Its so funny that you say that because that was actually right on target with my first question, you hold the record for most time spent in the make-up chair, how long is your average sitting?
Lets see, there's eight movies, they took six weeks to shoot each, and I probably worked four of those weeks. Then there's the TV series, and a half a dozen re-shoots, and a half of dozen personal appearances in the 80's when I put the make-up on. Then there's always the test days at the beginning of shooting. It's a lot, you do the math, I stopped counting a while ago and it was something around 150 hours.
Wow! Did you ever get used to it?
You would tend to think, since there were eight films and all the merchandising, but actually I would put the make-up on about once every other year. But then there was a huge jump, from 1991 till 1994 I didn't do it, then from 1994 until this last time (September 2002) I haven't done the make-up. In the middle of it all I did the Phantom of the Opera, which was some really intense make-up and then I also did the Mangler from Stephen King, which was also a very intense brilliant make-up job. The only time it really got to me was when I did Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dreammaster and then jumped right into the Television series. That was really tough on the crew and I. Even though I didn't work everyday, I never really got a chance to heal from the make-up. It was also really insane; I wore chest pieces, I had little pieces of goat bladder under the make-up to make my skull expand, I had hidden collapsible animatronics puppets for my victims, hidden under my skull and in my chest, there was a lot of make-up time for that stuff!
Thank god you didn't have to wear a body suit.
Oh yeah definitely! Then I went to work for 20 hours after the make-up! Then one day my dad visited me and they had me attached to a 3 quarter inch piece of ply-wood so I couldn't move, they made up a giant wooden Freddy mock-up and had real stunt people and dancers coming out of my mock-up chest! By today's standards in special FX it sounds very primitive, but in fact it worked great.
What were your first thoughts when you saw yourself in the Freddy make-up?
I was with David Miller in San Fernando Valley in his old house Flash Studio, and we were experimenting with the make-up there in his garage studio. It was interesting because it looked strange before it was colored; it was like an older pale disfigured version of my face. He added more to the brow and then the nose and then exaggerated the ears and then changed the shape of the top of the head so it didn't really look like me. But at the very beginning it was like seeing yourself old, what you would look like if you were 100 years old. Then there were arguments between Wes Craven and (sp)Bob Shayes(sp?) and David, because they wanted this melting look, like the flesh was dangling, but during close-ups in Nightmare on Elm Street, when I would move fast, it would bleed when I stopped moving. It also worked weird when backlit, sometimes it looked fantastic, and other times it didn't register, looked like a mistake in the make-up, so we stopped doing it after a few weeks of running around and sticking dangling pieces on my ears and stuff. It should have looked more like scar tissue.
Well either way it ended up looking great in my opinion.
In Nightmare on Elm Street 8, or Freddy vs Jason, we have a part where Freddy gets really pissed off, its very demonic looking make-up, I'm actually sitting here looking at the picture at my desk and I cant stick up on my website yet.
Does "Freddy vs Jason" take place in the same world as the "Nightmare" films and "Friday" films?
It takes place in Springwood, and if you refer to part three, with Patricia Arquette, and they brought up the theory of hypnocil (sp?). Well, its back in the plot again, its being used to keep the kids from dreaming and there's this dream repressor experimenting going on and now the kids don't remember Freddy. Now if the kids don't remember Freddy, they can't be afraid of him, they have no fear of Freddy, he cant get in, and the door is closed to him.
Wes Craven announced last month that he will not be involved in a Nightmare on Elm Street prequel, does this mean that the film isn't happening, or will the show go on without him?
I had heard that him and Heather had talked about it, whether they'd want Heather to play the mother or something, I don't now. I had heard that there were ideas in treatment and in artwork. It would be more of a serial killer film that a monster film, since Freddy isn't a monster yet. Obviously Id be attracted to that idea, I have a soft spot in my heart for serial killers, after viewing Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer at a midnight screening with my lawyer in Spain.
So can it still be made even if Wes Craven decides not to do it?
I don't know if Wes wrote a script or had an idea? I think it could though because I think New Line owns the rights to Freddy, but obviously they'd have to pay Wes to use Freddy, its his character.
If you had to pick between a Nightmare Prequel or Freddy vs Jason 2, which would you pick?
Like I said, I have a soft spot for the serial killers, I like that stuff, it intrigues me, the how to solve it, the Sherlock Holmes element of it. Also, I wouldn't have to get into all of the make-up and it would be a chance to get into psychological work before he sort of became operatic, I'm always operating in a dream, and there's a certain type of exaggeration to my performance since I'm in a dream, it's a surrealistic and magical. But if I did the prequel, its pre-nightmare and I wouldn't operate in the magical world. It would be more nuts and bolts psychological thriller. As for Freddy vs Jason, not that Im too old, I did all my own stunts in the water in the new one, when you see me flying through the sky in fire, you know. For me its so hard, so hard to get Freddy vs Jason going, you have to get into the fun of it, and the story telling. There's a certain degree of difficulty doing another Freddy vs Jason. There certainly could be another Freddy movie or another Jason movie, or even hints that they are operating in the same area or country, but never say never, never say die!
Thanks to 'Brad'