Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Diabolique Interview With Actor Stuart Bentley Starring In Legendary Director Herschell Gordon Lewis' BLOODMANIA

Stuart Bentley
Theatrical One Sheet Movie Poster

Conducted by: James Henry Brown III

  • How did you get started in movies?  More specifically how did you get started in horror movies?
I got started working in movies when I was in high school and I auditioned for a short film about teen alcoholism.  I did mostly stage work after that and started film work again many years later. Although it wasn’t horror specifically, my first role in a horror/genre film was as Dr. David in the short film "32", written by Jeff Migel and directed by Jesse Foster. I played a lone researcher locked away in a makeshift lab as he tried desperately to develop a vaccine for a virus that was causing the dead to return to life.  At the same time he struggled to overcome his personal demons after having lost all of his family, and colleagues to the virus. My first true horror film is "Bloodmania" where I get to revel in blood and mayhem as the lovable (?) madman "Gordo!"

  • You are a part of a movie made by a legend in gore-filled films, if he directed your segment what was it like working with Herschell Gordon Lewis? If not tell us about your Director.
Kevin Littlelight was amazing.  Right from the first audition when I walked into the room I could tell he wasn’t the cat next door. When I let the crazy out of the bag with a maniacal laugh and a huge reaction to supposedly having achieved tumescence by a little bloodletting, he practically jumped out of his chair from excitement. On set he was focused on driving everyone on both sides of the camera to fully buy in to his vision and to give the best performances we could.

  • What was the first movie you’d ever watched by Herschell Gordon Lewis?
2000 Maniacs.

  • What was it like being on the set of Bloodmania?
It was like being a part of a wonderful, slightly dysfunctional family. Everyone was excited to be there and wanted to see the very best work done in every department. The support from every single cast and crew  member was simply fantastic. And watching everyone’s gleeful excitement with each of the blood and gore effects was truly a delight!

  • After Bloodmania, where do you want to take your career?  Will you do more horror films? What other genres interest you?
Having acted in all manner of roles on stage over the last 43 years, I can’t say I have a specific genre of film, or play, or type of role that appeals to me more than another.  I love working in comedy, serious drama and farce. I always wanted to have the chance to be in a horror movie. Now having not only had that opportunity come true, but to have been given the role of the bad guy in the story, I have to say that I am humbled and honored by the experience and would not hesitate to return to this genre over and over again!

  • What do you think of the so called Hollywood horror blockbusters that are out these days?
I find some seem to be short of story and long on CGI. I have nothing against CGI per say, but prefer the visceral look and feel of practical effects.  When the actors have actual effects happening around them as they film, their performances are far more in the moment and less contrived. I think my favorite of the last few years has to be "The Cabin in the Woods." It was a treat to watch every single horror movie trope marched out in such a gleeful homage to every fright flick you’ve ever seen.  It had a delicious balance of shocks and laughs. We were literally cheering on each death as they approached; knowing full well what was going to be around the next corner.

  • What is it about horror movies that draws you to act in them?
I’d say it’s the primal nature of the emotions that are on display.  From shock and fear, to anger and wicked malevolence, the roles one gets to portray are far larger than life and allow you to go places you would otherwise never reach in a normal life. Oh… and the blood… the buckets and buckets of blood!

  • Are there any other legends of the horror genre that you would want to work with?
I would have dearly loved to get the chance to meet and work with Wes Craven. Sadly he was taken from us far too soon this past week. David Cronenberg, John Carpenter and George Romero would also be at the top of the list. When it comes right down to it, there are so many insanely talented directors out there and I would be honored to work with any of them. I am surprised we don’t have more women directing horror and hope that changes soon.

  • Do you suppose there will be more from Herschell like Bloodmania, a sequel perhaps? If so would you participate?
I would like to believe that this film will be embraced wholeheartedly by the horror world.  What we created for them in "Bloodmania" is very special and unique, and I hope they will be clamoring for more. I’d be there in a heartbeat for any sequels, or new stories from Herschell Gordon Lewis and Diabolique Films.

  • What actors of the genre, if any, have you patterned yourself after for your acting?
The best actors I have seen in horror films, are first and foremost great actors in any genre.  This is what allows them to create iconic and memorable roles in horror. I don’t pattern my work after other actors, as that simply creates a performance base on mimicry. But I do watch other great actors and actresses intently for the truth in their performances.  That honesty is what differentiates a pro from an amateur… the good from the great. A short list of those I admire and watch within the horror genre (and beyond) includes Christopher Lee, Robert England, Peter Cushing, Michael Rooker, Bruce Campbell, Lance Henriksen, Anthony Hopkins and Jeff Goldblum. But trust me… the list is far longer than this!

Read another great interview
with actress Caroline Buzanko here

 She is also featured in Director Herschell Gordon Lewis' 

It will be released in 2016 from Diabolique Films in association with HGB Entertainment.

    About Diabolique Magazine's US Correspondent James Henry Brown III                           

My name is James Henry Brown III and I'm a correspondent for DIABOLIQUE www.DiaboliqueMagazine.com. It was a pleasure to interview the talented actor Mr. Stuart Bentley who will be playing “Gordo” in the upcoming horror film, Bloodmania. I am 30 years old and have been an avid horror fan since I was four.  I have watched just about everything horror related and have even began writing horror myself.  I have a novel entitled “Gladd” coming out before the end of this year that I am extremely excited about.  It is a good old fashioned slasher novel that takes the reader on multiple emotional roller coasters before an ending that will leave you breathless.  Horror as we know it and love is slowly beginning to dwindle. The new age just doesn’t get “it”.  With movies like Bloodmania and the book that I am writing, new life will be breathed into the horror genre.

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