And if that were not enough, Staci Wilson from Horror.About.com posted her Top 10 Bad Dads & Gruesome Grads . He stands out in the list. As Mr. Perkins explains it, "The character I played in KatieBird, Merl "Daddy" Wilkins, came in #9. Not bad when you consider Jack Nicholson was #1."
Not bad indeed. One look at Mr. Perkins is enough for me. The man is certifiable, definitely. He is also gracious enough to take time away from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our Blogcritics horror-head readers.
BC: In Carnies, you play Professor James Algonquin. Can you describe your approach to creating the character, and any challenges you faced that made you rethink or adjust that approach while filming?
LP: That's a great question. The director, Brian Corder, really gave me the green light to create something out there. It was great to have that freedom, because I had been doing all this press about my character Merl “Daddy” Wilkins in KatieBird *Certifiable Crazy Person, and I needed a break. I needed to do something as far away as I could from a serial-killing dad, so the Professor turned into to a very bumbling type of character, who was kind of the outcast of the carnies, if you can imagine that. But during shooting, I soon realized what I had planned was not going to work. Fortunately, on the first take in my first scene, the table with all the pickled punks fell over. Well, not fortunately for the punks, but it gave me time to rethink what I was doing. Brian also decided to use that moment in the film, which was smart, because it added a new element and created more conflict for my character. You just have to love those happy accidents.
(BC Note: "Pickled punks" is the carny term for fetuses preserved in jars in formaldehyde. They were used as sideshow attractions. )
BC: You have a lot of TV and film experience. Which actors inspired your acting style and why?
LP: When I was younger, I used to lie in front of the TV and watch anything John Wayne and Kirk Douglas did. They had such great screen presence. For the cool factor, I loved everything Steve McQueen did. Nowadays, it's the character work of Daniel Day-Lewis or the comedic timing of Paul Giamatti. Both of these actors are at the top of their game, and every time I see them on screen, it drives me to become a better actor. And speaking of that, I'm studying with Ivana Chubbuck, who's famous for helping Halle Berry win her Oscar.
BC: You do quite a bit of precision driving and racing. What got you started in it?
LP: I played sports my whole life — a lot of stick-and-ball sports like baseball and football, along with racing go-karts. I was kind of discovered in racing and have lived and raced in Italy, England, and across the U.S. The precision driving is just an extension of that. My first big job was on Freejack. Ever since then, I've tried to keep my hand in it. Besides driving cars, I also drive boats. Which is a blast when you have the photo helicopter chasing you.
BC: Of your many bad guy roles, which one is your favorite (aside from your current role in Carnies, of course), and what makes it special?
LP: Well, the Professor isn't really a bad guy. He's more of a sad guy. There's an old film called Street Rats that I did with the pop star Mandy Moore. It never got finished due to a death in the producing team, but that character of Razor was so much fun to play. It was set in the future, and Razor was a very bad guy who really enjoyed his job of disposing of the weak. But the bad guy who has gotten me the most attention is Merl from KatieBird. Shoreline Entertainment just took that film to Cannes, where Germany went nuts for it. The role also landed me #9 on a Top 10 Bad Dad List where Jack Nicholson (The Shining) was #1. Not a bad place to be.
Thank you, Lee, and we look forward to seeing you in Carnies and JOB .
And speaking of JOB, thank you for sending along this information on the upcoming film; another horror gem to look forward to!
JOB PRESS RELEASE ………….
The Production Team behind the upcoming horror film SIN-JIN SMYTH got locked and loaded at Fangoria's 'Weekend of Horrors' show in Los Angeles (06-06) and officially announced that SNAPKICK PRODUCTIONS INC. (An independent production outfit based on The Warner Hollywood Lot) and brothers John Gray and Spencer Gray are behind the much talked about film 'JOB' (as in the book of).
The film, based on a sinister plot involving the gruesome disappearance of several priests who run a remote summer camp for boys, (and designed in the spirit of Halloween and Friday the 13th), has already become the source of much debate and controversy among certain religious groups in the Los Angeles area.
Director/Co-writer John Gray was unavailable for comment, but did reveal (at last week's Fangoria Convention) that he refused to take the dark subject matter and make a more passive PG-13 version of the film just to avoid any heated controversy. Saying: 'We plan to keep this one dark, and true to form for the fans of the horror genre!'
The rest of the producing team includes Lota Hadley (SIN-JIN SMYTH), and Associate Producer/Editor Travis Dultz. (SIN-JIN SMYTH). Lee Perkins (Katiebird: Certifiable Crazy Person) has locked on officially, and the company is in talks with actors Michael (Furnace) Pare and Bill (The Devils Rejects) Moseley to star.
In the mean time, check out the official site www.faithkills.com for future updates.