Science Fiction Filme) First of all, I would like to thank you for your time doing this Interview. I think you´ve got a huge fan base here in Germany. Especially because of your work for films like “Fright Night” or “Chucky” of course.
Tom Holland) Love Germany, love the Germans, and not “Chucky,” although I did create him, but the film was Childsplay. I would have titled it “Chucky” at the time, but no one would have known who was I was referring to. LOL. Now, no problem.
SFF.) Before you become a director you were stuck into acting. Could you please tell us something about you career. Why have you choose the way of being a director?
T.H.) When I started there was no access to film directing. I apprenticed at a summer stock theater. The only avenue that opened up to “movies” was being an actor. I went to Northwestern Theater School, spent one year there and went to NYC and got a 7 year contract to Warner Bros. as an actor.
Jack Warner himself signed me in his office. I had a successful acting career under the AKA of Tom Fielding and did everything from soaps to TV to movies. See “A Walk in the Spring Rain.” I am the juvenile.
As I worked as an actor I started to realize I would have directed the scenes different than the director. I started working with writers and directors of that time, like Jim Bridges, in the Actor’s Studio, putting on one act plays.
I realized I wanted to direct movie. The avenue than was being a writer. I became a writer of movie scripts and from that into directing my and others work.
Everybody has their own story.
SFF.) I love movies a lot. One of my very first experiences was “Alien” and “The Thing”. Is there any special event or movie which made you think: “Alright, I want to do the same thing.” Do you have any personal idols in your business?
T.H.) Psycho in horror. The first time I was aware that film was a series of edits, cuts, and that began to make it fascinating.
SFF.) Back in the 1980s you are reinventing the subgenre of vampire-movies. Many of the movies after “Fright Night” were influenced by your reanimation. A few years later you were shooting the fabulous “Chucky”. Another great horror film with elements of black humor which is also in “Fright Night”. Was it your intention to put this kind of humor in the movies?
T.H.) Yes. Both movies are fun with visual set pieces that scare or thrill you.
SFF.) In 1994 you were shooting the fantastic “The Stand” based on a novel by Stephen King. Also you´re directing “Langoliers” (which I really think it´s a highly underrated movie) and “Thinner”. Three times Stephen King, the times great movies. How did you meet him and what did you think is the fascination people have for his stories?
T.H.) I met him shooting on Langos. I did The Stand for Mick Garris, a friend who was directing. The Stand is the great epic of my generation. Langos is underrated, but growing as it’s shown more often.
I know it got big ratings for the Sci-Fi channel here.
SFF.) You were working with some famous actors like Chris Sarandon, Whoopie Goldberg, Sam Shepard or Brad Dourif. Do you have a favorite one and is there still an actor/ an actress you would like to work with and why?
T.H.) I love all of them and work with them whenever I can. Just saw Amanda Plummer at a memorial for Tobe Hooper. Sad circumstance, but I directed her in the third episode of Tales of the Crypt, and it was great to be reunited.
I’ve been blessed with terrific actors in everything I’ve done.
SFF) CGI nowadays could be a curse or a blessing. What do you think about it comparing to “old school”- films back in the days?
T.H.) You have to mix CGI with in camera affects. Over use kicks you out of the story. It’s also made it too easy. They change, erase, enhance, recolor, etc. in post. Better to do it on the spot, in the camera.
More control, your vision, so you try to do as much that way if you can.
SFF) Do you have a project you always wanted to do or are there something in progress we can enjoy in the future?
T.H.) Two Stephen King stories, Strawberry Spring, and Ten O’cloc People.
SFF) I held up with the most important question to the end: Which one of your movies is your favorite and why?
T.H.) I love all of them, even those that didn’t work and people never ask me about. Ever see The Temp? LOL They’re all my children.
Thanks for the good questions, and the best of luck to you.