Haunted Magazine Interview


Hi Dani,

Apologies for responding so late but I am currently performing in a Play called ‘All About Poe’ at Baron’s Court Theatre. Here are my answers to your questions.

1.  Did you see the first film before auditioning?

It was part of the audition process to see the first film before coming to the audition. I attended a special screening of ‘The Human Centipede’ in late March of 2010 and once I had watched it, I called my agent, told her I had seen the film and would like to attend the audition. Prior to being invited to the screening of the first film, I was required to write an essay (for want of a better description,) about my views on horror films.  This was a request that my agent passed on to me.  I thought it strange and wasn’t going to do it because I couldn’t be bothered.  I was working the afternoon and evening shift as an Audio-Visual Technician at the Strand Campus of King’s College London and just couldn’t be asked.  Anyway, one evening after I had checked all the lecture rooms, collected whatever equipment needed to be collected and shutdown whatever systems needed to be shut down, I sat down in front of my laptop and felt I at least owed it to my new agent and myself to at least make an effort.  So typed up my essay/job application and emailed it to my agent who passed it on and I was invited to the screening of The Human Centipede based on what I wrote.  Which was:-

First of all, thank you very much for considering me for a role in your project. I watched the YouTube interviews and the various information that was supplied to me, as well as doing some research of my own. I was quite impressed in whole with the original and far-out concept and project that was the first Human Centipede movie.

There is always a thin line between what makes a good film and a bad film. Nowhere is this line thinner than in the Horror and Sci-Fi genres. Originality is one thing but it is the story and concepts- The glue in other words that will eventually hold everything together. From what I read of your first project, everything was there. Originality, story, script.

I have been a lifelong fan of horror films. As a child during the 1970s, I was mesmerised by Hammer Films’ Dracula Prince of Darkness and other films in the Hammer Canon of Horror. Little did I realise that Hammer was a ‘re-imagining’ (long before the term came into vogue for film remakes,) what had gone before ie., the films that Universal Studios built their reputation on: Dracula, Frankenstein; The Wolfman; The Mummy etc. Needless to say every Friday night whether it was via the BBC or ITV, I had my ‘Appointment with Fear’.

Summer months during the school holidays, there was not much new material being shown on British Television but when BBC1 started screening their series ‘Tales of the Supernatural, on Saturday evenings, then later, much later on BBC2 that same evening into the early hours of Sunday morning, one could be entertained, as well as being scared to death (if you weren’t already by ‘Tales of the Supernatural’ on BBC1,) by their season of screening vintage horror films under the title: ‘Masters of Terror’. That was when I saw for the first time, the Universal produced horror films and the famous teaming up of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in two films, the names of which escape me now. And lets not forget Vincent Price.

As someone who appreciates good science-fiction and horror films, I guess my entry into the modern era of both genres was ‘Alien’ the first and probably the best of the film series. Ridley Scott pulled a master stroke in ‘wedding’ both genres in probably what was the most scariest film I had seen up to that point.

Then I went on to discover David Cronenberg via Videodrome, Slither and The Fly (could I eat after that? Most certainly not,) and Nightbreed I think it was.

As an Actor, I don’t discriminate about the work I do. I go where the work takes me. I am always prepared for a challenge and love nothing better than doing good, cutting edge, original work. I don’t let anything personal get in the way of my working life. In my professional and personal life I try as far as possible not to be judgemental but rather to see the situation as it is. If it is people or a character I am playing then I will see that character as they see themselves or judge that character as they judge themselves.

Having watched so many horror films over the years, I have been terrified, scared, even laughed (depending on the film and what was happening,) but overall I have been entertained. Most of the best innovations have come from the Horror film genre. Having been a viewer, consumer and observer of the genre for the past three decades or more, it would be indeed an honour and the realisation of an ambition to be involved in a project such as yours. As well as making a contribution to terrifying existing audiences and those new to the genre.”

Daniel Jude Gennis’

The odd thing was the audition was held not far from where I was working at the time so I took a ‘break’ went to the audition, met Tom and Ilona Six did the audition and went back to the job.

2.  How do you think fans of the first film will react to part 2?

I think the fans of the first film have already spoken.  Over the past year since working on the film, I have occasionally looked at the comments and speculation concerning the second film (and this was before the BBFC and their spoilers,) and I didn’t think fans of the second film would be too disappointed.  Some would have liked to see the return of Dr. Heiter for sure.  The fans of the first film I spoke to loved the second film, though I have had one fan of the first film (who just happens to live in the same apartment block as myself,) who is absolutely hates the second film.  However she is the only dissenting voice I have heard thus far.

3.  Are you a horror fan in general?

Now that is a good question (laughing).  The piece I wrote for Tom and Ilona pretty much sums up where I was at the time when I was approached to audition for HC2: FS.  I grew up with the genre and loved watching all those old horror movies.  I wasn’t at all keen on a lot of what followed, especially the so-called slasher movies and the Evil Dead and Friday the 13th franchises.  Even though I had stopped watching horror movies, I still watched the Halloween, House, Fright Night, Vamp and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, as well a few others I mentioned in the piece I wrote.  By writing that piece, it made me realise I had not really distanced myself as much as I thought from the horror genre.  I was still a fan generally but I just wasn’t watching them 24/7.  Mark Gatiss and his History of Horror was doing the rounds on TV so I gave myself a little history lesson, got myself up to speed with the genre, past and present and ended up watching such black and white classics such as ‘Night of the Demon’ the old Hammer stuff all over again as well.  Now I take a look at the Horror Channel every now and again just to keep my hand in.

