As I have said before, Brandon Slagle is one of the most hysterically random people I have ever met. He seems like a smart ass with more attitude than you can imagine, and thats if you’re on his good side, but in reality, he is one of the most talented and interesting people that I have the pleasure of knowing. We have a strange backandforth friendship but I truely adore him…to an extent! haha It’s my pleasure to bring you my interview with Brandon Slagle. (By the way, ever admit to him I said something nice about him and I will deny it!)
Thank you for talking with us today!
You’re thanking me a bit early. You DO realize that I could turn this into a gigantic controversial disaster that would ruin your life, your world, and everyone you love, correct?
Well Brandon, all is open season but remember, I can return the favor! hahaha Tell us a bit of your filmography.
It’s primarily made up of a number of independent horror films and thrillers with a few indepedent dramas, a couple comedies, network television, and mainstream films scattered about. The horror films and thrillers are the ones that have brought us to this point in our lives today however, where YOU are asking ME questions in a vain attempt to make me feel awesome. BUAHAHA!! I shall not fall for such tomfoolery!
Damn, and I thought I was slick. What movie have you done that you would concider your best to date and why?
It would be Matthew Doyle’s film “DISQUIET” which is an independent drama/character study much in the vein of French New Wave cinema. It was made in 2006 and had a great festival run in avant-garde festivals in 2007. It’s about a young man named Darren who sees himself as a completel outsider in the scheme of things and the only thing that makes him feel somewhat normal is spying on and recording conversations from within the home of a co-worker and his family, portrayed by me. It has quite an interesting tone to it and is definitely not your normal multiplex film…and it’s also not a horror film though some may argue that the last 12 minutes of the film are more unsettling than most horror films being made these days.-
What was one that you may have regretted being a part of and why?
Most of the ones that I regret are the ones that the filmmakers seem to abandon. In July of 2006 I portrayed the heavy in what WAS to be a Sundance-bound drama called “A REASON TO STAY”. It was about a teenage runaway who fell in with a family and struck up a relationship with the familly’s daughter. The problem was that he was on the run from a drug dealer that he would do grunt work for – which was my character. I had heard that the film got great reactions from the people who had gotten to see rough cuts of it while in the editing room but then there were supposedly problems with the composer and then the sound mix needed work and then it just vanished completely. I really hope at some point it resurfaces because I remember feeling quite good about what we had shot. I don’t know if this may necessarily be something I regret but you certainly feel something when a project you believed in disappears without a trace.-
You have been working on a script that is still under development.
That’s the word in the hood, yo. Be careful what questions you ask though – the mob is watching! But yes – it’s a script based on a story that’s been a part of my life for nearly thirty years.Throughout my life the story has evolved with me and now that I have the opportunity to get it made the right way, I should – and I feel lucky that other people have taken it upon themselves to join me in this project (I am not directing but rather I am actor/writer/producer)…
What is the projected title and what is it about?
It’s entitled “DARK AVENGERS” – although I forsee a name change upon release because Marvel Comics just published a series called “DARK AVENGERS” as a spin-off from their Avengers team. It’s a fairly generic name anyway so I have no problem with a name change that may or may not be necessary.
Anyway, it’s a VERY heavy action thriller with a lot of heart. It’s about a comic book writer whose family is murdered and his psychology reveals that his vigilante stories that he writes are more or less a hidden part of his personality and he essentially BECOMES the comic book character that he created in seeking revenge (which is a blind revenge because he has no enemies and it was a seemingly random crime). When the first completed draft of the script began circulating close to a year ago the response to it was really overwhelming. It struck a chord with the people who read it and actually put many of them in tears. Many had said that it touched upon a nerve deep inside of them that represents their greatest fears and the extent that they would go to protect and honor the people that they love the most.
What do you hope to accomplish with this film?
I want to create characters that people can truly relate to and find emotional resonation with. I want them to place themselves within the minds of the lead characters and cheer them on. Should it find a theatrical release I want them to stand up in their seats and put their fists in the air upon the protagonist’s victory.-
What are your views on the industry today as someone who not only acts but directs as well?
