Glover | Will Ya See The ID In Willard?
Treat Kids! Crispin's musical production of "Ben" Here
right I didn't actually do this interview below
from my journalist friends; to whom I now owe huge sushi meals
in lieu of bags of cash or first born child! I figured you'd all
want, nay need, to hear the words from Mr. Gloverinski
himself. He doesn't do a whole lot of publicity and I was dying
to hear about his post-production personal films; What
But alas fate was not on our sides and schedule conflicts made
it impossible for me to be at the round tables at the swanky Château
they held the press event at. Hey, I'm a busy chickbabe ya know.
one of our coolest esoterical little DNA swabs, there's still
tons of questions unanswered by the lad- mostly about his unique
art and projects...but kindly my
spies...err...colleagues, sent me a compilation of their chats
and advised my buttercup of the macabre was wearing a black velvet
or corduroy suit with vest a white shirt, wide black tie and his
hair is dyed pitch black
scrumptious no? He was polite,
cordial and as expected, a bit "different" according
to the troupe. Perhaps he and I shall meet regarding his next
soiree on film
or whilst I am stalking -um- walking with
my dogs in his neighborhood. Oh, I'm kidding! Hehehe.
ARE YOU USED TO ALL THIS PUBLICITY?
GLOVER: I'm starting to get used to it. For some reason, I've
never done it. It's funny.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO DO WILLARD?
GLOVER: The film, I was working on another film when this script
came and my agent, first my agents called and asked if I'd be
interested in this. They told me that there was interest in me
for this and if I'd be interested and it really sounded interesting
to me and I got the script and I read it and it was a great character
and I really liked it and so, I immediately said, 'Yes, I'd like
to,' and the negotiations started forth. So, I'd never seen the
film before that, and I was aware of it and knew kind of what
it was about, but I'd never seen it, and then, I watched it after
the negotiations and studied for it, but I already had an idea
in my head of what it was supposed to be. So, it seemed too different
WHERE DO YOU GO TO COME UP WITH YOUR CHARACTERS?
GLOVER: Well, there's different ways that I'll go about doing
things. I studied the process. My father [Bruce
Glover] is an acting teacher and I started studying acting
when I was fifteen, but I didn't study with my father. I studied
from fifteen to twenty and there are ways, there are various ways
of getting into your own things, a little bit of something from
your own self that can be good, or there's imagination, what if
something happens, and just different things. In this particular
film, have you seen it,good, good, I'm glad, but there was a lot
of emotional stuff that I had in the film that was written in
the script, not actually, not absolutely every scene that I had.
I'm not a particularly cheerful person, I'm not cheerful [<-
hahahahahaha I love that ], really, but it was written in the
script that there was a lot of cheerfulness and sometimes, when
I read that, I think that it's not good writing and it doesn't
necessarily make a lot sense to the character, but I did think
that it made sense for this, but I talked to Glenn [Morgan] about
it because I think that there can be something bad about that
writing for actors when it's written that because it can make
for a forced kind of thing, and I really don't like that. So,
I said to Glen, 'You know, I'd rather that there was a little
bit of real emotion than a lot of fake emotion,' and he said that
he totally agreed with that. He had written these cheerful things
for studio people to kind of understand what was going on, but
at the same time, while I felt that he was okay with that, I also
felt, 'Well, this is a sad person. There's a reason that the rats
become a true bond,' and so, it made sense to really get into
that. I didn't know what I would or wouldn't be able to do necessarily,
and I haven't on film done a lot of emotional work like that.
I've done stuff in acting class when I was a teenager, but it's
different because you don't have to
match necessarily whereas on a film set, you do. That was hard
work. That takes a lot of hard concentration and I did work on
that stuff, and I am proud of that stuff. That's one of the reasons
that I'm really, while I watching the film, I'm excited about
it. I feel good about the performance.
DID YOU STAY IN CHARACTER FOR THE WHOLE SHOOT?
GLOVER: Well, I did have to, this kind of thing where people talk
about method acting and staying in character and it's kind of
an easy media shorthand for something, and I understand the value
of those things, and I do think that one of the best ways of getting
stuff is the so called staying in character, but I think that
there can also be a difficulty with that too where you need to
communicate with people and you need to deal with people on a
very straightforward basis and I personally, if I felt that I
was being offensive to someone, it would distract me from the
concentration of what I needed to be dealing with in the scenes.
So, it would take me out of the situation, but what I did very
much have to do while I was working on that, because like I said,
I'm not really truly a cheerful person, is that there are certain
people, friends of mine that I couldn't talk to. My sense of humor
is more, I don't know, dark or something [ Ya think folks? Genius'
often come off a tad bizarre
-EM] , mean, and so, I'll tend
to laugh about certain things, but I felt like I couldn't really
get into that part of my thinking because if I did, I wouldn't
be able to feel a certain way or something. As Willard, I would
be feeling that I would be the first person that I would be laughed
at and I had to go to these stakes and I would've felt untrue
about it. So, that I did have to concentrate on. I stayed to myself
a lot and concentrated on that stuff.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH ALL THE RATS?
