Exclusive Interview: Five Finger Death Punch's Ivan Moody Talks The Devil’s Carnival and More
His band achieved worldwide success after the 2007 release of their debut album The Way of the Fist, and now Five Finger Death Punch frontman Ivan Moody has temporarily traded in his rock star status to become one of the featured carnies in Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Devil’s Carnival.
The film is currently touring North America as part of a Road Show experience for fans, but a few months ago Dread Central had the opportunity to head out to the set of The Devil’s Carnival and during our visit was able to catch up with acting newcomer Moody about his film debut and heard more about working on the project and whether or not he has any plans to return to acting in the future.
Read on for our interview with Moody below, and make sure to check back soon for a few more interviews from our recent visit to the set of The Devil’s Carnival (review here).
Dread Central: So how did you get involved with The Devil’s Carnival to begin with?
Ivan Moody: I got a random phone call last week before they began shooting by my management company who asked me if I wanted to come out and audition for this musical project they had just heard about. I told them yes up front but when I saw the list of everyone involved, I knew I’d be an idiot if I didn’t at least audition for this- I mean, you’ve got Clown (from Slipknot), Bill Moseley, Ogre from Skinny Puppy- and that’s only a few of the people who caught my attention.
Dread Central: Had you always wanted to make the transition to the acting world? I can’t imagine your hectic touring schedule allows for a lot of film opportunities.
Ivan Moody: I had always wanted to this- always. I love art in all forms and I especially love movie musicals. Being a musician I feel is only a drop in the bucket in terms of what I want to do with my career. But I grew up loving projects like Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof and I love Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas too. So The Devil’s Carnival is extremely cool for me to be involved with.
Dread Central: Can you fill us in on who your character is and how he fits into the world of The Devil’s Carnival?
Ivan Moody: I play The Hobo Clown and I pretty much get involved in everything but in a quiet way. I deliver messages to The Ringleader, Lucifer and all the Carnies but I get to have a little fun too; I’m quite a joker actually. My character has a bit of a humorous side to him as well and it’s been pretty cool to try something so different like being a Hobo Clown.
Dread Central: I have to ask because you’re someone who has performed in front of insanely huge crowds of the last few years; what’s more nerve-wracking- doing a live performance or performing in The Devil’s Carnival?
Ivan Moody: Doing this. It’s far more intimate than being on stage in some ways and I think there’s a different kind of pressure doing a movie than performing live. Part of that is because you know all those kids who showed up to see your show paid good money so you know they’re behind you and once you step on stage, there is no turning back.
So sure, in some ways people might see being in a project like this a little bit easier because you can do multiple takes and try new things but there’s also a significant challenge in developing a colorful character like The Hobo Clown with only so much screen time and make sure he’s a character that resonates with fans. It is definitely a difficult challenge but I’m absolutely loving that about this whole experience.
Dread Central: I know that working on this project is very much like punk rock filmmaking which means everyone is here for the right reasons and not necessarily here for a huge paycheck; is Darren’s enthusiasm for this style of filmmaking part of what keeps you motivated to keep pushing through all the chaos you guys have experienced while making this?
Ivan Moody: Most definitely. Any time you are working on something that’s a passion project for anyone, you want to make sure the guy leading you into this is someone who takes it seriously but can still have fun and only wants the best for the story, the fans and the performers. That’s Darren. When I came in and sat down to meet with him the first time, I knew in ten minutes that he was the right guy to be behind an innovative story like this one.
Dread Central: Now that you’ve gotten a taste for it, do you think you’ll pursue more acting projects in the future?
Ivan Moody: Absolutely. I’ve already spoken to my management team and told them I want to get more opportunities like this down the road. I definitely want to still continue doing music because it’s live and there’s just something about that kind of energy you can’t ever get in any other avenue but I really have been enjoying challenging myself in this way and I’d love to continue doing this- whether it’s in regular movies, in the theater or even as a voice in a cartoon. It’s great.
For now though, music is going to continue to be my immediate future; we’ve got a lot of touring coming up for Five Finger Death Punch so that’s what’s on my plate through the next few months at least. I’m definitely excited that we’re about to head all over the world and we’re even going to Kuwait this tour which is kind of mind-blowing to me. What an incredible opportunity to get to play there.
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