We recently had the opportunity to speak with Lou Taylor Pucci, whose latest horror/romance feature film, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s Spring (review), will be opening up next week; and after coming to the conclusion that we both were reeling from the effects of different St. Patrick’s Day celebrations the night before, we settled in and discussed a number of topics. So grab some aspirin and a little black coffee along with us, but more importantly, enjoy!
Dread Central – Can you give us a little insight about how you got your start in the business?
Lou Taylor Pucci – I did The Sound of Music on Broadway – I was running around in a sailor’s suit, singing “Do-Re-Mi.” I did community theater as a kid and that’s where it led to in New York City – I lived about an hour away, and almost my entire family has been in the entertainment industry in some way or another. My Dad was a musician, and my Mom did some modeling, and they said that they gave me a good stage name, because they thought I was going to be a musician, so I guess that’s what I aspired to, but nobody said that, which was nice because I never felt the pressure to become a musician, and honestly I didn’t have the talent for it. Something in me just picked up singing so fast – I had the right pitch, and maybe because it was from me hearing my Dad sing so much when I was younger. So I was on Broadway about a year and a half after I started auditioning, and then film came way later – there was a year in between where I was trying to figure out what the hell to do next. I remember thinking after The Sound of Music was done, I thought “I hope this isn’t the coolest thing I ever do in my life” (laughs). Then film started coming around, and that was because of one awesome woman: Rebecca Miller, who is married to Daniel Day-Lewis – she made this movie called Personal Velocity, where I played this dark, dark role, and coming from Broadway to being a hitchhiker who’s been beaten, and picks his fingers until they bleed, it was so different and real that it actually shocked my system when I went for the audition, and I realized what acting was like for film, and from then on, I’ve just been riding the wave.
DC – Tell me about your character Evan in Spring.
LP – It’s a little hard for me to describe it because he’s so real…just a regular guy. The one thing that’s really special about him in some ways is that he has no one. He starts the movie off by losing his mother, and he finds out later on that he’s lost his mother, and that it occurred before his mother’s passing. He’s a regular guy, and I kind of base him on my brother, Zack, in terms of the masculine figure – he’s just the normal dude – he doesn’t give away his feelings very easily, and he’s not very emotional outwardly, but when he finds this woman, everything changes, and he opens up and falls in love. From there he realizes that he’s got someone, and they’re the only person that matters in his life – he’s a lonely character, and he’s at that point in his life where he’s got to try something different.
DC – Now I’ve wanted to nail someone down from the Evil Dead cast for a while for this question: How rigorous was the filming? It looked like a lot of you took quite a beating during the shoots!
LP – Dude, that was one of the coolest things I ever did. Using all practical effects like that – there was no green screening at all – when someone’s arm was getting cut off, that was it! It felt like a throwback to when you could make horror films well, because people could see what the hell was going on, and everyone was covered in fake blood, and they all were frustrated and angry that they stuck to everything! My hair was stuck to my shoulders the entire movie – I’d wake up and have to get a spray-down on my shoulders just so I could life my cheek off (laughs). We make it in New Zealand, which is beautiful, but we were filming in Winter, so it was shockingly cold in this giant warehouse, and I honestly got to see the biggest production that I’ve ever been a part of. The house had each room rolled away from each other room, so that they could film in it as best they could, and each room was built to exact specifications so that they could fit all the crew in there, yet make each room look tiny in the cabin, and it was really well done. Fede Alvarez was one of the coolest dudes ever, and I just could believe that he had the immediate ability to not only make amazing homages to the original, but also make his own thing happen, and not be too precious about the original stuff either. Making the lead character a girl, and not having Bruce Campbell be a part of that was awesomely smart – no one can replace him, and only Bruce Campbell can be Bruce Campbell – he’s just a personality all to himself.
DC – You’ve had your hands in both TV and film projects, so do you have a preference, or just happy to be acting as a whole?
LP – I just love acting different characters and playing parts that look different. I know that sounds weird, and a lot of people start from the inside and work their way out with it, but I do the reverse. If I can’t look at myself in the mirror, and I look like a different person, then it’s very hard for me, and that’s why my character of Evan in Spring was so hard to play because it was just me – head shaved bald, so I had to start from the inside with that, but most of the time whatever part will give me the ability to do that, I’ll try. I once played a transvestite on Law & Order, and I said “only if I get to keep the beard that I have!” I looked whacked out – I had makeup and a beard, and it looked hilarious, and he was also sad and strange – it was awesome. I always look for those kinds of parts where people are going to allow me to make the audience forget that its me, as if they ever had any idea who this person ever was, because I don’t think that’s real acting, and I don’t think it should be a fucking popularity contest. If you’re a musician, you’ve got to create a personality,if you’re a comedian, you’ve got to create a personality, but if you’re an actor, you’ve got to create a personality that can fit into anything. Personally, I don’t like the whole “Tom Cruise in the next shootout movie!” – to me, it doesn’t make sense – I want to feel the story, and believe that story, and forget that it’s Tom Cruise.
DC – I recently saw on your IMDb page that you’re listed as a producer on a movie titled Poor Boy – what’s going on with that?
LP – Yeah, we’re going to be making it in a month – it’s about two brothers in Nevada living on a houseboat on Lake Mead. I play Romeo “Prickface” Griggs – big beard, mohawk, and my brother, who is kind of called “Poor Boy” – you actually never hear his name in the movie, which I think is cool. It’s sort of a brother-love story about these two people trying to take care of each other, but at the same time it’s a total comedy – not slapstick, but the dialogue is smart, and it’s very realistic, and it reminds me of a real version of Run Ronnie Run. Robert Scott Wildes is directing, and he’s a first-time feature guy, and I came on early, and helped him in a couple of ways, and it’s the first time I’ve gotten the chance to produce, which is really cool, and I’ll be one of the main characters in the movie – it’s really different for me, which is cool.
DC – Last one I’ve got for you – after the work on Poor Boy, how full is the future slate for you?
LP – Honestly, the last thing that I did was the Law & Order and Spring, which comes out in a week, so that’s the most major thing out right now, and I’ve been working on Poor Boy for about a year – doing research and working for that specific reason – I have a nine-month beard on me right now – it’s huge! With pilot season coming up, combined with a nine-month beard, you’re not going to find a lot of stuff (laughs). The film I’m working on right now is such a passion-project, and it’s so much of what I want to do, that I’ve got to focus on that.
Benson and Moorhead directed from Benson’s script. Evil Dead star Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker appear in the sci-fi horror film.
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci; Evil Dead, Thumbsucker) is a young American fleeing to Europe to escape his past. While backpacking along the Italian coast, everything changes during a stop at an idyllic Italian village, where he meets and instantly connects with the enchanting and mysterious Louise. A flirtatious romance begins to bloom between the two – however, Evan soon realizes that Louise has been harboring a monstrous, primordial secret that puts both their relationship and their lives in jeopardy.