Tag Archive | "Nick Damici"

‘STAKE LAND II’ To Hit Blu-Ray and Digital Platforms This February

‘STAKE LAND II’ To Hit Blu-Ray and Digital Platforms This February

Stake Land set a new standard in vampire apocalypse thrillers in 2011, and now the eagerly awaited sequel arrives to push the story and its characters to the next shocking level. STAKE LAND II, again starring Nick Damici and Connor Paolo, will be available across digital platforms on February 7, 2017.

The film will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning February 14, 2017.

STAKE LAND II, a Dark Sky Films presentation of a Glass Eye Pix production in association with Berserker Entertainment and Last Pictures, is a new adventure set several years after the events in Stake Land, in which mankind must struggle to survive in the wake of a vampire apocalypse. When his home in New Eden is destroyed by a revitalized Brotherhood and its new Vamp leader, Martin finds himself alone in the badlands of America with only the distant memory of his mentor, the legendary vampire hunter Mister, to guide him. Roaming the wilderness of a steadily decaying country, Martin searches for the one man who can help him exact revenge.

Once reunited, Mister and Martin prepare to confront the ravenous Brotherhood and its monstrous overlord. But it’ll take more than the two of them to battle this terrifying new threat, and with the future of humanity hanging in the balance, the stakes are higher than ever before.

Reuniting one of horror cinema’s most memorable heroic teams, STAKE LAND II is an epic exploration of a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by blood-thirsty vamps and social collapse, where only the strongest survive.

The film brings back some of the key cast and creative team behind the post-apocalyptic hit Stake Land. Nick Damici (Hap and Leonard) reprises his role as Mister and is also the screenwriter, while Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl, Revenge) is back as Martin, and director Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are, Cold in July) is back as executive producer. It is the second film from directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, following their gripping debut, Body. Also starring in STAKE LAND II are Laura Abramsen (Basic Human Needs), A.C. Peterson (Shooter), Bonnie Dennison (Beneath), Kristina Hughes (Green River) and Steven Williams (TV’s Supernatural).

The original Stake Land received prestigious international festival play and won the Midnight Madness Audience Award at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. It was a commercial and critical success around the world, praised as “The American horror film of the year” (Twitchfilm), “terrific” (New York magazine), “bold and memorable” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “nothing short of epic” (Dread Central).

Praise for STAKE LAND II has been equally enthusiastic since its world premiere at the 49th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival (2016). Horror Society called it “the perfect sequel, the perfect continuation of the story … the vampiric sequel we’ve all been dying for.” Amy Seidman of Fangoria opined: “Olsen and Berk’s direction is as strong as Matt Mitchell’s cinematography which is beautiful and, at times, reminiscent of Robert Altman’s westerns.”

Posted in Blog, MusicComments Off on ‘STAKE LAND II’ To Hit Blu-Ray and Digital Platforms This February

STAKE LAND II: Official Poster Art And Release Date Revealed!

STAKE LAND II: Official Poster Art And Release Date Revealed!

Stake Land set a new standard in vampire apocalypse thrillers in 2011, and now the eagerly awaited sequel arrives to push the story and its characters to the next shocking level. STAKE LAND II, again starring Nick Damici and Connor Paolo, will be available across digital platforms on February 7, 2017. The film will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning February 14, 2017.

STAKE LAND II, a Dark Sky Films presentation of a Glass Eye Pix production in association with Berserker Entertainment and Last Pictures, is a new adventure set several years after the events in Stake Land, in which mankind must struggle to survive in the wake of a vampire apocalypse. When his home in New Eden is destroyed by a revitalized Brotherhood and its new Vamp leader, Martin finds himself alone in the badlands of America with only the distant memory of his mentor, the legendary vampire hunter Mister, to guide him. Roaming the wilderness of a steadily decaying country, Martin searches for the one man who can help him exact revenge.

Once reunited, Mister and Martin prepare to confront the ravenous Brotherhood and its monstrous overlord. But it’ll take more than the two of them to battle this terrifying new threat, and with the future of humanity hanging in the balance, the stakes are higher than ever before.

Reuniting one of horror cinema’s most memorable heroic teams, STAKE LAND II is an epic exploration of a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by blood-thirsty vamps and social collapse, where only the strongest survive.

The film brings back some of the key cast and creative team behind the post-apocalyptic hit Stake Land. Nick Damici (Hap and Leonard) reprises his role as Mister and is also the screenwriter, while Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl, Revenge) is back as Martin, and director Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are, Cold in July) is back as executive producer. It is the second film from directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, following their gripping debut, Body. Also starring in STAKE LAND II are Laura Abramsen (Basic Human Needs), A.C. Peterson (Shooter), Bonnie Dennison (Beneath), Kristina Hughes (Green River) and Steven Williams (TV’s Supernatural).

The original Stake Land received prestigious international festival play and won the Midnight Madness Audience Award at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. It was a commercial and critical success around the world, praised as “The American horror film of the year” (Twitchfilm), “terrific” (New York magazine), “bold and memorable” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “nothing short of epic” (Dread Central).

Praise for STAKE LAND II has been equally enthusiastic since its world premiere at the 49th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival (2016). Horror Society called it “the perfect sequel, the perfect continuation of the story … the vampiric sequel we’ve all been dying for.” Amy Seidman of Fangoria opined: “Olsen and Berk’s direction is as strong as Matt Mitchell’s cinematography which is beautiful and, at times, reminiscent of Robert Altman’s westerns.”

stakeland-2-poster

Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!Comments Off on STAKE LAND II: Official Poster Art And Release Date Revealed!

THE STAKELANDER: Dark Sky Films And Glass Eye Pix Wrap Production On Surprise ‘Stake Land’ Sequel

THE STAKELANDER: Dark Sky Films And Glass Eye Pix Wrap Production On Surprise ‘Stake Land’ Sequel

stake-land-2016

Dark Sky Films, Glass Eye Pix and Syfy today announced the completion of production on THE STAKELANDER, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed action horror hit Stake Land. The film, based on an original screenplay by Nick Damici, wrapped shooting in Saskatchewan this past week. Damici and co-star Connor Paolo reprise their Stake Land roles in the new film, which was directed by the team of Dan Berk and Robert Olsen of Last Pictures, creators of the 2015 thriller Body

Damici, co-writer and star of We Are What We Are and Cold in July, returns in the role of Mister and Connor Paolo (Mystic River, TV’s Revenge) is back as Martin in a new adventure set a few years after the events in Stake Land, in which mankind must struggle to survive in the wake of a vampire apocalypse. Also starring are Laura Abramsen (Basic Human Needs), AC Peterson (Shooter), Bonnie Dennison (Beneath)Kristina Hughes (Green River) and Steven Williams (TV’s Supernatural).

THE STAKELANDER was produced by Peter Phok and Larry Fessenden of Glass Eye Pix, Greg Newman of Dark Sky Films and co-produced by the Syfy Channel, where the film will premiere as a Syfy Original, as well as Mark Montague of Berkserker Entertainment. Chadd Harbold of Last Pictures supported as Associate Producer. The film marks the latest collaboration between Dark Sky Films and Glass Eye Pix, the production teams that have brought audiences countless successful elevated genre films, including Stake Land, The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers and Late Phases, among others.

