Talking to Clancy Brown when you are a big “Carnivále” fan can be hugely intimidating, especially in lieu of his evil character on the show (Brother Justin Crowe). Luckily, Brown ended up as one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed.
And nicely for Moviehole, Brown was able to clear some time in his busy schedule to talk about his role in the just-released film comedy “Supercon” about fan conventions, as well as how fond he still is of “Carnivále.”
Moviehole: I have to ask! Are there any plans for another “Carnivále” episode or series?
Clancy Brown: I’ve never heard of anything. I talk to Dan (Knauf, creator) every now and then about what he’s doing andhe keeps me posted –I like him a lot. I think it’s up to HBO,they’re the ones who own it. I wanted them to do a book. Usually they like to leverage across platforms.
Moviehole: How did you get involved in “Supercon”?
CB: I was on a jury at the Edinburgh film festival and a script got sent to me. I really appreciated it and I said,what to do you want me to do? I played Adam King. AndI had to fly from Edinburgh to New Orleans, when I first read it. I laughed, it was really funny and sweet, it had a silly mean character a—hole, but not evil mean. AdamKing, he’s not dangerous, he’s just a putz, just a guy. In the trailer, there are a lot of nut–cracking jokes and that’s about as horrible as it all gets — finally I (as the character) get my nuts cracked too in this and I deserve it more than anyone.
Moviehole: Have you been to conventions yourself?
CB: I’ve been to a few conventions, I usually go associated with some show I’m promoting, but I haven’tgone to tables and charged for autographs. I haven’t been able to work out my schedule. I have friends who do it and they recommend it. I’ve seen that economy grow, and the nightmare character that I play overcharges like he’s doing them a favor.
Our heroes are the ones who enjoy being there (at the convention) and celebrate being there with their friends, it’s accurate and sweet. I think Adam King is a conglomeration of people, but not anyone particular. Every now and then, people behave badly, they do something out of bounds and they get called out for it. Most everyone I know takes it to heart, but not AdamKing — that part of his brain, the self-awareness part of his brain, is gone. He’s a representative of everybody’s bad experience.
Adam King might actually be very charming in an interview — I haven’t thought about it, there’s got to be some reason he was a popular actor in TV (laughs).
Moviehole: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever had in acting?
CB: Everything’s challenging to a point. There arephysical challenges — it can be just a challenge to learn the lines because the syntax is very strange. I did a film that should have been better than it was called “Pathfinder,” I had to learn Icelandic because it was the closest thing to the Viking idiom. I did my best but Ilearned my best isn’t very good. The frustrating part, was what I was saying was subtitled and sometimes was different from what I was saying. The film was based on a Norwegian film called “Pathfinder.” It’s a great little movie, worth seeing.
Moviehole: Were there any funny stories working on Supercon? What was it like working with Maggie Grace and John Malkovich?
CB: It was great, I didn’t work with Maggie too much, but I knew John from way back in Chicago, when we were doing Steppenwolf Theater from being kids then.Chicago was an exciting theater town in the 80s. It was good to see him again, I worked with Steppenwolf and I worked with a bunch of them (actors) over the years. We had fun and were reminiscing, like couple of old codgers on the porch, like why Jordan was the best basketball player. I like John very much — I enjoy and admire him so much, he’s a one-of-a-kind guy. He’s a widely talented and very unique guy and interesting good dude, I love him to death. It was good catching up.
Moviehole: What is your advice for acting newbies?
CB: Just keep at it, get good and keep learning the craft. It’s a great time to be in the arts, there’s more work now than there ever was with so many different platforms and media -traditional silos are breaking down. You should do everything — theater, voice, do TV. When I first came out here, you were either a TV or a movie or a voice actor, and it never should have been like that. A lot of the best scripts are written by actors or designers, like a cinematographer where they have been an actor — it’s wide open, so don’t be precious about it.
I’m biased towards actors as every discipline informs the other discipline. If you are a director or a writer, you should try writing, and being an actor will inform that. Maybe you want todo everything — so do everything, the rules are wide open. Barriers to entry are lower than they have ever been.
Moviehole: What are your upcoming projects?
CB: I’m doing “Billions” right now, and Paul Giamatti and I know each other a billion years ago. Also I’m working on“SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Detroit: Become Human,” (video game) and “Dallas and Robo.”
“Supercon” was released by Sony Pictures Entertainment on April 27, as well as on VOD and Digital HD. It will be available on DVD on June 5th.