Your new movie Death
Pool - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
is a horror thriller about a boy who experiences a traumatic near
drowning incident at the hands of his cruel babysitter. He grows up
to be a serial killer known as the Valley Drowner. The body count is
high in this film! The lead is Randy Wayne and he's just fantastic
in this role, he's perfectly cast. I play his father across a span
of 15-20 years. I'm disappointed by my son's choices, even before I
learn of his psychotic nature.
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life?
I thought of complex family
relationships. You are bonded together for life by blood, but there
are challenges from time to time because each person is truly unique.
It brings up questions of unconditional love and how far that love will
stretch. I had a great time working with Randy and Gena Kay (my wife
in the film) and that also helped bring our scenes to life.
In all honesty, if someone
like Death Pool's
Johnny was your real life son, how would you behave towards him?
a good question. I don't think anyone can answer it with complete
honesty, unless this happened to them. I want to believe that I'd be
supportive, but when the child becomes an adult there is little the parent
can control. Still, I believe I would never give up trying to
convince him and guide him to get the help he desperately needs. I
think the questions about 'what did I do to cause this?' would be very
did you get involved with the project in the first place, and to what
extent could you identify with its serialkiller theme?
auditioned for it out of the blue. I had never met any of the
filmmakers in the past. The serial killer concept is always
fascinating. What caused them to be abnormal? Why are most
people fascinated by them? In the film, the Valley Drowner gains
media notoriety, becomes famous, and it's a brilliant statement on bizarre
celebrity obsession. Overall, I'm a big fan of the horror genre.
I get an audition for a scary movie, I secretly cross my fingers because I
enjoy horror so much.
can you tell us about Death
Pool's director Jared Cohn [Jared
Cohn interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
Jared is a great guy - a talented director and a
genuinely nice guy too. He had a very clear vision of how to present
this story, plus I love the retro feeling Valley vibe he brought to it.
He also allowed me freedom to interpret my character. I wanted the
father to be different from the mother. She loves him no matter
what, but I'm frustrated to see my son's life leading nowhere. I
love him certainly, but it's a challenging relationship.
Tom with co-stars Randy Wayne, Gena Kay
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
It was fast paced. All five of
my scenes were shot in a single day! We had a firm deadline at the
house location, so Jared had to make a last minute change to my final
scene (no spoilers but I will say I was lucky I didn't have to go into
that ice cold pool!). I'm very pleased with my contribution.
It's nice to explore a character across a span of nearly 20 years.
Any future projects you'd like to
I keep busy! I've recently done many
commercials and have more films coming. I'm particularly excited
about The Dead Tales, an upcoming feature film in the vein of The Twilight
Zone. I have a great story line about a husband who is pushed to his
limits. I also have the third and final season of The Dracula Files
coming this fall. It's an audio drama series where I get to play my
dream role - Renfield!
Your/your movie's Facebook, website, whatever
I'm on the web at
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @tommclaren1, and like my Facebook
public page @tommclarenpage. Happy to chat with movie fans and
horror fans :)
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
I'm pleased to have two films on
Netflix right now - Expelled and Exorcism of Molly Hartley. Two
other films are active on cable TV - Santa's Little Helper and All
American Bikini Car Wash. This year my hardcover book Styling the
Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive was released
in softcover and is available in stores and online everywhere. I've
had some great fortune that I'm very grateful for!
Thanks for the interview!
Thank you, you're very kind and I do appreciate your support
of the indie film world.