I recently got the chance to talk to Lindsay Goranson about her role in ‘The Theatre Bizarre’. Here, Lindsay talks about what it was like working on her section of the film, and how she got into acting in the first place..
Hey Lindsay. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Of course we‘re here to talk to you about your new film ‘The Theatre Bizarre’.
Of course, Matt. I was delighted and flattered to be invited and am thrilled at the chance to talk about ‘The Theatre Bizarre’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film? I understand it’s split into segments?
Yes, TTB is six short films and a wrap-around film inspired by the spirit of Grand Guignol. Each of the stories are stand alone films deftly stitched together by Jeremy Kasten’s piece THEATRE GUIGNOL – starting with Richard Stanley’s MOTHER OF TOADS, then Buddy Giovinazzo’s I LOVE YOU, Tom Savini’s WET DREAMS, Douglas Buck’s THE ACCIDENT, Karim Hussain’s VISION STAINS and finally the segment I’m in… David Gregory’s SWEETS.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I had the serious pleasure of working with David Gregory (director of the ‘SWEETS’ segment, co-founder of Severin Films, mastermind behind TTB and general all-around rock star) in 2007 on his first narrative feature film ‘Plague Town’. I was the step-mother-to-be of two mal-adjusted teenagers (played by Josslyn DeCrosta and Erica Rhodes) who run into trouble with some nasty village children. We worked together really well in rehearsals and on-set. After ‘Plague Town’ was birthed into the world David sent me a short script he had written which ended up being SWEETS. At the time he just wanted another set of eyes to take a look at it. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do with the film, but asked if I would be interested in playing Estelle. It was probably about a year or so after that that the beginnings of ‘The Theatre Bizarre’ began to take shape and about six months later I was in LA shooting with our painfully talented cast and crew.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play Estelle. She’s a woman addicted to extreme pleasure. She finds it in her clothing, her work, her friends, her car and most importantly in food. She indulges in that addiction with her current catch, Greg – (played with dangerously dark comic agility by Guilford Adams… seriously, this guy is awesome). However, her relationship with Greg is deteriorating and as is with all addictions, enough is rarely enough.
How would you say this film is different from other horror movies?
Don’t laugh when I say this… but I’m kind of a scaredy cat. I’ve only seen three horror movies in a theatre. Two of them I was in (‘Plague Town’ and ‘The Theatre Bizarre’) and the third is ‘Psycho’. Which I was made to see…and loved. So, I’m not the best judge on what’s out there in horror. But I do have to say that what makes TTB special is that there really is something that everyone will love about the film. If you want gore, we’ve got gore. If you want atmosphere, we’ve got atmosphere. If you want creatures, we’ve got creatures. There are very few films out there in any genre that have the ability to appeal to so many groups with such specific tastes without becoming a watered down mess. I also think that because the filmmakers were given no restrictions creatively, the audience gets a full-strength dose of these directors’ true artistic visions. Which is rare. In any genre.
The film stars Virginia Newcomb and Udo Kier, with a variety of other cast members – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Because all seven of the short films worked independently of each other, I did not have the pleasure of sharing set with Ms. Newcomb or Mr. Kier or the legions of other supremely talented people who worked on the other films. I was however quite blessed to share it with the stunning, unimaginably kind and talented Lynn Lowry (who has a killer singing voice by the way). Our set was truthfully one of the best I’ve been on. Everyone honestly wanted to be there and do really great work. We only had a couple of days to shoot, so it was all at breakneck speed. Everything from the monumental task of getting me in and out of six or seven completely transformative looks complete with corresponding wigs to filling an apartment set with a foot of smashed junk food to making a zillion feet of bloody intestines was done without even breaking a sweat. Ok, there was sweat broken… for all of us. But we managed to keep everything moving and still like each other in the process. Which is not always the case. And I can honestly say that I would be fortunate if I ever had the opportunity to work with any one of those artists again.
Let’s talk a bit about you Lindsay. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
Well, I’m from Wyoming (that’s the big square one out west that isn’t Colorado). Acting was something that in retrospect I have always done. I was involved in 4-H and community theatre and performance art camps disguised as church camps. Living in a small town, my film opportunities were, ah-hem, limited. So I did theatre. Which I deeply love. And which I realize doesn’t really answer your question…but, I do remember the moment I decided I wanted to work in film. I was 11 on a ski trip with my family and saw a call for extras in ‘The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t’. I remember standing behind the lead actor with the camera just a couple of feet away. That was it. I knew. I keep doing it because I’m from a place where people usually keep their struggles hidden and I enjoy being able to share those secret moments. I hope that gives an audience the chance to think about what is happening with the people around them and be a little sympathetic. Or not. But then you’re probably just a jerk anyway. Or a sociopath. That’s possible too.
Who has been your favourite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
Truthfully, there are many. One of the most responsive actors I’ve ever worked with was Christopher Domig, who I played opposite of in ‘Second-Story Man’. He was endlessly generous and completely present. I also worked with Daniel Dugan and Nate Dushku on ‘Art=(Love)2’. You could feel the crackle of creative electricity and experience from these guys. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had on set was with Josslyn DeCrosta on ‘Plague Town’, singing “You Are My Sunshine” outside of a port-a-potty in a deserted field in the pitch-black of Connecticut night. And advice? Ugh. Everyone has some of that crap, including myself. I try not to give it out or listen to it. Although, some of the most insightful thoughts I’ve been blessed with about dealing with the industry were actually from Lynn Lowry.
Ok, I‘m going to give you an imaginary scene of an imaginary film. You’re on the run from cops with your best friend called Debbie. There is a busy highway up ahead, with a traffic jam that blocks your route. The police are not far behind and you’re practically barricaded in. You do have a few guns handy. How would the scene play out? Be as descriptive and creative as you want!
Hands up. Turn myself in. Yep. It would be a really short film… Scaredy cat. Remember? Jeez, good thing I’m not a writer…
What does a Lindsay Goranson day usually consist of?
Most of my days look a lot like me sitting at a computer. 75% of my time is spent searching castings, submitting, video/Skype auditions, updating website information… you know, the boring but necessary stuff. I’d say 20% is attending auditions. And only about 5% is me with a grin plastered to my face sitting on set. And only about 1% of that time I’m actually working in front of a camera. Oh, and whatever extra slivers of time I can carve out I’m praying to the HBO gods that they’ll discover that they need me for the resurrection of ‘Carnivale’.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
Nike may be releasing the Nike McFly shoe in 2015! I’m wondering if I can get in line now.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I have a film, ‘Second-Story Man’, doing the festival circuit right now, and three coming through post: ‘Target’, ‘Art=(Love)2’ and ‘Caveat’. And I’m lucky to be attached to a redneck zombie romantic comedy called ‘From The Trailer To The Grave’ that will be shooting entirely in Wyoming. Ye-HAW. Oh, and hopefully that call from HBO…
Thanks for the interview!