Taylor Nichols (Actor, 1BR)
THR: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?
Taylor Nichols: No doubt about it, Night of the Living Dead. I first saw it when I was just at that age to be left home alone. I will never forget I happened to turn it on around 11pm when I was staying alone for the whole night by myself. I was maybe 13/14, and my parents were not coming home until the next day. The film starts very normal, this couple going to the cemetery and there is this anomaly and all hell breaks loose. I did not go into the house alone for maybe a year. THR: I loved you in 1BR, you were delightfully menacing. How different is your character from your personality in real life? To be honest, I’m hoping your answer is “a lot.”
TN: Jerry is just trying to do what he thinks is best. I do believe that as actors it is not our job to judge our characters. That is the audience’s job. Our job is to find the truth and in this case--we do live in a crazy world--and the safety of our little community is the antidote to the tech driven, social media world that consumes so many weak people. THR: Did you know that you were going to be the villain when you accepted the role? And did you view yourself as a villain or was it easy to identify with a lot of the values that Jerry espoused?
TN: Again, I don’t think Jerry is the villain. But yes, I did read the script and knew the of the story. David, the writer/director was very open to my ideas and thoughts on both my character and the story as a whole. Cults have alway fascinated and scared the hell out of me. I remember being in New York when I was in my mid to late 20’s and a friend tried to get me to join EST, it was called The Program or something at the time. I was being pressured… not like in 1BR… they wanted me to pay money to take all these self help classes and luckily I was broke. I walked away. They, and my ex-friend were pissed. THR: What are the difficulties in playing such a complex character, one who is outwardly evil to the audience but who seems to genuinely care about the people that he’s abusing?
TN: Complex character is the key word in your question. And that is all due to David Marmor. Jerry is not outwardly evil, he, I, am just doing what is necessary, and for me, that is what makes the movie work. Complex characters are what we live for. Otherwise we are just doing cookie-cutter stero-type roles on TV. Thanks to David and Alok for having faith in this story. THR: You’ve acted in so many of my favorite movies and television shows, from The American President to ER and Friday Night Lights. Do you have a role or a performance that was your favorite?
TN: I have been lucky to work with so many wonderful actors and directors. I got to work closely with Angela Lansbury, James Garner, Shelley Winters and Charleston Heston. That is a Murder’s Row of great actors and stars from the golden age of Hollywood. But a favorite role or film is very hard to pin down. I have to say the current film I am working on at any given time. That is where my focus is and where my paycheck comes from. To be honest, one of my most engaging roles was on a tv show, Sleeper Cell. I played a horrible white supremacist… so much for not judging our characters. There are so many factors that go into choosing a favorite role, the director, other cast members and the crew. When all those things align one is bound to have a good time and make good art. THR: What was it like working with America’s greatest living actor, Vin Diesel, in Boiler Room?
TN: Boiler Room was a great project to work on, we were all so excited to be doing it. Great script, great director, Ben Younger, and Team Todd producing. An amazing cast. Not just Vin, but Ben A. Giovanni, Nicky, Scott, and so many more I am not mentioning. At the time we shot that film, Vin was just a hard working actor doing his best. I remember the first table read everyone killed it, it was a very exciting environment. Now if I could just get into one of those Fast movies. THR: Do you have a genre that’s your favorite? You’ve been in a little bit of everything, but very few seem to be particularly horror or horror-adjacent.
TN: Indie films are my thing. That is where I feel I have the most freedom to explore and create. No overbearing time or money constraint. Writer/directors are more often open to discussing choices and I love the idea that you never know where the film may end up. Metropolitan, a film I did 30 years ago, went to the Oscars and is still playing yearly at the American Cinematic. Who would have thought 1BR would be a hit. So I don’t pick projects based on the genre, I look for interesting characters and stories. THR: What inspires you as an actor, and what made you want to become an actor in the first place?
TN: Other actors inspire me. I often ask myself if I could play some role as well as someone else did in a certain film. And when I think i can’t match that actor's (both male and female)work, I am inspired to push myself further and work harder. And scared that I might find myself in a role that someone else would do better. I never want to feel that so I keep working. THR: What do you look for when considering a role?
TN: Money. No seriously… a good drive or objective. What do I want in this film, why are we telling this story? That and a good director who I know will protect me and inspire me. Actors have to feel safe to fail on the set. THR: What’s coming up next for you? Are there any projects you’re excited to talk about?
TN: I just finished a feature called Goldmine. It is a sci-fi western. Really fun to do, I like riding horses. We started shooting it soon after the horrible crime, accident on Rust. So we were a little skittish at first, but the directors Matt Marder and Adam Cohen did a great job of keeping the set safe and everyone focused at the task at hand. And the result is a pretty good film… I hope. THR: Finally, if you were given an unlimited amount of money, how many garden gnomes would you own and what would you do with them?
TN: OMG. I did a play about Garden Gnomes (ok, not about them, but with them) and I hate those little bastards. So zero is the number I would buy and if by some bizarre chance one ended up in my yard I would run over it with a truck.