Noel Clarke is a jack of all trades, having written, starred in and produced MAGNET RELEASING‘s new creature feature, STORAGE 24 (REVIEW). among many other projects past and present that he’s worn many hats on, including a long run as Mickey in the BBC sci-fi phenomenon DOCTOR WHO. Noel was nice enough to spend a little while chatting with us at ICONS OF FRIGHT about STORAGE 24, DOCTOR WHO, and other upcoming projects, including a role in J.J. Abram’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.
Noel Clarke: Hello!
Hey Noel, how’s it going today?
I’m good sir, how are you?
Not too bad actually.
Cool, thanks for speaking to me.
Of course man. STORAGE 24 seems like it was a labor of love for you, with you writing, producing and starring in it, how did the project come about for you?
Yeah, not so much of a labor of love, there have been projects that I’ve been in love with more, but I think it was more of just a plan of action really. Obviously I love the movie, and I loved being a part of it, but it was more about trying to come up with a movie that we could sell internationally, and we’ve done that. The idea came about with an idea that I thought would work, with a creature in a storage facility, and yeah it kinda has worked. It does what it does in the various countries, but the point is that it’s sold more than some of the other types of stuff that I’ve done, and that was always the plan.
Awesome. One of the many things that really stood out about the film to me, is how well written the characters were, it was almost like the creature, as cool as it was, was second to the relationship aspect of the film. Was that an important aspect to you?
Yeah! I think because of a lot of the films I’ve done prior have been character dramas, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t just running away from something for 89 minutes, then killing it in the last minute. I wanted to actually have a very normal situation and have a very extraordinary thing happen. I think it’s important to see these normal people in their normal environment, like normal people having a domestic dispute and splitting up, which I guess at some point happens to everyone. You know?, you’ve got a girlfriend, or a boyfriend and they leave you, then BOOM!, there’s an alien. That’s the kind of stuff that always works best for me I think, when it’s a normal situation and something weird happens. So that was kind of the plan.
Are you a fan of the horror genre?
I’m more of a sci-fi fan, I like horrors but I don’t love them like I do sci-fi. The director that I hired, Johannes Roberts, he’s a BIG horror fan, so when I hired him he asked if he could do a horror pass on the script because he’s a massive horror fan, and I was like “dude, yeah!, I’m handing you the script, so now you can do what you do”. He added more of a horror element to it, I think things were less gory before that. So he really wanted that, and I let him do it.
You’ve previously directed films like 126.96.36.199., and ADULTHOOD, is that something you’d like to do again, as opposed to handing the director’s chair for someone else to direct something you’ve written?
Yeah, 100%. I’m setting something up now that I want to direct, there are three films I want to do, two of which I don’t appear in at all, one I do, which strangely might happen first. I wanted to find the right project, a lot fo the films that came out after 188.8.131.52, I was supposed to direct, like STORAGE 24, but I didn’t feel like I had anything to say as a director on that, so I didn’t direct it, but I’m found something I can do, so hopefully we can do that in the next could of months.
You’re widely known in the sci-fi circles from you role as Mickey in DOCTOR WHO, when you joined the cast for the time you were on the show, did you think the show would become as big as it has gotten, all across the world?
No, it’s funny, I was just talking earlier about that. I was saying that if anything, the actors that they have now, almost have it easy, because the show blew up, and now days any actor who gets offered is like “oh cool, he’s the new DOCTOR WHO!”, but when myself, Chris (Eccleston, 28 DAYS LATER), Camille and Billie all did it, nobody knew it was going to be a success. We all had faith in it, but I think the world was watching thinking “this could really mess up”, because before that, the last time we saw DOCTOR WHO, it wasn’t in the best shape. So if anything, we kinda got the short end of the stick, because we all took the bravest risk, but we came on board and brought the show back. Now the show is massive, I’d like to think we threw the pass and they scored the touchdowns. I’m very happy to have been a part of it..I just wish I could have had the world press that it has now (laughs).
You said that you’re more of a sci-fi fan, are there any films in particular that inspired you from that genre?
I LOVED STAR WARS always, as a kid. I had the Millenium Falcon, and all of the toys, and STAR TREK and DOCTOR WHO I used to watch as well…but 100% I loved STAR WARS, and Yoda and stuff. I used to watch BUCK ROGERS and the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA , even the lesser stuff like KNIGHT RIDER, it was kinda sci-fi, I mean there was a talking car (laughs).
So, what’s next for you?
Well, I’ve got a part in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, and that comes out in a couple months, and I have a special forces Army type movie called I AM SOLDIER that comes out in September. I’m also one of the main voices in the SAVING SANTA animated movie with Martin Freeman. SO I’ve got those and like I said, directing a film in May.
Alright man, looking forward to them. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today.
Thank you, I really appreciate you talking to me today, it’s very kind of you.