Exclusive: Chatterer Cenobite Actor Nicholas Vince Talks Hellraiser: Anthology Volume 2


Having met Nicholas Vince in person, I can honestly say that he’s one of the kindest and most down to Earth celebrities out there. Best known for playing the Chatterer Cenobite in the first two Hellraiser movies, Nicholas will soon be exploring the character’s origins in a story he wrote for the second volume of the Hellraiser Anthology comic, which will be available to purchase from September 24, 2017 on the official Clive Barker store. Best of all, Barker himself provided the artwork for the story.

In addition to giving talks about his amazing career, Nicholas recently appeared in Katie Bonham’s Mindless and is slated to appear in a ton of upcoming films, including Lawrie Brewster’s The Black Gloves and Stewart Sparke’s Book of Monsters. You can stay up to date with his work over on his official website, and also be sure to check out his YouTube channel while you’re at it. He took some time out of his busy schedule to chatter with us, and you can read the full interview below.

Dread Central: You mentioned in one of your recent talks that you once died for a short period. That’s something very few people can say, so could you talk about your experience?

Nicholas Vince: Sure. When I was 19, I needed major surgery on my face, as I was born ‘undershot’. My lower teeth closed in front of my upper. They’d tried to correct it by using braces from the age of 11, but decided to operate when I was 16. They had to wait until I’d stopped growing at 19 before they could do the surgery – which involved cutting away my top jaw and using pieces of bone from my hip to wedge the jaw forward.

I was in surgery for over 8 hours and intensive care for the next 48 – by which I mean they had two nurses with me at all times. I woke from the anaesthetic around 2am the first night and remember feeling incredibly tired. I decided as the only thing I was doing was breathing, that’s what was making me tired. I reasoned if I stopped breathing I wouldn’t be tired and so I stopped breathing.

One of the nurses said, ‘We’re losing him.’

Then I was floating upwards, through a tunnel towards a light. I felt very warm and secure. It was very pleasant.

Then I heard a machine making a sound like “shshtaka shshtaka” and I must have fallen asleep again as the next thing I remember is waking up, the same night, as I’d dreamed I was biting an apple and bringing my jaws closed forcibly – which considering the operation, wasn’t the best move.

That experience became the inspiration for my short story Other People’s Darkness, which is also the title of my second collection of short stories. And of course, I’m very aware of just how fragile life is.

DC: Can you talk about you memories of working on the first two Hellraiser movies?

NV: It was fun, challenging and on the first movie slightly surreal as I was acting in a horror movie! Despite the early starts and long days, really just very exciting. OK, so I had no lines, couldn’t speak, hear or see and toilet breaks in costume were really complex – as I was wearing a leotard under skin tight leather trousers with braces, under a jacket which zipped at the back. But, you know, a movie!

The thing which impressed me most was the talented people who worked on both the films. Not just Clive and the cast, but particularly those who created the Cenobite makeups and costumes. It was fascinating to watch Chatterer grow from a sketch, via the life cast and the clay sculpt to the mask.

We filmed on location at the house and the studio, and the area outside the ‘torture room’ at the top of the stairs, where Frank is revived, existed in both. I remember standing on the set version and trying to spot any differences between that and the location and I couldn’t. Even when I saw the movie for the first time, I tried to work out which shots were taken where and it’s really hard to see a difference.

Incidentally, the foot of the stairs, where they jam the mattress, was built by the production to make the stairs more complex – over the existing stairs. Basically, it was originally a simple right angled staircase, and they built in the double turn as Kirsty/Ashley would have been able to get away too easily otherwise.

We were lucky enough to have Robin Vidgeon as DOP on both films. Having watched the movies a few times, and now making movies myself, it’s fascinating to study his work. My favourite shot is when Julia brings home the first victim and they stand, almost in sillhouette, just inside the front door, as she hesitates: physically and metaphorically moving from light into dark.

On Hellbound, we moved to Pinewood, so that was a whole different scale, but most of the same crew and cast were involved – as they were on Nightbreed. Again, some long days, but at least with the 2nd version of Chatterer I could see. There again, I did accidentally get the tip of a rusty 12 inch hook driven into the roof of my mouth during filming. So, “swings and rounadabouts” as they say.

DC: Without giving too much away, I understand that your upcoming story in Volume 2 of the Hellraiser Anthology comic is going to reveal the origin of the Chatterer, the Cenobite you played in the films?

NV: That’s right. (I really do hate spoilers, but I can tell you it’s my answer to a question raised in Hellbound.)

DC: How did it feel to write a story about a character you played multiple times onscreen? Was it like revisiting an old friend?

