John Dunsworth & Richard Donat talks about Season 3 of Syfy’s “Haven”

John Dunsworth & Richard Donat play brothers Dave Teagues & Vince Teagues in Syfy’s “Haven”. Vince is the artist and editor and Dave is photographer and editor of the Haven Herald…but there is much more to be told behind these two characters. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with John and Richard about season three and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you enjoy most about playing Vince Teagues on Syfy’s “Haven”?
Richard Donat: Vince, well I just love him since he is such a quirky guy. Partly because he has a lot of hidden aspects, which will hopefully be coming out as the show progresses.
John Dunsworth: Well I love working with Richard Donat. We have known each other for a while and we have done a bunch of great plays together. I was mostly a professional actor in the stage before “Haven” came around.  I love working in Nova Scotia.  Regardless of the part, the people that we work with are just a joy to be with on the set.

MG: The new season has really started to show some light behind what Vince and Dave really know; has that been fun to see that reveal?
RD: Oh yeah, it is great. Because of John, I feel that it really helps. We just have a great time together. We both live in Nova Scotia and I have known John for a long time.
JD: I would like to be more in the know. We confess sometimes that we don’t know what is going to happen and sometimes we are lying and then sometimes we really don’t know. It is hard to figure out when we are lying and telling the truth.

MG: Vince and Dave seem like they are disagreeing a bit more than usual, can we expect any rivalry this season?
RD: Well, we have been sort of at odds. But we always seem to get back together. In terms of the progress, I won’t able to say too much now but there is definitely a couple of things that happen.

MG:You two play great off each other; can you reflect on this collaboration?
JD: Well, I have to reflect on the writers. We don’t know what are story arc is. At the end of season three, which is my favorite season so far, we were throw some real curves. I thought I had it figured out…but it was the complete opposite. There are so many different possibilities.

MG: Most of the cast is from California, how does it feel to have the home turf advantage?
RD: Oh it is just fine. The whole cast is made up of some really great people. We all get along great. Thank God! When you work in those conditions, it is nice to be able to work well with people. There is no sort of LA thing, everyone is great.

MG: How does season three compare to you from the first two?
RD: Well, I think a lot more interesting things are happening between the characters. Then we get the introduction of Dwight is really fun story (played by Adam “Edge” Copeland”), who came in last season. It all starts to blend in. I think they seem to concentrate more on a centralized story line instead of individual episodes. I just can’t believe the reaction to the show.

MG: Do you find that you watch the show as it airs on TV?
JD: Last week, my wife and I finally watched season two. I don’t watch television or even get TV in our house. But I got the season as a present and I was blown away. I am so impressed with the three principals. On the set, the acting seems very subtle but it really comes across on the show. And Adam “Edge” (Copeland), he is just great.

MG: What would you say has been the highlight for you working on “Haven”?
RD: I think the highlight is actually getting to do the show. I have always lived here and then this show comes along and suddenly your life is changed. It is quite extraordinary really.
JD: Yep, the highlight is showing off Nova Scotia and living here. Right now, I can see the Grey Gull from my house. It takes me five minutes to get to the set some days. It has to be some kind of a blessing to be able to work in my own community on such a great project. I feel like I am the luckiest guy in the world.
RD: Yes, me too. I live about 45 minutes from the set and I am able to go home at night. So it is really great.

MG: John, how was it going from “Trailer Park Boys” to “Haven”; how does it compare for you?
JD: Last week, someone asked a person; “are a character actor of a lead actor?”. The right answer, of course, is a character actor. I like different roles. I like to play villains. So this has been nothing but a pleasure. We also just got the ratings in for the first episode of season three and I got a feeling that a fourth season is almost guaranteed! So I am on a very big high.

 

Related Content

Richard D. Zanuck, producer of “Jaws,” dies at 77

Richard D. Zanuck, who rose from out of his famous father’s shadow to become one of the most successful film producers in history, died yesterday in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. He was 77.

