Nick Principe is a hard man to ignore. He stands about 6’7″ tall, is covered in badass tattoos and is best known for playing a chrome-skulled killer that some feel could be horror’s next iconic slasher. And now, straight out of Arkansas, Principe brings us his newest malevolent murderer, a pig mask donning psycho named Damien Ewell in Eric England’s first feature film, Madison County.
Madison County is about a group of college kids who travel to the small mountain town of the same name to interview the author of a tell-all book about brutal murders that occurred in the town. But, as you would expect, when they get to Madison County, things are way more fucked up than they ever could have imagined. Enter the giant in the pig mask.
“(Director) Eric (England) hit me up on Facebook,” Principe said, when asked how he heard about the role of Damien. “He just referenced all the right movies when we talked, all the ’80s stuff I love. So I said, ‘Let me read the script.’ Ever since Laid to Rest I get a lot of slasher movie scripts. I usually give them about 20 pages or so, but I was on page 42 before I knew it.”
Although the filmmakers didn’t have much money to spend, Principe loved the script and worked things out. “I had them set up all my scenes so I could shoot for six days straight and just go out there and bang it out,” Principe said. “We were literally in the most rural of rural Arkansas. The hotel was in the middle of nowhere, but every morning we had to drive an hour and a half further into nowhere, which didn’t make sense to me because it was all woods. It was like these woods look exactly like the woods behind the hotel. But Eric had very specific woods in mind, and I guess it worked out.”
Principe describes Damien as an entity similar to the Kraken from Clash of the Titans. “He’s not protecting the town as much as the town is just feeding him people to be sure he leaves them alone. They’ll do anything to keep him away from them.” Hey, sounds like a great guy!
“I play killers because that’s what I love,” Principe said. “It trips me out when people say (about Chromeskull) that he’s a new, iconic slasher or new Freddy, Jason. I’m like, ‘Easy man, I don’t know about all that. We’ll see in 10 years from now.’ Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Leatherface, they’ve been around forever. It’s longevity that defines an icon for me.” We can now add Damien Ewell to Nick’s growing list of killers portrayed.
Madison County made its world premiere at the 2011 Screamfest Horror Festival and is planning on hitting festivals and hoping to have a release date sometime in 2012. The film also stars Ace Marrero, Colley Bailey, Adrienne Harrell, Matt Mercer, Joanna Sotomura and Natalie Scheetz.
As for Principe, he’s also got a (moustache) hair-raising project he’s working on in the meantime.
“It’s a website called Movember.com,” Principe explains. “On the first day of November you shave totally, then keep a moustache for the entire month. And people basically sponsor your moustache in an effort to raise money to fight cancer. And it’s a bunch of people who normally wouldn’t wear moustaches so therein lies the comedy. And the funds go to organizations like The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong.” If you’d like to help Nick in his efforts to raise money to help fight cancer, head over to Movember.com and give it a look.
And if portraying slashers and fundraising isn’t enough to keep Principe busy, he’s currently got a new project on tap, and Dread Central has the scoop on it. Principe is proud to announce the formation of his very own new hardcore band, The Love and Suicide. And the cool part about the band is it’s truly horror-themed. The title of every song is the name of an obscure bad guy, like Thulsa Doom (Conan), Le Worm (Irreversible) and John G (Memento). Besides Principe, the band features Rich DePetro, Jeremy Gravel and Danny Harvey. The band plans to record a demo in early December and has noted artist Joel Robinson working on a logo.
Nick Principe is a hard man to ignore, and folks, it’s not going to get any easier.
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