In anticipation of the upcoming release of Hellhounds on DVD (February 16th), we thought it might be interesting to talk with child actor-turned-director Rick Schroder. With Hellhounds, Schroder is a far cry from his days on the set of “Silver Spoons” or even “NYPD Blue.”
Schroder is taking genre fans to the underworld in an epic journey of a young Greek warrior who must rescue his love from the murderous grips of Hades.
Below, Schroder talks about Hellhounds, what film made him want to be an actor, and his upcoming projects, including Locker 13, an anthology film comprised of six vignettes that are connected by a mysterious Locker 13.
Heather Wixson: How did you get involved with the Hellhounds project?
Rick Schroder: I knew the producers since 1988. I worked for them on the western Lonesome Dove. I had just finished making the TV version of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” for them and heard about HELLHOUNDS. I was a D&D player as a kid and Greek mythology has always intrigued me. Think of Hellhounds as a tribute to the SINBAD movies of the 70’s.
HW: I know you guys filmed in Romania – did you find it challenging to direct a project overseas, and did the cultural differences factor into the production? What was your shooting schedule like?
RS: My crew spoke either Romanian or French or very little English, so that was a unique problem. I remember once I asked for RED Lighting in the Temple of the ‘Damned’ sequence. All of a sudden the lighting is GREEN. They had thought red was green, and we had to scramble to change the gels in front of all the lights. We made the movie in 15 days; it was a small miracle we pulled off.
HW: Do you have a favorite memory from on-set?
RS: Visualizing THE RIVER STYX sequence and then making it happen with the rain and wind towers was fantastic. The sword fights were also a lot of fun to film.
HW: You have enjoyed such a long career being in front of the camera; when and why did you decide you were ready to take your shot at directing?
RS: My first theatrical film I wrote and directed is called BLACK CLOUD, the story of a Native American Golden Gloves fighter. HELLHOUNDS is my second full length movie and for the Syfy Channel. Directing and writing enable me to immerse myself in all disciplines involved with filmmaking.
HW: I know both are different ways of creative expression, but which do you enjoy more – acting or working behind the scenes with directing/writing/producing?
RS: I will always love acting; however, behind the camera is where I have the most to contribute at this moment in my career it seems. Although things can change very quickly in the entertainment industry.
HW: Are you a big fan of the horror genre? If so, which movies do you/have you enjoyed?
RS: I have always liked horror and fantasy films. STAR WARS is why I am an actor. I grew up with THE SHINING, HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13TH, DAWN OF THE DEAD.
HW: I read online that you were attached to Locker 13, which sounds like a really fascinating project. Can you talk a little bit more about your involvement and what the status is on Locker 13?
RS: I am attached as a writer and director to the Locker 13 project. The short film I worked on is called DOWN AND OUT and follows a boxer who passed his prime and gets a second chance with the help of a very curious pair of boxing gloves. Locker 13 reminds me of a new Twilight Zone. We are currently exploring distribution options.
HW: What other upcoming projects do you have in the works, both on and off camera?
RS: I am writing several projects currently, including a horror film. I’m having a great time. I am also developing a show at A&E for me to star in tentatively called LAPD:HOLLYWOOD.
Photo by Stewart Marcano Photography
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