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  • Rev Horror

Gianni Capaldi Interview (Actor, Writer, Damaged)

The Horror Revolution: First off, what's your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?

Gianni Capaldi: My favorite horror movie is probably a classic like The Exorcist or Poltergeist. To be honest, I am more into thriller type horrors such as Se7en, The Bone Collector, etc. or else I'm sleeping with the lights on at night!

THR: Damaged was a really interesting serial killer/noir flick, and it had one of the best twists I've seen this year. What inspired the film?

GC: To be honest, I'm a big fan of this genre. Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, The Bone Collector, and Zodiac have always inspired me to do something in this vein. Keeping a suspenseful story and never letting the audience get too comfortable makes Damaged something special with its twists and turns.

THR: You starred in the film as well, which must be awesome for a film that you co-wrote. Is it more or less difficult to act in a film that you helped create as opposed to one where you were cast for a previously-existing role? Is there an advantage to understanding fully the intentions behind a scene because you were the one who wrote the script for it?

GC: I have to say, with being involved in the writing, it helped me a great deal understand the subtle notes that had to be hit within each scene. It was a blessed opportunity for me to share the platform with Samuel Jackson. I believe the contrasting characters we brought to the table very much helped carry the movie from scene to scene. There are some strong similarities between Se7en's Pitt and Freeman to our dynamics. It was a true mix of colorful characters: Vincent Cassell, John Hannah, and Kate Dickie made the casting palette very entertaining.

THR: Damaged took place in your native Scotland, a land of gorgeous scenery and amazing historical significance. Is there more meaning for you when you shoot a film in your home country, or are all location shoots similar?

GC: To be able to shoot this movie in Scotland was an added bonus. I'm so used to the Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama shoots that any time I get a chance to shoot in Europe I feel my excitement levels are raised. Scotland is historic, cultural and unique. Was an opportunity to show some traits and characteristics of Scotland to the world. Whether it's the scene between Brian McCardie and myself showing true gritty Scottish dialogue between us or even just talking about Celtic football club, these were true reflections of authentic life there.

THR: Samuel L. Jackson (one of my personal favorites) and Vincent Cassell starred alongside you in the film. What were the three of you able to learn from each other while shooting Damaged?

GC: Samuel was just a plethora of talent. He was on it. He brought a predestined vision to each scene and I learned fast that you do the same and with Sam doing what he does best the scene will find its feet and run. Just never be scared to try something new. Vincent, also another heavy hitter of talent in abundance, was a different style. He is so grounded and solid as an actor. He and I had some intense scenes together and we both just let the chips fall and when you trust each other in a scene, it will work out well.

THR: One of your previous films, Rottentail, was recently screened on The Last Drive-in With Joe Bob Briggs. How cool is it to have the horror community rewatch the film as a group, and do you have any fun stories from filming Rottentail? What an absolutely wild film!

GC: Rottentail was seven or eight years ago. Had the pleasure to work on a movie based on a comic book. It was a fun experience as everything was over-the-top and something entirely different. Playing a crazy comedic scientist has to be in your repertoire.

THR: Are you drawn to horror as a genre in general, or are there other genres you prefer to work within more?

GC: Look, I'm open to all genres. Nightworld in Bulgaria was one of my favorite horrors to work on. Thrillers are probably my favorite, especially crime dramas.

THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

GC: Daniel Day Lewis, Matthew Vaughn, Clint Eastwood, Guy Ritchie, Martin Scorsese, Katherine Hardwicke, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino to name a few. Just sheer masterclasses within their genre. Maybe one day...

THR: What's next for you? Are there any exciting projects that you can talk about?

GC: Yes, I shot a cracking Western at the end of 2023 in Montana called Unholy Trinity, starring alongside Samuel Jackson and Pierce Brosnan to name but a few. Was a truly good ensemble tale of individuals striving to fulfill their goals whether it be redemption or gold. I'm looking forward to it being released.

THR: Finally, why is the number 11 not pronounced onety-one?

GC: Because if you multiply one by the number of ones, so 2 times 1, equals 2 and then add the remaining one so 2 plus 1, it's the number 23! It's everywhere! Just ask Jim Carrey...

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