Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More - Dread Central
Connect with us

Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More

Published

on

Post Thumb:

/may12/snps.jpg

Just in time for Christmas comes Steven C. Miller’s supremely fun Silent Night (review), which is more of an homage than a straight remake of the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. Get ready to deck those halls because we’ve got an exclusive interview with star Malcolm McDowell.

McDowell, a true cinematic legend with well over 200 credits to his name, tackles a new holiday menace in Miller’s latest as the small-town sheriff who must rise to the occasion when a murderer dressed like St. Nick terrorizes his community on Christmas Eve. Silent Night also stars genre badass Jaime King, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong and Lisa Marie.

During our chat with McDowell we heard more from the acclaimed actor about his experiences working on Silent Night; he also discussed his approach to the role of Sheriff Cooper and what costume item he just had to keep after he wrapped shooting. We also briefly spoke to McDowell about his iconic role in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and much more.

Check out our exclusive interview with McDowell below, and be sure to pick up your own copy of Silent Night available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay.

Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More

Dread Central: So you’ve now tackled two holiday horror movies- are you hoping someone comes along with an Easter horror movie soon?

Malcolm McDowell: (Laughs). That would be brilliant!

Dread Central: I really had a lot of fun watching you in Silent Night– it seems like you guys had a lot of fun making this movie, too. What was the initial appeal of this character (Sheriff Cooper) that nabbed your attention before you signed on?

Malcolm McDowell: We did have fun, and I’m glad to hear that it shows. And when I read the script, I just really liked it. I met the director and the producers over breakfast, and I just loved Steven’s vision for the film; he really ‘gets’ it. I’m not a great fan of horror movies myself, but I always love when they work- and Silent Night works. Horror movies should scare you, yes, but they should make you smile, too, and I think Silent Night proves that you don’t have to have a huge budget to create great scares and kills but still leave people smiling, too.

Just that very idea – a killer Santa mixed up in a parade of a hundred different Santas – is enough to make me smile. So it really wasn’t hard to convince me to do this; it was also a role I’ve never really played before- the ‘good guy.’

Dread Central: He’s the good guy, but he’s still pretty tough on Jaime’s character, even though you can tell he cares about her…

Malcolm McDowell: Yes! That was so important to me- not to be too cartoonish with this character. You have to believe him and care about him; he’s a sheriff of a crimeless small town so he used to things running a certain way. When he puts on his uniform, he feels like he has a little bit more power than everyone else so when Jaime’s character is figuring things out that he hasn’t, he takes that as a real insult; she’s always right, and he can’t stand that even though he’s still fond of her.

Dread Central: I know that the turnaround on Silent Night was remarkably quick; did you guys get any sort of prep time at all before shooting? Did you do anything special to get in Cooper’s skin?/b>

Malcolm McDowell: No, no- we had no time for that; I think I only arrived on set just a few hours before I began shooting, but I’ve been doing this for 50 years now so I know what’s required of me as an actor. Of course I’m always willing to take direction, but you have to be prepared, too. And since I worked a lot with Jaime, it was incredibly easy for me because she’s such a pro.

And I just had a lot of fun with the character; a lot of Cooper’s one-liners were mine, and I just let my instincts take over in those moments. I also loved that silly hat I wore, too; it was just so silly and wonderful that I had to keep it when we were done. A character’s costume always comes down to the shoes and the hat I believe. I also thought that a small-town sheriff would have a beard. I think I read somewhere that a lot of law enforcement officers grow facial hair in the winter, and since I had just come off of doing Home Alone, I kept the beard because I thought Cooper would definitely have a beard. The hat and the beard really made that character (laughs).

Dread Central: Last year I had the distinct pleasure of being in the audience while you were speaking at Flashback Weekend in Chicago and just loved all the stories you shared about A Clockwork Orange and Caligula– of all movies (laughs). Is it still remarkable to you that a movie that’s now over 40 years old (A Clockwork Orange) resonates with new generations of audiences almost even stronger than perhaps it did when it came out?

Malcolm McDowell: Well, thank you; I just love Chicago so much! And yes, A Clockwork Orange was one of those moments where you have to step back and examine it with some distance. It has an incredible legacy, and it’s still a movie I speak about quite regularly like it’s a new movie that’s just been released.

And it’s remained timeless because it had such a great story; when it first was released, nobody could get past the look. This was before MTV, before any of that stuff- it was so revolutionary in that way. But really, it’s the film’s message that has made Clockwork Orange endure all these years; there’s so much that still pertains to society and government.

