As I mentioned the other day, I got the opportunity this past weekend to do one of the coolest things this blog has ever allowed me when I got the chance to call up Troll 2/Best Worst Movie star George Hardy and do a phone interview with him, which lasted a good 40 minutes and went extremely well. Unfortunately, as I also mentioned the other day, the recording of the Skype conversation didn't turn out so well on my part, with everything I say in it sounding like the words of a barely intelligible robot with a bad case of the echoes. Finding this out was incredibly dissapointing to me considering how well it went, but i'm just grateful that I got the opportunity to chat with George, even if the end result isn't exactly what i'd hoped for. I was thinking of just transcribing the whole thing and not posting the actual audio, but i've decided instead to do both. Above and below you will find both the entire raw and uncut audio conversation as well as a transcript of the highlights from the conversation. If you want to listen to the audio, you'll find that George sounds crystal clear in it and you also may find me a bit hard to understand thanks to some sort of technical glitch, but I still think it's a good listen all around - it picks off a little bit into the call and cuts off abruptly at the end due to George's cell phone dying, but the interview was pretty much winding down at that point anyway. If you'd rather just read the transcript, which contains most but not all of what was discussed in the interview, be my guest. Either one you choose to take a peek at, I hope you enjoy listening to George Hardy and I chat about everything from the first Troll to future projects to Michael Keaton and even to plot details from the upcoming film Troll 2 : Part 2 that was hinted at at the end of Best Worst Movie. As far as I know, no other site on the net has gotten this scoop yet!
... Best Worst Movie's critical acclaim and how the differing festival and DVD release dates have negatively impacted it ...
GEORGE - I have to say, it's frustrating for us ... it's been frustrating I know for Michael Stephenson (director) because he's gotten so much acclaim for the documentary and I think it's 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is an incredible rating and Michael says he thinks it would've even been higher but for some reason we kept getting kicked back to 2009 on Rotten Tomatoes. He's made five or six phone calls to Rotten Tomatoes to say "Hey wait, this is actually a film that came out in 2010 for the viewing public. Yes it was in festivals in 2009 but..." We were asked to run for the Academy Awards and the Independent Film Awards and that takes time and money to do those things. The one requirement for the Academy is to show your film in New York and Los Angeles for seven consecutive nights, which we did of course. The critics wrote that we were shunned when we weren't up for the documentary award for the academy. They've announced the top 15 and we didn't make it.
ME - Well, you should've made it.
GEORGE - I think it's that great a documentary.
ME - Absolutely, it's probably the best documentary I saw last year.
GEORGE - I know, even Roger Ebert this past week put us in the top 10 documentaries of the year.
ME - And that's the thing, i'm sure he's not a Troll 2 fan and even he loved it.
GEORGE - Exactly. Like ya just said, you don't really have to watch Troll 2 in order to see Best Worst Movie.
ME - Well that's like all the best documentaries, it's more about the people than even the subject.
George - Exactly. So it's kinda been a little frustrating on our end cause you want acclaim from it, which we've gotten, for Michael's sake, because he just did such a good job on directing the film. He's a perfectionist. Our documentary was shot in 28 cities in 8 countries over about a 4 and a half year period, with 420 hours of footage. So, that's a lot of dedication.
ME - Ya I see even on IMDb it's listed as 2009. That's always a gray area with horror movies and stuff, where they come out at festivals one year and then the next year they come to DVD and nobody's really sure what the real release date is.
... Have you seen the first Troll? ...
GEORGE - I did, I saw the original Troll in about 91/92, something like that.
ME - Whatdya think of that one?
GEORGE - I just thought, 'this is a mysterious film' and I felt like, well I kinda see some tie in's with Troll 2 and Troll. There are a few things that seem to kinda coincide.
ME - There's gotta be a reason it was named Troll 2, right?
... So have you had fans come to the dentist office to get work done, now that Best Worst Movie has come out? ...
GEORGE - Oh ya, ya, I have, actually, people have come. I've had people Facebook me - 'can I come by and have an autograph?'. They don't come for dentistry too much.
ME - Oh see I have work I need done and i'd like to come and get some work done.
GEORGE - Oh come on down, ya, you can come down.
ME - That'd be great. I've got a few cavities...
GEORGE - Yaaa, i'd be glad to help ya out.
... Dentist vs Actor ...
ME - In the documentary you seem to be kinda torn between your dentistry and this desire that you've had in your life to be an actor. If you had a chance to go back in time and put all that money and time into acting that you put into dentistry, would you do that?
GEORGE - Ya know what, that is a great question. This is probably interview number 500 for me and i'm not kidding, but nobody's ever really asked me that question before. Ya know, fate has its way and that's kind of a hard question to answer because, ya know, things just panned out for me. Ya know, I don't know (laughing). The reason I say I don't know how I feel about that is this ; sure, I think it would've been a great opporunity for me to have done some more acting and like I say in Best Worst Movie, I really would like to have had another shot at acting. But then a lot of it too, it's just fate. Ya know, you have one or two maybe big films and then maybe that's it, that kinda thing. I'm sure Michael Keaton is doing more things these days, I don't know, I think he's doing some voice overs for films, but ya know, where is he now? What's going on with Michael Keaton? (laughing).
ME - Ya I don't know, I haven't heard much about him.
GEORGE - I don't know too many actors that have really long fufilled lives. It seems that they age quickly. I don't know that it's really a healthy way to go. I mean it could be fun, i've enjoyed being back in front of the camera again.
ME - It's kinda cool, because you've become a big movie star in a little corner of the world.
