Brett: "It's funny, I guess Iíve always been an actor".
Conducted by Phil
May 19th, 2006
Canadian actor Brett Kelly has
made quite a dent on the indie horror scene in the past couple of years.
I felt it was time to catch up with the hard working man and see what lies
Read on to hear how Brett got to where he's at
How did you get into
It's funny, I guess Iíve always been an actor but didn't always know it. I
thought I was going to be a cartoonist for the first 14 years of my life
when I got cast in a play and discovered my true calling. I haven't
Did you complete any formal
I studied Theatre at the University of Ottawa but as it happened I was
working as an actor at the same time. I also studied Broadcasting at
college but never finished.
You have had many roles in
film, which is your favourite, acting, directing or producing?
It's a strange thing, I never really intended to direct movies. I always
wanted to be an actor, but since there was no real paid work for a period
of time, I decided to take the initiative and create my own work. Now in
some circles I'm better known as a director than as an actor. I have to
say though that acting is my passion. Producing is fun too. I enjoy
starting a project and getting it done.
Where do you get the ideas for
You never know where inspiration will strike. For my first feature THE
FERAL MAN, I combined some reading I had done on lycanthropy with the true
life tragedy of the loss of my father to a heart attack and that is where
that story came from. THE BONESETTER is based on a boogeyman story that
parents in Quebec (a Canadian province for those not geographically
inclined) tell their kids, I changed the story around a bit and boom the
script was born. My most recent movie MY DEAD GIRLFRIEND came from my
desire to combine horror with theatrical farce. It turned out to be a good
idea in my humble opinion (laughs).
Canada is a major part of the
film industry now; does that make it easier for indie movies to get
Lord no. It's always tough to find financing even for low-budget films
such as mine. Our system is likely similar to the UK model of government
grants and such. I'm always slugging away at grant-writing. Keep your
"I have gotten some fan mail from the UK".
The Bonesetter must have been
successful as it got its very own sequel. Were you happy at the reception
the films received?
Yeah. The Bonesetter went over pretty well. A lot of people seemed to get
that the movie was an homage to the old Universal Monster and had some
tongue in cheek elements. Some folks didn't but hey - you can't please
them all. Overall the response was pretty good and the sales were good
too. I still enjoy it myself.
When are we likely to see your
movies over here in the UK?
Good question, I thought they were coming out over there, I could be
wrong. The DVD that Tempe Video put out is region 0 so folks from all over
the globe can get them from www.tempevideo.com or from www.amazon.com I
have gotten some fan mail from the UK so I suppose the movies are
trickling across the pond.
A large amount of your work
has been based in the horror genre; does this mean that you are a horror
Definitely, although I was not always the horror fanatic that I am these
days. As a kid they scared the hell out of me which I attribute to my
vivid imagination. The truth is that I always loved it and tried to talk
myself out of it for a while but the horror bug bit me and won't let me go
What are some of your
favourite movies and filmmakers in the genre?
My favourite movie of all time is DOUBLE INDEMNITY, a Billy Wilder
Film-noir. I find that the structure, writing, acting and directing is
perfect! As far as genre films go, I love the Universal Monster flicks,
Halloween, Dead of Night (1940's with Michael Redgrave) and 50's low
budget stuff. I'm inspired by a lot of low budget movies as well such as
those directed by my "mentor" J.R. Bookwalter and some of the stuff that
Full Moon and other small companies put out.
"Oh god, where do I begin".
Youíve worked with some great
horror talents; do you have a favourite person you have worked
Oh gosh, that's a tough one. Everyone has been great. Brinke Stevens is a
lady in the truest sense of the word. Debbie Rochon is a laugh riot and a
fellow Canadian. I also love my Canada crew; working on a horror film is
like a summer camp, always lots of fun.
Who are some of the people you
would like to work with in the future?
I'd love to be directed by J.R Bookwalter, John Carpenter, George Romero,
folks like that. I'd also like to act with Debbie Rochon whom I have only
directed before but never acted with. I'd also like to act with Bruce
Campbell, he's my fave.
Do you have any funny stories
you could share with us about a project you have worked on?
Oh god, where do I begin (laugh). For MY DEAD GIRLFRIEND we shot a zombie,
gore fest only to discover that there was no running water on site (poor
zombies). On THE BONESETTER, Jody Haucke (who plays the title character)
stepped in cow droppings that went all the way up his leg. On the drive
home he stopped at a garage to use their water hose to spray himself off
and he was in full Bonesetter makeup! You can imagine the look on the
mechanic's face! There is a great story for each day of filming, itís a
Youíve been to some
conventions too havenít you? Do you enjoy meeting the
I love meeting the fans. Horror conventions are cool because they give
folks with like-minded interests a chance to talk about a subject that the
general public might not always understand. They're always enthusiastic
about their love for the genre. Plus the cons are always great for
partying. It's humbling to hear someone in another country tell you how
much they enjoyed a movie that you wrote on your sofa in Canada. It's
Whatís next for Brett
I'm negotiating a few things with Tempe Video and shooting a vampire
project this summer for them, although the deal isn't inked yet. I don't
want to jinx it because the script is great. Other plans include a
psychological thriller and a possible revenge flick. Stay tuned to
www.brettkelly.net for details.
"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."