CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF PRINT ISSUE #9, WHICH FEATURES THIS INTERVIEW WITH CRISPIN HELLION GLOVER IN ITS ENTIRETY!
CRISPIN GLOVER HAS CARVED OUT A UNIQUE NICHE FOR HIMSELF IN THE FILM INDUSTRY. KNOWN FOR HIS GRIPPING, EDGY WORK IN CULT CLASSICS LIKE RIVER'S EDGE, CRISPIN CURRENTLY SPLITS HIS TIME BETWEEN ACTING WITHIN THE HOLLYWOOD MAINSTREAM, AND PRODUCING HIS OWN PERSONAL AND OFTEN CONTROVERSIAL FILMS. HE TOURS WITH CRISPIN GLOVER'S BIG SLIDE SHOW AND OFFERS A Q&A SESSION AT EVERY SHOWING OF WHAT IS IT?-- THE FIRST IN A TRILOGY OF FILMS HE'S DIRECTED. NIGHT WATCHMAN SPOKE WITH CRISPIN TO LEARN FIRSTHAND WHAT "IT" EXACTLY IS.
Night Watchman: In describing your film What Is It?, Iíve heard you use the term "aesthetic of discomfort"--
Crispin Glover: Well, itís not really a quote of mine. I guess I must have said it at some point or other, so there is something to that. But I think I had said it and was then quoted for it probably for something long, long before I even made this film. Itís not that the film doesnít necessarily involve those types of things, but it certainly is not the only thing that is involved with the film.
NW: This is the first in a trilogy of films?
CG: Correct. Well, it will be a trilogy. Iíve shot the second part of the trilogy so far, so there is still one more part left to be shot.
NW: I read that you started out wanting to make a short film with Down syndrome actors to show that they are a viable resource in filmmaking.
CG: Well, more specifically, I had co-written a screenplay and had put into this screenplay that concept. I was actually approached to act in this screenplay, and there were things about the screenplay that I liked. But these were first-time filmmakers, so I had concerns about that. I felt there were things that were interesting, but there were things that were not right with the script, just altogether. I had some concepts, so I told them I would be interested in acting in the film if it could be something I could direct, and then I would be able to rework the screenplay. They wanted to hear what I was thinking, and one of my main concepts was to cast a portion of the characters in the film with actors who have Down syndrome. There were other things as well, but that was the most important thing. So they liked the sound of that. They said that would be okay, and they wanted me to work on the film and direct it. David Lynch then became involved, and he said he would executive produce the film. So I went to one of the larger independent film-funding entities, and I had a number of people interested in it, but ultimately they were concerned about having a majority of the cast played by actors with Down syndrome. So thatís when I wrote the screenplay as a short film to promote the concept. Originally, the whole cast had Down syndrome. I cut it together in about six months. It was a four-day shoot for that short film, and it came in at about eighty-four minutes long, which is longer than the film is now. It was apparent that the film was too long and that more depth was needed. With more work I figured I could turn it into a feature film. I ended up putting myself in it to change up an antagonistic element in the film that really wasnít as strong as it needed to be for a feature. And then I added an actor named Steven C. Stewart, who was a 62-year-old man suffering from a severe case of cerebral palsy. He had written a screenplay I read a long time ago that Iíd always wanted to produce. Even though the films were very different on many levels, there was some element of theme that seemed to work with each other. I realized I could put him into this movie and then make his film into part two. And then, ultimately, make an original screenplay as the third part.
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READ OUR FIRST INTERVIEW WITH CRISPIN HERE.