The few projects I have directed – the original version of “DARK AVENGERS” years ago (that’s another story entirely), an acid-trip sci-fi film called “SUBJECT 87”, and the structured improv protest film/character study “IN THE LAND OF WICKED GODS” (which I’m editing now) are all, except for maybe the orignal Dark Avengers, quite experimental. They are more art pieces than anything else, with odd narratives, editing, music choices, etc. However on that note and to directly answer the question – I believe that people should strive for true expression and to create something unique that can either represent where they were at that time in their lives or to bring out their most inner demons/emotions/hopes/fears. That’s the beauty of what film can do. It’s art, it’s escapism, it’s expression…it can be anything you want. Do something original. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to learn and to evolve into something better every step of the way. Make it interesting. Always learn. So many people forget these things.-
Ok… now for some fun stuff! haha
Who has been the best director and cast member to work with?
Will Kaufman hands down has been the best director (from the NC/SC part of filming the upcoming action thriller SHOTGUN KISS although he’s not the credited director). He had an amazing way of speaking to each cast member in a way that connected with them and brought out what should be brought out. However, what makes him a force to be reckoned with is the incredible way that he structures action scenes. He is currently shooting the film “SINNERS & SAINTS” in New Orleans and is definitely going to be someone you hear more about very soon.
Perhaps my favorite cast member to work with has been Michael Pare – in the film POLYCARP which was sadly released under the title “KINKY KILLERS”. He and I had a great on-set chemistry and I’m sad that some of our best moments in the film were cut because of pacing because we had a way of mutually understanding when the other was creating a “moment”. I’ve also worked with Oscar-Nominee Charles Durning a number of times, who has become a friend and at times something of a mentor.
Elmo on the set of SESAME STREET. He made no qualms about doing lines of coke off of the asses of prostitutes from Queens – and if you didn’t “party’ with him he’d spend the entire day trying to get you fired. Cookie Monster directed that episode too and if you DARE ask him about his brief tenure as the singer of Dying Fetus, he throws hot coffee at you.
Such a smart ass you are! You have done a couple of nude scenes in some of your films. Male nudity is not nearly as common as its counterpart.
I sure have. I have no problem with it whatsoever – plus I suppose you would say I’ve done explicit nudity – the kind you only see in foreign films these days for the most part – and by explicit I mean physical contact rather than just being exposed…(reference the films Sex and Lucia or The Dreamers to know what I mean…)
What was it like having your ‘jewels’ out for all to see?
Intimidating…to the rest of the cast and crew…-
Hahaha! Yeah, I bet Brandon. Im sure it’s horse like. Give us a little idea of those scenes.
In Disquiet I have a scene when I give cunnilingus to an actress – then at the end of the film I am completely stripped by the main character and…well you just have to see it. In Polycarp aka Kinky Killers I have a sex scene with Beverly Lynne – who I’m sure all of you know from late night Cinemax – ADMIT IT – and then am arrested by Michael Pare, who interrupts us. Later on in the film I have a sex scene with Brooke Lewis, which was shot standing up. In the film “Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69” I did the “explicit” nudity which is what I referenced before by name dropping the foreign films. I’ll just say it’s skin on skin contact and no gloves – you figure out the rest. In the film SHOTGUN KISS I have an oral sex scene with Rachael Robbins that was done in the back of the car with hitchhikers driving. That was interesting since Rachael is one of my very closest friends in real life.
There is also fleeting nudity in “Subject 87” and I bathe in a bathtub full of blood in “Reality Bleed-Through”.
Honestly I don’t do these scenes for personal gratification or necessarily to be “sexy”. I do them as the characters and stories permit (although one may argue if the sex scene with Brooke in Polycarp/Kinky Kil- whatever it’s called has any relevance to the film). I also make each character look as different as I can within the realm of possibility given what’s going on with my schedule – so if a character needs to have more weight on him, then he will. In Polycarp/Kinky Killers I purposely gained BAD weight because my character was a local musician – and having firsthand knowledge with that – sometimes they drink…A LOT…which can sometimes mean EXTRA WEIGHT.
If you could pick one leading lady to be in one of those scenes with you, who would she be?
I wouldn’t pick. That’s up to the storyline of the film and the people involved as well as chemistry between the characterizations. You do the best that you can with what you have to work with on any given film. Yes I understand that may not have been the answer you were looking for :)
Figures, no harm in playing it safe is there! Who are some of your favorites in acting and directing that you have yet to work with?
