Icons of Fright interview With VANish star Tony Todd!

unnamed (18)*Editor’s Note: We sent Icons of Fright’s buddy Tim Chizmar (writer, Hell Comes To Hollywood II, comedian, all around nice dude who smiles a lot) and Anthony Ray Bench to sit down and chat a bit with Tony Todd regarding his role in the newly available (out on DVD/Bluray via Dark Sky Films) and AWESOME (review) film VANish, and what Tim and Anthony came back with was one fun read that we thought you fright fanatics would enjoy! Read on! -Jerry

Most fans know Tony Todd as a horror icon who has spent decades helping to create some of our worst nightmares. From The Candyman franchise that skyrocketed Tony Todd to the pantheon of legendary slashers, to his role as William Bludworth in a majority of the Final Destination films, his recognizable voice, intimidating build, and acting talents have provided him with an extensive body of work. Tony was kind enough to sit down and chat about his film VANish; an action movie co-starring Danny Trejo, Maiara Walsh, and Austin Abke. The story follows the kidnapping of the daughter of a drug cartel boss and the mayhem that follows.

TIM: So I did get a chance to see a copy of this and it was a blast. It’s a great action film and it’s always nice seeing you in these projects; you’re kind of Mr. Cameo.

Tony Todd: Well, not always. I’m in a new film that’s called The Cold Descent and I’m in about 90% of that movie. I love getting approached by young filmmakers who have vision and I liked the script when I read it, and I met with Bryan Bockbrader and I liked his direction in this because it’s claustrophobic and at the same time the cinematography shows the world outside through the van windows, which is quite impressive. There are basically six characters in this piece; Danny Trejo, Maiara Walsh, Austin Abke, Sam, Bryan, and myself but it feels larger than that; it feels like they go to places and yet they never go inside. The van is always a character sort of peripherally in the background and I appreciate that. It’s almost Hitchcock-ian.

It definitely made itself it’s own character.

We should call the van the seventh character, if not the primary character.

Something that was tickling me is in the tagline for the film is that it’s a ‘Take No Prisoners’ kidnapping movie; well, if it’s a kidnapping movie there’s at least one prisoner!

At least one, but I think about midway in the movie shifts and you don’t know who the victim is. I mean me, I play a cop that’s been on duty for 30 years and I woke up to another day and pressed my shirt and my pants, shined my shoes, and little did I know…

You and Danny Trejo starred in Sushi Girl together; do you guys enjoy being on the same projects?

Well, I think Danny and I respect each other. We’re two veterans with long and distinguished careers and I respect him tremendously, I mean I was happy that he was able to do me that favor because I produced Sushi Girl and he came and joined us for that party.

That was such a fun movie. What are you currently working on?

I’m currently in rehearsals for this wonderful project, which is a one man show called Ghost in the House, and it’s going to be getting a lot of attention; it’s about Jack Johnson…

A one-man project?

A one-man show onstage, which is my first love. We’re actually going to be coming to New Jersey at some point. That’s where I started; I got my MFA in theater arts from the distinguished Trinity Square Repertory Theatre Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island by way of the Eugene O’Neil Theatre Center in Connecticut, which is where I’m from, and I always go back to it. I’ve been on Broadway twice, been on almost every regional theatre in the country, New Jersey and Crossroads, and Princeton…

What do you want people to take away from VANish?

It’s a good time, and it’s fun you know? I think it’s going to skew young in the terms of our lead character Mariah, she’d 26 she’d definitely playing a heroine role. Its kick ass, against all odds, escapist revenge fantasy; I think people like that are going to love it. Filmmakers should love it; to me, it’s like when Steven Spielberg started with Duel. He had a truck and a man; there are similarities here, you have four people trapped in a van, how do we make that interesting for 90 plus minutes? I think Bryan does a good job at accomplishing that.

VANish is available on VOD and Blu-ray now via Dark Sky Films, so be sure to check it out. Thanks Tony!

2 Responses to “Icons of Fright interview With VANish star Tony Todd!”
  1. Phil Fasso says:

    Are you aware this is Icons of Fright’s 2nd interview with Tony Todd?

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