it, horrifying experiments to animals. The military they shot 700 cats, you do not need to do these studies any more. NASA is going to nuke 700 spring monkey. Let me tell you what the result of the study will be, “It will mess them up”. So I am working with them but there are so many good groups. Whatever someone’s passions are, I would do it, now is the time to be passionate about something.

MG: You’ve done a lot of television series, what are the major differences between working on TV and movies?
KB: Yah, there is a huge different. TV often shoots in LA and I’ve got my dogs and I like to be home. I like to sleep in my own bed. TV shoots faster and I kind of like that pace. “True Blood” has the perfect pace for me. We take as long to shoot a season of 12 episodes as a network does to shoot 22. So we are doing double the day and you get enough time but it is exciting. Features are slow. I love doing them as well but I am really happy in TV.

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Interview with Daniel Roebuck

Daniel Roebuck is well known from his role of Dr. Artz in the “Lost” universe. He has worked with Rob Zombie on numerous films. He is currently appearing in the new web series “Crafty” as a director who can’t leave his house so he directs from his living room. Movie Mikes had the chance to talk to Daniel and discuss his amazing career thus far and what is to come in the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us a little bit about your experiences working on “Lost.” Any secrets from the set you want to reveal?
Daniel Roebuck: “Lost” was about the best gift I’ve had in the last ten years in my life. They created a character and realized that I could be the guy for it. They just called one day and said “you’re going to Hawaii to do the show.” I hadn’t seen the show yet but once I went to Hawaii and started working on it I was, of course, like everyone else…hooked. The people were very nice. Here’s the biggest secret I can tell you from the set: Everyone was nice! I do a lot of shows. I’ve become the William Windom (popular character actor probably best remembered as Commodore Decker from “The Doomsday Machine” episode of the original “Star Trek” series) of my day. He was a guy you saw in every show and you always thought he was a regular guy. That’s me. And sometimes you go to be a guest star on a show and you think “these people have no idea how blessed they are in their life.” They don’t learn their lines. They act like “oh, it’s such drudgery to be making $55 thousand a week.” It’s hard to tolerate. I’ve had a couple of series in my lifetime and there was never a moment when I took it for granted. Never a moment where I didn’t think, “wow, this is as close to the lottery then most people will ever get.” Anyway, they created the character and he and Carlton Cuse wrote it with an EXTREMELY talented crew of writers…the best writers in television absolutely, bar none. And every episode I’d do I would always find another nugget of the Dr. Artz character…he was so crazy. I also did a show Carlton wrote called “Nash Bridges” and he wrote a character for me called Bettina. And every time I got a script it was always the best stuff I’d get to do. Bettina was like Artz. Stupid, arrogant. Believing beyond his own capacity. They always wrote well for me. The other big secret is that there wasn’t really a monster…it was all special effects. I will say this. The first time I went to the set and saw Evangaline Lilly and Matt Fox I thought, “wow, they sure do look good.” And then they started putting all of that shit on me….layer after layer of shit. Shit on shit on shit. Until I looked like shit on a shingle. The crazy man. They all get to be beautiful but Dr. Artz actually looks liked he really lived on an island.

I’d like to use your site as a soapbox and ask “Why don’t those guys who do the makeup on “Lost” have an Emmy?” They had to match the actors. Somedays they’d match a character to five years earlier. They had to match cuts and scars and hair. As much as I appreciate “Mad Men”…I shouldn’t make fun of that…it’s just that “Lost”….now I sound like I’m a mad man. I just don’t understand why they couldn’t win an Emmy for makeup and hair, gosh darnit!