4.  What is your favourite movie?

In the horror genre?  Or overall? Overall it is a split choice between 2001: A Space Odyssey and ‘The Sting’ because 2001 paved the way for what would follow ten years later, as it was it was made in the UK and apart from Douglas Trumbull (Silent Running,) and Gerry Anderson (Space 1999,) it would be left to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to pick up Kubrick’s sci-fi baton and run with his concepts.  The Sting was people-focussed, it had an excellent cast and both the leads Paul Newman and Robert Redford were at the height of their powers.  The same could be said for ‘The Way We Were’ including who directed it and the soundtrack to that movie.  In terms of the horror genre, I would have to go for ‘Alien’.  Ridley Scott’s movie was the perfect marriage of Sci-Fi and horror and is probably one the few movies to truly scare the hell of me, not to mention it had all the hallmarks of a classic horror movie/ghost story.  Space replaces the cold winters night.  The Spaceship is the big, ghost-filled mansion so there is only so far you can run.  And of course in space, no can hear you scream.  And no one did.  Other movies that link into that for me are ‘The Shining’ and of course 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is not a horror movie but more an evolutionary journey into the unknown. Without the latter, there would have been no Star Wars, no Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or even Alien itself.  2001 paved the way overall.

5.  How was it working with the rest of the cast?

The way it is working with any cast be it in film or theatre.  You get on with everyone or at least try to.  I like to think I got on with everyone but you can never be certain one hundred percent of the time. You either love me or hate me.  There is no middle ground.  Kandace and I kept in touch after our work was done on the movie, even if it was sporadic.  I got on quite well with Laurence, Dominic and Lee but we are roughly of the same generation so had a shared experience in that way, though I would say in that all three men had far more life experience than my good self.  I didn’t note anyone positively (or negatively,) hating my guts but you would have to ask them about their views concerning me.

6.  What was your favourite thing about shooting the film?

Tom Six’s way of working and his direction.  He creates the environment and conditions in such way, one does not need to act.  You react to the situation you find yourself in.  Even though elements of filming were demanding on the physical side, HC2: FS was probably the easiest acting job I have ever done.  Would I do it all over again? Absolutely!

7.  What was your least favourite thing about shooting the film?

As an actor one has to take the rough with smooth and accept that a working day is just that – a working day.  No more, no less.  Having said all that, being on my knees shooting for long periods of time was all in the game and not all that enjoyable but that was what I signed up.  At one point I was so focussed on the dark elements of the story that I went home one evening and didn’t sleep at all that night.  Next day I was up, back on set and did the day as if I had eight hours sleep the previous night. That was very bizarre indeed!

8.  If you had to centipede 3 celebrities who would they be and why?

Celebrities.  Why couldn’t you mention politicians instead, it would be a far easier choice.  Okay here goes.  First off I would choose Lindsay Lohan.  I know nothing about this woman apart from the so-called fact she is supposed to be an actress who works in films, is well paid for her efforts or lack of them.  I believe an actor’s work should define them and unfortunately for Ms. Lohan, whenever her name is mentioned it has nothing to do with her work as actress whatsoever.  It is always for something else, be going to jail or chasing some female lover of hers.  Am I interested?  No! But I keep on absorbing all this information by osmosis so she would be my first choice.  My second choice would be Paris Hilton.  I could easily go into a Heiter-Martin hybrid metamorphosis where she is concerned.  Do I need to say more? And my third choice and this comes with some regret but it has to be Charlie Sheen.  And I say so with some regret because of who he is and where he is coming from.  Didn’t you just love this guy?  He started out quietly and brilliantly in ‘The Wraith’ and moved up into full gear with movies such as ‘Platoon’, ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Young Guns’ and was set to possibly eclipse his more famous father but then what happens?  He goes from a brilliant movie actor to total asshole. Or so it seems.  I don’t know the full story nor do I care but he is clearly the ass at the end of my Centipede.

9.  If you could be turned in to any other insect/bird/animal what would it be?

It would have to be a Black Panther.  The grace, cunning, and prowess of that animal is amazing. More than inspired by the original version of the movie ‘Cat People’.

10.  What’s next career wise for you?

At the time of writing, I am appearing in a Play called ‘All About Poe’ at the Baron’s Court Theatre in West London, which runs until 13th November.  I have no work lined up after that, even though the play will be transferring to London’s West End in February 2012.  If I am again cast it will be my West End debut, something I am looking forward to.  Other than that, I will playing catch up on the home front, reading my Shakespeare, looking over all those notes and ideas for short stories, novels and screenplays I have been making over the years, not to mention the fictional memoirs of an African King reflecting on his service as a knight in King Arthur’s Court and his lost love, trials and tribulations before being called home.  I was working on that a few years ago and it has been gathering dust ever since. I would like to return to it and complete it.  Other than all of the above, I will be attempting to get to as many auditions as I possibly can and get cast in as many productions as I possibly can.  I am a hard working Actor and need to be working.  And that doesn’t always happen, which is why I tend to write a lot.  Unfortunately I am not going to pay the rent by writing alone, which explains the highly industrious streak I have.  Maybe Tim/Centipede 8 will open up new doors and opportunities for me.

Regards,

Daniel  x.

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