09th Mar2016

10 quick questions with Henry Rollins about ‘He Never Died’

by Phil Wheat

One of my favourite films from last years Grimmfest was the stunning vampire movie come theological horror He Never Died, (review) which sees Henry Rollins play Jack, a social outcast, who is thrust out of his comfort zone when the outside world bangs on his door and he can’t contain his violent past. As it turns out, there are very few reasons to live when you can’t die…

With He Never Died coming to streaming service We Are Colony, we’ve teamed up with them (they know just how much I LOVE the film!) to bring you this special quickfire Q&A with Henry Rollins. And if you want to know more, you can see He Never Died, along with behind-the-scenes extras – like the one at the end of this interview – on We Are Colony at www.wearecolony.com/he-never-died

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What was the first film that truly made an impact on you?
I think it would be Apocalypse Now. I saw it in the theatre when it first came out and on the way back home, I really didn’t know what had happened. I couldn’t have told you what it was about. It took me seeing it a couple of more times to just get my head around it.

Who has given your favourite performance of the last decade?
I think George Clooney’s performance in Michael Clayton was great. Tilda Swinton’s performance in Only Lovers Left Alive was great.

Pitch us your film in one sentence.
Eternity is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Describe your character in 3 words.
Bored. Depressed. Hungry.

What was it about this script and character that captured your attention?
I responded to the funny parts of the script immediately. I like the idea that Jack’s punishment is eternal. That things never get better. I identify completely with that.

How did you prepare for this role?
It was a process of deadening the responses to things that would make people react far more vividly. It’s easy to forget and be naturally emotive. Hardly anything Jack does is natural, from the way he speaks to his movement. So, it was a lot of restraint.

What was your favourite scene to shoot?
I liked all the violence scenes because to me, they all had a comedic component. Mainly, the reaction of the other characters in these scenes was the most enjoyable to work in. They can’t believe what they’re doing has no effect on Jack.

What was the biggest challenge this role presented?
The restraint, keeping the character’s tone and delivery uniform throughout, keeping it consistent day after day.

What do you hope audiences take away from this film?
It’s a film, not a cure for cancer. Hopefully, they had some laughs and thought we made something that was worth the time it took to watch it.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an actor?
You must be honest. You must be more real than real. You must listen and be generous to a fault.
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We Are Colony is a global film streaming platform connecting passionate fans to great films through exclusive access to behind-the-scenes extras including deleted scenes, interviews, documentaries, stills, scripts and more.

This interview originally appeared on the We Are Colony blog
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