Exclusive: Interview with Tony Todd from Hatchet II
Posted by: J.A. Hamilton
To celebrate the release of his latest film HATCHET II, Tony Todd was kind enough to sit down and talk to Flix66.com about the film and other projects. HATCHET II is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Flix66.com: I want to start by saying thank you Tony for taking the time to sit down with us. I loved Reverend Zombie in the first HATCHET and wished he’d gotten more screen time, I guess I’ll get my wish after all. So how did the good reverend end up in Victor’s Swamp, you’d think he’d know better?
Tony Todd: Well, when I did the first one Adam [Green] assured me that there’d be a juicier role in the second one and not only did he keep his word, I saw the script and was like, damn Adam, I talk an awful lot in this one. And we just figured out a way to make him human as well as gothic.
Flix66.com: Are you somehow connected to any of the back story? Or is it just you guys going in to hunt him?
Tony Todd: Did you see the second film?
Flix66.com: No, not yet but I did see a clip with you in it so I know a little bit about what you’re up to.
Tony Todd: Well, it takes place the very next morning where the first one leaves off. So Marybeth, played by Danielle Harris, comes to my shop and convinces me to help her go back to the swamp and of course I do it for other ulterior motives (laughs)
Tony Todd: And next thing you know we’re deep in it. The good news is that we got to go down to New Orleans and do some real time swamp crawling but I gotta tell ya there’s nothing like being in the swamp at five in the morning surrounded by alligators (laughs)
Flix66.com: (laughs) I can imagine!
Kane [Hodder] dropped a spoiler when I asked him what his favourite kill was this time around…
Tony Todd: (laughs) No he didn’t, what did he say?
Flix66.com: Apparently you get skinned (laughs). How’d that go?
Tony Todd: (laughs evilly) Well I’m here talking to you so I guess you can tell Kane from me that it didn’t stick (laughs)
Tony Todd: One thing about this film is that there are about seventeen kills and they’re all practical, you know, special things you could pull off in someone’s garage.
Flix66.com: Right, because you guys want to keep it oldschool like you did in the first one.
Tony Todd: Yeah, yeah so we avoided CGI. We wanted practical ways to get the illusion back. I’ll give you another spoiler about Kane, at one point he’s in the swamp with probably the biggest chainsaw in history (laughs)
Tony Todd: And that’s not what he uses to skin me by the way (laughs)
Kane’s online profile picture is one of you, him and Robert Englund, I love that picture man, it’s really cool. Are you guys all pretty close?
Tony Todd: Yeah, well for me, I’m a fan too and I grew up just loving movies, not only Horror, just anything with a good story, a good beginning middle and end so for me, I had the fortune of attending the New York Horror Film Festival last year where Robert was honoured for a lifetime achievement and he’s just a cool cat.
Flix66.com: Yeah, he really seems it.
Tony Todd: And it’s just cool being in the same frame with Freddy.
Flix66.com: Well I’ll tell ya man, I still think to this day that the Candyman is one of the scariest motherf%@kers of all time, are we ever going to see him again?
Tony Todd: I totally agree. You know it’s really weird, for a film that was made eighteen years ago, there’s not a damn day that goes by that someone doesn’t yell out f!@king Candyman from the corner of the street (laughs)
Flix66.com: (laughs) I believe it.
Tony Todd: And I’m not complaining it just amazes me that after all these years it still creeps up in the back of people’s consciousness.
Flix66.com: Well he was very visceral, it was one of those things where even to this day, even in real life, you know it was a movie but every time you walk by the mirror you’re like, no, no, I’m not gonna say it (laughs)
Tony Todd: Exactly. You’d be surprised how many people call or write to me every year saying they use it at slumber parties, babysitting duties, scaring their neighbour’s kids (laughs) so I’m impressed.
So are we ever going to see him again and if so, it’d better be you and not some damn remake.
Tony Todd: Who knows, Hollywood can be a terrible beast, it’s all about the people who make money.
Flix66.com: So how do you feel about the sorry state of Horror these past few years?
Tony Todd: Yeah it’s unfortunate, but even now and then you get something that’s fresh and unexpected. There’s a great little movie that came out of England last year called THE DEAD that I had a lot of faith in. I don’t know if you’re aware of that, but look for it.
Flix66.com: I definitely will.
Tony Todd: I prefer stuff like that where the soul’s on the screen than the constant stream of remakes.
Flix66.com: I was telling Adam how much I loved MASTERS OF HORROR, what a great show and I particularly enjoyed seeing you show up in VALERIE ON THE STAIRS. That was a bad@ss episode and you looked f&!king awesome in it.
