Hatchet II Interview Week Entry 2: Tony Todd
DC: Would you consider Adam an “actor’s director?”
TT: I consider him more of a fan’s director. He comes from the fan world and he’s gotten the opportunity to get projects greenlit, so I think when he writes and shoots, he comes at it from the common man’s point of view, which is great. He doesn’t have a blown-out ego or too many hidden agendas.
DC: You’re in a lot of both genre and non-genre films; are you much of a genre fan?
TT: Yeah, I mean I wouldn’t do them unless I liked it. I didn’t set out to say I was going to be a horror icon or anything. It was just the luck of the draw. My first love is theater and I’m chomping at the bit to get back onstage this year. It’s been two years.
DC: IS something like that in the works?
TT: I’m just counting on the universe. There’s nothing specific, but I’m putting it out there.
DC: With Hatchet II, there’s so much special FX and I know you’ve done other films that were special FX-heavy. Does that process ever get tedious for you?
TT: No, because I love the process of making film, so I know each department has to bring their “A game.” Hatchet II had so many practical FX that were created that I think it will galvanize the fanbase, because they’ll know it’s not CGI. It’s somebody had to think about how to make this work. I think Robert Pendergraft did an excellent job in that regard.
DC: How do you feel about the “CG vs. Practical” debate?
TT: Well, you know… Every budget has its own pluses and minuses. I’m not opposed to being in a big budget film because the pay is bigger. Whenever Michael Bay calls, I try to accommodate that. At the same time, I tend to get more freedom and range of characters with independents. So I’m always looking for a good role in a film that may not have as much money, but allows me riches in characterization.
DC: And experiences…
TT: Or location. Sometimes I’ll choose a project by where we’re shooting. This was a great way to go back to New Orleans which is a city that I love.
DC: There’s so much physicality in Hatchet II. I know you’re a big guy and Kane’s a big guy…
TT: We have a lot of big guys. R.A. Mihailoff is a big man. He’s a good friend of mine.
DC: Is that bashing around something you enjoy doing?
TT: I studied stage combat. The beautiful thing about film is that no matter how extreme the situation gets, you know you’re going to walk away from it at the end of the day. MOST of the time. Unfortunately, I was on The Crow, so…
DC: Man, I’d forgotten about that.
TT: But you’re cautious and, if it’s something that concerns you, you talk to the Stunt Coordinator. You make sure who the set medic is and you just trust your instincts as an adult. Try not to step into open potholes. [laughs]
DC: If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you about The Crow. Looking back on that, other than the tragedy of Brandon’s death, is the making of that picture a good memory for you?
TT: It was a terrific experience. Alex Proyas is a visionary director. I just recently watched the film on cable and I’m astonished at how seamlessly it holds up. I’ve been fortunate in that regard. A lot of my films tend to get shelf life on cable and/or hold up. It’s only the bad ones that don’t [laughs], and I might add, it’s very difficult for me to watch myself on film. It’s kind of like hearing your voice on a tape recorder for the first time.
DC: How do you feel about the idea that’s bouncing around about a Crow remake?
TT: [sighs] They’re going to remake everything eventually, so that’s the producer’s fault. Personally, when I become a producer, I consider that the end of the story.
DC: The thing that first put you on my radar was Savini’s Night of the Living Dead… and, over the years, I’ve become a big fan of that film and of your performance in it.
TT: Well, thank you, sir. You know, we just did an animated version in 3D called Night of the Living Dead: Origins, which is going to be a hot film, man. I did all the voice and face capture work on it about two months ago.
DC: One of the things that fascinated me was, in looking over your IMDB page, you currently have fourteen films in some state of production.
TT: [laughs] Is it that many? [laughs] I think about 70% of that is accurate. I’m at the point now where I go to IMDB about every two weeks and call my manager and say, “You need to take this off and this off.” So I guess, in that regard, I’ve become successful because I know so many people who are trying to gain their first credit. As a matter of fact, we’re negotiating three new things today. [laughs]
DC: [laughs] That is so awesome!
TT: It’s beautiful, man. [laughs] Be careful what you wish for, know what I mean? With it comes its own headaches… like I can’t have Facebook. I don’t Twitter. Some days I’m jealous. I wish I could just be a person who can have a Facebook account. God knows how many offers I’d get then.
DC: Facebook’s been very, very good to me, I’ll tell you that.
TT: Everybody I talk to says that, but as soon as I try to do it, I get a lot of stalker mail.
DC: That’s too bad. And finally, Final Destination 5 - thumbs up… thumbs down?
TT: Thumbs up! Thumbs way up. They expanded my part, and the producer told me as we were leaving Vancouver that if it opens at Number 1 – which statistically it has – they’re going to shoot the next two simultaneously. That was my first 3D experience.
DC: Was that challenging?
TT: Yes, for different reasons. You can only shoot like two and a half pages a day. I’d just come off an independent before I went there where we were shooting ten pages a day, so… That tells you what money can do.
DC: Anything else we should know about?
TT: I did a film last year called Unbroken by a company called Stormcatcher Films, and it’s some of the best work I’ve ever done in the horror genre. The film is directed by Paul Moore.
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