With The Terror Experiment‘s DVD and Blu-ray release this week, Dread Central chatted with star Jason London about his experience making the indie horror flick as well as tackling the more physical aspects of his role and becoming a reluctant hero along the way.
In The Terror Experiment we follow a terrorist who sets off an explosion that unleashes a toxic gas inside a government building that instantly attacks people’s adrenal systems, causing them to become inhumanly aggressive zombies with an uncontrollable urge to kill.
Check out our interview with London below, and make sure to check out The Terror Experiment now that it’s available everywhere courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Dread Central: So how much fun was it taking on zombies for The Terror Experiment?
Jason London: Oh, it was great! These movies are so fantastic and so out there that all you can do is just enjoy them when you’re asked to come on board. I’ve done a lot of comedies and I’ve done dramas, but I always love making horror movies. It is kind of like going back to the sandbox when you were a kid and playing pretend, and making it as much fun as possible is the key. I’m not a huge horror fan myself, but I’m always up for playing with monsters anytime.
Dread Central: Let’s talk a bit about your character because he isn’t your usual hero type of character in a horror movie. Was that part of the appeal for you?
Jason London: That was definitely part of it. I’m not exactly Rambo so I don’t think I would have fit this role if that’s what George (director Mendeluk) was looking for (laughs). Thankfully, he wanted a ‘normal’ guy, someone everyone could relate to and understand what he was going through in this story. So it was fun being a character that has a real transition, and for him it’s all about finding his daughter, and as a father I could relate to that. I think that was part of the story that even George related to as well- being a father and wanting to keep your kid safe. So finding my daughter is what keeps me going.
Dread Central: You’ve got such a great ensemble of some of the most iconic actors of the 80’s and 90’s (yourself included); how was it working alongside the other cast members?
Jason London: We did have such a great cast on this; it was hard to not be a fan myself when I would be coming to set. People think actors don’t get excited about other actors, but it’s not true- we do. But everyone on Terror Experiment was great to work alongside- I got to work with Pony Boy for Christ’s sake (C. Thomas Howell) and the biggest ‘nerd’ ever (Robert Carradine). Do you know how hard it was to not ask him to do the nerd laugh on set? Impossible! (laughs) And then working with Judd (Nelson) was so cool, too, because he has been in some of my favorite movies; it really was a blast.
Dread Central: How difficult was the stunts aspect of shooting The Terror Experiment?
Jason London: Well, we didn’t have a huge budget on this so I had to kind of just go with everything, which included the scene in the stairwell where I’m being lowered down by a fire hose. We really had to do that scene ourselves, and the one time we dropped, we hit the ground pretty hard; I was sure that Alicia (Leigh Willis) had blown a knee or something when it happened because it’s both of us going down at the same time. But she was a total trooper and just shook off the bumps and the bruises.
But for as much as I’m not exactly a physical actor in general, I always have a lot of fun when I get a role that requires me to get my hands dirty and have some fun doing things outside the box.
Dread Central: I think it’s pretty cool that you’ve been able to stay consistently busy since you began acting in the early 90’s; is there a secret to it because we’ve all seen a lot of actors from your same generation struggle in the industry.
Jason London: Honestly, it all boils down to wanting to work and always be willing to work hard and keeping an open mind. As I said before, I’m not much of a horror fan myself, but horror movies are usually the projects I have the most fun on so I had to be willing to keep an open mind and embrace doing projects outside the norm.
I have been very lucky because I’ve been a part of some really great movies that have become somewhat of iconic roles in my career- whether it’s in The Man on the Moon for those of you who grew up with that movie or comedies like Mallrats or Dazed and Confused that are pop culture moments in their own right now. And even though those roles may be the ones that everyone remembers me from, that’s not really who I am as a person so I think people forget that from time to time.
In fact, right after Dazed and Confused came out, every script I’d get sent for a good couple of months or so would have marijuana included with it because they thought I was Randall. He’s just a character, but a lot of people couldn’t really separate us so my agent had his hands full for a while disposing of a lot of weed (laughs). I guess you could say that a lot of people lost the meaning of what Dazed and Confused really was about because it wasn’t supposed to be about drugs; it was about growing up. But overall I’ve been very lucky in my career, and I guess the secret is that I like being busy so I always try and stay as busy as I can because you never know what will happen next.
Dread Central: So do you have any ideas as to what’s up ‘next’ for you then?
Jason London: Well, I actually have a few horror projects coming up that I did with some familiar faces like Kevin Sorbo and Danielle Harris so I’m really excited for those. But I’m also finally getting behind the scenes myself, and I’ve been putting together some projects as a producer and potentially a director so we’ll see how that goes. I’m very excited about taking my career in a whole new direction; you can only be the paint for so long before you want to become the painter.
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