When his home of New Eden is destroyed by a revitalized Brotherhood and its new Vamp leader, Martin finds himself alone in the badlands of America with only the distant memory of his mentor and legendary vampire hunter, Mister, to guide him. Roaming the wilderness of a steadily decaying country, Martin goes in search of the one man who can help him get revenge. Once reunited, Mister and Martin prepare to battle a now-ravenous Brotherhood and its monstrous overlord. But it’ll take more than the two of them to take down this terrifying new threat, and with more than just their lives now at risk, the stakes are higher than ever before.

Producer Greg Newman said: “Jim Mickle’s Stake Land has long been an audience favorite.  The film was embraced by fans across the world and we are thrilled to see Nick Damici reprise his role of Mister, the master Vamp hunter.”

Producer Peter Phok said: “It has been so rewarding to bring such energetic and intelligent talents in Dan and Robert to further the story of Martin and Mister in the world of 

Stake Land. Filming this world in Saskatchewan, offered a multitude of breathtaking vast landscapes along with tremendous resources provided through Creative Saskatchewan and the providences’ local union crew who were affable, professional, and incredibly hard working. We also found a number of strong local performers, who we are proud to have cast into The Stakelander.”

Dark Sky Films, the genre division of MPI Media Group, has seen success over the past year with such acclaimed productions as We Are Still Here, Deathgasm, Southbound and the recently announced Mohawk.

Glass Eye Pix (“one of the indie scene’s most productive and longest-running companies” -Filmmaker Magazine) is the fierce independent NYC-based production outfit headed by award-winning art-horror auteur Larry Fessenden (Habit, Wendigo, and The Last Winter) with the mission of supporting individual voices in the arts. Responsible for numerous independent productions in and out of the horror genre including Kelly Reichardt’s

Wendy and Lucy, Rick Alverson’s The Comedy, Ti West’s The House of the Devil and Mickey Keating’s Darling.

Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!Comments Off on THE STAKELANDER: Dark Sky Films And Glass Eye Pix Wrap Production On Surprise ‘Stake Land’ Sequel

Ethan Embry Talks His Career, Role In ‘Late Phases,’ New Projects And More!

Ethan Embry Talks His Career, Role In ‘Late Phases,’ New Projects And More!

ethan-embry-feature-2014

Over the past few decades, film fans have watched Ethan Embry grow up on the big screen. With memorable roles in films ‘Dutch,’ ‘Empire Records,’ ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation’ on his resume, it is hard to believe there was a time when you questioned whether he still wanted to pursue a career as an actor. Embry found himself as a crossroads, took a look inside and discovered him falling in love with his craft once more. Since then, he as spent the past few years taking on projects that challenge him and allow him to flex his might as an actor. 

His latest project is just that kind of film; one that boasts a dynamic cast, collaborative director and strong creative team. Director Adrian Garcîa Bogliano’s ‘Late Phases,’ showcases Embry’s dramatic talents, alongside Nick Damici, bringing film fans a new dimension to this awesome tale of werewolf terror!

‘Late Phases’ focuses in on the town of Crescent Bay. It is not the ideal place to spend one’s golden years, especially since the once-idyllic retirement community has been beset by a series of deadly animal attacks from the ominous forest surrounding it. When grizzled war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is forced into moving there by his yuppie son Will (Ethan Embry), the residents immediately take offense to Ambrose’s abrasive personality. But that take-no-prisoners attitude may be just what Ambrose needs to survive as it becomes clear that the attacks are being caused by creatures that are neither animal nor man, and that the tight-knit community of Crescent Bay is hiding something truly sinister in its midst…

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Nick Damaci to discuss his career in the entertainment industry, the process of bringing his latest character to life, his standout role in ‘Late Phases,’ his love for the horror genre and much more!

Ethan Embry

Ethan Embry

I know you got an early start as an actor. What can you tell us about that and what made you know acting was a career you wanted to pursue?

I’d say that I didn’t even know I wanted to keep doing it until my twenties. I did start really young. When I was a kid, I was just doing it because it was a fun thing to do, ya know? The places I got to go when I was doing certain jobs all over the world and the people I was working with were amazing people, so there wasn’t really anything calculated about it when I was younger. It wasn’t until my twenties when I sat down and asked myself if I wanted to keep doing it for reasons aside from the money of it. I thought, “Do I want to battle for this? Do I want to try to shape where I am going with it?” It was then I sat down and really saw the reason I really loved doing it. I discovered that, aside from loving it, I really didn’t have a choice! [laughs] When you find out you are good at something when you are that young and you love doing it, you have to be pretty stupid to not fight for it! I would say it is really just the past 10 or 15 years that I have really figured out what acting is and why I love doing it.

Lately, you made some very cool choices when it comes to film projects. How has focusing on developing your career impacted the roles you take?

I think the first time in my adult life that I really sat down and felt good about what I was doing was when I did the show “Brotherhood” on Showtime. Being around those writers, the directors they were getting and the cast they had was inspiring. Jason Clarke, who has deservedly found a lot of success, it was his first job. Sitting there watching how amazing he is as an actor, along with Annabeth Gish, it was really the first time that it became more of an art. Of course, there are always hiccups along the way but since then I have really wanted to do things I am really proud of and have each project be something that inspires me and there is something fun about it. I am trying to find jobs that will trigger as much emotion as possible from the audience. Whether it is laughter or fear, that has been a lot of fun lately. I have been doing a lot of thriller/horror films lately because fear is such a great emotion to trigger in people. It is amazing to watch an audience full of people jump! I don’t know if you saw “Cheap Thrills” but watching an audience full of people laugh and then be completely horrified is so validating! [laughs] It is horrible to say that I am finding pleasure out of triggering the emotions of people but that is the reason why I do it! [laughs]

ethan-embry-2014-5

Your latest project is called “Late Phases.” What was it that attracted you to this project?

The thing with “Late Phases” that I loved when I first read it was hearing that they were doing practical effects for the creatures, meaning that it isn’t computerized creature horror. They planned on building the creatures practically in a very old school way like in “Phantasm,” which was one of my favorite horror movies when I was growing up. What I loved about the script was the perfect balance of absurdity, because there are some pretty absurd elements behind “Late Phases,” along with these classic, old school horror techniques. The nail in the proverbial coffin, I guess I could say, was to be able to work with Tina Louise [of “Gilligan’s Island”]. I mean, how could you not? [laughs] It was a combination of those things. Going back to the classic ways that they used to make horror movies with the craftsmanship of building these monsters combined with the people involved with making it made it a no-brainer. I was a fan of Adrián García Bogliano’s first film, as well.

'Late Phases'

‘Late Phases’

You worked with plenty of directors over the years. What does Adrián García Bogliano bring to the table that excites you?

With Adrián, we didn’t actually meet until I got out there to New York. One of the things that becomes immediately clear about him, because of where he is from, is the amount of heart he has. I love watching foreign films because they do have a lot of heart and many of them do not conform to the commercialism the American products do. They are far more artistic. I don’t think there is a better way of putting it. You immediately see that in Adrián when you first meet him. He is not looking at what will sell or the shiniest way of doing things. He wants to find the heart of everything. I think that benefited the movie quite a bit.

It’s clear you take your craft quite seriously and that comes through in your work. Whether it is this role or another, what is your process for bringing a character to life?

