Lew Temple (Actor, Pig Killer)
The Horror Revolution: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?
Lew Temple: I am prone to psychological thrillers, so I would have to say Rosemary's Baby is my favorite horror. I think the way it was so manipulative was very frightening. I appreciate a great reveal as well, like not over exposing the monster, or partial reveal, so that my imagination takes control.
THR: Pig Killer is your second movie with Chad Ferrin. What has your experience been like working with him?
LF: Actually it is my third film with Chad. I did Someone's Knocking for him, way back. I think he has a very unique perspective. He does not shy away from difficult material or situations to protect his audience. Chad will always take the most horrific approach. He has a good sense of humor, so he finds ways to relieve the tension in a scene with something rather light. I think that lends to his voice. He will always give you a full eye full of gore that is for sure. I find Chad to be very easy going on set, not much stress, and seems to really enjoy the process of making films. He is open to ideas, and will look to make the scene better when possible.
THR: You also had three roles in Rob Zombie’s films as well. I’ve always loved your character in The Devil’s Rejects, and your scenes with the Firefly Family are what make that film so colossally disturbing. How did you make your way into the Zombie acting troupe?
LT: Again, I have actually been in four (4) of Rob's films, if you count Super El Beasto, and I do. I was introduced to Rob Zombie through the casting process. Monkia Mickelsen, the Casting Director, brought me in to read for The Devil's Rejects. I had not ever done a horror film to this point, so the script was pretty alarming to my way of thinking. I recognized that the story was really interesting, and the characters were all so full of life. They were all so fun, and full off the page. I guess I had a good read for Rob, and then was offered to come and participate in The Devil's Rejects. I called my friend Walton Googgins, as he had worked with Rob in House of 1000 Corpses. He told me that working with Rob was a joy, and I'll have a friend for life. And that continues to be the truth.
THR: In Pig Killer, you play the brother of a serial killer. I actually thought that your character was really fleshed out for a more supporting role. What was it about the role that drew your interest?
LT: Well, I recognized that family ties are always supportive, and I wanted to present that arc. And then when the truth is clear, or someone has to take the fall, what is the exit strategy. I liked that David was a businessman, and was just trying to keep Willy on the rails. When it was impossible, David bails, and lets Willy take the fall. I think David was still able to make some commerce out of the sale of the land they owned. Also, I wanted to work with my friend, Jake Busey. I've always thought we would be a good brother duo.
THR: You’ve got a wide range of genres in your filmography. Is horror your preferred genre in which to work, or are you just down for whatever draws your interest?
LT: It is always about the story for me. I am continually looking for something different and unique. Particularly something that I have not done. I am actually drawn to westerns quite a bit. But I like to do characters that are on the fringe, and have many layers to them.. I have been fortunate to have worked in several genres, and I look to continue to do so. I don't get enough swings at comedy for my liking, so hopefully I can do some comedies soon.
THR: You’ve done a lot of conventions, which is one of my favorite things about the horror genre. I always think its fascinating that almost any horror actor is always such a huge draw for fans of the genre. Tell me a little about your experiences working conventions with the fans.
LT: I like being out amongst the audience, so that I am able to get a pulse of what the current taste is. It is always gratifying to have somebody come up and tell you they were bothered by your character, or that they were rooting for my character to succeed. We get to meet an awful lot people at the shows, and oftentimes we develop a friendship. That is really a special experience. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be out amongst the audience and invited to these shows. I like to give the folks an experience when they come to my table. I try to have a conversation, get to know them a little. Oftentimes they are a bit nervous, and I want to remove that anxiety, by finding some common ground. It is a good time.
THR: I read somewhere that you were actually a pretty accomplished baseball player. Other than the obvious, what are the differences between a career in sports and one in front of the camera? Which do you prefer?
LT: Baseball is still my first love, and always will be. I am still a huge fan. They both require discipline, and skill. You must develop a set of tools that allow you to be serviceable to the industry. I find sports to be about reps, or repetitive drills to perfect a skill. I find the arts to have a more organic approach. Maybe you don't learn your lines over and over, so that something magic can occur in the moment. I love the reality of competition in sports. It is real, not built from a script. Because of that, there is an unpredictability to sports. For that reason I might pick Baseball.
THR: What inspires you in general as an actor? Was there any particular moment in your life or film that you saw where you knew that that’s what you wanted to do?
LT: Story. A really well crafted script is exciting. I also love the build of a character, through what I call discovery. I like getting lost in the details of where a character is coming from. And then when it comes time to film, all of the wonderful information is at the disposal of the moment. It is what turns me on more than even the performance. I see so much good work in film and television. I am always moved when I see something that I just call, right. I think when I first started seeing Paul Newman movies, that is how I felt. When I first walked into a community theater in Houston, Texas, and saw what they were doing on stage, that is how I felt. Those are my people, that is where I belong.
THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
LT: Well, I think I just referenced Paul Newman, so he would be tops. Also Warren Oates. I love his character roles. Also I am really always drawn to Patricia Neal. Her work was always so perfect. I would like a chance to work with Michael Shannon, Sam Rockwell, and Chris Cooper. They are all really amazing talents, who make everything better. I am always so delighted with the choices that they always make. I would like to be in the mix with their choices, just to see how I might add.
THR: What makes you interested in a project? Is there anything in particular that you look for?
LT: Again, story. It should have the proper structure, or at least something that is so unique, that in the end, I am moved to be unable to stop thinking about it. And then how do I help to tell this story. I like the director to have a clear vision of what is possible in telling this story, but open to different interpretations. I do like the character aspect of any script. It is important for me to do something that I may not have done before, so that I am experiencing something new. That then allows the audience to experience something new in me as well.
THR: One of the most controversial topics in horror is on the subject of remakes, with some fans saying that classic horror movies should never be remade while others find value in what new technology and production values can do for an older film. I’m a HUGE fan of the original Halloween, and I think I was one of the few fans to whole-heartedly embrace Rob Zombie’s remake, in which you had a role. What is your feeling on remakes in horror?
LT: I think with Rob's remake of Halloween, we were all considerate of John Carpenter's original. We never lost sight of the fact that was the foundation of the fan base for the franchise. We just wanted to add to that legend, not improve it or demystify it, or anything that was not entirely respectful of the original. I think if you go forth with a remake in that approach, you will be accepted. You have to be mindful of the idea that comes first. If they are tackled with that mindset, I am okay with remakes. Generally remakes re-introduce the film to a younger audience. As they are updated, more modernized. This will hopefully lead to more younger fans to the original. That is the benefit of remakes, you have to grow an audience.
THR: What’s next for you? Are there any interesting projects you can tell us about?
LT: I am circling a couple of western projects, one a television show, one a film. I have a Lovecraft project that I am trying to get developed, and a Texas Fishing Story. A Big Tale. So I am excited about what happens next. Sometimes, most times...you never know what is next. You can plan everything accordingly, and something will come along, and the next thing you know, you are in Atlanta, running from Walkers.
THR: Finally, how many times does it take you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it?
That is a fantastic final question. I love songs for a long time, and come back to them often. Lets go to the Bible for the answer, Even seven times seven, turn the other cheek to your brother. That math says 49 to me. I will go with that.
Thank you for having me Rev Horror, I am hoping this finds you in continued success.