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.