GLOVER: Well, the rats are great, actually. I really liked them.
They were so well trained. I was really impressed with that because
there was a cat and a dog in the film as well and those were actually
much more difficult to work with than the rats because a cat and
a dog, if you think about the heritage, they've been around human's
for millions of years. Hmm, actually, I don't know if it's millions-
I think so. I think that they have founds bones of cats and dogs,
those animals are domesticated and used to just kind
of being fed for being around. I mean, certainly, there are dogs
that are trained to hunt and point and things like that, and that's
a specific kind of training, but rats on the other hand, they
scurry for food and they're not domesticated animals primarily,
and so, for, well, millions of years, they've developed as these
things that have to go in patterns. So, with the food rewards
they were able to make the rats go in specific patters up and
down my arm to a certain point, into a coffin and these were during
very emotional scenes for me and I know that they knew that. The
trainers were sensitive
to that too, and these rats did it perfectly every time. There
would be some that would sit,
like, in that suicide scene that I had, the rat is on my shoulder
and there was one that was sitting on my shoulder and then, I
froze at the point when the rat was supposed to come down, they
cut away to something, but the easiest way for me to do it was
just to stay in this state and then, the trainer came and put
the other rats on my shoulder and then, the camera is rolling
the whole time and then, the rat runs down and I continue the
scene. So, they were
NOW, YOU HAVE A BOOK TOO?
GLOVER: Yeah, and I'm mad too because I usually have my books
Eruptions Link for titles and list ] with me and I forgot
them. I'm proud of those books, and it's a funny coincidence that
in this movie, I publish books.
WAS THERE A PREVIOUS INTEREST IN RATS?
GLOVER: No, I made most of my published four of those books, or
four different books, and 'Rat Catching' was the first one that
was published, but I've made other books. I think that I've made
about close to twenty and all during the eighties, early to late
eighties. I think that a couple of them, I published in the nineties,
but I made all of them in the eighties and they
were all old clips from the eighteen hundreds. I just found a
book called [? inaudible]. It had the same basic cover as what
my book is and it didn't have any illustrations in it, and then,
I put illustrations and such in it, but it was just an interesting
cover and I did the book and I gathered images that I thought
were good for the book. [ I ordered this one
.for my own
QUESTION: HOW YOUNG WERE YOU WHEN YOU KNEW THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED
I started becoming interested at about eleven and then, I got
an agent when I was thirteen and then, my first professional job.
I actually got a job when I was thirteen, a Coca-Cola commercial
and I almost never get the stomach flu and I wasn't nervous about
it, I really wanted to do it and I'm still kind of frustrated
that I got the stomach flu that day, and I couldn't do my first
job. My second job was that I did 'The Sound Of Music' at the
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with Doris Henderson when I was fourteen
and then, I went to San Francisco and did it there, and that was
fine. I liked it.
YOU NEVER HAD A PLAN B FOR LIFE?
GLOVER: No, I knew that it was something that I would be able
to do professionally. Actually, it was almost more that. I mean,
certainly it was a drive, but also, something that I knew that
I would be able to do. Although, I'm not an extrovert [Hmm
a thunk it], really, which is what most personality types of actors
are. So, there are ways that if I have an idea or something that
interests me of bringing it forth that works, but I'm more of
an introvert by nature.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ACTUALLY ABOUT FOR YOU?
GLOVER: As far as what the movie means, I mean, I have my interpretations
of it, but I always feel guilty about. I've been making my own
films as well. I've made two small films. One is called 'What
is It' and another is called 'Everything Is Fine', those are the
feature length films that I've produced and directed myself. It's
taken years to make them and neither one of them are out yet,
but they're actually sequels to one another and the second one
is the sequel to the first one was written by a fella who had
Cerebral Palsy and he's not well. Cerebral Palsy isn't degenerative,
but he would choke on his own saliva and get lung difficulties.
He was sixty two and I needed to get the film done before he
died about a month after we finished shooting, within the month
that we finished shooting the film, but that's also made it difficult,
and I had do that. I had to finish the other film before that
one. Anyhow, I went into that because you asked about the interpretation,
I like to, when I'm talking about my own films that I've made,
and produced or directed and written, I like talking about what
they're about because I'm the filmmaker. I feel guilty about talking
about it as an actor because an actor is an interpreter of the
film. So, I mean, on some levels, I don't mind talking about it,
but on some level, I feel like there's a tradition in the American
media to ask actors what the movies are about, but it
always seems wrong. It seems like [Laughs] the directors and the
writers only often see an actor quoted in what a movie is about.
