“Actor Gregg Daniel, who has been seen in over 100 different movies and tv projects, recently starred in the thriller Truth Or Dare. He portrays “Detective Kranis” who helps Olivia (played by Lucy Hale) and his college friends discover why their friends are dying off based on a Truth or Dare game they played in Mexico. Little do they know, the game follows them home and forces them to keep playing. It leads them to reveal truths that turns their worlds upside down or forces them to carry out life-threatening dares. If they refuse, they die.”
Actor Gregg Daniel is an accomplished theater actor and he has been in everything from “True Blood”, “Matlock”, “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Nip/Tuck”, “Monk”, “Hancock” and so many more films. The man is so talented and I was so happy to talk with him about his new film “Truth or Dare” for Horrornews.net
Hi Gregg! I’m so excited to talk with you today! Tell us about “Truth or Dare”?
Gregg- I’m very blessed. I am excited about “Truth or Dare” because I love Blumhouse and I think they do terrific work.
Now, please tell us about your character Detective Kranis in “Truth or Dare?”
Gregg- Yes, it’s sort of a sympathetic detective who sees that these kids are dying unnaturally. These are college kids. They are young, gorgeous and fit college kids but they are dying in the most unnatural ways. Olivia played by Lucy Hale is just tight-lipped and she won’t tell me a thing and I sincerely am trying to help them and save their lives. By the time I interview her a number of times and by the time I get to the second interview with her at the police station I realize it is something to do with the game “Truth or Dare” (Could we please note, he said this so intense like out of a horror film background voice –over and it was beyond amazing) people are playing it and people are dying which I just can’t figure out because it’s a kid game, it’s a college game, “Truth or Dare” so I really try to get her to confide, to trust me, to tell me what’s going on and in the meantime the bodies are piling up. I even reveal to her that there was another group of co-eds that kind of went through the same thing. I kind of put the pieces together that they have been to Mexico and they come back and suddenly folks are dying in the most unnatural way. I’m sort of the voice of reason saying I am not accusing them. I am just saying guys, I really want you live. I want to help you live but you’ve got to tell me more, you’ve got to give me more. He’s a cool character. I really try and step over the threshold. I am the sympathetic character who is trying to push them but in the meantime I wind up revealing a little something to her that sends her on the next quest. I reveal that there is this guy we interviewed who won’t talk to us either and she sees his picture and realizes this is the guy who set it up in the first place so by way of innocence I sort of reveal something to her which gives her the next step of lets go find this guy. He was the one that lured us into the cave of ruins that started this thing.
So good, it sounds so good. Now you have played the Police Chief in “Hancock”, a detective in “Spider-Man 3” and more. Did you do anything specific or different to prepare to play Detective Kranis in “Truth or Dare?”
Gregg- Not super but I wanted to make sure he was sympathetic. I wanted to make sure he wasn’t trying to strong arm the kids or didn’t appear to be the authority figure saying, your stupid, your young, your dying so tell me something. I wanted to be empathetic and sympathetic. We all know there are typical good cop, bad cop scenario thing. I wanted it to be, hey I’m an adult, and I’m a law enforcement officer and all I’m here to do is help keep you and your friends alive. So for me that was the goal in any scene I had with Lucy. I get a little frustrated because she is tight-lipped and won’t tell me a thing. I really wanted to say anytime you see Kranis on the screen you say oh that’s that guy that wants to help, that’s the nice detective. I wanted to make sure that the portrayal of law enforcement was more like a father. I played him more like a father or a favorite uncle.
Yes and because in a lot of horror movies and due to some personal experiences some people can make you feel like you are crazy or they don’t believe you so that is good.
Gregg- Yes, right. I actually believe her, I just can’t help her because I don’t have enough information.
What was it like working with the cast? I know if I would have been on-set with you I probably would have asked you a million questions and drove you crazy but that is because you are so talented.
Gregg- They were very cool. We all wanted to do the best job we could. The hours got to be long so just keeping a sense of humor. Keeping each other up and we had small talk. We believed in the movie and I like the premise of this movie that truth or dare turns deadly. I think that is so outrageous and fun so we really just tried to keep each other up and bring our a-game. Lucy was an utmost professional. They were a pleasure.
What was the process of working with the director Jeff Wadlow like for you?
Gregg- He was amazing, he was cool. He is very energetic and he’s got a lot of energy and you can tell he loves the project. He took care of the actors as much as he took care of getting the shot or other members of the crew. But he’s got a lot of energy too I mean there were times in the morning I’m like geez he is running around from one place and going to the next place and he’s been doing this for eleven, twelve hours and he did it. Obviously he loves what he does and he wanted this movie to be the best it could be so being around that energy, you can’t help but inspire you to bring you’re a-game because he is so driven and passionate about what we were doing and very gentle with the actors. I have nothing but kudos for Mr. Wadlow.