Mike Gencarelli: We at MovieMikes will take up the cause. Maybe this year. Besides “Lost,” of course, you’ve obviously done a lot of television. Do you have a favorite show besides “Lost?”
Daniel Roebuck: I have a thousand favorites for a thousand different reasons. I was on “Matlock” for three years and I got to work alongside one of the icons of entertainment, Andy Griffith. I mean who wouldn’t want to go to work and work with Andy Griffith? We had a wonderful, collaborative experience on that show. I’d love having the opportunity to have my own show. That way I’d get to be the guy that the other people are to me. I would call guest stars when they came to Wilmington and welcome them to town. I’d give them restaurant ideas. “Matlock” was great. I’ve been watching the re-runs with my son, Buster. Our nightly tradition is that we sit down and watch an “Odd Couple” We’ve been watching Tony Randall shows. And we watched an episode of “A Minute With Stan Hooper,” which ran on FOX television with Norm McDonald. And that was also a great time. I played a gay guy. It was a great character. And it was great because they portrayed us (the gay couple) as just two regular dudes. We weren’t the smartest guys in the room or the best dressed guys but we were more like any gay couple that I know in my life. The whole show was a great, wonderful experience.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your appearance in the new web series “Crafty.”
Daniel Roebuck: I love how we went from “Lost” to “Nash Bridges” to “Matlock” to the web! I see you’re a journalist of great integrity. (laughs) The one great gift I have that I can give is me. I don’t have a lot of talent. My kid (Buster) plays every sport. He is the son my father never had. I can’t coach his baseball team. How the hell do I know how to hit a ball? I was usually the one ducking from it when I played Little League. I was the one in the outfield. If they wanted to hit it that way I’d try to catch it but I’d tell them don’t count on it. I can’t fix a car. My computer is something else I can’t fix. All I wanted to do is look at lesbians and look what happened (laughs). But acting is something I CAN do so when a friend like Jon Donahue calls and asks “can you be in this” unless I have a reason I can’t do it I usually try to pay that forward and do what I can. They have a very crazy, funny idea there that’s a little inside because it’s about craft services and you have to spend a lot of time trying to explain what craft services is. I’d say your regular ditch digger doesn’t know but my dad, who was a ditch digger, does know who the craft service guy is because that’s the first place he goes every time he visits me on the set. He goes over to the table and then complains to me “why am I eating all of this stuff?” I tell him it’s because that’s what we do.

MG: On the series you play a director who has agoraphobia right?
DR: I play a director who can’t leave his house so he directs from his living room. Jon and his partner (Mark Haapala) are talented guys. I hope something good comes out of this. It’s an interesting time for actors because…this is the first time that actors get to be on the same creative level as the owners. I mean, think of all the series you’ve seen. “Highway to Heaven” was filmed and created by Michael Landon. Kelsey Grammar did “Frasier” and owned a portion of it. Generally actors don’t get to own their work. They have to work for someone else. But in this new age of web series actors can create and imprint their own comic stylings or dramatic interpretations on a story that they own. I kind of like the excitement of working like that. Being part of something new.

MG: You were the writer/director/producer on the “Monsterama” series. Tell us about it.
DR: “Monsterama” came about from a good friend of mine, Kevin Burns, who was an extremely talented documentarian. Some of the best biographies on the Biography channel Kevin created. I was doing “Stan Hooper” at the time and Kevin as if myself and my friend Taylor White could kind of get together to do something for a new “Monsters” channel that was coming out on the Boom network. And if someone tells you that you can make little documentaries about the things that make you happy you do it. And that’s essentially what we did. If your readers take the time to go to they can see another side of me. I mean, Sean Penn is busy hugging Hugo Chavez but Dan Roebuck is busy buying Frankenstein masks. I have this love and basically we just made docs about the things I love. And what Ron Hampton loved. And what Kevin and Taylor White loved. It was great fun but it was tedious because we were shooting in high def and we had to see how the product looked. How did the monster models look? If I can brag about one other thing I was smart enough to do in my life, I was smart enough to have the right sister who married the right guy. Because my brother in law Cory, who’s a gaffer in Hollywood, was generally the one shooting for me. So it was kind of a collaborative family effort which was really great. He’s a great guy. I always joke that if he and my sister got a divorce I’d really miss my sister! (laughs)

MG: You worked on several Rob Zombie projects (“Devils Rejects,” “Halloween”). How did you get involved with him?
DR: I was actually at a screening with Kevin Burns for the Elvira movie “Elvira’s Haunted Hills.” I had actually met Rob once before at a model store in Hollywood. My friend had said “Hello, Mr. Zombie.” And my friend was obviously so much hipper than I was because I was thinking, “wait a minute…did he just call this fellow Mr. Zombie?” We met for a few seconds. So at this premiere I went up to him before the film started just to say hello and tell him I thought it was cool that he liked the same stuff that I did. And that was the beginning of a very nice friendship. I have to tell you…he is one of the most talented directors I’ve ever worked with. He is fluid and he is open and he is firm. You can love or hate his movies but you’ve got to look at the performances. The acting is GREAT! There’s a scene in “Devils Rejects” with Shari and Geoff Lewis that is some of the best acting I’ve seen in the last decade. Rob is a great guy. I grew up loving make up. I grew up loving monster movies. So the first thing they do on “Halloween 2” is to age my character 20 years. And they decided they would put together a great Frankenstein get up for me. And of course, since Michael Myers killed me I had to wear three different make ups in the movie, which was a big deal for me. Some actors hate it. They hate the process of it…they hate sitting still. Where I love the whole event.

