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Crispin Glover | Will Ya See The ID In Willard?

EXTRA Treat Kids! Crispin's musical production of "Ben" Here Realplayer or QuickTime

All right I didn't actually do this interview below…it comes from my journalist friends; to whom I now owe huge sushi meals in lieu of bags of cash or first born child! I figured you'd all want, nay need, to hear the words from Mr. Gloverinski himself. He doesn't do a whole lot of publicity and I was dying to hear about his post-production personal films; What Is It? and Everything is Fine.

But alas fate was not on our sides and schedule conflicts made it impossible for me to be at the round tables at the swanky Château they held the press event at. Hey, I'm a busy chickbabe ya know.

Crispin's one of our coolest esoterical little DNA swabs, there's still tons of questions unanswered by the lad- mostly about his unique art and projects...but kindly my spies...err...colleagues, sent me a compilation of their chats and advised my buttercup of the macabre was wearing a black velvet or corduroy suit with vest a white shirt, wide black tie and his hair is dyed pitch black…scrumptious no? He was polite, cordial and as expected, a bit "different" according to the troupe. Perhaps he and I shall meet regarding his next soiree on film…or whilst I am stalking -um- walking with my dogs in his neighborhood. Oh, I'm kidding! Hehehe.

QUESTION: ARE YOU USED TO ALL THIS PUBLICITY?
GLOVER: I'm starting to get used to it. For some reason, I've never done it. It's funny.

QUESTION: WHY DID YOU WANT TO DO WILLARD?
GLOVER: The film, I was working on another film when this script came and my agent, first my agents called and asked if I'd be interested in this. They told me that there was interest in me for this and if I'd be interested and it really sounded interesting to me and I got the script and I read it and it was a great character and I really liked it and so, I immediately said, 'Yes, I'd like to,' and the negotiations started forth. So, I'd never seen the film before that, and I was aware of it and knew kind of what it was about, but I'd never seen it, and then, I watched it after the negotiations and studied for it, but I already had an idea in my head of what it was supposed to be. So, it seemed too different to me.

QUESTION: WHERE DO YOU GO TO COME UP WITH YOUR CHARACTERS?
GLOVER: Well, there's different ways that I'll go about doing things. I studied the process. My father [Bruce Glover] is an acting teacher and I started studying acting when I was fifteen, but I didn't study with my father. I studied from fifteen to twenty and there are ways, there are various ways of getting into your own things, a little bit of something from your own self that can be good, or there's imagination, what if something happens, and just different things. In this particular film, have you seen it,good, good, I'm glad, but there was a lot of emotional stuff that I had in the film that was written in the script, not actually, not absolutely every scene that I had. I'm not a particularly cheerful person, I'm not cheerful [<- hahahahahaha I love that ], really, but it was written in the script that there was a lot of cheerfulness and sometimes, when I read that, I think that it's not good writing and it doesn't necessarily make a lot sense to the character, but I did think that it made sense for this, but I talked to Glenn [Morgan] about it because I think that there can be something bad about that writing for actors when it's written that because it can make for a forced kind of thing, and I really don't like that. So, I said to Glen, 'You know, I'd rather that there was a little bit of real emotion than a lot of fake emotion,' and he said that he totally agreed with that. He had written these cheerful things for studio people to kind of understand what was going on, but at the same time, while I felt that he was okay with that, I also felt, 'Well, this is a sad person. There's a reason that the rats become a true bond,' and so, it made sense to really get into that. I didn't know what I would or wouldn't be able to do necessarily, and I haven't on film done a lot of emotional work like that. I've done stuff in acting class when I was a teenager, but it's different because you don't have to
match necessarily whereas on a film set, you do. That was hard work. That takes a lot of hard concentration and I did work on that stuff, and I am proud of that stuff. That's one of the reasons that I'm really, while I watching the film, I'm excited about it. I feel good about the performance.

QUESTION: DID YOU STAY IN CHARACTER FOR THE WHOLE SHOOT?
GLOVER: Well, I did have to, this kind of thing where people talk about method acting and staying in character and it's kind of an easy media shorthand for something, and I understand the value of those things, and I do think that one of the best ways of getting stuff is the so called staying in character, but I think that there can also be a difficulty with that too where you need to communicate with people and you need to deal with people on a very straightforward basis and I personally, if I felt that I was being offensive to someone, it would distract me from the concentration of what I needed to be dealing with in the scenes. So, it would take me out of the situation, but what I did very much have to do while I was working on that, because like I said, I'm not really truly a cheerful person, is that there are certain people, friends of mine that I couldn't talk to. My sense of humor is more, I don't know, dark or something [ Ya think folks? Genius' often come off a tad bizarre…-EM] , mean, and so, I'll tend to laugh about certain things, but I felt like I couldn't really get into that part of my thinking because if I did, I wouldn't be able to feel a certain way or something. As Willard, I would be feeling that I would be the first person that I would be laughed at and I had to go to these stakes and I would've felt untrue about it. So, that I did have to concentrate on. I stayed to myself a lot and concentrated on that stuff.

QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH ALL THE RATS?
GLOVER: Well, the rats are great, actually. I really liked them. They were so well trained. I was really impressed with that because there was a cat and a dog in the film as well and those were actually much more difficult to work with than the rats because a cat and a dog, if you think about the heritage, they've been around human's for millions of years. Hmm, actually, I don't know if it's millions- I think so. I think that they have founds bones of cats and dogs, but so…those animals are domesticated and used to just kind of being fed for being around. I mean, certainly, there are dogs that are trained to hunt and point and things like that, and that's a specific kind of training, but rats on the other hand, they scurry for food and they're not domesticated animals primarily, and so, for, well, millions of years, they've developed as these things that have to go in patterns. So, with the food rewards they were able to make the rats go in specific patters up and down my arm to a certain point, into a coffin and these were during very emotional scenes for me and I know that they knew that. The trainers were sensitive
to that too, and these rats did it perfectly every time. There would be some that would sit,
like, in that suicide scene that I had, the rat is on my shoulder and there was one that was sitting on my shoulder and then, I froze at the point when the rat was supposed to come down, they cut away to something, but the easiest way for me to do it was just to stay in this state and then, the trainer came and put the other rats on my shoulder and then, the camera is rolling the whole time and then, the rat runs down and I continue the scene. So, they were
really great.

QUESTION: NOW, YOU HAVE A BOOK TOO?
GLOVER: Yeah, and I'm mad too because I usually have my books [ Volcanic Eruptions Link for titles and list ] with me and I forgot them. I'm proud of those books, and it's a funny coincidence that in this movie, I publish books.

QUESTION: WAS THERE A PREVIOUS INTEREST IN RATS?
GLOVER: No, I made most of my published four of those books, or four different books, and 'Rat Catching' was the first one that was published, but I've made other books. I think that I've made about close to twenty and all during the eighties, early to late eighties. I think that a couple of them, I published in the nineties, but I made all of them in the eighties and they
were all old clips from the eighteen hundreds. I just found a book called [? inaudible]. It had the same basic cover as what my book is and it didn't have any illustrations in it, and then, I put illustrations and such in it, but it was just an interesting cover and I did the book and I gathered images that I thought were good for the book. [ I ordered this one….for my own…collection]

QUESTION: HOW YOUNG WERE YOU WHEN YOU KNEW THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?

GLOVER: I started becoming interested at about eleven and then, I got an agent when I was thirteen and then, my first professional job. I actually got a job when I was thirteen, a Coca-Cola commercial and I almost never get the stomach flu and I wasn't nervous about it, I really wanted to do it and I'm still kind of frustrated that I got the stomach flu that day, and I couldn't do my first job. My second job was that I did 'The Sound Of Music' at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with Doris Henderson when I was fourteen and then, I went to San Francisco and did it there, and that was fine. I liked it.

QUESTION: YOU NEVER HAD A PLAN B FOR LIFE?
GLOVER: No, I knew that it was something that I would be able to do professionally. Actually, it was almost more that. I mean, certainly it was a drive, but also, something that I knew that I would be able to do. Although, I'm not an extrovert [Hmm…who'd a thunk it], really, which is what most personality types of actors are. So, there are ways that if I have an idea or something that interests me of bringing it forth that works, but I'm more of an introvert by nature.

QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ACTUALLY ABOUT FOR YOU?
GLOVER: As far as what the movie means, I mean, I have my interpretations of it, but I always feel guilty about. I've been making my own films as well. I've made two small films. One is called 'What is It' and another is called 'Everything Is Fine', those are the feature length films that I've produced and directed myself. It's taken years to make them and neither one of them are out yet, but they're actually sequels to one another and the second one is the sequel to the first one was written by a fella who had Cerebral Palsy and he's not well. Cerebral Palsy isn't degenerative, but he would choke on his own saliva and get lung difficulties. He was sixty two and I needed to get the film done before he…he died about a month after we finished shooting, within the month that we finished shooting the film, but that's also made it difficult, and I had do that. I had to finish the other film before that one. Anyhow, I went into that because you asked about the interpretation, I like to, when I'm talking about my own films that I've made, and produced or directed and written, I like talking about what they're about because I'm the filmmaker. I feel guilty about talking about it as an actor because an actor is an interpreter of the film. So, I mean, on some levels, I don't mind talking about it, but on some level, I feel like there's a tradition in the American media to ask actors what the movies are about, but it
always seems wrong. It seems like [Laughs] the directors and the writers only often see an actor quoted in what a movie is about.

