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David Hood

David: "I must say theatre is more fun because of the whole live aspect".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
February 23rd, 2006

Although David Hood is relatively new to the world of film, his experiences on the stage and in Television have stood him in good stead for a future in film, and with roles in the just released Forest of the Damned and V for Vendetta already under his belt, I'm sure we'll soon be seeing a lot more of this modest young man.

How did you get into acting?
I was always a very shy and quiet person until I went to college and I decided to change, I became more confident. Then one of my new friends suggested I went to one of her youth drama classes with her, and one day I did. That was the beginning for me, from that point on I knew what I wanted to do. I kept going with the classes each week. I ended up helping to run the class and then when I became too old to be involved in youth theatre, I moved into the amateur theatre area. The first show I decided to go for was West Side Story run by the Playhouse Theatre Company in The Playhouse Theatre Harlow (my home town at the time). And to my surprise, I got the lead part of Tony. I then did a pantomime, before moving away from home and landing a job as a Redcoat at Butlins in Skegness. Once my season was finished, I decided to move to London and give the acting career a try and here I am.

You worked extensively on the stage before moving into TV and eventually film. Which medium is more fun and how do they compare and contrast?
Wow that is a hard one! Theatre has immediate rewards, you perform to an audience and you hear the response, where as in TV or film you never truly get to know first hand what people think. You can only go from sales and ratings which are all well and good, but you never know as an actor how good you are personally or if itís just the production that people enjoyed. I must say theatre is more fun because of the whole live aspect, which makes it so exciting and thrilling and you generally get a long rehearsal period to get your character developed. Film obviously comes with more benefits. Not just the fact that it can pay better and the fame stakes are higher in film and TV than theatre. Also I think in todayís society and the growing world of entertainment, there is a bigger and more interesting diversity in film and TV than theatre. Casting directors are looking for so many different things in an actor and it gives people a better chance to get some where.

You will soon be seen in Forest of the Damned as Andrew. How did you first hear about the film and what was your audition like?
Well I subscribe to an internet Site Called Shooting People Iím sure lots of aspiring actors know what Iím talking about. Jo had put a posting on there about his production and had asked people to apply for the various roles in the film. The audition itself couldnít have gone any better really. When I went in they asked me to read for a few parts, but they said they thought I would be good for the role of Andrew although until they met me I thought they had Emilio in mind. But when I read for Andrew the way Jo had written the script, Andrew was a very American kind of guy, even some of the words he used and when I tried to read the script it kept coming out in an American accent. So I said look, I canít read this script without going American. Jo told me to read the script and change which ever words I had a problem with to what I thought fit, and he liked it. We discussed the part a bit and he seemed to feel the character I was playing would be good for the film. After that I was pretty confident that I might get the part, but as we all know there is that doubt even when youíre confident that it could go either way?

What was the shoot like and how did you enjoy working with the cast and crew?
The shoot itself was good. It was so long ago now Iím trying to remember it. I remember getting a train from London to Southampton and spending about 2 weeks in the middle of a forest in a log cabin. The filming was long and hard. The locations werenít the nicest places to be in but for authenticity they were really dilapidated buildings and dingy and dark barns. They werenít specially built sets. When I wasnít on set filming I think I was back at the cabin cleaning. I like things to be clean and as Iím sure you can imagine with the cast and crew traipsing in and out all day the place got a bit messy. Everything was good. It was long days and sometimes nights, lots of mess and lots of struggles, but everyone made it worth it. All the cast were fantastic and the crew were brilliant to work with; there wasnít a bad penny in the bunch.

David: "I have his magic thumb. Now that might sound really dodgy".

Did you have much time to hang out with or get to meet Tom Savini and Shaun Hutson and if so, what were they like?
Well that does have to be one of the highlights of working on the Movie. Tom Savini is an absolute legend! Until I did this movie I didnít even know that he did anything other than act, I didnít know anything about his special effects work. I was there when he arrived from America. He was a really nice guy. When he came he brought his portfolio with him and showed us all his previous work. He also had loads of pictures of the students he teaches at his special affects school. But my best secret is I have his magic thumb. Now that might sound really dodgy, but he liked do little magic tricks and he had this trick thumb. He left it behind when he went back to America. I found it and thought Iím going to keep that as a souvenir. So Tom if you wondered where it went Iíve got it! I must admit Iím not much of a reader so I didnít really know who Shaun was. I never got to see him during filming, but I did meet him when we did the commentary. He was a really nice guy.

