When Gioele from Celluloid Nightmares and Zona Horror (go follow his awesome facebook groups!) asked me if I wanted to interview David Howard Thornton, the man behind Art the Clown from Terrifier, I jumped straight in! First of all I actually really enjoyed this flick so I had a few questions I was dying to ask, plus this opportunity made me feel a bit like a real journalist hehe... Did I get nominated for a Pulitzer yet?
Sequel to All Hallows' Eve (that I also loved, but don't tell David since Art was played by someone else), Terrifier hit the spot in the black coal heart of the horror community with its original story and great practical effects. But the cherry on the top of the cake that is this movie, was of course the evil villain Art the Clown, who together with other maleficent jesters, has already found his comfy spot in the collective imaginary as one of our favourite crazy motherfuckers. Without ever uttering a sound, Art still manages to bring the freak on with his facial expressiveness and his creepy mannerisms.
So excuse me while I have a fangirl moment, but it’s a pretty big deal for us here at Ronon’s Reviews, and especially for me being a huge fan of Terrifier for having had the pleasure of securing an interview with David Howard Thornton aka Art The Clown.
Have a look what we chatted about.
Q: Hello David, thank you again for doing this, so right off the bat, how do you feel to be a certified horror villain?
A: I am still wrapping my head around it all. It is all a bit surreal to me still, but I am stoked about it. I never imagined my life would take this direction, but I am enjoying it! I look forward to seeing where all of this leads.
Q: Onwards and upwards we can only guess and hope, so I know some actors that work in horror are not a big fan of the genre, what about you? Do you watch many scary movies? and if so, what’s a must watch in your opinion?
A: Oh, I am very much a fan of the horror genre! I would say that my top 3 favorites (besides Terrifier) are The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I love films of all types though. I simply enjoy being entertained and will watch pretty much everything.
Q: I know it had plenty of memorable moments, but what was your favourite scene to shot for Terrifier and why?
A: It had to have been the diner scene since I really got to flex my muscles as Art. It had its comedic moments as well as truly disturbing and gory moments as well. Plus I got to interact with my fellow actors in more ways than just flat out killing them. It was just loads of fun to film and play around with, which Damien allowed me to do. I love having that type of freedom to play!
Q: Is playing around with roles something you enjoyed in acting school and had you already planned to get into horror or you had other aspirations?
A: Oddly enough, I did not go to an acting school. I actually went to college to become a school teacher. I have done theater my whole entire life, so I consider my acting school being that of working with my fellow actors and learning from them. With that said, I never anticipated doing horror. I have always done comedic roles my entire life, especially in musical theater, so I had aspirations of doing those types of roles instead, as well as voice over work for animation and videogames since my main skill set is in mimicry. This all fell in my lap with horror, so I am just going with the flow!
Q: Nice, sounds like a perfect 'right place at the right time' moment. So who’s your favourite actor or your inspiration?
A: Robin Williams was one of my favorites. He had such a dynamic range and skill set, and was also a wonderful human being off screen. Also, my friend, Stefan Karl (Robbie Rotten), is another person that I find great inspiration from as well. I understudied him for 5 years on tour with How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical and learned much from him, especially in regards to physical comedy. I found much inspiration from him for my portrayal of Art. Plus he is such a wonderful and kind man in real life.
Q: Sounds like a great pair to look up too, so of course I'll follow this up with which director do you dream of working with and what role you are dying to play?
A: Oh there are so many to name! Of course, Spielberg is pretty much up there! I'd love to work with a lot of the Marvel directors as well as Kevin Smith. As for my dream role, even though I play him on the web series Nightwing: Escalation, I would LOVE to play The Joker on either a television series or on film. SUCH a fun character!
Q: That would be awesome, we have seen you taking a lot of selfies in your videos, knowing the persona of Art, the people you shot pics with, they are all live and well, right???
A: Ha ha! Yes, yes they are. I am just surprised my ugly mug didn't break their cameras!
Q: What’s the most What-The-Fuck thing a fan said or did to you?
A: So far, it is the many tattoos that my fans have made of me. It blows my mind that they love my character so much that they want it to be a part of their body for the rest of their life. THAT'S devotion!
Q: Wow, so we have to know, what do you think are the possibilities of a Terrifier sequel?
A: It's definitely happening! We are in the early stages of making that happen right now. We have MUCH more planned for Art!
Q: Awesome! In the horror community we are a bunch of weirdos (and proud!). What’s a peculiar anecdote you want to tell your fans about yourself?
A: I have some gnarly scars on my right arm that I got from breaking my arm when I was 14 years old at a Gallagher concert. He was a comic that was known for smashing watermelons back in the day. I went to his show and was called up on stage to be his assistant with his Sledge-O-Matic routine and ended up slipping and falling on some gunk resulting in a compound fracture that needed metal plates. This made world wide news when it happened and made me a bit of a celebrity in my hometown for a while. The best part of it was that it helped end a lot of the bullying that I received in school (I was a short, scrawny geek with glasses and braces at the time). I think that was my first real brush with the spotlight. Ha ha!
Q: Definitely a cool party story to tell for years, do you have plans to guest in any horror conventions anytime soon?
A: Definitely! I recently did my first one at Mad Monster Party in Arizona and loved it! I have an appearance manager now that is booking me at several conventions here in the US and hopefully outside of the US soon! I love going to these and interacting with the fans! So much fun!
Q: Hope to see you in London soon then, so finally, what are your plans for the future?
A: I've learned that I simply can't make plans. The fates always seem to intervene! I do hope to continue to make a living doing what I love doing and am passionate about most, entertaining people. Whatever shape or form that takes, I will be content with!