It really does change per project. Funny enough, the wardrobe really has a lot to do with who this guy becomes depending on the project itself. I just got done doing a new Netflix show, which is a comedy and a lot lighter. You do form the boundaries of the character, where he is from, what he has been through, but you don’t figure out what he has become until you put his clothes on. I guess it lends itself to the old saying about walking in another man’s shoes. Once you put those shoes on, you figure out who he is. That is kind of how I approach it.

ethan-embry-2014-1

We watched you grow up on screen through the years and take on so many different roles. Is there a particular role or genre you are still eager to tackle?

There is a role I just finished this summer. Did you ever see the Australian film, “The Loved Ones?” It is the horror/thriller genre.

Yes, the Sean Byrne film. I really enjoyed that one.

Yes! Sean Byrne was the director and I did his first American film. That is in the can and being cut together. That involved quite a lot of preparation. I actually read that right when I finished “Late Phases” and spent the whole year getting the character together. I always think it would be so much fun to do a war film. I pray that I will never have to experience going to war but the amount of work that goes into just pretending you are in a war would be a challenge. I really like working and stretching myself quite a bit when I do work, whether it is physically, mentally or emotionally.

Ethan Embry

Ethan Embry

You spent much of your life in the entertainment industry and witnessed it changing quite a bit. What is your advice to those looking to making a career in the industry in today’s climate?

You mentioned the changes the industry has undergone. The great thing about all of these changes is that it is now possible for anybody to do this. You can make a short film or a full length feature film if you have the right camera and an Apple computer. The technology and digital technology has progressed, you don’t have to spend $100,000 to make a movie. You can go to Best Buy and buy one of the prosumer cameras on a credit card, make sure you don’t scratch it, shoot your movie on the weekends and return it on a Monday morning. [laughs] I know people who have done it! It has become accessible for everyone to do it. If this is something you want to do, the technology has advanced to the point where there is really no excuse not to do it. The reason I haven’t done it myself is that it is really scary.

Is that something you see yourself pursuing in the future? Where do you see yourself headed?

I would love to produce and direct. I really would love to do that but, for me, the thing that holds me back is my fear of writing. When I start to do it, I am good at it but I have this fear of being accepted. With acting, like on “Late Phases,” there are so many other elements that made this movie. It is not all resting on my shoulders. When you are writing, unless you have a writing partner, it all rest on your shoulders. That is it! You’re the only one. That is the only thing that has held me back from doing it, the fear of having to be completely self-sufficient, as opposed to the teamwork that I am so used to in the past. One of these days I will man up! [laughs]

Well, I certainly look forward to seeing what you have in store for us, Ethan. I am sure it will be well worth the wait! Thanks again for your time today and we look forward to talking to you again soon!

Thanks, Jason! I really appreciate it! Take care!

Don’t miss Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s top-nothc thriller, LATE PHASES, starring Nick Damici & Ethan Embry! The film opening in select theaters & on VOD November 21st!

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, Movies, TV and More!Comments (0)

Nick Damici On His Evolution, Standout Role In ‘Late Phases’ And New Projects!

Nick Damici On His Evolution, Standout Role In ‘Late Phases’ And New Projects!

nick-damici-2014-feature-1

Nick Damici has spent the past few years turning the heads of fans and critics alike with powerful roles in films like ‘Mulberry Street,’ ‘Stake Land’ and ‘We Are What We Are.’ He has even impacted the world of film through screenwriting; teaming with Jim Mickle and Joe Lansdale for the critically acclaimed flick, ‘Cold In July.’ His latest project is no less impressive and as he breathes life into a character in a way few others do. Teaming with director Adrian Garcîa Bogliano for ‘Late Phases,’ he has easily cemented his status as one of the most impressive actors working in the horror industry today (or any other genre for that matter) and adds new dimension to this awesome tale of werewolf terror!

‘Late Phases’ focuses in on the town of Crescent Bay. It is not the ideal place to spend one’s golden years, especially since the once-idyllic retirement community has been beset by a series of deadly animal attacks from the ominous forest surrounding it. When grizzled war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is forced into moving there by his yuppie son Will (Ethan Embry), the residents immediately take offense to Ambrose’s abrasive personality. But that take-no-prisoners attitude may be just what Ambrose needs to survive as it becomes clear that the attacks are being caused by creatures that are neither animal nor man, and that the tight-knit community of Crescent Bay is hiding something truly sinister in its midst…

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Nick Damaci to discuss his career in the entertainment industry, the process of bringing his latest character to life, his standout role in ‘Late Phases,’ his love for the horror genre and much more!

Nick Damici

Nick Damici

What inspired you to become an actor early on in life?

I was very young when I fell in love with movies. My father was a bartender on the West Side and, in the summertime, he would take my brother and I to work with him a lot. He worked nights and we ran the kitchen. It was a real working man’s bar. Late in the morning, we would lock up the bar and pull out the cots to go to sleep. The TV was above the bar on a phone box. We would watch the late late shows and the old movies. I just fell in love with them and thought, “Man, I would love to do that!” I knew when I was very young that it was something I wanted to do, become an actor.

Who were some of actors who impacted you?

From that era, the old school era, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, Jimmy Cagney, all of them! You name it! Later on in the ‘70s, it was young Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Gene Hackman and Jack Nicholson. It was the second golden age of Hollywood, you could say. That era really instilled something in me and reaffirmed that acting was something I wanted to do.

Your latest project is “Late Phases.” What was it about this project that made you interested in pursuing the role?

Number one, it was a paying job! [laughs] That is always good for an actor! [laughs] I’m just kidding! Greg Newman had sent me the script a year to a year-and-a-half before it actually happened. He asked me if I was interested. I read the script and I thought it was terrific. I thought the setup was terrific and the character would be a stretch for me, which is something all actors love. The fact that he was older was a concern. I thought about it and said, “There are ways of working around it and we can do it.” We did it!

What type of preparation goes into not only this role but any role you take on? Do you have a particular process of bringing a character to life?

It really depends on the role. Honestly, I don’t think acting is rocket science. It is a job just like being a garbage man, a plumber or a carpenter. Ninety percent of acting is yourself. It is what people really see. It is the small nuances that make it a character that is not you. A lot of that has to do with the script and the actions of the character that affects how the audience perceives it. If it calls for changing my voice, I do the best I can with that. If it doesn’t, then I don’t bother. I saw this kind of that way. It is mostly me but projecting that I am 20 years older. I had his history, which isn’t my history but that is what acting is. It’s like being a little kid where you just pretend. You hope people believe it! [laughs]

'Late Phases'

‘Late Phases’

Well, I have to say you really brought something special to this character. It brought to mind my father who is of that generation with a similar background.

That is very sweet to here. I think that was part of the thing that brought me to the character, the fact that someone was pulling that kind of guy from the greatest generation out of thin air and making a hero out of him. We haven’t done that in a while and I thought it was interesting.

One of the biggest things you had to contend with in this role was the fact that the character is blind. What goes into playing a blind character?

