Here at Glass Eye Pix we are pleased as punch to share this awesome interview at Diabolique with the always articulate John Speredakos. Can’t resist highlighting our own passages in the excerpt below, but please read on, as Speredakos knows how to wax poetic with relish about the creators and thespians behind The Mind’s Eye, The Battery, Tales From Beyond The Pale, the forthcoming Stray Bullets, and of course, Hal Holbrook.
Diabolique: Speaking of the “Godfather of Indie Filmmaking”, how has that relationship both personal and professional with Fessenden been? What makes him so connecting, visionary and humble?
John Speredakos: Ahh, a Fessenden question. At last! I literally don’t know how many times Larry and I have worked together, in various capacities. It’s just a great professional relationship. We met of course on Wendigo in 2000. Larry’s got you coming and going— he’s smarter than most folks, but also deeply sensitive. He’s a natural leader, but a born collaborator. He’s a showman with a hammy side, but capable of tremendously subtle, detailed work. He’s passionate about his causes and can articulate them better than anyone. He’s politically astute. He can act, write, direct, edit and play sax! He looks like the guy next door, if you live next to a Sanitarium. He’s riddled with fears, and turns those fears into action. He’s the living embodiment of an Artist.
Diabolique: Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid also; how has the radio theater Tales from Beyond the Pale been as a creative channel for you? How different is it to only be able to use the tools of your voice and personality to bring these characters to life? Was the live season more challenging then the studio sessions since you were a part of all three sessions to date? How was it working on The Ripple at Cedar Lake?
John Speredakos: Glenn and Larry created the Tales together, and it’s been a creative Godsend to many of us. I’ve always loved doing readings and workshops of new material, it’s pure performance without the anxiety of being off-book. And I was in the very first Tale with Larry, Vince D’Onofrio, Nick Damici— Man of the Ledge. We were finding our grove. But as Glenn will attest, it enabled a lot of writers with ideas to get their stories told without the usual hassle of years of fundraising to finance a movie. And yeah, it calls on some different skills as a performer. You’re not working off the other actors as readily, you’re forging a relationship with the listener THROUGH the microphone. It’s intimate. Which is what makes it such a great story-telling device. We did the whole second season live which was a blast. I played alongside James LeGros and Sean Young in Glenn’s The Crush and had great parts in Stranger and Larry’s Caper. The audience had as much fun as we did. Almost. But I wouldn’t say it was more challenging, just different. I hope we do more live Tales.
Season Three is another great one— I was in two Tales, including Glenn’s The Ripple at Cedar Lake . That was pure pulpy camp— which he happens to excel at. But it was also full of ideas, gorgeous language and imagery. And I played another mad scientist, come to think of it! We did a lot of improv on that, really letting us vamp at times. Of course then he cut it all back! Glenn is a magnificent writer— I always tell him he’s incapable of writing a boring character! It may be one line, but damn, that line will encapsulate an entire mindset and also advance the plot! Pretty nifty trick. So as long as Glenn keeps wanting to work with me I will gratefully say “Yes, Sir. Thank you Sir!”