QUESTION: THEY WERE THE ONES WHO TOLD ME THAT YOU CAME UP WITH THE UNDERTONES OF THIS AND THE PROJECTIONS?
GLOVER: Glen said that? I did think that, but I think that was in the writing. I don't remember. I think that he said that that was on his mind and I don't know, that's the other thing, I haven't seen the absolute final film, but I mean, I know basically we shot another end for it which I believe you saw last night, where I'm in the room with the rat in the end. We shot that in January. Originally, I was killed in the end with the rats, but because of little things like that and little editing things, all those little things can change what even small psychological undertones mean. So, I hesitate. Like, there are certain things I think were very clear about correlations between Ben, the father, mother Socrates, the mother, and there was a scene cut out where I found Socrates mother dead. It's not in the film. Do you know about that? Yeah well, there is the scene where I bring Socrates back to the family and later on, there was a scene where I
found the mother's body, but the correlations may still be there, but I've got to sit and look at the film, and say, 'Okay, I see these correlations.' I thought that the script was good in that it had those. It felt to me that Glen had some thoughts about that, and I do like that. That's good because I'm still curious as to what the reaction of the film is going to be. I'm excited about it. I really like old films. I kind of like esoteric films and I don't know, and there was an R rated of the film, which was the first version of the film and I really, immediately liked that a lot and then, there was a PG-13 cut that I didn't like and then, the last cut which I think is what you saw, I saw before the new ending. I've seen the new end, but I haven't seen it altogether, but I did like the last PG-13 cut that I saw.

QUESTION: ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY KINDS OF PRECONCEPTIONS OF YOU AND HOW DO YOU DISPEL THOSE?
GLOVER: Sure, and well, I don't really try and dispel it. I just, because on some level [laughter] or on a big level, I'm part of how it's come about, [ hey, he's cute and honest folks!] and especially when I first started doing publicity was right after, initially, I didn't want to do any
publicity. My plan was to never to any kind of publicity as an actor, and I didn't any publicity. 'Back To The Future' was really the first opportunity to do publicity and I didn't do any and when 'River's Edge', it became apparent that it probably made sense for me to be the main spokesman at the time for that film and I was proud of the film and I could see that it was a good idea for me to do it, but I was also quite interested, and I've always been interested in art and artful elements and probably bringing artful elements within media and people having done that and kind of taking art out of those specific categories; art in the museums, art in the films, art in the songs, but I also realize that that can be confusing as well if you do that kind of thing. So, I admire that a lot. I like it when people do that, and so, I like that. I don't deny or promote anything one way or another about it, but right now, what I'm interested in doing in media is using the artful element of being specific that in this, here I'm doing the art when I'm directing this, or here I'm doing the art when I'm recording this or here I'm doing the art. I recorded the song 'Ben' for the end of the film. I just directed a video for that yesterday and the day before which needs to be edited for next Wednesday, but I'm excited about it actually. I produced the song as well. I produced it, but Glen had told me that there was an accordion in it and we had one thing that thecomposer put together and we incorporated that into the song. So, it would correlate to work within the rest of the film.

QUESTION: WERE YOU INVOLVED IN SINGING A SONG FOR THE FILM?
GLOVER: Glen kind of mentioned something, 'Oh, you should sing the song.' I think that he knew that I had a record out in the eighties and I immediately thought that it was a good idea. I had recorded another record that, because of the films, I've really gotten sidetracked. My energy has gone into making the films and I haven't put the record out, but I had actually said to my co-producer that I was working with on that record, a long time before, I always thought
that it would be good to record that song. It fit for the concept of this other album, but we
didn't, and I doubled checked with them afterwards because I couldn't remember if I'd really though that or not after Glen had said that, and I talked to the guy and I said, 'Did I suggest that,' and he said, 'Yeah, you did.' It's funny.

QUESTION: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH LAURA ELENA HARRING?
GLOVER: Sure, she was really great. What I really thought was important for that character was an empathy and she has that quality about her, and so, I thought that was really good. She was really helpful and nice to work with. Both her and Lee Ermey were helpful to me for the character and both great to work with.
END

That's it…that's what they sent me. Nice huh? Yeppo. Willard's great. It's old fashioned horror at its best. More about madness and solitude really - that whole "what if" factor - rather than blood and gore.

This summer promises to be crisp. What with Glover's return as "The Thin Man" in Charlie's Angels Full Throttle and Willard showcasing his abilties in every frame. Maybe now we'll be privy to his directorial avant-garde "little" films? He described his snail torture/psyche journey, What Is It?, as "Being the adventures of a young man whose principle interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home. As tormented by an hubristic, racist inner psyche." Could it sound more intriguing? That would be a big no siree Bob there fella!

EXTRA Treat Kids! Crispin's musical production of "Ben" Here Realplayer or QuickTime

 

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