FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG Interview With Acting Legend Shane Briant
By James Whittington, Thursday 1st May 2014
Early last week and to celebrate the release of Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell onto 2-disc DVD and single disc Blu-ray double play we asked you for questions for Hammer film legend Shane Briant and those chosen would receive an exclusive set of lobby cards. Well the lucky five were selected and we asked Shane their questions. Read below what he had to say.
This special event was created in association with the longest running Peter Cushing society page on Facebook - The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society UK www.facebook.com/petercushingblog
HC: How does it feel to be part of the Hammer family? There's no denying that Hammer is an institution that has left a real mark on the history of British film. [Clifford Green]
SB: It’s an honour to be considered amongst a family that includes, amongst many other names, Fisher, Lee, Cushing, Pitt, Bates, Smith. Hammer Films are cinema history, so, in a way, I shall live on too.
HC: Is there a particular mindset you got in when working on a horror film? [Timothy Lowe]
SB: In Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell, I was a nice guy. But in my other three Hammer movies, I was either deranged or a bad guy. So by the time I moved on from Hammer, I was a seasoned ‘bad guy’ and knew how to scare the crap out of most people. This was enormously useful when it came to war movies, playing cruel nazis, as well as monsters from outer space in Farscape. I was asked by an English publishing company to write my autobiography a couple of years ago. I published it under the title ‘Always The Bad Guy.’ You can buy it online - very reasonably priced at under fifteen quid with over 200 photos and all my secret stories!
HC: How do you feel about the way horror films have developed in the years since this film and Hammer Film's recent output? [Simon Woodley]
SB: I’ve said a few times before that Hammer, to my mind anyway, should make at least one gothic piece a year. By all means make modern films as they are now doing, but make one to slake the thirst of the old guard. I have really enjoyed their modern day films, but not as much as watching Chris Lee, Ingrid Pitt or Ralphie Bates bare their fangs. There’s not much to compare with two naked female vampires ‘getting it on’ on film, is there? Correct me if I’m wrong! Ha ha!
HC: If the film were to be remade today, who would you choose to play Peter Cushing's and your own roles? [Kevin Nicol]
SB: Are you serious? Me! It could be Helder who carries on the work and changes his name to Frankenstein. But this might not even be necessary. As my assistant find some wonderful upcoming actor who wants to make a name for himself as I did all those years ago. Better still find a gorgeous girl. First choice is Mia Wasikowska!
HC: I have very fond memories of one of your earliest films where you played a deeply complicated killer, Straight On Till Morning. Looking back did you have an inkling during production that you'd go on to have a career so rich with horror roles? [Erin Page]
SB: I am not sure if I can recollect many real horror roles I made after I left Hammer. Playing Nazis and killers is not really the same. Playing an evil man is not, in my mind, the same as playing a horrific man. Tony Perkins in Psycho was horrific, as was the film, but I know what you mean, as I have seldom been asked to play good guys nor appear in frothy comedies, nor chick flicks...ever!
HC: Shane Briant, thank you very much.
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