Tony Todd: I appreciate that John.
Flix66.com: How did you like the show?
Tony Todd: Well when I got that call I was really impressed and floored, I really wish that series had lasted longer than just two seasons.
Flix66.com: I KNOW, I was hoping they’d get a third one, and as a Horror fan it was amazing and one of the best Horror shows I’ve ever seen on TV.
I’m also not surprised to see you doing a lot of voice work for animation, you do have a cool voice, one that stands out, are you a fan of animated films in general?
Tony Todd: (laughs) Yeah, well I grew up a single kid man so I spent a good ten years immersed in DC and MARVEL and I just did a voiceover this week for a show on the Cartoon Network about the young Justice League of America and I got to create my first superhero, a guy named Icon so I’m really happy about that.
Flix66.com: I actually review a lot of animated films these days, I think DC and MARVEL have really upped their ante and these animated flicks just keep getting better and better.
Tony Todd: Do you still read them?
Flix66.com: I do.
Tony Todd: That’s great.
Flix66.com: I always notice if your name’s in the credits for these animated features and I’m like, Oh shit here we go.
Tony Todd: (laughs) Well that’s why I was also thrilled when Michael Bay called up and asked me to voice…
Flix66.com: THE FALLEN, yeah that was cool, I noticed that immediately and was like, that’s Tony Todd and my girlfriend’s like, who? So I was like, Candyman honey, it’s Candyman.
Tony Todd: (laughs)
Flix66.com: I also have to ask about 24, it’s one of my all time favourite shows, what was it like being a part of that cast for a season?
Tony Todd: It was terrific man, I actually did a role in season four, just one hour and so usually they have a rule where they don’t bring people back but they were having difficulty casting that role so they called me and we made it work out and next thing I knew I was flying to South Africa. Being asked to join something like 24 is an honour, the good thing about my career is that I have a lot of repeat work and I think that’s the key to longevity.
Flix66.com: What was your fondest, scariest or just plain coolest memory from working with the cast of HATCHET and HATCHET II, other than hanging out with the alligators at five am?
Tony Todd: (laughs) Well other than that, probably the last week when we went down to New Orleans and we had this tour guide that was right out of DELIVERANCE…
Tony Todd: So I had one eye on him and I kept a wild eye on the alligators (laughs) and I made sure my feet weren’t anywhere near the water but I mean, it sounds simple but these are the basic things that actors have to do.
Flix66.com: Adam’s a director with great vision and seems sincere and very down to earth as well. Are you open to working with him again down the road?
Tony Todd: He’s a genuine person; he personally lobbied me to be in the first film because I’d originally turned it down, you know, because it was only one scene.
Flix66.com: Right, that was the thing about the first one; I saw you there and wished you’d been in there more but at least you got into the second one.
Tony Todd: Yeah, he gave me redemption in the second one. He promised there’d be more to my character and I trusted him and I really appreciate that Adam’s one of those rare individuals who’s a man of his word.
Flix66.com: Yeah, it’s gotta be rare these days.
Tony Todd: Yeah, it’s a rare thing. And he came up as a fan so I really applaud him for being able to live his dream. Now he’s a hot shot Hollywood type (laughs). I’ll tell you an interesting story about when it opened in London, there was a guy who’d been stationed in Afghanistan and somehow they’d gotten a copy of HATCHET and after a day of horrors him and his unit would go back to their bunks and watch HATCHET and somehow were able to contain it. Unfortunately the guy ended up dying later but his family wrote to Adam letting him know how the little thing that we did mattered to the guy.
Flix66.com: That’s amazing.
Tony Todd: Yeah, you never know who you reach.
Flix66.com: I see you have countless projects lined up for the future any particular one your more excited about?
Tony Todd: Yeah, I did the remake, remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD ORIGINS.
Flix66.com: Yeah, I saw that, how’s that looking?
Tony Todd: It’s gonna be awesome man, lots of stop motion capture stuff and it takes place in the future in Time Square New York and the characters are the exact same characters from the original. I think it’s gonna be something special. I also did a film last year called UNBROKEN which I think is some of my best work to date.
Flix66.com: I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for both of those.
So what’s your favourite movie of all time?
Tony Todd: My favourite movie of all time? Period, all genres? Well I grew up watching all kinds of movies but my favourite Horror film of all time would probably be ROSEMARY’S BABY.
Flix66.com: Well thanks a lot for your time Tony, my brother in law in particular is very jealous that I got to talk to the Candyman. I’m looking forward to sitting down with HATCHET II and wish you nothing but luck in all your upcoming projects.
Tony Todd: Well you’re making my Friday here John, thank you man, peace.