An Interview with the Anti-Stepford Husband Cliff, Craig Jackson

Craig Jackson plays Cliff, one half of the psychotic couple of Cliff and Domi, these are two people you wouldn’t want to hitch a ride from in Blood Drive, but you might have a blast if they picked you up Craig and Jenny. Let’s see what Craig and I talked about and decided to share with you guys!


HMF: Here is the one everyone knows is coming. What is your favorite Horror Movie?


CJ: It has to be between “The Exorcist” and “The Fly”. I watched them when I was very young and they have scarred me for life.


HMF: When did you first discover acting was it for you?


CJ: I loved performing little shows for my friends and family when I was young. I stopped performing when I was a teenager and I focused more on making my friends laugh at school. It took a fantastic English teacher, who told me to channel that energy on the stage. Next thing I knew I was playing Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello and I was hooked!
HMF: Who were you biggest influences in acting?


CJ: I was obsessed with Peter Sellers and “The Goon Show” (A 1950’s radio show)  from the age of 10. I would listen to “The Goons” and let my imagination run wild. That’s the beauty of radio. Watching Peter Sellers’ visually was delight too. His physical comedy as well as his creation of different characters was genius!


HMF: What was the transition like switching from theater to film and Television?


CJ: It was pretty smooth. After leaving Drama school, I hadn’t trained a lot in the medium of film and television. I remember my first professional audition for a movie and the casting director just said, “you’re too big and stop acting!”. I took that note and worked at it.  I used to prefer Theatre to Film/Television, but that’s changed. I love the fact that you can try something spontaneous on film/television and if it works and they like it, that moment has been captured forever!
HMF: Do you ever return to the stage? If so what was your most recent production?


CJ: I am currently doing the West End Hit, “The Play That Goes Wrong” in South Africa. I haven’t been on stage for 7 years so I’m shaking off the cobwebs. I’ve missed performing to a live audience, as opposed to a dead audience. I find the dead audiences’  very  unappreciative and a lot quieter than live audiences’!
HMF: How has the experience of Blood Drive compared to other television and film roles you’ve had?


CJ: I had just come off 3 years of “Black Sails” which was absolutely amazing. To be honest, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to my “Black Sails’ experience; but I had nothing to fear! We had such a great team and I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time! The show was SO out there and the directors/producers/writers gave you room to play and if you went too far they’d pull you back, which I love! I was very lucky to work with such a talented and supportive team and I think that translates onto the screen.


HMF: Was Cliff your first choice on Blood Drive, and what attracted you to the role?


CJ: The casting director put me forward for Cliff and I’m so glad she did!  Who wouldn’t want to play a ball busted whipping boy with lots of impotent rage. Oh! Who is also a psychopath! James Roland created such great characters in Cliff and Domi. When have such great writing to work off, it makes the process so much easier and enjoyable.
HMF: I love watching you and Jenny interact on the show as Cliff and Domi. How did you prepare for the role and how did you keep the chemistry so fun (and violent) between you?


CJ: Jenny and I got each other from the start.  We immediately, sat down and chatted about our characters and their backstory. Jenny lives in Cape Town and I live in Johannesburg and we would constantly send each other messages with ideas and general banter. We eventually started calling each other  “work husband” and  “work wife”. When you have chemistry like that, the process becomes hugely rewarding and you find deeper subtext in your character.
HMF: Of all the racers in the Blood Drive, Cliff and Domi appear very out of place. What has been the Bleeders reaction to the Disarming Duo?


CJ: Jenny and I felt very out of place. We looked like we’d walked onto the wrong set. But it added to our process in creating these characters, who lived in their own little crazy world. The #Bleeders reaction has been astonishing. I’m really glad Cliff and Domi struck a cord with the Bleeders. The appreciation of the fans on Twitter and Facebook makes what we do so much more rewarding! If the viewers don’t like what you do, whats the point?
HMF: What is it like being the couple that drives the man-eating Prius?

CJ: Emasculating! I was genuinely jealous of the other cast members and their cars! Just imagine how angry Cliff was! He had no choice. As a man who has been married for many years, you have to pick your battles in a relationship. Poor old Cliff has never won one!
HMF: What’s next for Cliff?


CJ: If I told you that, I’d have to kill you!
HMF: What can we expect from Craig Jackson after this season of Blood Drive is over?


CJ: Lots of stage work in South Africa. I’m in the process of getting an overseas agent, so hopefully you’ll see me more of me on your screens. Thanks again for all the Blood Drive love and support!!! You guys rock! Oh!… All the best for the wedding, Scott! Just don’t model your marriage on Cliff and Domi’s!

