Linden Porco has the unenviable task of stepping into the green buckled shoes of Warwick Davis, who made the Leprechaun a sort of second tier horror icon. All credit due to Dylan Postl who played the character in Origins but Returns is actually a direct sequel to the original (courtesy of SyFy and Lionsgate), so the pressure is on.
In the below interview, Porco is incredibly gracious and, even though the Leprechaun franchise isn’t Shakespeare, he still relishes in spouting dirty limericks. We discuss the horrors of the makeup chair and the new, grosser Leprechaun design as well as whether or not he’s up for continuing the role once the film debuts this Tuesday, December 11th, from Lionsgate on Digital and On Demand. Leprechaun Returns will also air on SyFy in March 2019.
DC: You definitely made the role your own which isn’t that easy to do considering the franchise has been around for 25 years. Pretend I’m James Lipton for a second and tell me how you got in the headspace for this part and what performances inspired you to inhabit such an iconic character.
LP: So, I would say, first and foremost, The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger’s Joker impression is the immediate thing that stood out to me when I first read the role. I thought that would be something I would model it after. And, obviously, I’d put my own twist on it as well. I watched the first Leprechaun movie with Warwick in it so that definitely helped me get into the character as well. It was mostly just going after what I wanted each and every scene and just having fun with it, for sure.
DC: Did you get a chance to reach out to Warwick or Dylan about taking over the Leprechaun mantle? I know Warwick recently said that fatherhood has made him take a break from horror.
LP: No, I didn’t end up getting to chat with him, I would have loved to have reached out and just talk to him about it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to.
DC: He’s probably too busy hosting a Star Wars panel or something. The character design in Returns is a little more monstrous than the older looks. How long were you in the makeup chair each day and how was it working with the prosthetic team?
LP: The prosthetic team was unbelievable. Nicola [Bendrey] and Graham [Chivers] were such a pleasure to work with. They were super nice, we had a lot of fun in the makeup chair. I’ve got a few videos that I’m super excited to post when the movie comes out. Yeah, so I was in the chair for about three hours every day. Pretty simple, just getting it on and moving me around to make sure everything looks perfect. It was a good process and I had a lot of fun doing it.
DC: I look forward to seeing the videos! Why make the decision to do a direct sequel to the original? There wasn’t much canon I suppose to the Leprechaun universe and with Halloween having so much success, it does seem to be a trend now.
LP: Yeah for sure. I don’t know exactly what the process was about doing a direct sequel but I definitely think it was a great idea. Especially to get Mark Holton back. It just made it more clear that it was a direct sequel and I think it brought everything together from the original, for sure.
DC: Yeah, you’re literally birthed out of the original with the character, Ozzie, that’s an insane effect at the beginning.
LP: Yeah, that was a lot of fun definitely to do that.
DC: There are some great kills in this.
LP: I think all the kills are definitely unique and I enjoyed every single one of them. Those were definitely significant moments that I remember exactly where I was and what was going on and how it all happened. It was amazing just to watch what happened during some of the kills, it was amazing! It’s almost hard to believe that they made that possible. I was in awe. I think I watched a couple of the kills back like fifteen times because I was, like, there’s no way. What? You kidding me?
DC: I’m definitely a fan of the director, Steven Kostanski, and I know he’s had some previous movies that have had a lot of gore in them. Even all the way back to Manborg and Father’s Day. I love The Void as well that’s really gory and uses a lot of prosthetics. How was it working with him and did you go back and check out some of his previous projects?
LP: It was amazing working with him. We’re actually both from Winnipeg which was pretty awesome to find out and just connect that way. Collaborating with him was awesome. Before takes and after takes and just making slight changes and just really going after it. I didn’t actually check out his work before, just because I’m absolutely scared shitless of horror. So, I am not a huge fan of watching it myself but I definitely enjoy playing the part for sure.
DC: Did you get to take anything from the set, any props or anything?
LP: I got to keep a little special gift. I’ll be sharing that on Instagram when the movie comes out!
[Linden Porco’s Instagram is @lindenporco]