Quantcast Keith Chambers interview - MALEVOLENCE

Keith Chambers
Actor Keith Chambers played the memorable & intimidating older brother Max in Stevan Mena's 'MALEVOLENCE'. With the DVD release set for this month (4/19/05), we caught up with him to ask him about his experiences on 'MALEVOLENCE' & to find out for sure who'd win in a fight - him or his co-star Brandon Johnson. Read on! - by Robg. 4/05

Before shooting 'Malevolence', were you a fan of the horror genre? And if so, what are you're earliest recollections?

Yes, although in the last decade or so I've been rather disappointed. I guess it started by watching a lot of Alfred Hitchcock and 'The Twilight Zone' when I was a kid. 'The Birds' and 'The Shining' were the first films to scare the crap out of me.

Tell us a bit about how you initially got involved in acting?

I took Actor Training 1 near the end of my college days at SUNY @ Binghamton. I really liked it, but I was too late to even minor in Theater, so I took as many Theater classes as I could and still graduated with a BA in Economics. After graduation, I worked as a Carpenter to save for my move to either L.A. or NYC. NYC won out.

How did you land your role for 'Malevolence'?

I got a casting notice from a website I belonged to, sent my headshot, got a call, and went to the audition. The callback was a couple days later, and I got the phone call a few weeks after that, that I had landed the part of Max.

What were your initial responses to the script? Were you always set to play Max?

I loved it. It was so refreshing to see a return to the glory days of Horror in a screenplay. And actually no. My first audition was for Kurt, but for the callback I read for Max, with Richard reading for Kurt. I felt we read very well together.

Max comes off as a bad ass in the film, and has a very intimidating presence. Do you consider yourself a bad-ass, man?

Let me put it to you this way, I was voted class clown in High School. (laughs) Although being a Carpenter gave me a lot to draw from for Max.

Considering 'Malevolence' is the middle part of an intended trilogy, how much backstory did Stevan give you to prepare for your role?

Not that much. Only what was necessary for the film.

How did you approach working on this film? Considering it homages a lot of the horror classics, did you look at any of these films before beginning work on 'Malevolence'?

I had to look at Malevolence as a 30-minute dramatic film. I die before the killer is introduced (opening scene excluded), so the horror aspect didn't really add anything to my character. As far as watching films before, I try to stay away from that. I like to put my own fingerprint on characters.

Tell us about filming the bank robbery. For a low budget film, it seemed like such a difficult scene to shoot.

It was COLD! I remember I had a very low energy day one day and right before shooting I had to take five minutes to work up to my level. I was being a typical pain in the ass actor and felt terrible for it. We had to be on set at 6AM and we didn't start shooting until right before lunch. The shoot itself wasn't as bad as I thought, because we shot it on a weekend. The extras were also very good (sorry to the woman and 8-year old I told to "GET THE F**K OUT OF MY WAY!?" during filming). The only real problem was when the car didn't start. We had to figure out how to show us getting away with a dead car. That shows you the brilliance of Stevan.

Was the bank robbery scene in fact, the hardest part of the shoot for you personally? What was the hardest part of this project in general?

No. The toughest scene for me was getting dragged through the fields by Brandon. On the first take, he grabbed my arm pits and locked onto my pit hairs. Needless to say, playing dead while being dragged by your armpit hair is NOT fun. My pits hurt the rest of the day. But I forgave him. The hardest part for me was trying to get everything on one take. I didn't want to waste precious time or money on "actor moments".

Is it true you guys were chased off the cemetery for your early scene with Richard Glover?

Yes! I see you did your homework. We got booted while we were doing my close-ups. That's my luck. I think it was then that I felt the movie might be cursed. (laughs) However, the scene came out great.

What would you consider one of your favorite moments in the film? Both to film and to watch on screen?

My death scene was fun to film. I never had a death scene on film before that. As far as watching it on screen, the scene where I burst in on Marilyn and Julian kissing in the Hotel room.

This was Stevan's first gig as a director. What can you tell us about your working experience with him?

Stevan is just fantastic. He's really a wonderful actor's director. Very low-key and very business-minded. He keeps the set as stress free for the performers to do their thing (that's probably why he had a mild heart attack, for internalizing his stress). For him to come out with such a high quality film on such a low budget wearing many jackets with unrecognizable talent is just truly amazing.

You got up in Brandon Johnson's face a lot. You think you can take him?

Are you serious? Didn't you see him struggling as he was dragging me through the field? C'mon now! (laughs)

In all seriousness, what memories do you have with the cast of 'Malevolence'?

They are truly wonderful. I had such a great time with them, both on and off set. I can only hope that we will work together again.

What was it like to finally see the film with an audience in theaters?

Excruciating. I find it very difficult to watch myself on screen. I'm very hard on myself, so I spent a lot of the time picking my moments apart. What I do love though is the audience reaction. That's the honey.

You've worked in numerous stage, film and TV projects. What have been the differences in all those mediums from your experiences?

Stage work is instant audience feedback with a full character journey every performance. Your true talent shines through on stage. Very tough and very fulfilling. Film is very slow and meticulous. You take bits and pieces and assemble them into something coherent and plausible over many weeks. You really need to do your homework so you can "turn it on" when you need to. Also, audience feedback comes months to years later. TV is like film and stage mixed together, not as instant as stage, but audience reaction is far quicker than film. I prefer film over the others, because you are always on to something new after the day is done.
Would you be excited to take part in the prequel & sequel?

Of course. Although, I'd be interested to see how I fit into the sequel, as Max is already dead. Reincarnation? 'Malevolence' meets 'Night Of The Living Dead'? Who knows?

Flashback sequences, buddy! (laughs) Thanks so much for talking to us, Keith.

Special thanks to Stevan Mena & to Keith Chambers for the pics!!!
Visit: MALEVOLENCE Movie.com

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