You know, I had no idea going in the difficulty. All actors want to play a blind character at some point, if they can, because it is really fun and impressive, from Audrey Hepburn in “Wait Until Dark” on up. I did the typical actor way where I did my method thing and blindfolded myself. I said, “OK. I will do four hours this morning where I won’t be able to see. This will teach me how to be blind.” After lighting my nose on fire instead of my cigarette, spilling coffee on myself a few times and breaking several dishes trying to wash them, I said, “This ain’t working!” I realized it wasn’t about me knowing what it is to be blind because I will never know what it is to be blind unless I go blind. I realized it was about how do I appear blind? So, I approached it from a different level. I started watching videos of blind people and realized there are two types. There are people who go blind and people who are born blind. People who are born blind can’t control their eyes because they haven’t developed the muscles because they have never seen. People who had sight and lost it have developed their eye muscles. There is a different look. People who are born blind, their eyes tend to roll around a little bit and it is disconcerting. It is why they wear sunglasses, not because they are ashamed but because they know their eyes are disconcerting to people. The other people have that blank stare like Pacino had in “Scent of a Woman.” That is just a technical thing that I had to learn. I can’t focus on anything and I can’t move my eyes. You have to do this kind of peripheral thing where you just focus on the whole picture instead of just the center of the picture. When I showed the director, Adrian Garcia Bogliano, we did a few tests. It looked really good. It was just a matter of me trusting them to tell me when it didn’t work. Sometimes the lights would catch my eyes and they would move, which they are going to do. They did a very good job of catching all that and I think it worked.

Nick Damici in 'Late Phases'

Nick Damici in ‘Late Phases’

“Late Phases” has a great cast of characters who are portrayed by some terrific actors. What was it like working with these different generations of actors?

It was just wonderful. I was just tickled pink to be working with all of these people, I mean, Ginger from “Gilligan’s Island!” [laugh] Lance Guest and Ethan Embry were great. It was completely generational and very, very interesting. It was funny. I was at the IFC premiere the other night and none of the cast had ever seen me without the makeup! [laughs] It was like they just knew me as this old guy! They were all like, “Holy shit! You are a young guy!” [laughs] I said, “I don’t know if I am that young but I am younger than you!” [laughs] It was really funny! The entire cast was really terrific and very easy to work with.

Nick Damici

Nick Damici

You mentioned Adrian Garcia Bogliano. What does he bring to the table as a director for a project like this?

Adrian is a sweetheart of a guy, ya know what I mean? That is number one with me. I like liking people. He was very easy to get along with and very collaborative. He has a lot of good ideas and he knows what he wants, which I love, but he is willing to listen to people. He will argue with you until you are blue in the face. We had some arguments about stuff in the script, the character and how it should be played. He actually enjoys that process. I am very passionate about what I do and I defend my character to the bitter end. If I don’t think it’s right, I don’t think it’s right. You have to convince me. We banged heads a few times but in a good way, not a bad way. He loved it when we got into these heated discussions. In the middle, he would stop and say, “This is why I make movies! I love this! It is passion!” I’d say, “It’s not passion! We are making a fucking movie here!” [laughs]

Over the past few years, you became closely associated with the horror genre. It has certainly given you a lot of opportunities to have an impact on audiences. What has been the most rewarding part of these films?

It is a very accessible genre and horror movies are much easier to get made than anything else at this point, unless you are a big Hollywood company. In the independent world and on smaller movies, you don’t need the big stars. People love horror movies. For me, I look at them as character pieces and the horror is just there. It is a chance to actually act more often. I love the idea that I have found some kind of a niche in the horror world because while it’s not a guarantee but it is better chance of getting work.

You have been definitely hitting the ball out of the park with stuff like “Stake Land” and “We Are What We Are.”

Thank you. That is what I want to do. I mean, if I was the next Vincent Price, I’d be the happiest guy in the world! [laughs]

Nick Damici

Nick Damici

Is there another genre or specific role you are eager to tackle in the short term?

I like period pieces. I would love to do a western or pioneer piece, one of those sort of things. I love to stretch as an actor. I love to do a medieval piece, I really like that world. I like changing the world and I am not a big fan of the contemporary world that we live in. I think it is kind of mundane, boring and over-technicalized. It doesn’t interest me that much and contemporary stories don’t interest me that much. It has been overdone at this point.

Looking back on your career, what is your biggest evolution as an actor?

I don’t know. I don’t know if I have evolved. I think I have gotten better. I have done film which was important. I think you are either a good actor or you aren’t. You learn more along the way. Like I said, acting isn’t rocket science. It’s like being a little kid and having the ability to say, “I’m playing here. I am just playing like this is what it is.” I think if you are willing to do that it can take you places. It’s a lot of fun, I have to be honest. For me, the most fun I ever have is when I am acting. I am not prejudice about it. I don’t think it is any special talent and we certainly aren’t brain surgeons. We are fucking actors! It’s entertainment. Not that it is a small thing but it is just a thing. For me, it is just fun. It is all about learning. Every time I go out there I try and start fresh. Otherwise, you become a parody of what you’re doing, which is something that happens to a lot of actors. That is kind of sad in a way. They start doing the same thing all the time, even if it is a great thing, you feel like you have seen it before. I just want to keep it as fresh as possible.

You also had considerable success as a screenwriter. What do you have cooking in regards to that aspect of your career?

I have a lot of sticks in the fire. The latest thing is working on a TV series for the Sundance Channel with Jim Mickle. It is based on Joe Lansdale’s series of books, the “Hap and Leonard” novels. If anyone knows Joe Lansdale, they will obviously know those books. Joe wrote “Cold In July,” which we did last year. That worked out and they greenlit the project and that is what I am working on right now. It will probably have me tied up for a little while. That is a nice little paying job.

Nick Damici and Jim Mickle

Nick Damici and Jim Mickle

What has been the biggest challenge of the project so far? Any obstacles that jump out at you there?

Television is a completely different beast and not one I am familiar with. I never went to college. I never went to school for much. I took a few acting classes here and there and I kind of learn as I go. That has just been my way, even in writing. This is kind of a new process where there are a lot of people involved. Normally, it is just me at 4 o’clock in the morning banging away on my computer, then giving it to Jim. He gives me some notes and I bang it out some more. This is kind of interesting. It is a little disconcerting but it is good! It is good to be challenged and to do something different. Outlines, you have to know what you are going to do before you’re going to do it. Typically, I never make a note and I just keep it all in my head. I start with a blank page when I start writing. I go back to the beginning and read what I wrote and then I continue by doing the same thing until I get to the end. I do that every time I sit down to write. So, with television, it is a much bigger process but it is nice to have that long canvas to tell a story, rather than the small frame of an hour-and-a-half movie. We are talking a series, so it is kind of new and interesting. I can’t bitch about the money! It’s good! [laughs]

If there is a lesson to be learned from your story, what would it be?

Do what you love, man. My father told me that years ago. Like I said, he was a bartender and never really knew what he wanted to do. He would tell me all the time, “You know, you are lucky because you know exactly what you want to do. Most people never really know what they want to do. If that is what you want to do and you love doing it, do it!” That is what I recommend people do. Do what you love because life is short.

Solid advice, Nick! Thanks for your time today and we look forward to spreading the word on everything you have going on!

Thank you, man! I appreciate it!

Don’t miss Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s top-nothc thriller, LATE PHASES, starring Nick Damici & Ethan Embry! The film opening in select theaters & on VOD November 21st!

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, Movies, TV and More!Comments (0)

Danielle Harris Dishes On ‘Stake Land’ and Upcoming Projects!

