If you’re a die-hard genre fan, then you no doubt have seen Nick Principe do some pretty radical stuff in the last couple of years. Whether it be gracing the screen as “Chromeskull” in the two LAID TO REST movies, or being a biker bad-ass in search of a little revenge in AMERICAN MUSCLE, he’s definitely a dude you want on your side if you ever get in a fight!
Despite playing killers and bad-asses in movies, his contribution to TALES OF HALLOWEEN as the “killer” in Mike Mendez’s segment FRIDAY THE 31ST is going to be a performance unlike anything we’ve ever seen from him. We were lucky enough to get glimpses of the madness on set, but we pulled Nick aside in between filming to find out just what it is he’s up to in this segment. The answers may surprise you!
Blumhouse.com: You’re playing a “killer” again! Which is a cool thing, because you’re known for this. But this seems very different from what we’d expect from you. So who are you playing? It seems like a riff on a lot of things?
Nick Principe: Mike is definitely incorporating his 3 favorite films into this segment, which are FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE EVIL DEAD and going for the gore of DEAD ALIVE or BRAIN DEAD depending on what part of the world you’re in. My character is essentially a Jason-esque character. His name is just J!
NP: No, no. I just made that up. (Laughs)
BH: (Laughs) Oh so does he have a name?
NP: Just “killer!” I’ve been very blessed to get more acting roles in the last few years. And I’m definitely feeling more comfortable doing that, but what drew me to this is that the killer becomes the hunted. It’s a challenge for me because with the prosthetics, all the acting has to be with the eyes. He doesn’t even say a word. It’s just groans and moans! So to sell this thing with just that, it’s a fun challenge and it’s definitely better than the average stalk and kill role. I get to play with this a bit.
BH: You’ve worked with Mike before, right? I know you were in his OVERKILL pitch trailer.
NP: I did the OVERKILL trailer and I worked a day on LAVALANTULA and actually broke my toe! (Laughs) It was Steve Guttenberg that broke my toe. He didn’t mean to! It’s funny, I didn’t even tell Mike until after I went home. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it.
BH: That’s dedication! (*Editors note: Nick has since also worked with Mendez on the upcoming THE LAST HEIST!) I was talking to Erik Porn about it and he said he saw some animatics for the basic story, and it starts out like a typical FRIDAY THE 13TH movie, but then it flips and that was exciting to him. Mike is known for his horror/comedy sensibility. Are you into that sort of thing too? Was that the reason you wanted to do this?
NP: Man, I just love film. I really do. Horror is my true love, followed by sleazy 80’s action kind of stuff and everything in between afterwards. I just love movies! You can’t do this unless you have a deep passion for film. Because at least at this level, you’re not doing it for the money, that’s for sure! You do it for the love of it. Every time I do anything, I think about being a child and being in awe of a movie and to think that maybe another kid, a new generation, might watch something that I did or that my friend’s did and think like that, it’s rewarding.
BH: You have a lot of experience in genre film between wearing masks and doing stunts. How complicated is the mask on this! Because there’s moments where you’re wearing two masks! The actual face of the killer and then his mask on top of that!
NP: Whenever you have a mask that blocks both your nose and mouth, your breath is being bounced back at you, so you get winded quicker for some reason. They didn’t have a life cast. George Frangadkis of Immortal Masks, his company makes incredible masks. They’re perfectly form fitting. And they made some minor adjustments to make this one fit me. Obviously, it saves time on make-ups and helps me breath because you can take it off and actually eat lunch, and go to the bathroom and all those fun little things that people take for granted!
BH: When I heard the whole concept of TALES OF HALLOWEEN and all the names attached and the overall theme, I got really excited by it all. We don’t really have a ton of Halloween movies, or at least horror movies that take place on Halloween. Were you excited about what the other filmmakers are cooking up?
NP: Sure! I’m a huge Lucky McKee fan and I’m a huge Neil Marshall fan so I’d love to see what they’re doing. I don’t know much about what the other filmmakers are doing for their segments, but I really can’t help thinking that this one, FRIDAY THE 31ST is going to be the fan favorite. I really do. Because it incorporates so many things that horror fans love, and a few laughs thrown in. I can’t see how anybody would not love this.
BH: What about some of the people you’re acting against?
Basically it’s this girl Amanda Moyer, and Jennifer Wenger is her stunt double. As soon as she gets possessed, Jen takes over because she’s a little more rough and tumble. I think Mike just cast Amanda from your average casting notice, but we all know Jen and know she can take a few lumps. She’s put together well. Good fit.
BH: You had recently sent me a short film that you wrote and directed. I’m sure that if more opportunities with acting or stunt work present themselves, you’ll continue to take them! But is that something you’re aiming to do for the future? More writing or directing your own material?
NP: You just always have to do something. Be like a shark! Keep moving forward or you’re going to die! With my short films, I’ll just get an idea in my head and it just won’t go away until I materialize it. So I’m going to keep doing that for as long as I keep getting ideas for stuff. I’m never going to force anything. Recently, Ryan Nicholson’s COLLAR is a movie I did that is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever been associated with. It’s the only one I will not show my mom. When I read the script, it was absolutely repulsive and disturbed me. Some movies throw in some jokes for levity because of how dark they get, but I didn’t want any of that in COLLAR. I wanted to repulse. And borderline offend. I didn’t want any breaks or levity. I wanted the viewer to be uncomfortable for 86 minutes. I had a lot of demons while shooting that one but I’m very proud of it.
TALES OF HALLOWEEN opens in select theaters and will be available on VOD October 16th.