Robert Rodriguez, known for his cameo-filled presentations, now has stuffed another name into the already jam-packed roster for “From Dusk Till Dawn” Season 2 on the El Rey Network. Jeff Fahey (Planet Terror, The Lawnmower Man) will be playing “Uncle Eddie Cruickshank,” and we here at Dread Central were lucky enough to score an interview with him to discuss his new role in the show, as well as some other projects he’s currently working on, so settle in and enjoy.
DC: Jeff, can you give us a description of your character in the show?
JF: Well, Uncle Eddie is Seth and Richie’s uncle – their father’s brother. Their father died in a fire when the kids were around 8 and 10, so Eddie took them in, raised them, mentored them, and in essence, nurtured them into the thieves that they are today. He is a professional lifelong criminal, but he’s one that’s got a certain code of ethics within that criminal world – a man of slanted morals and principles, but within that world, he’d be considered one of the more ethical criminals. He sees the difference between Richie and Seth – one being the brains, and one being the brawn – one being the guts, and one being the thoughtful one, and at times one being more excitable while the other is too thoughtful, and he always thought with the two of them together, they were the perfect team. As we come into Season 2, we see that the brothers have not only had an emotional split, but a geographical one as well, and as they come back into Eddie’s world, hopefully they’ll get their grounding again, and I think there’s a mixed emotion with Eddie – on one hand, he’s upset about some of the things that have gone on, but on the other hand he’s very excited and happy to have the boys back.
DC: Now, is this going to be a one-shot thing, or more of a recurring role?
JF: Well, without giving anything away, in Robert’s world everything is always ongoing, and anything can happen – we’ll just have to see how this whole thing unfolds, but let’s just say that this is going to be one rollercoaster of a ride when the two brothers and the uncle get together.
DC: You’ve worked with Robert previously on Planet Terror and Machete – so is it safe to say that it was a slam dunk when you were offered this role?
JF: Oh absolutely! Whenever Robert reaches out to me, I’m usually off somewhere on the other side of the world, and I always say yes without even reading it, because that’s just the way it is. This time, I was doing a play over in London (the revival of Twelve Angry Men) back in 2013, and Robert called and asked me if I was free next month to shoot a role that he had for me in the show, and I told him that I was committed to the play for the next six months, so he said that it wasn’t a problem and he’d write something else. We then ended up getting the play extended for another four months, and after that I was in New Mexico filming “Texas Rising,” and he called me again to tell me that he had something, so I wanted to know when he was going to start shooting, and luckily I was done by then – so he sent me all the material, and after I’d read it, I was in. I just flipped over the character and the relationship with the brothers and how Eddie fits into the whole story, and the dialogue is so rich – it’s a mix of the old pulp writers and has this rhythm and pace to it and all these layers of mythology and these other worlds – it’s just a blast to play, and it feels like a group of kids just going in and having fun.
DC: You’ve done quite a bit of work in both film and TV, so what would you say is the biggest challenge when preparing for a role between the two?
JF: Well first, the biggest difference between those two worlds is that TV is at a much faster pace – you’ll be doing 8 to 10 pages a day which involve actions in different locations; whereas, on film you’ll be doing anywhere from a page and a half to 3 pages. There’s more time to prepare in one respect on film, and at the same time, in television there’s a wonderful pace that happens, and if you fit into the groove, especially with your character and the people you’re working with, it tweaks that machine, especially if you have that good work environment that invites creativity, and a safe zone to stumble forward – TV is great. It’s two different beasts, and at the same time, theater is entirely a whole other beast, and you rock and roll at both, but you’ve got to be creative at a higher pace in television, while trying not to take shortcuts because you’re tired, but coming up with something even more interesting because you’re so limited on time.
DC: Lastly, what can we all look forward to from you in the future?
JF: I’m off to do a film now with Tom Berenger and Bruce Dern called American Dresser, and after that I’ll head back over to the Middle East to the refugee camps, and then I’ll be heading down to Mexico to meet up with a group of artists (Mexican actors, writers, and directors) to put together an orphanage – a little bit of this and a little bit of that.