THEY WERE THE ONES WHO TOLD ME THAT YOU CAME UP WITH THE UNDERTONES
OF THIS AND THE PROJECTIONS?
GLOVER: Glen said that? I did think that, but I think that was
in the writing. I don't remember. I think that he said that that
was on his mind and I don't know, that's the other thing, I haven't
seen the absolute final film, but I mean, I know basically we
shot another end for it which I believe you saw last night, where
I'm in the room with the rat in the end. We shot that in January.
Originally, I was killed in the end with the rats, but because
of little things like that and little editing things, all those
little things can change what even small psychological undertones
mean. So, I hesitate. Like, there are certain things I think were
very clear about correlations between Ben, the father, mother
Socrates, the mother, and there was a scene cut out where I found
Socrates mother dead. It's not in the film. Do you know about
that? Yeah well, there is the scene where I bring Socrates back
to the family and later on, there was a scene where I
found the mother's body, but the correlations may still be there,
but I've got to sit and look at the film, and say, 'Okay, I see
these correlations.' I thought that the script was good in that
it had those. It felt to me that Glen had some thoughts about
that, and I do like that. That's good because I'm still curious
as to what the reaction of the film is going to be. I'm excited
about it. I really like old films. I kind of like esoteric films
and I don't know, and there was an R rated of the film, which
was the first version of the film and I really, immediately liked
that a lot and then, there was a PG-13 cut that I didn't like
and then, the last cut which I think is what you saw, I saw before
the new ending. I've seen the new end, but I haven't seen it altogether,
but I did like the last PG-13 cut that I saw.
ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY KINDS OF PRECONCEPTIONS OF YOU AND HOW DO
YOU DISPEL THOSE?
GLOVER: Sure, and well, I don't really try and dispel it. I just,
because on some level [laughter] or on a big level, I'm part of
how it's come about, [ hey, he's cute and honest folks!] and especially
when I first started doing publicity was right after, initially,
I didn't want to do any
publicity. My plan was to never to any kind of publicity as an
actor, and I didn't any publicity. 'Back To The Future' was really
the first opportunity to do publicity and I didn't do any and
when 'River's Edge', it became apparent that it probably made
sense for me to be the main spokesman at the time for that film
and I was proud of the film and I could see that it was a good
idea for me to do it, but I was also quite interested, and I've
always been interested in art and artful elements and probably
bringing artful elements within media and people having done that
and kind of taking art out of those specific categories; art in
the museums, art in the films, art in the songs, but I also realize
that that can be confusing as well if you do that kind of thing.
So, I admire that a lot. I like it when people do that, and so,
I like that. I don't deny or promote anything one way or another
about it, but right now, what I'm interested in doing in media
is using the artful element of being specific that in this, here
I'm doing the art when I'm directing this, or here I'm doing the
art when I'm recording this or here I'm doing the art. I recorded
the song 'Ben' for the end of the film. I just directed a video
for that yesterday and the day before which needs to be edited
for next Wednesday, but I'm excited about it actually. I produced
the song as well. I produced it, but Glen had told me that there
was an accordion in it and we had one thing that thecomposer put
together and we incorporated that into the song. So, it would
correlate to work within the rest of the film.
WERE YOU INVOLVED IN SINGING A SONG FOR THE FILM?
GLOVER: Glen kind of mentioned something, 'Oh, you should sing
the song.' I think that he knew that I had a record out in the
eighties and I immediately thought that it was a good idea. I
had recorded another record that, because of the films, I've really
gotten sidetracked. My energy has gone into making the films and
I haven't put the record out, but I had actually said to my co-producer
that I was working with on that record, a long time before, I
that it would be good to record that song. It fit for the concept
of this other album, but we
didn't, and I doubled checked with them afterwards because I couldn't
remember if I'd really though that or not after Glen had said
that, and I talked to the guy and I said, 'Did I suggest that,'
and he said, 'Yeah, you did.' It's funny.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH LAURA ELENA HARRING?
GLOVER: Sure, she was really great. What I really thought was
important for that character was an empathy and she has that quality
about her, and so, I thought that was really good. She was really
helpful and nice to work with. Both her and Lee Ermey were helpful
to me for the character and both great to work with.
that's what they sent me. Nice huh? Yeppo. Willard's
great. It's old fashioned horror at its best. More about madness
and solitude really - that whole "what if" factor -
rather than blood and gore.
summer promises to be crisp. What with Glover's return as "The
Thin Man" in Charlie's Angels Full Throttle and Willard
showcasing his abilties in every frame. Maybe now we'll be privy
to his directorial avant-garde "little" films? He described
his snail torture/psyche journey, What
as "Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests
are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home. As tormented by
an hubristic, racist inner psyche." Could it sound more intriguing?
That would be a big no siree Bob there fella!
Treat Kids! Crispin's musical production of "Ben" Here