Danielle Harris Dishes On ‘Stake Land’ and Upcoming Projects!

Danielle Harris is a certainly a familiar face to fans of the horror genre. Her role as little Jamie Lloyd from ‘Halloween 4? and ‘Halloween 5? laid the groundwork for what would blossom into one of the most unique careers in Hollywood’s most challenging genre. Never afraid to experiment or to follow her keen instincts when it comes to a role, Danielle continues to surprise her fans with each new project, be it in front of or now behind the camera! Besides her strong work ethic, her “no bullshit” approach to life, coupled with a winning smile and kick-ass personality, make her one of the most approachable and down-to-earth stars that one can encounter. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Danielle to discuss her latest film ‘Stake Land,’ discuss the current fate of her highly anticipated autobiography, her upcoming film projects and much more!

You have a habit of selecting some very unique roles and projects that suit you very well. How did you first get involved with ‘Stake Land’?

Danielle HarrisThank you! Ya know, for this project, they kinda signed me. I wish I could say that I could go out and look for these awesome movies but I have been really lucky about having some really rad people contacting about doing these unique projects. It is kind of an interesting story. I was on Fangoria Radio when I was promoting ‘Halloween II’ and the group that was online with me was Larry Fessenden and Jim Mickle. I didn’t know who either one of them were at the time but we were all chit-chatting. I hung up the phone and a few weeks later I got a call from my manager saying that I had an offer for this independent movie called ‘Stake Land’.

They wanted to book me out for five months because there is a big break in the middle and wanted to start in August and not go back until November and then in December. Which was totally taking me out for getting any job for the second half of the year. But when I read it and thought, “Wow! Belle is throughout most of the story but doesn’t really have much to do.” I had three scenes or three lines. I was thinking, “What the hell am I going to do in Upstate New York, freezing my ass off and looking like a fat ass because I am pregnant in the film. Do I really want to do this movie?” [laughs] But I loved the script and I loved the relationships but there was so much that was left unsaid. It was really all about Jim Mickle and Nick Damici and how open they were to creating that as we went. From there, I decided to watch their film ‘Mulberry Street’. I called Jim to see if he was going to use the same DP as he used on that film because what the film looks like was going to play a major part in the story. It was such a big deal because if it didn’t look as beautiful as it does, I mean the film is fantastic, but the look is such a big part of it. He said that he was indeed using the same DP and as I talked to him I just said, “Ya know what? I want to do it! I have never played a character that was so much like me!” In all of the movies that I have done before I play a bad-ass or a sassy girl or a girl who has a real edge to her and, while that may be a part of who I am, I am actually a bit more like “Belle” in real life. I am kinda the mom, the caretaker, the nurturer to everyone. I felt like no one had ever really seen that side of me on film. I felt this film was a great opportunity to showcase those aspects.

I told Jim I would do it and before I knew it I flew off to Philadelphia and I stayed at Jim’s friends guest house and met the rest of the gang. We sort of created the characters as we continued because we kinda shot it in sequence, due to the changes in seasons and the weather changes. We became a family and I think that it shows on screen because you can really see the relationships starting to build as the movie progresses and I think that it has a lot to do with what was really happening behind the scenes as well, in real life. It is really fun for me to watch because I remember all of those days  and having to work fast and furious and freezing our butts off!

It sounds like you had a lot of great experiences in making the film. Any that spring to mind that you can share with us?

Danielle HarrisI remember day one where one of the scenes we are climbing down some mountain and I am afraid of heights! I am also wearing a dress and cowboy boots, I have a big belly and a backpack and a gun! Jim was like, “We’re gonna start here and cross this waterfall and climb way down there!” I looked at him and said, “You are kidding right?!!!” [laughs] And he was like, “No.” So, I was just like ,“Oh shit! Okay!!! Here we go!” [laughs]

My favorite scene in the movie for me is a scene where Belle just can’t go any further. She sits down on a rock and has that moment. “Mister” comes and swoops her up and she says, “My daddy used to carry me like this when I was a little girl.” and says, “I’m not your Daddy, kid” and we have that little hard ass line. I didn’t know how it was going to work. The first time it came out of my mouth, I just got hysterical and started crying. And then Nick started crying. I just thought, “Oh my god! This is magic!” because we had found “it!” Originally, Belle was supposed to be Mister’s love interest. When I got to set, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t feel right. There was something about it that didn’t mesh. We started to nix that and started to figure out the question of: “If she isn’t Mister’s love interest, who is she?” I sorta became the daughter, the mom, the sister, the wife, kinda fitting all of the feminine shoes and I was able to play all of those women in one and show a very soft side as well.

And I have to say that I don’t think that I have ever looked better on film! Not to toot my own horn! [laughs] I just don’t think I have ever looked better! I have never had more dirt and shit and horrible clothes and no makeup and no sleep and freezing my ass off and all of those things that you have to really be OK with yourself as a person to look that way on film! I mean, I am not an actor that gives a crap about that anyway. I mean, you have seen the movies that I have done before! I never get to look glamorous or be pretty in a movie! [laughs] Well, not for long anyway!

So, all those elements helped to show a very vulnerable side of me that I have never been able to do before. I don’t have a dad in real life. He passed away when I was little. I think that if my dad was around he reminded me so much of Nick because my dad was from Brooklyn and kind of a hard, edgy, chain smoker, with a kinda quiet bad guy type edge. I think that it was there from the very beginning, so since I didn’t have a real-life relationship with my dad, that I was able to create that on film with the Mister character and in that scene, you can see it a little bit. It came from love and I think that is why this movie is so close to my heart.

You are regarded as a horror icon at this point in your career. What does your experience with the genre allow you to bring to a project like this?

Ya know, not with Jim. Jim is such a visionary. He is just so smart and talented. He knew exactly what he wanted. Working with Nick for as long as he has and knowing that they are so passionate about it, I didn’t really have to do anything but show up! They were so open with what we wanted to do and letting us create and play. I have been so lucky, having done so many horror movies, that most of the directors are usually, if not always are fan-boys. They have grown up loving this industry and the genre and know it better than I do, even though I have been living it my whole life! They are just so excited to a) be making a movie and b) to have me on set. So, it is rare to have an opportunity like ‘Stake Land.’ It was a great playground! There is definitely nothing that I could teach Jim! We all did these short films that will be online in the coming weeks that tell the back stories of all the characters, because the movie just throws you into the middle and you don’t know where anyone has come from. That is something that I really love. There is no exposition, it just is what it is and where they have come from is not important, it’s about where they are going. We did want to explain a little bit of that.

Seeing that I am trying to direct now and I am trying to get some projects together, mostly in the horror genre because that is where I want to stay for a while, because this is what I know and I love! There are no females that do this and all the leads are female most of the time, which I know because I am the lead most of the time! [laughs] Anyway, they offered me the opportunity to direct one of the back stories for “Lily”. I wrote it, directed it, shot it and loved it! It was amazing but like any other first time director, there were things that I just needed an opinion on. I called Jim and said, “I need you to watch this. Something is just not working and I need your help!” He did and between himself, Larry Fessenden and Graham Reznick, who edited it along with doing the sound design for ‘Stake Land’, who is brilliant, we were able to figure out what the issue was and we fixed it. It is unbelievable now! So, if anything, I learned from these guys! It is the Adam Greens and the Rob Zombies and while I may have worked on more movies than they have, I learn from them!