Born of Hollywood royalty (his father was legendary studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, his mother actress Virginia Fox), Mr. Zanuck began working for his father, then head of 20th Century Fox, as a producer, finally elevated to President of the studio. It was while at Fox that he met fellow producer David Brown. In 1967, after the failure of such films as “Dr. Doolittle,” Zanuck was fired by his father. In 1972 he teamed up with Brown, forming the Zanuck/Brown company. Their 16 year partnership produced such films as “The Sting,” “The Sugarland Express,” “Jaws,” “The Verdict” and “Cocoon.” In 1989, with his new wife, Lili Fini Zanuck producing alongside him, he produced “Driving Miss Daisy.” The film would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Later films include: “Rules of Engagement,” “Road to Perdition” and six films with director Tim Burton, including this years’ “Dark Shadows.”

In the 1960s Zanuck married actress Linda Harrison. They raised two sons, Harrison and Dean, both now producers in their own right. One of my favorite stories of Mr. Zanuck concerns the production of “Jaws.” He had assured his wife, Linda, that she would play Mrs. Brody in the film. Unbeknownst to Zanuck, the head of Universal Studios, Sid Sheinberg, had promised the role to HIS wife, actress Lorraine Gary. To keep peace in the Universal family, Sheinberg called producer William Frye, who was currently making “Airport ’75.” “Bill,” he said to Frye, “you’ve got another passenger on your airplane!”

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 Richard Kiel

Richard Kiel is known best for his roles as Jaws in the James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.”  He also appeared in the original “The Twilight Zone” series and of course everyone know his from “Happy Gilmore”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Richard about his amazing career and also what he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli:  You are known best for your role as ‘Jaws’ in the James Bond series, “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.”   How was it working on those films?
Richard Kiel:  It was a lot of hard work.  We would generally work one or two days for every minute that appeared on screen.  They were long shoots.  “Moonraker” lasted almost six months.  But the filmmakers wanted everything to be perfect.  They worked very hard at that.  The director (Lewis Gilbert directed both films) was a terrific  to work with, as was Roger Moore. So was the crew.  On “The Spy Who Loved Me” we got to go to the island of Sardania, which is in the Mediterranean.  I had my family with me.  We went to Egypt for the Pyramids…the Sphinx…the Valley of the Kings.  And of course we worked at Pinewood Studios in London, so we stayed in an apartment for a while.  We actually stayed in the stable keepers cottage on Pinewood.  Pinewood used to be an estate so they had a stable keeper.   For “Moonraker” we went to Paris and worked in three or four different studios there.  Then we went to Rio De Janeiro where we stayed in a hotel on the ocean.  So yes, it was a great experience that I really enjoyed.  In fact, one of my sons was born right outside of Paris.

MG:  Tell us about what you like most about that character?
RK:  What I like most is that both the director and Cubby Broccoli, the producer, allowed me to give the character personality traits, such as frustration…vulnerability…persistence and a never give up attitude that made the character appealing to the audience.  I get electrocuted in the train with the lamp and thrown out the window just to get up, brush off my clothes, straighten my tie and go after Bond.  And the same thing happens when the villain’s car goes over the side of the mountain and ends up coming through the roof of an old Italian couples’ villa.  I come busting out the front door straightening my tie and brushing off my clothes.  So by the time they throw me in the tank with the shark, I’m getting huge applause and cheers.  ‘Jaws” became extremely likable.  So when they brought me back in “Moonraker” I had a girlfriend…a love interest.  I turned into a good guy.  There’s an organization in England which is very similar to Netflix in the United States that recently did a poll of all of their customers that purchased the new BluRay versions of the films.  They asked them who, besides James Bond, is the best character in the Bond films.  Over 9,000 responded and ‘Jaws’ got over 30% of the vote.  The nearest competitor was ‘Q,’ who got 16%.  Than Moneypenny and ‘M’ at 10%.  And that was a great honor to me…that Cubby Broccoli and Lewis Gilbet allowing me to do what I did was being validated by the audience.

