Legendary Academy Nominee Bruce Davison (“Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “Ulzana’s Raid”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”) who has been in this business since the late sixties and has worked with everyone imaginable took the time to speak with me and talk about his new film, “Along Came the Devil” directed by Jason DeVan and starring Bruce, Sydney Sweeney, Jessica Barth, Matt Dallas, Madison Lintz and Barbara Goodson.
Bruce- Hi Janel!
Hi Bruce! I got to watch, “Along Came the Devil” and holy crap! It was great! You did such a good job portraying Reverend Michael.
Bruce- Oh, well thank you. That is good to know. I myself haven’t seen it. I have gotten to the point where I have real trouble watching myself anymore. So, I just sort of sit back and do it and hope that it turned out okay. Sort of like Katharine Hepburn, “who wants to see yourself rot” she used to say. (He did a spot-on Hepburn impersonation by the way)
(Laughter) Well, I think you did a great job and you look great!
Bruce- Thank you.
You have played priest and a few religious figures before. Did you have to do anything to prepare to play Michael?
Bruce- Well, actually I played a Catholic priest in a film called, “Camp Hell.” It started out to be “Camp Hope” but then they called it “Camp Hell” and that was my first fore and I think it took a horror classic. I have played comedy priest. I had to learn a lot of Latin and St. Michael’s prayer to protect against the devil and things like that. So that stuck and I was able to bring that along.
What was it like for you working with the director Jason?
Bruce- Jason and his wife are just wonderful independent filmmakers in Atlanta. You know mom does the home cooking and the son holds the light. It was great.
Bruce- Yes. It was wonderful. It was like a familiar glove. And working also with Sydney and Jessica Barth. Those are the three that I worked with primarily. It was really fun, really enjoyable. It was intense but we got to go outside into the light in between takes and that was a relief for me at any rate.
Do you ever get any bad feelings doing a possession theme film? These films can be scary to some people? Do you get bad feelings or do you just say, okay, move it along.
Bruce- Well, it is like any other genre you do. It depends on the viewer and their experiences. That is what is most important. It always more important for that then whatever we go through to achieve it. It is like a Western or anything else. The exorcism film, it is an updated re-imagination of the exorcism films and you know when one has questions within his religious beliefs this is a good little trigger and you know all of us are always questioning our mortality.
Indeed. May I ask you what you are working on next?
Bruce- I am about to start a play this week that Jason Alexander is directing and I am starring with Frances Fisher and two other actors. We are doing it at the Pasadena Playhouse and it is called, “Native Gardens.” (It starts September 5th to September 30th) its neighbors fighting over a fence. Among other things, but that is the metaphor.
What would you like to say to the fans of yours and the audiences that will be watching, “Along Came the Devil?” You are amazing and have done so many incredible films and television shows so thank you for that.
Bruce- Oh well thank you Janel. I guess the only thing I would say is get your popcorn and drinks early, so you are all set. Pull up the chair or put it back. Now a days the movie theaters are really interesting. Get on board and enjoy the ride.
Bruce- That is hard. It is like having 250 children. You know, which one do you love the most? I have favorite times and the most enjoyable times which were doing a Western with Robert Aldrich and Burt Lancaster and chasing Apaches up over the South west and other films are important films. Working with great writers and directors and with stage work I guess doing “The Elephant Man” in 1980 so I have a lot of favorites but none that I would say is better than all the rest.
Do you have any advice for anyone going into the entertainment industry?
Bruce- Make sure you have a back-up to take care of stuff like rent, clothing and food. Make sure you can take care of yourself before you depend on film for a career. If you are bitten by it, it is hard to let it go. But there are all kinds of opportunities in show business and it is good because if you can’t find your way through one to branch out into another. My son is a writer now and it is great to comprehend a lot of different ways to be creative. So don’t limit yourself to one, single narrow dream.
That is excellent advice and that is very cool that your son is a writer.
Bruce- I am quite proud of him.
You are an endless talent and this was a great honor to talk with you! I feel like I learned a lot and I loved, “Along Came the Devil.” Thank you so much!
Bruce- Thank you Janel. It was great speaking to you too.