chubbies snerd

INTERVIEW: Brian Papandrea

By Amy Lynes

Brian Papandrea headshot
It's no big secret that I am a huge fan and supporter of Indie horror. It's also no secret that I have been backing the Indie sensation Fangboner since it's inception. I recently had the pleasure of meeting the lead actor of Fangboner (and Silver Bullet Pictures film Chubbies), Brian Papandrea. And he is one hell of a guy. I jumped at the opportunity to ask for an interview. He is just too talented (and hilarious) to let the opportunity slip by.

If you haven't seen any of his films, I urge you to do so. He is a damn good actor and really complements all the films I've seen him in. He pretty much makes the film. Check them out. If you like comedy in the same vein of many Troma films, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Ladies and Gentlemen, without further adieu, I give you Brian Papandrea...

House of Tortured Souls: First off Brian, I wanna say thanks for granting me (and House of Tortured Souls) your first interview.

Let’s get started with a little bit of background for the readers. Tell me how long have you been acting and how you got your start?

Brian Papandrea: Well I suppose that depends on if you count high school plays, which was very bad acting! Like, Troll 2 bad but without any of the charm! (Laughing) And if we count that as acting then I might as well throw in skits I made with some friends and my dad's VHS camcorder years before. In that case, let's say twenty years! Yeah, that'll make me kind of sound legit, somehow.

HoTS: When did you know that you wanted to be in the industry? Was it something you figured out early on?

BP: I don't know if I've ever thought I've wanted to be in an "industry" or anything like that. I just always knew that I've wanted to perform and make movies from a very young age. I do remember one moment that I knew I wanted to pursue comedy, which was the summer of '94 and I was flipping through channels and came across this sketch show on MTV called The State. And I don't know if you're familiar with that (although if you're not YOU SHOULD BE!!) but it blew me the fuck away because it was like Saturday Night Live on whip-its!

HoTS: I am definitely familiar with it (laughing) I loved it! Tell me a little bit about how you honed your craft. Have you trained professionally?

BP: Yes, I have and I have a bachelor's degree in Theatre Performance which means I can work at any restaurant of my liking (laughs) but while I was doing that I also took classes at The Second City which gave me so much more confidence both on stage and off. It even helped with writing scripts because if I'm completely out of ideas and staring at a blank computer screen, I'll just have the characters improvise dialogue and see what happens. Seventy percent of Chubbies was written that way and we left it in cause it just happened to work!

And not knocking my training in college because I did get a lot out of it in terms of becoming a character, and understanding their thoughts and motivations and blah blah woof woof...that's really boring, tedious shit but it was very necessary that I use on every film I've worked on.

And yes, I'm aware that I play a guy named Dick in a movie called Fangboner where I have to drink blood from people's crotches to stay alive!

HoTS: I know you’ve done a few Silver Bullet Pictures films, and now Fangboner with Nathan Rumler. Is there anything else I don’t know of? What was your first role ever?

BP: The first movie I ever worked on was called The Stevie Wondershow, which actually had somewhat of a budget and was filmed in Iowa in the early summer of 2008. It was a very dry, dark comedy that was just an incredible experience. It traveled to a few festivals but never landed any distribution, unfortunately. After that I auditioned at an improv theatre and was a resident cast member there for about four years, which was awesome and consumed most of my time. And not just with improv, but I was also apart of several written shows that I am very proud of.

HoTS: All of your work in film that I have seen has all been comedic. Do you have any aspirations to take on something a little more serious in nature?

BP: Actually, months before we were going to start shooting Fangboner, I was cast in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. I've done some serious shows in college but this one I was going to play the role of Demetrius, who (along with his brother) rapes Titus' daughter then cuts off her tongue and hands. So...that was going to be something a little different for me. Of course, this show got cancelled two weeks before opening due to other actors dropping out or some shit. I don't remember. But if I can't do Shakespeare, Rumler is a good enough replacement!!

HoTS: What film was the most fun for you to be a part of? Any funny on set stories you can share?

BP: I'm having a hard time with this question...

The first half of filming the bowling ally scenes in Chubbies was an absolute nightmare! There was a blizzard going on every time we went up to shoot, we had cheap-ass lights, some effects weren't going right...nobody was having fun at all. When summer hit and we had the space scenes left to shoot, then it became fun. It was a pain in the ass shooting four scenes as one character in costume talking to an empty space, and then getting in make up for another character for four more scenes, but that was a fucking blast! I don't know if you have Chubbies or not but the BTS/outtakes on the dvd show a lot of the good time that went into making it. There's also a pretty good BTS/outtake reel on the Fangboner dvd as well.

chubbies snerd

HoTS: I have scene all the extras on both movies and you're right. It's pretty funny. So what's your background in horror? Are you a longtime horror fan and if so what was it that started you on the horror trail?