That is great! It is exciting to hear that you are taking that step to be behind the camera!

Thank you!

When we spoke last year, I know you had been working on an autobiography to chronicle your life in the industry. I wanted to touch base with you on that and find out the status of that project.

Danielle HarrisI had hired a writer and we wrote quite a bit together, because I am not a writer. I am a great storyteller and a great reviser but when telling your own story, it is kind of hard to take yourself out of it. We worked together for a while on it but when I got the outline of what each chapter was going to be about it just didn’t sound like my voice. It was more about who I knew in Hollywood growing up, in the industry and my generation. Ya know, I am kind of in between River Phoenix and Lindsay Lohan, in that little group. In real life, my boyfriend now is Corin Nemec, you know from ‘Parker Lewis’ and ‘Stargate’ and a bunch of genre projects as well. We went to Corey Feldman’s house a couple weeks ago for his house warming! So, as you can see, I live in this weird little world but these are my friends. I think that what was happening was that I wanted to tell the real story about my life and my struggles and me as a person but all that was coming up was these kind of “Hollywood” or “What would sell in a book” for someone that didn’t know anything about the horror series. That isn’t really what I am interested in writing. I think that is why I have had such great success and have fans say that they love reading or hearing what you say and we are fans because “you keep it real!” With me, there is no bullshit! I don’t want to sugar coat my life.

In my life, like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t grow up with a dad because he died when I was a little girl. He was in the mafia. My parents sold drugs. I have this really crazy story that I want to tell because it is really important to me. It just didn’t read well. I thought, “this is just garbage.” I am not going to write a book just because I am trying to sell something. That is not me. So I nixed it, until I can write it myself or find a writer that wants to keep it real. I don’t care if five people buy it but for me to sell 5 million copies it has to be “Hollywood crap” and I just don’t want to do it.

I also read that you had an animated series of sorts based on your life. What can you tell us about that?

That is with the guys at Halo 8! We go back and forth! Poor Matt Pizzolo can never track me down! [laughs] That all started with me being sort of fascinated with animation side and graphic novel side of things which I haven’t really tapped into except for when we worked on ‘Godkiller’. Matt is so creative and I thought it would be so cool to do something else together. I wanted to present the idea of what it is like to grow up in the horror genre and be with all my other little friends in that genre or who grew up on TV shows and show what our real lives are like. I mean, it is kind of funny, I went to New York City for ‘Hatchet II’ and there was this whole big party at Planet Hollywood and I brought a hatchet with me. I was posing on stage with this hatchet and there are about eight people who have come to see me! It is just kind of funny to me! This is so ridiculous that this is going on the wall! My hatchet! It’s kind of like that or the conventions that I do where there are a bunch of has-been ‘80s actors, who are actually very talented, working genre actors, mixed in with porn stars or wrestlers! [laughs] So, I kinda want to incorporate all of that kind of stuff into an animated series for Adult Swim or an adult oriented animated show like that. But I have so much going on that it sometimes takes a back seat.

What’s happening with Horrorgal.com?

I am still trying to get that up and running. I have so much video and footage for that but I just take on too many things at once and nothing ever gets done! [laughs] I am trying to tackle one thing at a time right now.

What other projects are on the horizon for you?

Danielle Harris

I will tell you what I have already finished that will be coming out this year. I have ‘Night of The Living Dead: Origins 3D’ with Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses) and Tony Todd (The Candyman). That is a CGI, 3D animated film for Sony. I play “Barbara” and it is set in current day New York City. From what I have seen, it looks out of this world! Literally, so bad-ass! I also have have ‘The Victim’ with Michael Beihn (Terminator) and Jennifer Blanc. They are two very good friends of mine and you can check out the film at www.grindhousethevictim.com. I play a coke-head stripper which is something that I have not done before! [laughs] So, that was kinda fun, especially since Jennifer is one of my best friends and it was great to be able to work with her. My favorite work as an actor so far is a film that I finished at the end of last year called ‘Shiver’ with John Jarratt, who I adore. Julian Richards directed the film. It is a role that I had a really hard time with emotionally. It is a really dark and horrible, psychological thriller and it is quite fantastic! I have never worked harder in my entire life! That is saying a lot for all the people who have seen what I went through in ‘Hatchet II,’ it literally almost killed me! [laughs] I am really proud of all that work! I am in a movie called ‘The Trouble With The Truth’ with John Shea and Lea Thompson, just the opening scene and it is not a horror movie! I am obsessed with ‘80s movies so I had to work with the two of them! ‘Hatchet III’ has been greenlit and I just signed on to do a movie called ‘Unbroken’ with Tony Todd, who is a buddy of mine. It is a small part in an independent movie but I love the script and really want to be part of it!Thanks for you time, Danielle!

Thank you!

– –

Be sure to follow Danielle Harris on Twitter at www.twitter.com/halloweengal. Also, check out our exclusive interview with Jim Mickle and Nick Damici about the creation of ‘Stake Land’ at this location. >

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, Movies, TV and More!Comments (0)

Jim Mickle and Nick Damici Discuss All Things ‘Stake Land’

Jim Mickle and Nick Damici Discuss All Things ‘Stake Land’

One of the most exciting duos in independent film is about to unleash their latest creation on the world of cinema. Jim Mickle and Nick Damici wowed audiences with their first collaboration known as ‘Mulberry Street’ and now they are back to raise the bar once more in independent film, not to mention the horror genre, with their new film ‘Stake Land.”

The film focuses on a young boy named Martin, played by Gossip Girl’s Connor Poulo, who is about to learn how cruel the world can become. Martin was a normal teenager before the country collapsed in an empty pit of disaster. When an epidemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Cities are tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearful of nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Gossip Girl’s Connor Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward hunter (In the Cut’s Nick Damici) whose new prey are the undead. Simply known as Mister, the vampire stalker takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America’s heartland, searching for a better place while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way they recruit fellow travellers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts. Belle (Danielle Harris), a pregnant young woman desperate to reach New Eden with her unborn child. As you can imagine, skirting the undead on a cross country journey is the just the start of this group’s worries. This ragtag family unit cautiously moves north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brethren, a fundamentalist militia headed by Jebedia Loven (Tony award-winning actor Michael Cerveris) that sees the plague as the Lord’s work.

Icon Vs. Icon’s Jason Price recently caught up with Jim Mickle and Nick Damici to discuss their creation, the process of bringing it from script to screen, the challenges involved and what lies in store for this dynamic duo in the months to come!

Jim Mickle and Nick Damici

We are always told that the entertainment industry is not for the faint of heart. When did you decide to pursue a career in the industry as opposed to going in a different direction?

Jim Mickle: Ya know, I grew up being into a lot of different things, from writing to photography to magic tricks. I grew up wanting to become a special effects artist and I was very interested in doing sound. I liked that film lets you play in every part of the creative process, it lets you make an art out of other art forms.

Nick Damici: Well, I kinda tried a lot of different stuff, but it didn’t work! [laughs] I found myself writing and acting and that is really what I always wanted to do. I worked for UPS for almost nine years before I realized that I didn’t want to do that. I just wanted to be an actor, so since then, that has been my focus!

If you had to cite one person as a professional influence, as you were coming up, who would it be?

