I recently got the chance to talk to Lee Nicholas Harris about his role in ‘The Human Centipede: Full Sequence’. Here, Lee talks about how he got involved in the franchise and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Lee. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about… ‘The Human Centipede: (Full Sequence)‘. Obviously, given it’s horrific nature, anyone under 18 should stop reading now. Or anyone who was genuinely creeped out by the last one.
I most definately agree with you there, this film would give any child nightmares for sure.
What’s the general plotline surrounding this instalment?
Martin, (the main character) works as a security guard in a car park. He lives in an old flat with his mother and his father is in prison. He has as a pet a ferocious centipede and he is totally addicted to the first movie of Tom Six: ‘The Human Centipede: First Sequence’.
During the film he really looses the plot and kills his mother. While all this is going on, he plans to abduct people whilst he is working as a guard at the car park. He does this brutally and let’s say it is not very pleasant!
He rents a warehouse and starts forming the human centipede from his notes and descriptions from the first film, while doing this he accidentally and sometimes purposefully kills a couple of people.
From here is when it gets really and truly messy – as Martin is no Doctor and his only utensils are gaffer tape and a staple gun, along with some kitchen utensils.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…I dare ask this, are you one of the centipede bits?
I am Martin’s upstairs neighbour ‘Dick’. I personally hate them both for constantly banging on the ceiling when I am trying to listen to my techno music. I really kick the hell out of Martin a few times which makes him hate me even more. It’s when I come down storming in and find his Mum sitting at the table looking worse for wear with her brains smashed in that Martin’s plan really comes together.
And yes I am afraid so. I end up as Martin’s centre piece for the centipede.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place? More to the point, why did you want to even get involved?
Good question – this was my first main part in a feature film. When my agent, ‘Showtime Castings’ called me, she told me that a director wanted to have a chat on Skype with me about a part as he liked my tattoos; when I spoke with Tom he sounded really enthusiastic and very excited about the part he wanted me to play. This was all very overwhelming at the time and I agreed to watch the first film then have an audition straight after. I really had no idea what to expect but after watching ‘The Human Centipede: First Sequence’ I was amused for sure. I then went for the audition where I acted out the character ‘Dick’ and some parts of the first movie, for Tom and his sister Ilona.
But at this point I really don’t think any one of us in the new centipede had any idea what we were actually getting into; but hey this was a very good part for me and my first acting role, I just had to go for it and do whatever was needed to make the film as realistic as possible.
How would you say this installment is different and unique? I’ve heard it goes beyond the limits of the original…
Indeed, I would say it goes far beyond the original film. In the words of Tom Six: “The second film makes the first film look like a Disney feature”. The violence and torture is extreme and there is also a brutal rape scene.
The film stars Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, Kandace Caine Dominic Borelli, Katherine Templer and Lucas Hansen – with Tom Six onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? How was the production of the film for you?
It was amazing working with my fellow centipedes, we all had our parts to play before we actually met in a dingy disgusting warehouse in London for the first time. At this point, nobody had any real idea still of how gruesome it was going to get. It was very cold, I think Tom knew this would have a great effect on us with performance and reality of the situation, we all thought it was going to be easy at first until certain special effects were not working properly. This is when we were told complete nakedness was the only way to go forward. Some of the girls were a little shocked but I guess since we got that far there was no turning back, as the days went by the blood got thicker and the violence got worse.
I personally hated and loved every minute we were making this movie, I was in real pain on my hands and knees and yet we had a laugh and we all got very close by the end of the film. As for the production team, well when you start something like this there is no rewind, and they were amazing – the special effects crew, the cameramen, Tom and Ilona were right there with us constantly, so it was a huge joint effort from everyone involved. If anyone had backed out, the film would have fallen to pieces and it would have been a disaster, I think we all knew this so we really got stuck in and did our job as actors.
Obviously, there’s been huge problems with the films distribution, particularly in the U.K – (where it was banned by the BBFC – but was recently given a 18 rating after 32 compulsory cuts were made) – what are your thoughts on that? I’ve heard Tom defend the film, stating how – “It is all make-believe – it’s art’…
I have been fortunate to see both versions of the film and the cuts don’t really change much for me, I think certain cuts were needed, that’s my opinion, but other cuts were ridiculous. I have no idea why they chose to cut some parts that in my view were very mild compared to some parts they left in that were totally disgusting, I think it was just the BBFC saying – “We don’t like your movie but if you make some cuts we will give you your rating”, knowing if they didn’t Tom would just make another cult film everyone would want to see. This is a psycho horror film and that’s what it is, it’s make-believe, it’s just actors playing parts and special effects that make it look real, everyone knows this, it’s really down to the individual as to whether they want to watch it. If you don’t like these sort of movies, then don’t go and watch them, but I know from the premiere we all went to in Leicester Square there are plenty of fans out there already who love this movie.
Let’s talk a bit about you Lee. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I did not set out to be an actor or be in any movies, I am a movie fan. I can watch anything from low budgets to blockbusters. I started as a supporting artist just for fun, joined a couple of agencies a few years ago – since then I have been in many films and commercials as a featured artist or walk-on, I have had a few small speaking parts in some low-budget films and I guess now that I have the taste of being in a cult movie I would love to take my career to the next level. Let’s see where it goes from here.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
This is a very hard industry to get into, you must have total commitment and plenty of front, it’s no good staying in the background, you will not get noticed. If a person wants to be an actor or even a supporting artist they have to be ready at anytime to take on any challenge that an agency sends you on; having a full-time job is definately no good – to go for castings you have to be free six days a week unless you’re working on a film already. So my advice is, unless you have full commitment and you’re prepared to spend the first couple of years not making much money then don’t go for this line of work.
On the other hand anyone can be become a star overnight, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
You’ve had a number of roles in different TV shows’ and films – who have been your favourite actors/actresses to work with so far and which project has been your favourite to be a part of?
I was lucky to play a part on ‘Pirates of The Caribbean 4’; here I had the privilege of working alongside Johnny Depp for a few months. I found him to be a very pleasant man who gives plenty of time to people around him; I had a few long chats with him, and he was really cool.
If you could have three historical guests to dinner – (living or dead), who would they be and why?
Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and The Big Bopper – because I am a massive fan of the three and I never got to see them perform live. Besides, imagine what their music would be like now if they were alive.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
I have a couple of small parts lined up for the early next year; otherwise I am open to new projects that my agent puts me forward for.
Thanks for the interview!