A lot of it also had to do with Anthony Burgess’ novel- I used that book as a bible. Kubrick too. I was really fortunate to get cast in that role, too; when you’re young, you just kind of ‘expect’ things so you don’t realize the enormity of it all until some time passes and you can gain some perspective on the experience.

I also think – and I could be wrong but this is something I’ve done a lot of thinking about over the years – but I think that Alex is the first amoral character in cinema that filmmakers wanted audiences to root for- not against. This was before Hannibal Lecter and many of the modern villains of course so I think that it was incredibly challenging for audiences at the time. How do you make a rapist and murderer redeemable in audiences’ eyes? It was a delicate balance, which is why we chose to do some of the more controversial scenes, like the rape scene, in such an unusual way…no one had ever featured an upbeat song like “Singing in the Rain” during such a brutal cinematic moment before so I think maybe people at first were caught off-guard by some of Stanley’s choices. Of course they were brilliant choices but very controversial.

And Stanley was a great friend; we became very close, and I think you can see that in my performance- an actor who was very secure with his director. There had to be a certain kind of love and trust between us, especially for that kind of a role. I also had total trust in my instincts, which may have led to a few disagreements with Stanley, but he always listened to me, and we would just talk out what would work best for a scene and come to an agreement after all that. It really was lightning in a bottle.

Dread Central: I believe I’m out of time now, Malcolm, but thank you so much for speaking with me today- it was really an honor.

Malcolm McDowell: Well, thank you. And Happy Holidays to you as well.

Silent Night

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Be silent in the comments section below!

Image Type 1:

Comments

Advertisement
Comments

News

Will Billie Lourd Return in AMERICAN HORROR STORY Season 8?

Published

on

For those of you who might not know, Billie Lourd is the daughter of Carrie Fisher. She was one of the stars of Ryan Murphy’s horror-comedy series Scream Queens and has since followed Murphy over to the world of American Horror Story.

Lourd starred in the recent AHS: Cult and it looks like Deadline is confirming that she will return for the upcoming 8th season, which is rumored to be called AHS: Radioactive. Lourd will star alongside Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Kathy Bates, and Joan Collins, who will play Evan Peters’ grandmother.

Are you excited about this casting? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

American Horror Story is an anthology horror-drama series created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning franchise is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Live-Action F.E.A.R. Adaptation Coming To Machinima

Published

on

Screenwriter Greg Russo has signed a deal with Machinima to pen an adaptation of the F.E.A.R. video game franchise, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The article did not specify whether the adaptation would be in the form of a film or a series.

Russo, who is a lifelong gamer, will work with Machinima on creating and developing the F.E.A.R. adaptation, although we don’t know much else at this point. Machinima are a subsidiary of Warner Bros., and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the F.E.A.R. franchise has also been owned by WB since 2009. In other words, Warner Bros. were bound to give us a live action adaptation of F.E.A.R. at one point, so we’re not too surprised by this development.

Russo, who is also writing the scripts for the Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil reboots, was quoted as saying the following:

“As a lifelong gamer, it’s an absolute honor to partner with Machinima, the preeminent provider of digital content to gamers worldwide. F.E.A.R. holds a special place in my heart. I’m excited to bring my personal passion to this and future projects and can’t wait to see where our partnership goes from here.”

An acronym for First Encounter Assault Recon, the F.E.A.R. games focus on an elite task force who fight to stop Alma Wade, a young girl with incredible psychic powers, from tearing apart the fabric of reality. Legendary film director John Carpenter served as story consultant on the third game, which we awarded a highly positive review back in the day. We’ll bring you more on Machinima’s adaptation when it becomes availalbe.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Short Film RETINA Will Strain Your Eyes

Published

on

We’ve been paying a lot of attention to the young filmmaker Alex J. Mann around these parts, because his projects are so unique and innovative that we can never wait to see what he’ll cook up next. Mann has just released his latest short, Retina, on his Space Oddity Films YouTube channel, and you can give it a watch below. It’s just under two minutes long and doesn’t contain any dialogue, but this is still a short which will keep you up at night.

Retina is described as being about “A young man’s fight to shut off his laptop camera turns deadly.” It was written and directed by Mann, and stars Dan J. Johnson in a singular performance. Retina also contains some gruesome images, and is most definitely not safe for work.

Comments

Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!
Advertisement

Recent Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC