Ethan Embry Gives Us The Unholy Details On The Devil's Candy - Dread Central
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Ethan Embry Gives Us The Unholy Details On The Devil’s Candy

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Devils Candy

I’m pretty sure it was a toss up, and I’m really trying to remember the first time I ever saw Ethan Embry on-screen – it was either his role as the infinitely nerdy Preston Myers in Can’t Hardly Wait, or one of the revolving Rusty Griswalds in Vegas Vacation. Having a penchant for playing these types of underdog roles early on in his career only readied himself for some weightier portrayals, and he’s managed to latch onto more than a few gigs in the horror scheme of things, with roles in projects such as Vacancy, the “Masters Of Horror” series on Showtime, “Fear Itself” on NBC, and even a quick stint on AMC’s blockbuster hit, “The Walking Dead.”

But his latest role in The Devil’s Candy (review) is one of those unforgettable performances that must be seen to truly enjoy, and he was gracious enough to give us a few moments to discuss the film, as well as his future projects.

DC: For starters, can you tell us a little about the film, as well as of your character, Jesse?

EE: The Devil’s Candy is a love story, man! It’s a movie about family…and the devil. (laughs) When I went into making it, that’s how I approached it – at the top of the script, I wrote “this is a love story”, so every time I opened it, I saw him as just this regular dude who was in love with his family, just trying to do they best he could by them. So for me, that’s how I always approached it – now with the soundtrack, the editing, and all the other special shit that Sean (Byrne) put on it, it was like a metal rollercoaster. It’s not really a love story (laughs).

DC: We can let everyone make their own interpretations on that one!

EE: Yeah! I’m like a flutist, just doing my little bit, way in the back of the orchestra!

DC: So what was it about this role that hooked you? Can you see a little bit of yourself in Jesse?

EE: I’ve made a living playing characters that are a bit further away from who I actually am, and this was an opportunity that when I first read it, I thought “this is great – I can convey something a bit closer to what Ethan really is.” I didn’t have to worry about cleaning myself up, and I could get a little dirtier. In the script, the music that Sean had written in the scene that we’re listening to on the radio – in that music, you can hear the world, and I could trust that he had good taste, and that made me want to work with him.

DC: You mentioned earlier that you were able to get a bit dirtier with this role – how was the filming? Looked as if things got pretty physical on set.

EE: Yeah, it got REALLY physical, which I love doing – I love getting a little beat up, bruised and out of breath on set, and as far as Jesse’s look – I wanted him rail-thin, but he still had to look strong enough to handle it when he needs to. So for about a year before we even started shooting, I woke up every morning and went running, and at that time I was still smoking like an idiot, and I’d sort of let myself turn into an old man, so luckily I had enough preparation with this one. So often, we get a script for a film, and we’re shooting 2 weeks after we run our first read, and the things you want to do, such as prepare for that physicality, you don’t get the chance to do.

DC: Over the course of your career, you’ve split a lot of time between film and TV roles – what do you see as the biggest difference between the two as far as role preparation goes?

EE: I think the difference between film and TV is a lot narrower now than it used to be, and I think that’s coming from the idea that television is up there with the expectations of film. The audience expects something complex as a film every week, and just my opinion, I think the change happened when writers saw that on a TV set, that they were the boss (the producer) – he’s the guy that runs the whole show. Instead of toiling over one story that you tell over the course of 90 pages, you can tell this huge arc 60 pages at a time, spread out over the course of 5 years. You can also write these incredibly in-depth characters, and I think that it’s the writers that first got attracted to the world of television, and because of those characters and stories and that talent, it started attracting directors and actors into the field as well, and some of the best dramatic stuff that we have right now is coming out of an episodic presentation. I also think that another huge difference is the gap between comedy and drama, and maybe I’m lazy with my comedy, and if you look at the comedic characters that I’ve played – the nerdy underdog types – they’re the guys that go to prom alone or with their mom (laughs).

DC: You’ve had a lot of roles playing the guy that deep-down, everyone’s rooting for.

EE: Yeah, and I think that it’s an accidental by-product, and for me it’s naivety, so I fall back on that alot, and to be that naive you can’t be all that aware of what’s going on. You have to shorten your vision so as to not see that far in advance, and you have to shorten your memory as well – comedy, emotionally-wise is a lot better for me. I’ve been doing “Grace and Frankie” for 4 years now, and I’m so happy. After filming The Devil’s Candy, there were a few things that gave me high-anxiety for a few months – I was worried how I’d affected Kiara (Glasco), my co-star, and there were a few separate things that came back and stuck with me, which is good because I did something artistic – not only did I make something that I hope people will enjoy, but it was also something that sort of changed who I am. Maybe I am an artist! (laughs)

DC: Lastly, after the release of this film, what can fans expect to see from you down the road?

EE: There’s one that’s coming up, and it’s not really horror, and not really thriller, but it’s playing at those festivals – it’s called Fashionista, directed by Simon Rumley, starring Amanda Fuller – we did that last summer, and it’s a very uncomfortable film. It’s about addiction and body image – how Amanda’s character sees herself, and twists it, making it horrific. So, you’re going to love it, or you’re going to fucking hate it (laughs.) I just hope I get to keep doing it (acting) – when you finish a film, you’re unemployed more often that you’re employed, that’s why I think that actors should do tours or something (laughs).

DC: If you ever feel as if you’ve gone as far as you can go with the acting, could you see yourself potentially jumping into the directorial pool?

EE: I could. I would really love to, and I’m sure at some point it’s going to have to go there, especially if I keep getting tattoos! (laughs) – I’m afraid of writing, and it really is just a fear because it’s very solitary – when you write, it’s just you – being an actor on the set, it’s a collaborative effort, and both the praise and the blame get spread around, but when you’re a writer, it’s all on you, and that scares me. I’m either going to be financially secure, or really poor – we’ll find out! (laughs)

Devils Candy

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