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An interview with the Face of Julian Slink, Colin Cunningham

I’m really not even sure how to open this interview. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Colin Cunningham, an absolutely amazing actor, who brings his roles to life with such depth, I feel he might one day lose himself. Without further ado here is my interview with Colin Cunningham.
HMF: As always, what is your favorite horror movie?

CC: Hmmm. Let’s go with EVIL DEAD 2 and maybe BASKET CASE (freaked me out as a kid!)

HMF: I’ve seen a number of credits to you as a Director and Actor. What was it that gave you the film bug to begin with?

CC: I grew up in that age of television where there was very little actually on it. At midnight/1am Ray Charles would sing ‘America’ and the screen went black. That was it. That said, much of the ‘content’ that did play were reruns of old movies. Fortunately for me, they were all the movies that my Father grew up with. So, we spend hours watching them all. Started with The Little Rascals, Abbot and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing, etc. then moved into the big stuff. By the time I got to film school, and seen everything there was to see.

HMF: Who were you biggest influences getting into film and television?

CC: (Aside from my Dad.) Director Hal Roach. The Our Gang/Little Rascals serials started it all for me.

HMF: You’re no newcomer when it comes to Horror and Science Fiction. What has been your most memorable role pre-Blood Drive?

CC: John Pope (Falling Skies) for sure. What a great character that was.

HMF: How has acting on Blood Drive been different from other productions you’ve worked on?

CC: It was mind glowingly difficult. Never, have I worked so hard on a character. What made it different, perhaps the fact that they actually let me. Meaning, I was truly able to ‘work’. Untethered. More often than not, there’s some idiot on the set clipping your wings or cutting off your balls. Not on Blood Drive. It was incredibly collaborative. James Roland and David Straiton created a ‘company’ of artists. Not a typical cast and crew.

HMF: Was Julian Slink your first role choice?

CC: Slink was my only choice. Unfortunately, I wasn’t theirs! The part was actually offered to two other actors (who passed for one reason or another) before it came back my way. James actually wrote the part for Doug Jones! (who’d have been perfect in my opinion.) Love you Doug.

HMF: Do you have any fun stories to share about your audition?

CC: Only that I shot and edited it myself. I knew I was going to go all out. Wardrobe, make up, everything. And I really didn’t feel like driving into Hollywood with all the gear on to sit in some waiting room with other ‘actors’. I didn’t want to directed or coached. It was a take it or leave it kind of thing. So I just shot my own audition.

HMF: On an average day what is your process for becoming Julian Slink?

CC:That all starts with James Roland. The words on the page. I guess the thing about Slink is that I just really understood him. Only it was unbelievably challenging as he’s not just ‘one’ guy. He’s a hundred guys. He’s one guy with Grace, another with Heart, another with Rasher, another Back Stage, another ON STAGE. He’s so many people. I’ve often said, there are many good actors out there that could have played him brilliantly, I just think I understood him more. I’ve never known a character to be so incredibly complex, and yet, I completely understood him. I knew who he was deep down and that much of his ‘persona’ was, in fact, a lie. But the panache’ and bravado, was all grounded in some kind of pain. The problem was, I wasn’t sure if I actually had the ability to pull him off. It was an almost impossible undertaking for me.

HMF: Without a doubt the Master of Mayhem is certifiably balls-to-the-wall nuts. How much of yourself goes into this role?

CC: Although I gave it everything. I have to think that’s there’s actually very little of ‘me’ in it. But Slink IS James Roland. An incredibly twisted, mind bending version of him. But I think Slink, James and myself all have a some very personal things in common.

HMF: Now I normally don’t do much in the way of “what if” questions, yet I have to ask, if Slink we’re taking part in the Blood Drive, what would he drive?

CC: Oh without a doubt. A 1975 AMC PACER (SUNDOWNER EDITION.) As it came with a roof rack. It also had the deeper shag carpet, like the Limited. 18 oz. vs. the stock 12oz. 🙂

HMF: You obviously have great chemistry with a lot of the other cast. What do you do to maintain that chemistry with them?

CC: Well, the compliment is appreciated. Unfortunately, that is something you can only hope for. If things click, great! But, you can’t learn it, teach it or even work for it. It’s either there or it ain’t. You hope. Great cast.

HMF: Even though this show give us a clear meaning of expect the unexpected, what might we expect out of Julian Slink in the future?

CC: He’s scheduled to take over as HOST of THE FAMILY FEUD (once Steve Harvey’s contract is up.) Heart Enterprises owns the show. 🙂

HMF? What’s next for Colin Cunningham after this season of Blood Drive?

CC: A Second Season of Blood Drive? If not, I go back to auditioning for Doctor, Cop and Vampire shows. 😞

That wraps up my conversation with Colin Cunningham. However, you guys will be in for a treat as soon as I get everything together so keep looking for that. You’ll know exactly what I mean when it gets posted.

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