An American Werewolf in Chicago: An Interview with David Naughton
by Ruben R. Rosario
David Naughton will be in attendance at Terror in The Aisles 9 at The Portage Theater in Chicago on October 21st, 2011 with “An American Werewolf in London” screening at 9 pm.
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Ruben Rosario: How are you doing this morning?
David Naughton: I’m doing alright, I’m feeling pretty good.
RR: Have you come up to Chicago before?
DN: Yeah, I’ve been there before, but not like this.
RR: Is this your first time doing an event like this?
DN: Well, I’ve done a bunch of horror conventions before and things like that but this is the first time that I’ve been a major guest of honor and it’s the only thing that’s different about this weekend.
RR: Did you know then that it would be remembered as a cult classic horror film?
DN: We were doing a lot a stuff that no one had done before and it was very interesting to be a part of that. I mean at the time, John Landis was really coming off of two movies that were pretty big and here we are in London shooting movie doing effects with Rick Baker, who at the time, had never done anything quite like that. Yet, here we are 30 years later talking about it.
RR: Was getting into the make-up for the transformation scene pretty rough?
DN: Oh man it was pretty grueling (Laughs)! For that entire scene in the film, which is only about 2 minutes of screen time, we shot for six work days just to get that on screen. It was really tough getting through all of that make up.
RR: Was each day dedicated to a portion of the transformation?
DN: Yeah, each day was sort of dedicated to a portion of the transformation.
RR: How was it working with John Landis on the film?
DN: It was a blast. John’s a really great guy and he’s got a real good sense of humor. He always kept things moving on set and it was fantastic to work with him.
RR: One of the great things about An American Werewolf in London, it’s got all of these great elements of comedy and extreme horror elements that John does very well. Was that difficult for you as an actor to balance these extreme tones in the film?
DN: That was one of the things that we talk about in terms of David’s character. He’s this guy that has this enormous flaw, that ultimately becomes his downfall because he doesn’t believe in it. Sometimes when we have to deal with some pretty scary things and we sometimes deal with them with humor and that’s what John was trying to get across in the film.
RR: How was it shooting in London?
DN: I used to live in London for a while. I attended LAMDA [London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts] and studied acting there for a bit. It felt really good to come back though and be there to be working on a big film as opposed to being just some lowly drama student.
RR: In terms of history, next to Lon Chaney playing The Wolfman, you’re pretty much next in line to be remembered for your portrayal of a Werewolf. How does that make you feel about you’re body of work?
DN: I’m just really grateful to be a part of that history, you know. I mean Rick Baker won the very first Oscar in the make-up category. Even though I had to go through tough and long hours in the make-up chair, it all seems worth it. After going toe to toe with one of the best make-up artists in the business, any other person that I get to work with now it’s like “Okay…Okay, this is nothing. This isn’t the roughest it’s been in this chair”.
RR: Well, Thank You David for your time and I hope you have a blast this weekend in Chicago.
DN: Thank You and I can’t wait to be there.
Here’s info for the upcoming Terror in the Aisles 9.
The Ultimate Horror Movie Marathon!
Friday, Oct. 21, 2011
Short films include:
Treevenge - (directed by Jason Eisener)
Tickets are $15 pre-sale, $18 at the door day of show!
Here’s a link to purchase tickets to Terror in the Aisles 9 here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/192958
For More Info visit the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/terrorintheaisles
Ruben R. Rosario is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He’s an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
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