I recently got the chance to talk to Cory Knauf about his role in ‘The Violent Kind’. Here, Cory talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew and how the film has performed in film festivals so far…
Hey Cory. Thanks for taking out the time from a hectic schedule to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Violent Kind’.
Awesome, thanks for the opportunity Matt!
How would you sum up the film’s plotline?
I’ve read somewhere that it has been given a new genre of ‘WTF,’ I think we all collectively thought to ourselves ‘that’s about right.’ I suppose the plot goes something like this… lifelong friends and members of a Northern California biker gang spend their days throwing back Pabst Blue Ribbon, getting into fights and living the dream until a fateful trip to the gang’s wooded cabin for Cody’s mother’s birthday turns it all upside down in bloody, epic, what the f, just happened fashion. Of course, I don’t want to give too much away.
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie…
I play Cody. He’s sort of carrying the world on his shoulders, stuck in this life he doesn’t necessarily want but was born into, and searching for a way out. Basically he’s a good guy underneath who has never been able to let that side of him be seen.
How would you say this film differs from other horror movies like ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’?
It doesn’t draw a line in the sand on one particular style or genre. It’s not cut and dry, as in slasher, zombie, grindhouse, or anything like that. I think it is a credit to The Butcher Brothers who set out to make a film that will not only entertain but peak interest and catch people off-guard all within the confines of the “horror” genre. Most filmmaker’s go for the lowest common denominator type of material in hopes of mass appeal but where do you sacrifice originality and quality in trying to achieve that? To put it simply I can’t really compare it to any other horror movie and that to me is amazing.
We should mention that the film has been doing it’s rounds in the festivals for some time – how has the reception been?
The reception has been great. Sundance was a great time and we really got to see first hand how caught off guard people were by the story. The film has been to every major horror festival in the world at this point and it’s amazing to be contacted by fans from Spain, Canada, all over. It makes two weeks worth of night shoots in Northern California all worthwhile, you know?
The film stars your good self, Taylor Cole, Tiffany Shepis and Christina McDowell – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Everyone across the board “came to work” as Mitch Altieri likes to say. Listen, your making an independent horror film, there’s just a couple of things you have to be ready for and accept are going to be your life for the better part of a month. Long hours. Running. Yelling. Fake blood. Real blood. More running. Probably some tears and a whole lot of go, go, go. If you’re not up for it, it shows immediately. Everyone on this project came to rock it, and they did.
Let’s talk a bit about you Cory. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I didn’t want to do construction. Or work at Subway. I have a real hard time with mayonnaise.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
The same advice someone told me. “No matter how hard you work at something in life there’s always going to be someone working a little bit harder.” Perseverance is the name of the game.
What does a Cory Knauf day usually consist of?
I’m pretty boring to be completely honest. I try to maintain a routine and treat this business like any other business. I wake up by 9am and run around town all day, either for auditions, writing sessions, meetings, or the gym, and try to call it quits by 6pm. I suppose my biggest problem is I’m not much of a sleeper so I tend to run on about 4 hours a night so by the end of the week I’m usually pretty spent.
You’ve had a number of different roles on a range of different indie and mainstream projects – who has been your favorite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
I’d say my favorite actor that I’ve worked with so far has been Joe Egender. The guy is just a gem through and through. I worked with him on ‘The Hamiltons’ and ‘The Violent Kind’ and through those projects we have become friends. The thing about Joe is he knows his craft inside and out and thus far I have yet to meet someone with such thorough knowledge of the film making process and mechanics as him. He’s given me great advice about the industry but I’d say the majority of what I’ve learned from him has been from watching him do what he does. The best part about it too… the thing I’ve really tried to bring to my own work as of late, is that he takes the work seriously but he doesn’t take himself seriously. I think that’s a really important aspect of this business.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
Well, I just heard about a possible cure for Leukemia. Apparently they have figured out a way to use the AIDS virus against this particular type of cancer because it is specific to only the blood and bone marrow as opposed to other types of cancer, which attack actual cells. Look, don’t quote me on this verbatim because I’m sure I have bits and pieces wrong, but I just think it’s pretty cool.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12? I hear you in pre-production on one project and in post-production on another…
Up next is the sequel to ‘The Hamiltons’ called ‘The Thompsons’. That will be shooting in England and it’ll be pretty exciting to see how the original cast has grown. I’m also working on several projects with Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores, especially a project titled ‘Taking Aim’, which is a true story we have been working on for the better part of two years. I’ll tell you, working with those guys on the creative level has really helped me grow as a writer and I wouldn’t say that I’m putting acting behind me, but I am re-focusing my efforts on becoming a well-rounded story-teller. That’s what I envision on the horizon.
Thanks for the interview!