MG: What draws you to acting? Were there ever any roles you wanted but missed out on?
DR: Well, the purpose of each job is that you’re trying to get the NEXT job. Some people must think that they bring movies to Al Pacino. An actor tends to invest too much into the MOMENT. But if I don’t get a part then they don’t get my money. Especially if it’s a big movie. I don’t get the part, I don’t go see the movie. They didn’t believe in me so they don’t get my cash. There’s a famous story…at least it’s a famous to me. I had just finished my first television series and was cast in a movie off of a tape. It was kind of a surprise. It was weird that I didn’t get to meet the director. They just cast me off of a tape. And when I went to do the movie everyone was cold to me. The producer. The director, who had a reputation of being a great guy, was a little cold. Even the co-star was a little odd, even though I was a big fan of his. So after two days of this they called me in and said “we’re firing you because we don’t think there’s any chemistry between you guys.” We hadn’t even shot anything. We had just been sitting in rooms and talking so I don’t know what the chemistry level could have been. That was the only job in my life that I’ve been let go from. Or at least replaced because sometimes in a series they write the character out. I was essentially fired and replaced. A few years later I go out to lunch with a girl who doesn’t know the story because it’s kind of a private story. I don’t go around saying, “Hey, let me tell you about the time I got fired!” So the girl asks me “are you the Dan Roebuck who was in this movie?” and I said, “well…I was. How do you know that?” And she says that she used to date one of the lawyers who worked on the project who had told her that it was already decided before I got to the set that they were going to fire me after a few days because the studio didn’t want to use their first choice for the role because I cost less than their first choice. But nobody wanted to say “Hey Dan, you’re not doing anything wrong. We just wanted this other guy but they forced us to hire you. So we’re going to fire you and get that other guy.” But nobody did that…nobody gave me that courtesy. And then I had to watch that movie become a huge hit. The movie was called “Home Alone.” Daniel Stern was the actor who replaced me…who they wanted in the first place. Here is the main thing that keeps me sane. “Home Alone” was a huge hit and it was a major blow to my ego that I could not be part of it. Now it’s more then 20 years later and…what difference has it really made in Daniel Stern’s career? I’ve literally had a hundred more opportunities then he did because perhaps people define him from that movie. Joe Pesci, who is one of the great actors of Hollywood, he doesn’t hardly work at all anymore. And he is a great actor…I could watch that guy all day. And when the thing happened he was kind of bragging that he had had something to do with that. I was a little disappointed. 22 years ago it was the worse thing that had ever happened to me and 22 years later it is such a little blip of unimportance. The only thing I take with me is that people weren’t honest and honorable with me. That would have made that time easier. I remember that they had to pay me off and I put a down payment on my first house with the money. But sometimes Hollywood is so evil. It wasn’t so much that they humiliated me at my own expense but they wanted to make it that I couldn’t take another job until after the time they were shooting or I couldn’t have the money. Weird, petty evilness. But again, 22 years later…would I have the same life I have now if I had been in that movie? Would my life be any different? What could have happened didn’t happen and I’ve got the best life. I’ve got the best kid. I’ve got the best friends. I’ve got the best life.

MG: What have you got planned for the future?
DR: The future is kind of exciting because we’re planning a web series that will allow me to do the things I want to do. I love America. I think it’s the greatest country on earth. I’ve never understood why people say we have a lot of problems. We’re not caning people for being homosexual. We’re not shooting people in the streets. We’re not keeping people from expressing their free will. I love this country and we’re going to go out and do a show about how great this country is. Hopefully if it comes to fruition we can get with your site and we can promote it.

MG: Absolutely!
DR: I’m at this new phase as I approach 50. I’d better shit or get off the pot in terms of what’s important. And when I die, which hopefully won’t be for awhile, I’d like to say “this is what I contributed.” And although the “Monsterama” series is very exciting I’d like to be remembered for creating more than that. It doesn’t really matter what I have planned…there are countless roles in front of me that I haven’t played yet. And we’ll see what God has in store for me.

MG: What’s the new web series called?
DR: No official title yet. Let’s just call it “Danny Roebuck Discovers America!”

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