02nd May2018

Interview: Richard Wagner talks ‘Corbin Nash’

by Philip Rogers

Searching a world of darkness for a truth he was never ready for, a rogue detective (Dean S. Jagger) is murdered only to be reborn the ultimate killer. Embracing his destiny, vowing vengeance on all that destroyed his family; he is Corbin Nash, Demon Hunter. With the film out now, I got a chance to sit down with actor and producer Richard Wagner to talk all things Corbin Nash

Corbin-Nash-poster

As well as acting in the Corbin Nash you also produce the film. Can you tell us a bit about your role as producer for the film and how you got involved in the project?

I think it was Dean Jagger who told me originally about this idea which they had been throwing around. Dean, Ben Jagger and Chris Taylor who is the other writer. He told me a little bit about it, very briefly as they were still in the early stages, but after hearing that I thought it was pretty awesome! The description of the [baseball] bat that they already had in mind, Corbin’s weapon. I have always loved the weapon. From there we just hit the ground running. I put the groundwork together to be able to get the financing whilst they were finishing the script. I was executive producer, but I was very hands on. I had some experience luckily in financing, so I was able to put a few things together and get a great group of investors that funded the project. I also aided in the day to day operations of the film and we brought on another producer Todd Grossman to help. The script went through a few versions, but once we got it down to an origin story, we brought on a great casting director Carmen Aiello and we were able to compile a great cast together.

Talking about the cast, were you surprised at some of the cast members you managed to get into the film?

I was very impressed. We knew we had some very good writing and interesting characters, but we wanted to aim for the highest we could possibly get. Carmen was great at getting some of these icons, Rutger Hauer, Malcolm McDowell, Corey Feldman. Of course, they all wanted to meet the director and Ben done a great job meeting and convinced them. I mean they loved the material! So, we were very happy and impressed that we were able to get them all on board.

What was the hardest part of bringing the film together?

I think on any film, unfortunately the hardest part is getting the financing. A lot of people have amazing ideas out there, amazing scripts, it’s unfortunate that the financing is very slim. Luckily, I had a background in that and we were able to get a great group of investors together. I think finding the money to make a film is the hardest part of actually making a film. Fortunately, the stars aligned for us and we were able to get it done.

For anyone who has not yet seen the film, what can they expect from Corbin Nash?

I think you get a lot of bang for your buck! You get all the best parts of the genre, blood, gore, vampires, mythology, but it’s also grounded in real world. There is actually a real good story there if people follow it. It’s not only a fun packed action film, there is a great story which has a lot of mystery and emotion in there. If people like graphic novels they really need to give this a shot and check it out.

You act in the film as well, you play Vince. Can you tell us a little bit about your character and what sort preparation you did for the role?

It’s pretty dark! Vince is such an evil horrible character, but he’s got a lot of layers. The world’s been very cruel to him, he’s got a lot of hate which stems back to his family life, especially with his mother. I spoke with Ben Jagger a lot to get his vision across what Vince was, which is great being an actor. Leading up to the film he sent me some references and I was able to build up the character from there. Vince is a vampire, he has a very dark past, especially like I mentioned with his mother and he is over 100 years old. Grew up around the prohibition era, so he kind of has that John Dillinger look which we tried to mould. He killed a lot of people even when he was human, so when he embraced the power he had and that made his hate grow a lot faster. I did a lot of research watching a lot of great films like Javier Bardem’s performance in No Country for Old Men (2007) which was amazing. Also, the movie Henry [Portrait of a Serial Killer] (1986) with Michael Rooker. I was just trying to get the sense of a serial killer, who also has the powers of a vampire. We talk on set about articulating how we wanted the character to express emotion without a lot of words, which was pretty interesting to do.

You spend a lot of your time on screen opposite Corey Feldman who does an amazing job as Queenie. What was he like to work with during the film?

What an experience, absolutely amazing! Just growing up as a kid in Kansas and not knowing anything about movies, just watching them. I loved all of his films and Goonies (1985) was one of my favourite films of all time. I mean it was an absolute pleasure to work with him. It’s funny but I didn’t get a chance to meet him until our first scene together. When he was on set he was in makeup for three hours and I didn’t get to see him until he was Queenie, so there was no Corey there. It was absolutely terrifying to see because he really embodied the character. On set there was no Corey, everyone called him Queenie and he was in character. Just the whole look and the way he carried himself, as an actor was just awesome! I met Corey a few days later and he is just an awesome guy. Our relationship in the film is creepy and just odd, it almost makes peoples hair stand up on their arms. But people have to watch it a couple of times to get all the hints as to Vince and Queenie’s back story, which I think is pretty cool. But what an outstanding actor Corey was, and I really think its going to show people what he is capable of and how great of an actor he is by what he has done in this film. He is very humble, and it was a great pleasure to work with him.

Did it make it easier for you with Corey in character the whole time?

It really does! Sometimes people can take methods a bad way or a way which doesn’t help other actors, but you know he was just there, creepy and it really helped me work off that. Because are characters are complete opposites in the movie, which is what works well. It was easy for me to become and embody Vince, as appose to just eating a sandwich with Corey at lunch and then having to get into the mindset. It did really help me.

What were your favourite moments whilst making the film?

Favourite moments, they would say from a producing standpoint, everybody involved was great. We had such a talented core group, working with Dean and Ben to put something like this together. Its tough to do a film like this which is so ambitious with a limited budget, so just to be able to experience working with some very talented people was amazing.

Then working as an actor alongside, Malcolm McDowell, Rutger Hauer, Corey and of course the rest of the cast. If I had to pick one moment I would say acting my favourite part about acting was a scene where Corey’s character Queenie and my character Vince were celebrating our anniversary, a kind of a dinner anniversary scene. Shooting that was probably one of my favourite scenes to shoot!

Interesting term ‘Dinner Scene’

If you watch it, it has a few meanings.

Do you have any other projects you are working on at the moment?

I just acted in a film [Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks (2018)] directed by Richard Elfman, who directed The Forbidden Zone (1980), a kind of a cult classic. Verne Troyer also starred in the film, so I am very upset and saddened to hear about his passing. That movie comes out early next year.
Producing wise I am always working on developing something, so we have a few projects which are in development. I hope to release details in the next few months or so, but nothing I can talk about right now.

With Corbin Nash it has been set up for a sequel to follow on. Do you think there will be a follow up film in the series?

Yes, we definitely hope so and there are already plans. Myself, Dean, Ben and Chris already have some great ideas for not only sequels, but different avenues to take the Corbin Nash world. The film has just been released and everything has been great so far. Those are in the works, so we hope to be able to announce something of that nature soon if the possibilities are there.

Not sure how much you can discuss this, but what sort of avenues are you looking to take the film, apart from a sequel would it be comic books or animation?

There are a lot of different ways we would love people to see this world. For a film this size we were very ambitions, we tried to put a lot in there to set up a lot of different things. But we would love something in the comic book realm and obviously television ideas. There are a lot of way in which we could show this world to the people, and we would love to show it in as many ways as we can.

What advice would you give to a new actor who wants to get into film?

I would say you always have to stay hungry! Nothing ever comes to you, so you always need to have a direct path in your mind. Also, in the climate today and how hard this business is, do whatever you can to create your own content. That is probably the main thing! If you go into these casting call auditions, the chances of success are very small. So, if you can surround yourself by talented and likeminded people and create something yourself, you can really control your destiny and the types of roles you are showing to the world.

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