MG:  Tell us about working on the original “The Twilight Zone” in the episode ‘To Serve Man’?
RK:  There was a lot of heavy duty make up.  To put that big head on me took three or four hours.  They were long hours but they sure were worth it because it became a classic episode.  “It’s a cookbook!” (laughs)

MG:  How was it working with Rod Serling?
RK:  Nobody that I’ve talked to who appeared on “The Twilight Zone” ever met him!  He wrote most of the original stories and teleplays.  I think they filmed most of his hosting appearances at the same time.  He wasn’t there.  And I’ve not talked to anyone who did the show who ever met him.  I’m not saying he wasn’t ever on the set, but I don’t know anyone who was on that show that met him.

MG:  How do you feel about the toys you inspired, including ‘Jaws’ from the Bond films and Kanamit from “The Twilight Zone”?
RK:  That was quite an experience.  Sideshow toys made these articulated figures which were about 14 inches tall and sent them to me in a presentation case.  My wife asked why they took so long to make them, since it had been 40 years since I did “The Twilight Zone” and decades since I did the Bond films.  But it shows the impact those characters have.

MG:  Tell us about working with then unknown Jackie Chan in “Cannonball Run II”?
RK:  I kept wondering why they had this Chinese guy (laughs).  I was the driver of the car and he was my co-pilot.  He was a very nice guy but, as you’ve said, at the time he wasn’t very well known in America.  But I found out why the cast him.  One of the film’s producers was from China, where Jackie Chan was a star.  He was a star really throughout Asia.   The studio sent he and I to Tokyo to promote the film.  And over there he was as popular as Elvis Presley or the Beatles were here.  There were tens of thousands of teenage girls that would show up everywhere we went.  They were all screaming and giggling.  It was very different in China.  The Chinese people make great gamblers because they don’t show any emotion.  They were excited, they just didn’t show it.

MG:  Your role as Mr. Larson in “Happy Gilmore” is almost iconic.  Was it a fun project to work on?
RK:  “Happy Gilmore” is probably the second most popular film with my fans, with “The Longest Yard” coming in at a close third.  The character was great…”your ball struck my foot!…and you can count on ME waiting for you in the parking lot!”  Kids just absolutely love that movie.  They say those lines when they meet me.  It was great working on the film.  Adam Sandler is a Bond fan and, obviously, was a fan of “The Longest Yard.”  He treated me with a lot of respect.  We had some nice conversations.  He’s totally different off screen then his screen characters.  His screen characters are so zany…like Jerry Lewis.  But in real life he’s just a nice Jewish boy who just happens to know how to make people laugh.  But he’s very down to earth.

MG:  How was it voicing the character of  Vladmir in the film Disney film “Tangled”?
RK:  One of the directors was a big Bond fan and the producers knew of me from the Bond films.  They were very, very happy with the voice work that I did.  I had no idea the quality of the film.  When I saw it I was just blown away.  I had no idea it was going to be so spectacular.  The animation…the look of it.  The drama that was achieved with the leading lady and leading man and the stepmother was just fantastic.  I actually wrote a letter to the directors and producers telling them how surprised I was that the film had been done so well.  They said they really liked what I did and want to use me on their next project, which is an animated spy movie.  So I’m excited because now I’ve opened the door to doing voice work.  Since that time I got a gig with Hitachi recording the introduction of all of their corporate executives at a recent convention.  When I first started out as an actor I auditioned for Hanna-Barbera but they wanted the big GIANT voice.  But that’s not me…I’m really unique.  “Tangled” was perfect because it was a more personalized character.