Directors: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, John Woo, James Cameron, Alex Proyas, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Dito Montiel, Darren Lynn Boussman, Ben Affleck (see Gone Baby Gone NOW dammit!), Francis Ford Coppola, Bernardo Bertolucci, Oliver Stone, Gus Van Sant
Actors/Actresses: Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer, Terrence Howard, Mark Wahlberg, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Ryan, Ellen Burstyn, Hilary Swank
Yes, I have aspirations :)
Who would you consider some of your major influences?
James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Montgomery Clift. I find inspiration in each of them for different reasons. Dean because the obvious rebellious youth quality but also what is behind that – Brando because he did what he felt and experimented – and Clift because of an innocent vulnerability he possessed.
If you could work with anyone in the indusry, who would it be?
It would essentially be anyone who could inspire, challenge, and make me grow…perhaps the people listed in the previous question – or perhaps it’s someone working who I have no idea would bring out something interesting within me that I was previously unaware of.
What are some of your fav horror films?
Alien, The Original Texas Chaimsaw Massacre, and the Dawn of the Dead original and remake. Also I can’t forget about Ishtar You gotta have some Ishtar in there.-
What films have you seen that you concider complete crap?
The Original Two Hills have eyes films as well as the Hills Have Eyes sequel remake, part 2, whatever. The one with the soldiers running around in the mountains. Also Polycarp/Kinky Killers thanks to the last third of the film..heh heh heh.-
Which do you prefer, Indie or Major?
I have no preference. I think it’s ignorant to think “INDIE OR DIE!” or “MONEY IS WHERE IT’S AT!!!”. There are great people working on both ends of the spectrum.
You also used to front a rock band in Texas.
Yes, an Industrial Metal Band called DIE SECTION. Youtube it and look for the guy that’s me that looks nothing like me now. It was fun and the drummer and I are brothers to this day. However the music business is perhaps ten times as evil and trecherous as the film business at its lowest.
What were those days like and why did you convert to acting?
That was almost a decade ago and I’ve grown so much. In retrospect I was quite naive at the time. However I was an actor before and really it’s all that I’ve ever known that I wanted to do. I can say that traveling and meeting so many people really helped me to understand human nature more, which I apply to film.
What do you consider some of your most favorable attributes?
Ambition, and of course referential random humor…as well as an unfaltering drive and fearlessness
You have more pics of yourself on you myspace than almost anyone I know. And you add more all the time!
It’s because I told someone that I would have more picture albums than her on myspace…heheh…
How fab is it to be Brandon Slagle?
I’m really just like anyone else trying to do the best that they can with their life. I’m constantly seeking ways to better myself and continually learn and discover new things and hone my craft as well as myself in general. I used to be more selfish but now in recent years have grown more understanding of people.-
One day, Im going to crawl up into your lap and slap your cheeks Brandon. Just fricken because!
…well thanks for the warning, now I can constantly be surrounded by ninja bodyguards whose DNA is spliced with that of Don Corleone…and you will fail in your attempt to do this…-
Oh yeah Brandon, get your bodyguards and I will bring the goat! (Inside joke, sorry guys. Feel free to ask him about it tho!) Whats coming up next for Brandon Slagle?
HG Lewis’s film BLOOD DE MADAME in which I play the closest thing in the script to the romantic male lead (as Tiffany Shepis’s boyfriend) as well as some additional scenes for SHOTGUN KISS as Methodic director Chris Notarile’s new horror/thriller opus “THE BACKSEAT” in Las Vegas which may prove to be an iconic villain role (fingers crossed). Dark Avengers should shoot about a year from now in Chicago (which I’m already physically training for), and myself and filmmakers Dave Meyers and Adam Vargas (who I worked with in the film THE BLACK FACADE and the upcoming GATE OF FALLEN ANGELS) are going to develop an undercover cop drama with major psychological overtones set in Brooklyn. I am also writing a number of things, the one I’m most excited about being a race-relations drama entitled “THE LAST KINGDOM” which has been in the works for a couple of years.-
For more on Brandon visit:
Thank you again for dropping by!
Yes – and you are so paying me for gas money and mental anguish.
And last words for me and our readers?
Always believe and evolve. Embrace what life has given you and create something extraordinary with it. The journey never ends.
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview!
Check out Brandon Slagle in his films and watch out for him in Blood De Madam! From Brandon, myself, and HorrorNews.net…
Interview: Brandon Slagle (Blood De Madam, Plasterhead, Methodic)