BP: I've been a fan as long as I can remember! I have an older sister who was a teenager in the 80's so she introduced me to the likes of Freddy and Chucky.

I really had an awesome childhood because when my uncle would watch us, he would take us to the video store (back when there were not one but three video stores in one plaza!!!) and he would let us rent whatever we wanted! I have so many video store memories in the horror section that I could write chapters about it. Sometimes I would just stare at all the boxes and just be in awe of everything. Especially the vhs box for The Dead Pit because every time I had to push the button to make his face glow up, and I never rented it because I was probably too scared at the time. However, a couple years ago I got it from netflix (RIP Video Express) and turned it off after fifteen or twenty minutes because it wasn't the movie at all that I imagined it was as a little six year old fucking around with a movie box. And I didn't want to ruin the magic. I don't know if that really answered your question. But for real, I could talk about horror movies all day. And Van Damme movies too!

HoTS: Who are some of the people in the industry that you look up to?

BP: Anyone who is passionate in their art. People that are humble and not a pretentious asshole (which there are plenty in the scene). I guess I'm giving vague answers... John Waters is someone that I have looked up to for a long time. Rumler and I got to see him do his X-Mas spoken word show live a couple years back.

We didn't pay the extra $100 for a bullshit meet and greet so he and I polished off a few beers at a bar next store. Then went towards the back of the building and John fucking Waters was leaving the venue. Now I've heard he is kind of a dick at meet and greets, but he was very gracious enough to stop, sign our dvds and take an individual picture with him, all while it being a snowy, 12 degree night and his taxi is waiting for him to go to the airport. I love stuff like that happening! As opposed to Tony Todd who will charge $20 for an autograph but be on his goddamn phone the entire time when meeting him. I digress, but seriously fuck Tony Todd, he sucks!

HoTS: Does acting pay the bills or do you have an “Average Joe” job that does that for you?

BP: I'm a server at a restaurant. I make very good money and they're flexible with my schedule for shooting and going to conventions. (Laughs) I tried the office job. I lasted four days.

HoTS: So what else is in the works for you? Anything new coming up soon?

BP: We have two or three projects in the early stages right now. There's going to be a winter movie that we'll start filming early December that may just be my directing debut. Then Nate (Rumler) and I are going to collaborate on a movie in the spring where I play Jesus, who gets kicked out of Heaven for being gay and is stuck on Earth. There's a lot more to it, but I'm not sure if I can give any more details out. I also have a script for a Chubbies sequel, but I'm not sure if that will get made any time soon because it's going to need a pretty decent sized budget that we have yet to work on. All in due time, though.

I'd also like to get back on stage for something, but at this rate, I have no fucking time!!

HoTS: Any future screenings planned for Fangboner? I know you had a vendor table at Motor City Nightmares back in September. How did that go for you? Were you well received?

BP: We did ok at MCN this year, however there wasn't that big of a turn out due to the fact that HorrorHound was the same weekend. We're just very excited to have a screening at our favorite convention recently, CINEMA WASTELAND! The screening went very well, it was standing room only!

We always have the greatest time at Wasteland, whether we have a screening or not, it's just a non-stop adventure and some of the coolest people you could ever be around!

As far as other screenings or conventions, we definitely want to get a table for HorrorHound in March, also Monster Mania and possibly Texas Frightmare but we'll see. Just enjoying the positive feedback we've gotten so far from it.

HoTS: I am hoping to be able to get to Monster Mania as well. Maybe I'll see you there! Alright, lastly, the premiere for the film was back in September on the 25th. How did that go? Unfortunately I was unable to attend…

BP: It was perfect! And I sorta got engaged! I proposed to my girlfriend of 3 years (Sadie Tate) who is also in Fangboner, on stage right before the movie played. Aside from that, people really dug Fangboner, which seemed like a Disney movie compared to the movie we screened before ours: James Bell's TANTRUM. And if you or your readers have seen Tantrum, you'll know what I mean.

sadie proposal

HoTS: That's awesome news man, congrats! Sadie is a sweet gal! I wish you the best of luck.

BP: Thanks! And thank you for the interview and all your incredible support thus far, Amy! It was great meeting you in person a few weeks back and hope to run into you again soon!

HoTS: I'm sure we will see each other around, Brian. Maybe even at Monster Mania! Thanks again for taking the time out to talk with me for The House of Tortured Souls. We wish you tons of success!

So there you have it, readers! I don't know about you but I for one am definitely looking forward to this future project where Mr. Papandrea plays a gay Jesus. I'm sure he will rock that role! And we will be sure to keep you up to date on the developments of said project, so stay tuned!

Posted by Alan Smithee

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