Gregg- When people get possessed by this demon or this spirit there’s an interesting metamorphosis in their face. I love that. I won’t tell you how they look but when they get instantaneously possessed by the spirit that’s been following us and making these things happen their face changes. I love the way they did that on camera. How they made the faces of the people possessed and how they change ever so slightly but it’s just enough to make your skin crawl but then they are gone.
If there is a sequel will you return?
Gregg- It is too soon to tell. I am not being evasive, it’s too soon to tell. I think we created a way for a sequel. If that happens I would like nothing more to return as that detective. They leave way for a sequel. It’s been doing well at the box office. Hopefully that will inspire the powers that be to go you know what, we could do another one of these. If they do, I would love to be the guy to come back as the detective.
I hope so!
Gregg- Oh, thank you. That is very kind of you to say.
What are you working on next?
Gregg- I shot a pilot up in Vancouver. It was an interesting, I’ll just tell you, I can’t say the name of it but it’s sort of “Mork and Mindy” meets “Men in Black.” That’s the way I describe it. It was a good shoot, the pilot is shot so now the network will take a look at it and see if they want to order any episodes but I had a great time working up there. It’s a very funny premise and more sitcom-ish. So that’s what I am keeping my fingers crossed that it might be picked up.
Do you have any advice for current actors, future actors?
Gregg- Sure, learn your craft. Be flexible, versatile and really learn your craft. If you want to have a long career you really need to know your craft. Be prepared. When you get in that room, it’s all on you. Study and always learn. I’ve been doing this for thirty five years and I am still learning with every project.
You also worked in theatre?
Gregg- A lot. Yes, I went to a conservatory training program. I spent more than a decade doing theatre all across the country. I think that helped me when I moved out here because there wasn’t any kind of material I couldn’t do from doing all these various plays. It gave me a facility vocally, physically so anything that was being thrown at me or I was given to audition I could do. That’s what you got to do.
Gregg- They are all different but I have to say one I truly enjoyed was “True Blood” I mean that was great. What a great series that was, I played the Reverend on that. In Louisiana, they had werewolves, vampires and witches I mean that was a gas. What made it a gas was they began writing for me. I used to be a recurring guest-star but then they made me a series regular. It was creatively and artistically such a great experience for me. They knew I knew my character. That was one of my favorite character experiences. That was only a few years ago. I’d do that again in a heartbeat.
Reverend Daniels was amazing and I loved you so much on “True Blood.”
Gregg- Thank you. It was a great series and the fact that in the middle of all these monsters you had this Reverend trying to make peace with everyone and trying to bring everyone together. I felt that was his task to bring the community together. I really liked Reverend Daniels a lot. That was a lot of fun.
What do you want to say to the fans and to the audiences that will be watching “Truth or Dare” and your other work as well?
Gregg- That’s a good question. Certainly with “Truth or Dare” be prepared to be surprised because there a number of really delicious surprises in it. I love it when people remember my characters. It’s nice when people remember your character. When you run into fans or audience members and they’ve all said I loved the detective. I love to run into people who have responded to my characters. I hope whatever project I do, I hope the audiences will continue to respond to my characters favorably and they like seeing me because I did something special for them. Without the fans forget it. I respect that.
I think the movies you make help some of escape a lot of the crappy stuff we go through.
Gregg- Sure. It is nice when you can offer people some comfort and some ease. Even in a horror film.
If you had a chance to direct would you and you also have one of the calmest voices ever!
Gregg- That is very kind. Thank you. Absolutely I would. I find that as I grow there are more things I can do. When I was younger all I wanted to do was act. I like directing. I’m actually directing theatre. I no longer have to do that one thing. I would consider branching out. And you see a lot of actors have their own production companies. You can’t just wait for a phone to work, sometimes you have to create your own work. So I would definitely want to direct and have other projects and guide other actors along in their performance. I think that’s sort of after thirty plus years of experience I think I have something to offer.
Gregg- (Laughter from both of us) that is very kind. I would like to mentor. I was lucky in my time because I had people who also mentored me. I thinks it’s only fair to give back and as you said I’ve done so many projects constantly and I would like to help other people see their career along as well.
It was such an honor to speak with you and especially as a writer so thank you.
Gregg- I thank you for your interest. We need audiences and you help provide the information and put it out there of who we are and why we do what we do. I’ve read some of your other interviews and I thought okay, this is great, we’ll have a good time and it’s true, I’ve had a good time speaking with you.
That means a lot to me and Thank you so much but its making me a little nervous because you have inspired me over the years. (Laughter)
Gregg- You do what you do. You just do what you do! It’s natural, you’re a natural kid. Just do what you do. I’ve opened up so much because it’s been easy to speak with you so continue to do what you do.
I thank you so much! Thank you.
Gregg- Thank you and have a good one.
You too Gregg.