GEORGE - I really have, ya. It's strange because I have and I haven't, it's really weird. So I don't hold on to anything at all. When I go to a Troll 2 or Best Worst Movie screening, when I walk in the room and they see me, there's a standing ovation.
ME - You're like a god in that environment.
GEORGE - I am. But then the ego's not even there, it's just kinda removed from it all and it's more like a love thing going out to folks.
... Clearing up the horror convention thing ...
ME - I wanted to ask you about horror conventions. Have you done more of them since that one that was shown in the documentary?
GEORGE - (laughing) No, no, no. We were just throwing a lot of things in the pot when we made Best Worst Movie, going here and there to just find the fans. When I went through that whole thing that you see me going through in Best Worst Movie, that was like day three of being there for 8 hours and at one point I just thought 'I feel filthy' and 'I wanna get the heck out of here'.
ME - I think a lot of horror fans took that the wrong way though.
GEORGE - Oh, I think so too, a lot, you're right.
ME - I've seen a lot of posts and i've got friends who have said that seemed kinda out of character. Totally understandable though, you'd been there all weekend.
GEORGE - Ya, people don't understand that, ya know. I didn't mean to offend anyone and I think also what Michael was trying to do, well not trying to do, he was trying to capture that part of me that people don't see. Ya know i'm Mr. Nice Guy kinda guy whose always cheery and happy. So I think you were able to see a different side of me.
ME - Ya I think it did perfectly capture that. Is there a lot of stuff at the convention where fans were coming up to you a lot that we didn't get to see?
GEORGE - No there really weren't (laughing).
ME - See I think you got an unfair representation of horror conventions.
GEORGE - Oh ya, I did. We were sitting there and people didn't even know about Troll 2. Now I think it would be different. Troll 2's had a huge resurgence. If I were to go back to a horror convention people would know about Troll 2 most likely.
ME - Do you think you will go back at any point?
GEORGE - Ya know, I don't know. The only reason i'd probably go back is not of interest but if someone invited me to come back maybe I would do that. I mean i've got other things on my plate that I do. I'm not a horror fan. I kinda thought 'What's this all about? Do some of these actors go and sit and wait for autographs so that they can just make money and they just sit there for something they did 20-30 years ago?'. Ya know what i'm saying? So that's kinda why I never ... I don't know ....
ME - It's just not your thing.
GEORGE - Right.
... What's next? ...
ME - Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming films you have - Junk and Ghost Shark?
GEORGE - Junk is about two guys, it's a comedy, and these two guys have a Western feature film that they've made and they're making it to pitch at a film festival and they're presenting it, wanting it to get into a film festival, and they're racing against another group of guys that also have a Western feature as well. So it's this competition trying to get their films into the film festival.
ME - That sounds fun.
GEORGE - Ya, it does. It's kinda funny that I brought up Michael Keaton's name because I think they changed the script but the actual name of the film at first was called 'In Search of Michael Keaton'. But ya, it's called Junk now.
ME - What is Urban Jaws? Is it like a Jaws spoof type thing?
GEORGE - Jaws spoof, yes. Something like the mayor of the city's trying to ... i'm not sure, but it's something about this ghost shark that's about to eat the city up or something. There's a really bad mayor of the city and we're in charge of trying to kill him. Cause he's evil and the evil mayor has something to do with this ghost shark.
ME - Do you know when the movies are gonna come out?
GEORGE - Ya, I understand that there's good chances that they will hit the big film festivals. So it looks like 2012 rather than 2011, cause Sundance has already gone by.
... How to get George into your movie & an interesting project that never came to fruition ...
ME - So if any fans out there want to get you in their movie, they just gotta Facebook you and not take no for an answer?
GEORGE - (laughing) Oh sure. Every so often someone will write me on Facebook, but it will be someone that's maybe in film school. I met the nicest guy from Mexico who had a great script and he wanted me to play a bad guy. I play the mean dad, who beats up his son. It's this cameo where i'm beating him up and the son becomes disabled physically and throughout the whole thing the person playing the part dreams he's normal and healthy and then at the end of the movie he wakes up and he's in a dream and he's actually disabled. It's a pretty powerful film.
ME - That sounds depressing.
GEORGE - It does sound depressing, doesn't it? (laughing) It really does. But anyway the reason I was kinda upbeat about that was the fellow that wanted me to be in the film was in Monterrey, Mexico and they were gonna fly me down and I was gonna do a little cameo. But he had trouble getting his camera equipment across the border so he never ended up filming down in Mexico.
ME - That's a bummer.
GEORGE - Ya it was kinda a bummer. I would've done it ya know, it wouldve been fun, why not go down for a weekend and do a little cameo thing?
ME - Nice little vacation.
GEORGE - Ya ya exactly. I'm more in it for the experience than anything else.
... And now, the scoop you've been waiting for ...
GEORGE - Life's too short, that's why at the end of Best Worst Movie when they asked me would I ever do Troll 2 Part 2 ... which, by the way, we found out that the Italians are looking to do that this summer.
ME - Are you gonna be in that?
GEORGE - Oh ya, they have me in there. Rossella's (Drudi) writing a part for me.
ME - Do you know anything about the story, what it's about?
GEORGE - I don't know, it's something about a hamburger ... i'm the owner of a hamburger meat packing company (laughs). Ya I don't know, it had something to do with meat though.
ME - Nilbog meat?
GEORGE - Something like that.
I know I already posted the above video over the weekend but for the sake of having the whole shebang in one post, here's the second part of the interview, where I asked Hardy the legendary Pivot Questionnaire from Inside The Actor's Studio. This was what mostly went down during the second part of the chat, after George's phone died and we reconnected via his home phone.