Monster Interviews: Nicholas Vince – Pride Month

  • DS:  When did you realize you wanted to be an actor and entertainer? What engaged your interest and led you down the path of your esteemed career?
  • NV: Very early on. I took part in plays when I was at primary school. When I was 11 my English teacher, invited me to join the local amateur drama society, who were putting on evening excerpts from the books of Charles Dickens. I played all the small boys, such as Pip from Great Expectations.
  • I think what engaged my interest, was that I could use my imagination and, like all kids, I just enjoyed playing at make-believe.
  • DS: How did you become involved in the independent horror film industry? What initially drew you to horror and what’s caused you to stay?
  • NV: The first books I read from our local library when I was seven or eight years old, were the Greeks myths, which involved gods and monsters. After that, I graduated to ghost stories. Then in my mid-teens, I watched the Universal horror movies, late at night on the television. I loved the fact that except for Dracula, the “monsters,” were the good guys. Frankenstein’s Creature was a victim who was only looking for love.
  • My first independent film was, of course, Hellraiser. I got involved with that because I’d known Clive Barker for around three years and he asked me. More recently, I have met independent filmmakers at film conventions, such as London’s FrightFest, and they invited me to be part of their projects.
  • DS: You’ve garnered many fandoms from your portrayal as the Chattering Cenobite in Clive Barker’s 1987 film, Hellraiser. What’s it like being the Chatterer and working with Clive and Doug? Do you enjoy the recognition that comes with that role, or is it a bit much at times?
  • NV: It was a problematic costume and made up to work in because it was so restrictive. I couldn’t hear speak or see; which dictated the stillness of performance. Initially, Clive and I had discussed the idea that I’d be leaping around the set, like a chattering monkey. However, the design of the makeup and costume were so durable that I didn’t need to do much to make the Chatterer terrifying.
  • Working with Clive and Doug, and the rest of the casting crew, was a massive amount of the fun. I laughed so much in the green room; the sound engineer threatened to do me harm as my laughter could be heard on set and was ruining takes.
  • DS: What are your thoughts on the news of the Hellraiser reboot, which was once rumored to be done by Clive Barker, but is now said to be in the hands of writer and producer Steven S. Goyer?
  • NV: I think that the most critical element is that Clive Barker should be involved. Along with Doug as Pinhead. Clive created a vast world which many writers and artists, outside the films, have contributed new stories. I’m thinking of the Hellraiser comics and the collection of short stories Hellbound Hearts, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan. So, I believe there is a vast scope for Mr. Goyer to do something incredible and exciting, mainly if Clive Barker is at the heart of it.
  • DS: Genre fans might not know this, but you acted in only three horror films from 87′ to 90‘, before a twenty-year hiatus. You’ve only recently resurfaced over the last decade. What’s the reason behind your current resurgence?
  • NV: After we made Nightbreed, I decided to give up acting and concentrate on writing comics. As well as contributing stories to the Hellraiser and Nightbreed comics, I also wrote weekly and monthly comics for Marvel UK. Then three of those projects were canceled within a month of each other, and I found myself having to earn a living, and I ended up working in computers. Also, then, in 2012, I had a chance to leave that and return to writing and acting.
  • DS: As we celebrate Pride month in the States, what does it mean to you, and how important is it to have the LBGT community represented in the horror genre?
  • NV: As a gay man, I think it’s hugely important. It’s great to see so many LGBT characters represented in modern horror films and TV series; not just as “the pansy” who gets killed in the first reel’ or the ‘trans homicidal maniac.‘ Another favorite movie of mine is Hellbent (dir. Paul Etheredge), which is a stalk and slash film set in West Hollywood at Halloween.
  • Over the years, many people from the community have mentioned to me they found comfort in the film Nightbreed. Many of us were made to feel we were monstrous as we were LGBT, and Nightbreed is a film which celebrates the monsters and shows the real villains are the ‘normal’ people.
  • DS: Being your career has spanned nearly four decades, do you still find and take pleasure in the art, and what have you found most fulfilling about acting?
  • NV: I do still enjoy acting, as it’s always different. In the last year, I’ve played a father, a guy at a gym, a bartender and a “monster without makeup” – to quote the director when he offered me the part. What do I find most fulfilling? I like how acting is really about studying humanity. It’s about walking in another person’s shoes. Also, that, I think, helps broaden my understanding of other people. That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s always good for children to have drama lessons. Not only can the experiences help increase confidence, but they can also teach them to think of another person’s viewpoint.
  • DS: You wear a ton of hats such as Actor, Writer, Producer, Director, Author, and more. Which is your personal favorite, and which do you find most gratifying and rewarding?
  • NV: I wish, at times, that I did have a favorite as it would make life an awful lot more manageable. Moreover, later this year, the plan is to add Artist more fully to that list. However, the truth is, I enjoy all of them when they’re going well, and I wish I were doing one of the others when I’m struggling with something.
  • DS: Do you have any special upcoming projects that you’d like to let your followers know? Any future content that you’d like to share with your fans?
  • NV: I’m working on a couple of things which I’ll be able to talk about later this year.In the meantime, the feature film, Book of Monsters (dir. Stewart Sparke), in which I play the heroine’s father, was recently released by Epic Pictures and I feature in a few other films due to be hitting festivals or release later this year, For We Are Many (Hex Studios), Borley Rectory (dir. Ashley Thorpe), Heckle (dir. Martyn Pick), The Offer (dir. Chris Griffiths and Gary Smart) which is available on Amazon Prime and Fuck You Immortality (Federico Scargiali) and a couple more currently in production.
  • DS: Where can people follow you and stay up to date with what you’re doing? Are there any social media platforms you’re on more regularly than others?
  • NV: I’m most often on Facebook  and Twitter  but the most accessible way to track projects I’m working on, watch my short films and where I’ll be making appearances is on my website, nicholasvince.com, where people can also check out my store.
  • DS: As a formality, we have a final question we like to ask all of our guests. If you could pick one and only one, which would you say is your all-time favorite horror film?
  • NV: That has to be ‘The Masque of the Red Death,’ based on a couple of Edgar Allen Poe stories. It starred Vincent Price and was directed by Roger Corman. It’s a weird film with some great set pieces and asks some important moral questions about the role of God in the world’s suffering.




Posted by Donovan Smith

We want to hear your thoughts!