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Tom Nagel

Tom: "I believe you have to
believe in yourself".

Conducted by Phil Davies Brown
July 12th, 2006

Tom Nagel is a welcome fresh face in the sometimes stifling world of straight to vid horror flicks. No matter how bad the film is, Tom draws you in with his bright eyed enthusiasm and zest for life approach to acting.

I caught up with the rising star ahead of his latest movie The Butcher's DVD release on July 11th.

Read on to see what Tom had to say about the trials and tribulations of shooting a low budget horror movie at 3 a.m. when it's cold and dark and the props refuse to work.

What made you choose to become an actor and did you train formally?
I started acting when I was a kid back in Cleveland Ohio doing commercials and modeling. I didnít know I really wanted to act until my first feature film called Telling Lies in America which stared Kevin Bacon. I started as an extra and became a day player. It was one of the greatest weeks of my life and after that I knew I wanted to act. I really havenít trained formally though. My aunt and uncle are actors and they taught me everything I knew before coming to Los Angeles.

You started out by working on student films and as a day player. Did you learn a lot of valuable info about the industry during that time?
I canít even tell you how much you learn from doing student films, shorts, indies, whatever. You learn so much just being on a set and getting in front of a camera. I always tell new actors to go out and do student films, get in front of a camera.

Tom: "And there are countless roles I would love to play".

You soon advanced from supporting parts to lead roles in bigger features. Was this as a result of your training and hard work, or do you feel that you were always ready but were just waiting to be discovered?
Well, thatís a funny question. I believe you have to believe in yourself. If you donít, youíll never make it in this business. It takes an amazing amount of work to be an actor. You are always studying. I am always working. Always watching TV or films, reading...whatever I can do to better myself as an actor. So I think to answer your question itís a little of both.

Many of your recent roles have been in horror movies. Are you a fan of the horror genre?
Definitely, I grew up watching A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. I have always loved horror films but as an actor I always look at the role first. That really is the first attraction to a film. And there are countless roles I would love to play.

The Asylum is known for putting out movies quickly. What is your schedule usually like when working on a movie for The Asylum?
WOW!! That pretty much sums it up...Itís crazy. It really is. I havenít worked with another production that crazy. I really donít know how they do it. But they do and itís pretty amazing. There isnít much prep time for the actors which I personally donít like, but they are a great group of people and I love working with them.

Do you enjoy seeing how the special effects are created and implemented on shoots?
Yeah, Iím the type of actor who loves to be on set. When Iím not in a scene I love to sit with the director and watch how itís all done. Itís a lot of fun.

Tom: "Itís always fun to do a pirate film".

Are the movies youíve worked on as much fun to make, as they are to watch?
In my eyes they are more fun to work on, but I love what I do and I wouldnít trade it for anything.

What do you look for when choosing a role?
Thatís a tough one. It really depends. So much goes into the decision. Besides the actual role and story, it depends on who I will be working with and whoís directing and so forth. The main thing though I guess is, am I going to have fun playing this character.

Do you have any funny stories you could share with us about shooting a horror movie?
There are lots...um...Itís always funny when the props and costumes arenít working right. Especially at 3am... we all get a little silly.

Which of your horror movies has been your favorite to make so far?
Pirates of Treasure Island. It was just released in the United States and I co-stared with Lance Henriksen. It was a blast! Plus I learned so much from him. Heís a great actor and a great person. Plus itís always fun to do a pirate film.

You have worked with some really good people in the horror industry. Who has been great fun to work with, and is there anyone you would like to work with in future?
Well I must say there a lot of people I have had a great time with; Lance Henriksen, Jeff Denton, Tom Downey, Rhett Giles, and Leigh Scott are just a few. I would love to work with Tom Hanks or Johnny Depp. I think they are brilliant actors and it would be wonderful to be in a film with them and learn from them.

What advice would you have for any struggling actors out there?
What I always tell people is that in this business it almost comes down to 2 words Patience and Persistence. Keep working at it!!

Whatís next for you?
I have a Lionsgate film coming out July 11th called The Butcher and I start filming a comedy called Frat House mid July.

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

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