MG:  Tell us about your novel with Pamela Wallace “The True Story of Cassius Clay: Kentucky Lion”?
RK:  I spent about 25 years researching the character.  He was very much like Oskar Schindler in “Schindler’s List” except he was an American.  He put his life on the line much more then Schindler did.  They both took a big chance.  But the plantation owners were worried that Clay was going to try to put a stop to slavery.  They were worried to the point that they put hit men on him twice to try to assassinate him.  They successfully poisoned and killed his son, which ultimately destroyed his marriage.  He paid a big price and went through a lot of grief for standing up for what was right.  He ran for president at the same time as Abraham Lincoln.  He knew he wasn’t going to get the nomination so he threw his support to Lincoln.  He figured he was the closest thing to himself as far as being against slavery.  He took Lincoln’s original Emancipation Proclamation to the state capitol in Kentucky to get it approved by the Kentucky legislature because they were a border/neutral state.  He later became our ambassador to Russia under Lincoln.  He got the Czar, who was a Christian and had just freed some 23 million slaves in Russia, to get on the same page.  Russia wanted the U.S. to buy Alaska for two cents an acre.  Of course during the civil war the country really didn’t have the money to do that.  So Cassius Clay made a deal with him, telling him “if we buy it when the war is over…no money down, we’ll just make payments every other month…if we buy it will you sail your navy into our harbors in Boston and New York as a warning to Europe to stay out of our civil war?  It would be a great help to us if you’d do that.”  The Czar of Russia agreed to that and it kept Europe out of our civil war, which would have made a big difference.  In fact, as he sailed towards Russia President Lincoln had him stop in England and feel out the British as far as them helping out the Confederacy.  They were still smarting from the Revolutionary War.  We had put a navy together that rivaled theirs.  Lincoln was afraid that they would help the Confederacy be free of the Union.  He found that they were really luke warm to the idea. So he wrote a letter to the English people and had it published in the London newspapers.  And that stopped England during the war from coming in and helping the Confederacy.  The book is also being developed as a mini-series and we’ve found a lot of major actors who are going to play cameo roles in it to support the project.  Roger Moore…Christopher Lee…George Kennedy is playing a judge.  Many, many fine actors who are friends of mine.

MG:  What can you tell us about your latest film “The Xeno Factor”?
RK:  Right now that’s the working title.  I’m about 40% done filming my role and it is THE best part I’ve ever had.  The director, James Marlowe, is sensational.  He’s managed to pull out of me a performance the world has never seen before.  I’m really, really proud of it.  I wish I had met this director 20 years ago!

Interview with Richard Morrison

You probably know title designer Richard Morrison’s work for movies such as “Batman”, “Brazil”, “Enemy at the Gates”, and “Sweeney Todd”. Richard is one of the 9 interviewed title designers from the DVD “Forget the Film, Watch the Titles!” Movie Mikes had a chance to ask Richard a few quick questions about his work.

Mike Gencarelli: When you are working on a title design, what is your first process?
Richard Morrison: Scribble and doodle out my first impressions – fast

MG: Do you have a lot of influence from the film’s score when working on a title?
RM: No, because I start with no music.

MG: “Brazil” is one of my favorite films. Tell us about working with Terry Gilliams on this film?
RM: Terry has passion and is very engaging – as do I, so we all jump on the same ride

MG: You worked with Tim Burton on “Batman”, tell us about your collaboration?
RM: In short, it is the same as working with Terry, since we all share the same vision. I will be working with Tim again later this year on “Dark Shadows”.

MG: You have worked on two of my favorite horror films, “Hellraiser” & “Event Horizon”, tell us about working on these?
RM: Horror films, in general, my approach is to show less in visual terms and more in sound because the less you see, can be more disturbing than what you think you can see.

MG: The titles on “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” are just amazing, they blend so well with music, tell us about working on this film and your inspiration?
RM: I decided to set the narrative up as a metaphor for what was going to happen when Johnny Depp arrives back to London after his exile.

MG: I love the end credits of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”, tell us about your process for creating them?
RM: In one word RUSH…with lots of late nights on the phone to Universal in LA.

MG: How do you feel working in your field has changed since you started in the late 70’s?
RM: From analog to digital is the same for me because my hard drive is in my head not in machines.

MG: What do you have planned next?
RM: Working on “Day of the Flowers” and then like I said “Dark Shadows” with Tim Burton”.
Click here to visit the website for “Forget The Film, Watch the Titles!”