NV: Good questions, David. Considering how often I speak about Chatterer or people share art and cartoons inspired by him, it is like having an old friend who I tallk about. Occaisionally, I even get to ‘meet’ him when people do cosplay at conventions.

It felt great to revisit Chatterer’s origins, as this is the second time I’ve written about him – though the first is a completely alternate universe idea. That was published in the UK in Fear magazine when Hellbound was released. This story, Prayers of Desire, is set firmly in the universe created in the movies.

DC: I remember you saying that your editor said he was genuinely disturbed by some of the elements of your story, so I guess you didn’t hold back?

NV. Nope. What I found wonderful about the first volume of ‘Hellraiser – Anthology’ was it really took to heart original tagline for the film, “There are no limits. Having written comic stories for the EPIC Hellraiser comics, it was really liberating.

I’m looking forward to meeting some readers of the story when I’m at conventions in the USA later this year to hear what they think about it.

DC: And the artwork was provided by Clive Barker himself?

NV: My eyes may have leaked when I saw the email telling me that. I’ve seen them and I’m bowled away by what Clive can do with just a few strokes of his pen.

DC: I understand that you’re now as busy as ever. Can you talk about some of your other projects?

NV: Oh yes I am. On the acting front, I recently shot my scenes for Lawrie Brewster’s The Black Gloves, which stars Jaime Scott-Gordon, Macarena Gomez and Alexandra Hulme. Next week I film Book of Monsters, by Stewart Sparke and Paul Butler. I’m also looking forward to ‘Borley Rectory’ by Ashley Lawrence, starring Reece Shearsmith, which goes onto the festival circuit in the next couple of months.

I’m still in post production on the two short films, Your Appraisal and ‘Necessary Evils’. The former will be entered into festivals and the latter will be part of the anthology, ‘For We Are Many’ by Hex Media. I filmed those in Ireland with the wonderful folks at Celtic Badger Media.

And there are a few other things which are bubbling away, including a feature film script based on one of my short stories.

Hellraiser: Anthology Volume 2 official synopsis
Clive Barker’s Seraphim Comics has announced Hellraiser: Anthology Volume Two, a sequel to the cult hit graphic novel released in April.

Hellraiser: Anthology Volume Two will be released in September, debuting at Son of Monsterpalooza in Burbank, CA and available a week after via www.realclivebarker.com, both as a hardcover graphic novel and a digital download.

The anthology will feature stories written by returning Hellraiser comic scribes Ben Meares, Christian Francis, Mark Alan Miller, David McKendry & Rebekah McKendry and Matt. Murray, as well as newcomers to the series Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler (The Dregs) and Ken Winkler. Artists include returning Hellraiser alumni Daniele Serra (who provides the cover along with a six-page story), Riley Schmitz, Jim Terry and Nick Percival, along with newcomers to the series Mark Torres (Zombies Vs. Robots: Undercity, Judge Dredd), Hector Casanova (The Lurkers, Screamland), Christian DiBari (Hoax Hunters, Magdalena), Simon Gough (GI Joe: Snake Eyes), Devmalya Pramanik (Nightbreed) and Nino Cammarata (The Black Cat).

Additionally, the graphic novel will feature a prose story detailing the origin of the fan-favorite Cenobite the Chatterer, written by the Chatterer himself, Nicholas Vince. The tale will feature pen and ink illustrations by Clive Barker.

“I’m beyond excited to finally share a story I drafted in December 2012,” Vince said in regards to his contribution to the anthology, titled Prayers of Desire. “It’s worth the wait, as it’s found it’s spiritual home beside wonderful illustrations by Clive and amongst superb storytellers.”

The anthology is edited and compiled by Ben Meares and designed and lettered by Christian Francis.

“I think, with the first anthology, we managed to put out a book that reminded people why Hellraiser works so well in comics,” Ben Meares, Editor-in-Chief of Seraphim Comics said. “It’s a wildly versatile mythos, and with this second volume we get to explore with even more variety the possibilities within the world that Clive has so graciously allowed us to play in. Volume Two will feature more stories, more pages and more creators than Volume One. I’ve been absolutely floored with the kinds of original, fresh and brilliant stories everyone involved has contributed.”

“I’m so thankful to everyone who helped make the first volume such a smashing success despite us trying our hardest to offend everyone, “ said Mark Alan Miller, Vice President of Clive Barker’s Seraphim, Inc. and contributing writer. “It’s so much fun to have the opportunity to do it all over again.”

Release Dates:

Son of Monsterpalooza, Pasadena, CA – September 15-17, 2017 (Hardcover only)

www.realclivebarker.com — September 24, 2017 (Hardcover & Digital Download)



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