Jim Mickle: Originally, it was Sam Raimi. That was who, when I was 13 and saw the ‘Evil Dead’ movies, it was the first time I realized that someone was having fun with it and injecting personality and style and doing it in an interesting way. That sorta fascinated me early on. But growing up, the fun part was evolving and letting that interest leap from one to another. I don’t think there was one overall person but Raimi was the initial spark that started it. There are elements of a lot of people’s careers that I really admire.

Nick Damici: I would honestly have to say Harvey Keitel because he maintains his integrity as an actor. He hasn’t reached the level of super stardom that some of his peers have — he hasn’t sold out, lets put it that way! That moves me more than some of these guys who get too big and start doing boring work because they are more interested in money than the work.

This is your second project together. We wanted to give everyone a little background on your collaboration. How did you two first meet up?

Nick Damici: Jim was working on a student film that I took a part in for a friend of mine, who was a teacher at NYU. I’m going back to 2001. He was helping out as a grip on a one of his buddy’s movies and we just hit it off. We were at a camp, a creepy cabin place up in Connecticut. It was really creepy and the owner kept looking in everyones windows! It just became this kinda, “We should be making this movie!” thing. So we just hit it off there and Jim did his thesis film that year, ‘The Underdogs.’ I took a small part in that and we got more and more friendly as we did that and decided that we wanted to do a movie together. It took us a couple of years but we finally got ‘Mulberry Street’ done and now ‘Stake Land’ is our second effort! It’s been 10 years but we’re getting there! [laughs]

What is the most satisfying part of your collaboration?

Nick Damici: The fact that he is the only person that I have ever teamed up with where we actually get stuff done! [laughs] We have made two movies together and hopefully we will get to make more at this point! So yeah, it is definitely the fact that we get things done. We also really compliment each other. He is a little younger than I am, he is more visual. He is the cinematic guy and I am the literature guy. When we work together, I really feel that our personalities blend and come out in a way that we can appeal to a much broader audience.

Jim Mickle: Seeing it work. Being together for 10 years, it isn’t like we grew up together but we met and had very similar interests and they are both kinda weird! We kinda have the same guilty pleasures when it comes to films, the kinda films that you would be embarrassed to say that you liked, the other guy agreed on! I graduated from school and didn’t know what I was going to do. We spent a lot of time together hanging out at the bar, having a drink and complaining about the sorta movies that were getting made. I think that happens a lot of times to people, but to have the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is and actually do your own thing is rare. I think the first time around we were happy that anyone went out and saw our movie. To see it go out and have a life of its own and have the opportunity to do that a second time and see if the second film can have a bigger life is really cool. We have done things on a small scale so we haven’t had to compromise and have been able to make the kinda movies that we want to make. It is kinda fun to come out the other end of the process and see that if you make something that you really want to see and trust that other people will also want to see it, that actually comes true.

For the uninitiated, what initially sparked the idea for ‘Stake Land’?

Nick Damici: ‘Stake Land’ originally came about because we were down on our luck and not getting anything done after ‘Mulberry Street’ and were waiting for another project to get done, that looked like it wasn’t going to get done. I said, “Look, Jim, we gotta do something!” So I wrote a bunch of web-isodes based on a guy teaching a kid how to kill vampires. I figured it was something cheap that we could do in our genre. I wrote 30 web-isodes and at that point we got them to Larry Fessenden who was in ‘Mulberry Street’. Larry loved them and loved the idea. Then he got a deal with MPI to do a movie. Him and Jim had discussed wanting to work together, so when he saw this he suggested making it a feature. At that point, we had to create a new world because the web-isodes were set in the modern world. We came up with this apocalyptic world. Obama was running for president, so we thought we could include the civil rights angle and have the Klan in there but call it The Brotherhood. With these elements, we were able to let this world create itself … “What would happen if America collapsed?” and at the time the pig flu was coming in from Mexico, so that worked its way into the script. The virus that creates the vampires came from Mexico. We just let this world dictate the journey that these characters had to take and of course, Canada would be the place that you could be safe and runaway to when you are in trouble, like Americans always do.

You assembled a very talented cast. What was the casting process like for the other roles in the film and was it difficult to find the right mix of people to achieve the end product that you were aiming for?

Nick Damici: We were very lucky because we didn’t have much choice on who we were casting. We were looking for any names that we could get, obviously. Connor Paolo came along through the casting director. He has got a steady job on ‘Gossip Girl’ and is a successful young actor. We were like, “Why would he want to do this movie? We aren’t payin’ much!” [laughs] He just loved the script and wanted to come along for the ride! Danielle Harris was the same way. I couldn’t believe that we got her. It was one after another. I was shocked and surprised that these great actors wanted to do the movie. Jim and I were nobody at that point. We had done ‘Mulberry Street’ but that was it. And Kelly McGillis, I was bowled over that she would do our movie.

What did the actors bring to the film that you may not have been expecting?

Jim Mickle

Jim Mickle: Connor’s part, at first when the script was written I thought that it was one of those roles where you find a kid, pluck him out of obscurity, throw him in your movie, pair him up with this sort of hard-ass guy, see what sparks fly and really make an actor out of a no-name kid. That was my original idea for the role. But when the idea of using Connor came up, I sorta rejected it because I wanted someone vulnerable and here is this guy who has played Alexander The Great and is on ‘Gossip Girl’ arguing with adults and holding his own! [laughs] Every time I see him, he is a very confident kid and a terrific actor. He brings all these elements in his own personality that I didn’t think “Martin” was. His ability to breakdown a character and a story and find out how he fits into that while having no ego about it. He really understands the film making process.

It sorta became a triangle with myself, Nick and Connor where we were slowly building the characters very organically. Kelly was great and brought a history to it along with a dramatic weight. That was a very important aspect because we do take a lot off shots at religion in the film. Her character represents all the good things that we thought about religion. I think it was a situation where if you cast that part wrong, the whole house of cards falls apart. We couldn’t have hit it more on the head or have been more truthful with her. Danielle is a working actress and brought a real energy to the film. To be honest, she probably has more experience than anyone else on the film and she still has a love for film making and a real appreciation for it. It was pretty amazing. I sorta love that the cast is a rag-tag bunch of people with different backgrounds and experiences. That was the same thing with the movie, you didn’t have to hide that and could use it to your advantage in showing this little band of family trying to survive.

Nick, what was the biggest challenge for you in either the script-writing phase or as an actor on this project?

Nick Damici: For me it was that I am not a kid anymore, I am over 50! [laughs] It was stamina, ya know! You go in there and there are all these young people and we are shooting three weeks at a clip, I am camping, sleeping on a cot, so that is always tough. It is a physical thing. You either do it or ya don’t. You just have to suck it up. I want to do as much of that as I can now because as I get older, I realize I am not going to have that kinda stamina. For me that was the challenge. The process was a labor of love. I built all of my props. I carved all the stakes that I used, I made my pants, my shoes and a bow and arrow. So that part I really enjoyed, becoming the character by doing things that he would do. The challenges were much more on the production end and on Jim’s end. Orchestrating and getting people together, which fortunately, I didn’t have to do!

What does the future hold for a potential sequel?