I don't want to spoil your scenes for anyone yet to see the film but were you uncomfortable during any of the scenes and what were the conditions like?
Yes, for those that havenít seen it you might not want to read this bit but there is a lot of nudity! Mainly from the girls, but I do lose a few items of clothing myself. I didnít really have a problem with taking off my clothes; itís everyone else that might have a problem having to watch me. Iím not known for having one of the best bodies in the world. Jo did send me to the gym and I lost over a stone before shooting, but there was only so much I could do in a month. So taking off my clothes wasnít a problem but where I was taking them off was. The scene we shot involved me noticing the naked fallen angels in a lake below a waterfall. This scene was shot at a waterfall in Wales in the middle of September so as you can imagine it was freezing! All the crew had like scuba gear on and there are all of us naked. We stayed in the water for about 15-20 minutes and by the time we left it took us about an hour to warm up. It definitely wasnít the most glamorous of sets, but Iím sure it will look fantastic. There was actually a worse scene that didnít make it into the film but if you buy the DVD look at the outtakes.

What did you think of the finished film?
Would you believe I havenít seen it yet! I saw it when we did the commentary for the DVD but I wasnít really paying full attention because we were talking a lot. But I have pre-ordered my copy of the movie and then I will get to see it!

Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are your favourites?
I do like horror films. I donít really find them scary, but I do like the intensity they bring. These days I only really watch the mainstream Hollywood movies. But I think my favourites really are the ones from my childhood like Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween and all the ones that gave you nightmares when you were little.

Was the experience of making a horror film anything like you expected and how did it compare for you to watching one?
If Iím really honest I never have any expectations when Iím involved in any project. I take it all as it comes. I must say it is great being on set for a horror movie because it is great seeing how all the Special Effects are done. When I arrived at location I had to have a cast of my face made. I have never had to do anything like that at all. When I had the cast done I had my entire face covered in what they call alginate which goes really cold. You obviously canít see and itís hard to breathe because you can only breathe through tubes in your nose and you canít talk, but Nathan of MFX the special effects team said I was the first person he has come cross who has been able to talk whilst still in a cast and unable to open his mouth. It was great just being able to find out about special effects. Working on any project, horror or not, youíll find it is never the same working on them as it is watching them. Even when I watch this, it will probably feel different from when I filmed it.

David: "I donít really find them scary, but I do like the intensity they bring".

You recently completed a small role in V for Vendetta. What was that like to work on and do you have any gossip about the film, the cast or the crew?
Youíre right, it was a very small part and if you watch it you wonít even recognise me because Iím in costume the whole time. It was a nice production to work on. I was on set for 3 night shoots in central London and there was a lot of people involved some several hundred people. I didnít even know Stephen Fry was in it until half way through the 3rd night when I realised in the scene we had just been shooting that he had been standing right beside me the whole time. Iím afraid I have no gossip for you; it was all work, work, work.

I had heard that you were going to be appearing in Summer of the Massacre 2 for British production company Scream Productions. What happened with that project?
That is a very unfortunate story. I was really looking forward to working on that production, but at that time I had just been picked up by a Theatre Agent. He told me that I had to drop the commitment because it wasnít paying very well and he didnít like the fact that I would be out of the game for a month or so. I told him that I wanted to do the production but he said if I wanted his representation I should drop it. So I called the Director Bryn Hammond and told him the story. He was very nice about it all and let me out of my contract. The worst part of the story is, that only about a month down the line I ended up dropping that Agent because all he wanted to do was send me abroad and I wasnít happy with that. By that time, Bryn had already re-cast and I had understandably made Bryn not want to work with me. I learned a hard lesson that day. Do what you want to do and never let anyone tell you otherwise! I havenít got an Agent at the moment but that is by choice. I will not be represented by just anyone. Iím holding out for the right company and one who has my best interests at heart not theirs. Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way. I did speak to Bryn after the film had been finished and he told me that the lead Girl from his movie went on to be in Devils Rejects. If only I had been in his movie maybe I would be in something now too.

Can we expect to see you in any more horror movies in future?
I would love to do more; I havenít shot any new ones recently to let you know about. Iím always open to new projects and I love the Horror genre, especially British horror. Iím all for promoting home grown Films.

What are you working on at present?
Well at the moment Iím looking at a few new ventures but nothing confirmed as yet and as itís the New Year I have decided to take the search for decent representation up a gear, especially with the release of Forest of the Damned on the horizon.

"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview David.
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."

Don't fall behind, make sure you get help
writing college papers fast.


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