Interview with Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell is a legend in the film business and has starred in everything from movies like “A Clockwork Orange” and “Rob Zombie’s Halloween” to TV series’ like Adult Swim’s “Metalocalypse” and TNT’s “Franklin & Bash”. Malcolm currently has a new film premiering on Showtime on October 8th, 2011 called “Pound of Flesh”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Malcolm about his new movie and also what else he currently has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you become involved with the film “Pound of Flesh”?
Malcolm McDowell: I was drawn to it because it was written and directed by a friend of mine. The part was sort of written for me and it’s a very fascinating subject. I thought it would be really fun to do.  It was shot on a rather modest budget and very fast, as I think I only worked two weeks on the entire film. It was a very nice charismatic role for me to do. I play a family man that is extremely naive in what he is doing. The film is actually based on a true story. As an actor I don’t set myself up on moral judgment of my characters. If I did I would never work as I have played some pretty nasty people. This man I think was undone by his innate naivety. It’s sad that the teaching profession lost a good man. I wanted to make him the kind of teacher you would never forget. We all have had one or two of those in our lives. I really wanted to make him one of those. The fact that he was teaching English literature and practicing Shakespeare also made the role really fun to do.

MG: What do you think was the most challenging aspect of working on the film?
MM: I enjoyed the whole process. Everyone was very nice and I enjoyed working with them. I think the film is very well worth the while. Sadly it’s the type of film I don’t think a studio would touch with a barge pole. You have to make adult films for and older crowd that makes them go “Wow!” I have been very lucky in my career to find a few of those and this is one of those films. I like sort of nailing hypocrisy of our standards which is what I think this film does.

MG: How did you know the director/writer of the film?
MM: This was our second film together. The first one was titled “Red Roses and Petrol”. I love how Tammy just gets up there and does things any way she can. In this day and age to get a film made like “Pound of Flesh” is worth applauding. It’s difficult enough getting any independent movie made.

MG: What do you look for when you approach a role?
MM: I generally will read a script and decide either to do it or not. I don’t really know what it is? It’s probably just intuitive. Whether it’s going to be shot in a nice place or if it’s close to home. Do you like the cast and the director? It’s all those things really.

MG: Being the 40th anniversary of “A Clockwork Orange” can you reflect on the films cult status over the years?
MM: I am delighted of course! If you are lucky you only ever get one of these types of films. It’s an amazing movie and it’s a testament to Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Burgess and I. Anthony’s novel was brilliant…Kubrick is a brilliant visionary and I managed to nail it! The film still looks good. I don’t think it’s really dated much however that’s not really for me to say.

MG: How did you get involved with “Metalocalypse” and any more episodes planned?
MM: The guys asked me to be in it and I said “Absolutely!” The show is a lot of fun and the guys are great. I actually just completed voicing another 5 episodes.

MG: When do you start work on season two of TNT’s “Franklin and Bash”?
MM: I start next month on the second season. I am very excited as I love the character and script. The chemistry is really great. Everyone on the team works great together. I hear they are going to be bringing me into the court room more this year. I actually just finished reading a script at its fabulous.

MG: What can you tell us about your upcoming film “Death Method”?
MM: That film takes the corporate structure and pushes it to its total limits. I play the recruiter that gets these 4 or 5 people to come in and basically end up being brain washed. I enjoyed that part quite a bit. He is an evil son of a bitch!

MG:  Can you tell us about your role in “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”
MM: It’s a wonderful scene! I have been trapped in a dungeon for quite a long time and as a result my character has gone blind. The scene is scary as hell. I hear the film is going to be in 3D. I don’t have that much to do in the film but the part I did is going to be great.

MG: Any other upcoming projects you would like to talk about?
MM: Next spring I am going to Scotland to shoot a film titled “Monster Butler”. The film is based on a true story about one of the world’s greatest con-men that in his mid 50’s turns into a serial killer. It’s a fantastic script that I am very excited about. It’s terrifying yet funny!

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