Jim Mickle: We have given thought to it. There is plenty of material. We have actually started releasing these prequels online that give you some background on the characters. We had a lot of extra material and we sorta wanted to open up the world. Yeah, we are really just waiting to see how the movie does and if people enjoy it and if it warrants a sequel. I think Nick and I have both said that it would be fun to come back in a few years, give it some breathing time, and she how the actors and characters have changed and the world has changed. It will also be interesting to see how America has changed. This film is very much a commentary on America. I think it is very interesting from the time that we wrote it, to the time that it premiered, to the time that it is opening in theaters that we have evolved in three very different stages … it seems the world is going to be more interesting the longer we wait! [laughs]

Nick Damici

Nick Damici: Yeah, my take on it is that if we did a sequel, I would want enough downtime to have the world and the characters change enough that it would be a different story. I keep telling our main producers that I will do the sequel if they give me flying vampires and lots of money! So we will see what happens! [laughs]

Being a seasoned vet of the film industry. What is the best piece of advice that you would give to young filmmakers and actors?

Jim Mickle: The best advice I can give is to just do it. I think that if you wait for opportunities, they are a one in a million shot. If you just go and do it, you are only going to get better and you are only going to learn from doing things yourself. There are so many people fighting for so few positions that I think you have to carve your own path. I think that if we hadn’t made ‘Mulberry Street’ that I would still be editing or in the back of the grip truck talking about how one day I am going to make a movie, waiting on someone to give me a million dollars and say, “Go do it!” So, do something of your own and put your stamp on it.

Nick Damici: Do anything else you can but become an actor! [laughs] The bottom line is that it is a long haul. Ya know, I’m not rollin’ in bucks. It is a hard life. It is not a life that you can support a family on unless you are super successful. I don’t have kids, so I can do what I want to do but if I had kids, I would be working a job like everybody else. I don’t think it is something that you should pursue unless you can’t do anything else. That would be my advice. I remember David Niven said in his autobiography that “an actor should always have another job.” That is so true because the work is few and far between unless you get very lucky. I think that if you are tenacious enough, and I think that is the case with me, I have stuck in there and I got a few breaks finally after many years and we will see what happens with that, but I could easily have not gotten those breaks and could be a waiter right now. I don’t think it is something that you should encourage people to do unless they absolutely don’t want to do anything else. I think too many people try to become actors because they like the romance of it. It’s like becoming a brain surgeon because of the money. I don’t think you should do that unless you are really into being a brain surgeon, ya know! [laughs]

Is there a particular type of film or genre that you are anxious to tackle in the future that you may not have been able to take on yet?

Nick Damici: That is an interesting question. Yeah. In this one, we kinda did a western. Jim and I have always wanted to do a western and we kinda consider ‘Stake Land’ our western. I’d like to do a real western one day but I would also like to do a period piece, 13th century or something like that. Anything different, really. I am not that interested in the modern world, I don’t think it is that interesting of a place. I think it is twittered out and boring at this point. That is why ‘Stake Land’ took place in another world. Contemporary stuff just doesn’t interest me. I would love to do a detective thing set back in the ‘30s, ‘40s or ‘50s. I love those kinda films.

Do you ever take a moment to look back at your work and give thought to how you have evolved as an actor over the years?

Nick Damici: Yeah, it is natural. As you get older, you get more confident. With the more stuff you do, the more confident you get. I think that I have a lot more confidence in what I do and professionalism is obviously experience. I don’t get butterflies anymore, where I used to. I don’t get nervous anymore and I think that brings a realism to the characters that I play, they are behaving and not pretending to behave anymore. I think that is one of my assets as an actor. I am a no bullshit actor. I am not a high brow actor, it’s not rocket science, just do it! [laughs]

What is on the horizon for you two in the coming months?

Jim Mickle: We adapted a book called ‘Cold In July’ by Joe Landsdale who wrote ‘Bubba Hotep’ a few years back. It is sort of a country-noir, sort of a modern western that takes place in 1989 in East Texas. It is a very twisty-turny, small town crime thriller. We adapted that a couple years ago and just last night got the word that it looks like it is actually going to happen. Hopefully, we will be shooting that in the summer time!

– –

If you want to see more or support the film, be sure to visit the official Facebook page for ‘Stake Land’!

Posted in Blog, Celebrity Interviews, Featured Stories, Movies, TV and More!Comments (0)

Jim Mickle’s STAKE LAND: Official Poster and Character Prequels!

Jim Mickle’s STAKE LAND: Official Poster and Character Prequels!

A brand new poster for  IFC Midnight/Dark Sky Film’s upcoming horror film STAKE LAND has been unveiled! The film stars Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Danielle Harris and Kelly McGillis. Check out the official poster below!

In addition, the first STAKE LAND Character Prequels are now live exclusively on Apple Trailers. These mini-vignettes, detailing the time leading up to the horrific events of the film, each provide a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of the STAKE LAND cast of characters.

To view the first two installments (listed here) in a series to be unveiled over the next two weeks, please visit the link below….THE DAY I TOLD MY BOYFRIEND starring Danielle Harris and directed by Graham Reznick

MARTIN starring Connor Paolo and directed by Glenn McQuaid

Synopsis: America is a lost nation. When an epidemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Cities are tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearful of nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Gossip Girl’s Connor Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward hunter (In the Cut’s Nick Damici) whose new prey are the undead.

Simply known as Mister, the vampire stalker takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America’s heartland, searching for a better place while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way they recruit fellow travellers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts. This ragtag family unit cautiously moves north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brethren, a fundamentalist militia headed by Jebedia Loven (Tony award-winning actor Michael Cerveris) that interprets the plague as the Lord’s work.

Director Jim Mickle first grabbed the attention of horror film fans with his zombie-rat thriller Mulberry Street, in which Damici also starred and served as co-writer. They have teamed up again to deliver an even darker and bloodier shocker. Drawing on the post-apocalyptic frenzy described by Richard Matheson (author of the novel I Am Legend) and George Romero, Stake Land is a road movie with fangs and a phantasmagoric journey.

Stake Land also stars horror movie icon Danielle Harris (Hatchet II) and was produced by indie horror producer-writer-director Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter).


Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!Comments (0)

Official Trailer For Jim Mickle’s ‘Stake Land’ Unleashed!

Official Trailer For Jim Mickle’s ‘Stake Land’ Unleashed!

STAKE_LAND_TEASERsmlogo5Dark Sky Films and Glass Eye Pix have released a teaser trailer for the epic vampire road film Stake Land. Check out the trailer and synopsis below!

In Jim Mickle’s new film, Stake Land, a young boy is about to learn how cruel the world can become. Martin was a normal teenager before the country collapsed in an empty pit of disaster, and a vampire epidemic swept across the nation’s abandoned towns and cities. It’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin to safety. Armed with a trunk full of wooden stakes and a desperate will to stay alive, Mister and Martin make their way through locked down towns, recruiting fellow travelers along the way. A devout nun (Kelly McGillis as “Sister”) joins the small team of survivors. She faces a crisis of faith during the vampire bloodshed, ultimately taking up arms to do battle with her newly formed family unit.

As with his hit, Mulberry Street, Jim Mickle creates a dark and terrifying world, although this time it is fully stocked with the most evil vampires in recent film history. Stake Land is a gritty, post-apocalyptic road movie with teeth!

Stake Land is due in 2010 from Dark Sky Films.

Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!Comments (1)