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Wingman Wednesday

Corin Nemec

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Having grown up somewhat alongside Corin Nemec – he on our television screens, we sitting in front of them – the Arkansas-born actor has entertained us for decades. From the ahead-of-its-time “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” to the small screen adaptation of “The Stand,” as well as some of our favorite episodic science fiction, “Stargate” and “Supernatural,” he has surprised us with his versatility time and time again. Perhaps no role has been more surprising however than the half man/half bunny of “Rottentail,” the new horror/comedy mashup that is sure to become a cult classic. Based on the graphic novel by David C. Hayes and published by Source Point Press, the film is available now in select theaters.

We recently sat down with Nemec to discuss career longevity, where he is most at peace, and why he hopped at the opportunity to play the film’s title character.

TrunkSpace: You’ve been working in the industry for decades. What would be the biggest surprise to 10-year-old Corin if he was able to sort of catch a glimpse of how your career has played out? What would the younger version of you be the most psyched about?
Nemec: Well, the fact that I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years and I’m still working.

TrunkSpace: Did you have a long-term plan in place when you were first dreaming of becoming an actor?
Nemec: It’s tough to say. This industry is such a roller coaster, you know? Like I answered before, it’s pretty amazing that I’m still working consistently year after year because there’s plenty of actors that started when they were kids at the same time that I did who never worked again once they became adults, much less in their 40s. It’s just a huge blessing that I’m still able to compete and continue doing what I’ve always loved to do. There’s ups and downs – it’s rare that there’s real consistency. Even with people with huge careers, there still can be major ups and downs.

TrunkSpace: Was it a matter of putting yourself in the right place at the right time?
Nemec: I think that a lot of it is because at a certain point in my career, when many other actors would probably not audition as much, I realized that it was more important to put ego aside and be willing to audition for films, television shows or whatever else in order to continue working on a regular basis and to compete for jobs that wouldn’t be offered to me. I think that that had a lot to do with it because there were other actors with careers similar to mine, and they were more thinking that they should be in “offer-only” kind of situations for parts. For me it was about always being willing to compete for a role, win or lose. I think that that was a big part of my longevity throughout my late 20s and into my 30s. I think that since then it’s also been relationships that I’ve made as I’ve gotten older, with producers, directors and casting directors. I’ve made some decent relationships with a number of them over the years that I end up working with on a semi-regular basis.

TrunkSpace: Would you say that you still enjoy working in the industry as much today as you did when you first started out?
Nemec: Oh yeah! It’s strange. I feel more at home and more at peace… and more in my own skin… when I’m sitting in a trailer in-between scenes or on a set than I do anywhere else in my life. It’s just I feel that I’m participating in what it is that I love to do. It’s a great blessing, and I certainly do not frown upon it at all. I know some people in the industry who they just have oddly bad attitudes even when they’re working, and even when they’re not working. When I see people with bad attitudes on set it’s like, “Do something else.”

TrunkSpace: From what we understand, you’re a big comic book fan. Did that play into your initial interest in “Rottentail” seeing it started out as a graphic novel?
Nemec: Although I hadn’t read the graphic novel, I was familiar with the graphic novel previous to getting the job. It was a bit of a cult hit. I do a lot of conventions – Comic Con-style conventions mostly – for my work on “Stargate” and “Supernatural.” I end up hanging out with a lot of the comic book artists and stuff like that. I usually pop by all the comic book stands, where they have everything set up, and have a chat and check out what’s going on. I’m an artist as well. I’ve drawn my whole life, and I was totally addicted to MAD Magazine and Heavy Metal magazine. Those are my two favorite magazines, and the art in both of those is always really great. I was also into the regular comic book stuff, and then later on, checking out some of the graphic novels. I always loved the idea of translating graphic novels into features because there’s some just amazing stories in a lot of those graphic novels, especially with the more avant-garde publishing companies. Not everything is DC and Marvel, let’s be real here. There’s just far more content out there than DC and Marvel.

So I was very excited when I heard about it. I got a copy of the graphic novel and I was like, “Oh wow! This is hilarious!” And then I got a hold of the script and met with Brian Skiba and had a chat about it. I was just excited that it was going to be a horror/comedy because I think that if we had gone straight horror with something like “Rottentail,” a half man/half rabbit – without the funny in there – I don’t think that it would have come across nearly as well as it has because it’s so ridiculous. Without that comedy I don’t think that people would have believed in the world as much.

TrunkSpace: They comedy certainly helps viewers suspend belief. When we first watched, because of that comedic side to it, we thought, “This has the potential to be a cult classic.”
Nemec: Yeah, it definitely is in the running to be a cult class. Absolutely it is.

TrunkSpace: Is that something that you consciously think about when you see a concept like this, which while not for everyone, you know there will be a certain segment of movie fans who will get it?
Nemec: Yeah, I think we knew once we did the makeup test and did a mock up of one of the scenes. William McNamara came out and we did a little piece of one of the scenes just to see how everything played and what the character was like. I think that was the real “Aha!” moment for Brian Skiba and I. It was like, “Oh yeah, we definitely have something here.” The makeup looks absolutely amazing. The character came together right away and it looked great on film. Once that happened, the excitement level and the enthusiasm definitely went up. The budget on this is under $300,000 and we spent over $60,000 of it on special effects makeup. If you do the math, you can see how much was left for principal photography and we only had 16 days to shoot it in. This script was not a slice of life film. There is a lot happening in it. Brian Skiba, being the great director that he is, was able to pull it off. I think a lesser director would have just collapsed under the pressure.

TrunkSpace: It reminded us of something like “Bubba Ho-tep” in terms of its cult classic potential.
Nemec: Yeah. I think that it’s similar to how maybe the first “Chucky” movie was, although I think “Chucky” took itself even a little bit more seriously than we’re taking things. There’s a lot of great one liners… a lot of great comedy to it. It’s a character that isn’t really taking itself too seriously. I really think that for the genre and for the budget that we had and the shooting schedule… I really think that we knocked it out of the park. Our hope is that it does well enough to get us another, a “Rottentail 2,” which of course we would preferably have a real budget for so we can show people what we can really, really, do.

TrunkSpace: Rottentail is such a memorable character, but you’ve played a lot of memorable characters on screen over the years. Who is a character that you wish you had more time to explore further?
Nemec: I would definitely say the role on “Stargate” was cut short in a way that was unexpected and I really think that it was unfortunate that that character wasn’t utilized a lot more in the episodes after the character was written out of the show. I was pretty surprised that they never chose to bring the character back again or figure out what happened when he left. “Is there anything else?” There was just zero follow up. They wrote the character out and never returned to visit it.

Rottentail” is available in select theaters now.

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Wingman Wednesday

Ellie Gall

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Fans of the Stargate franchise are directly benefiting from the brave new streaming world that now dominates our content consumption habits. Airing on Stargate Command, a brand-specific streaming platform, and serving as a what happened when, “Stargate Origins” tells the story of a young Catherine Langford as she looks to uncover the secrets of the Stargate, all while having to outrun and outsmart Nazis. Catherine is played by Ellie Gall, an Aussie actress who oozes likability and charisma in each and every scene she adventures her way through.

We recently sat down with Gall to discuss her excitement in joining the franchise, how she tackles the fantastical aspects of a world where anything is possible, and why people need to tune in to Sunday’s Season 3 premiere of “Ash vs Evil Dead” to see an entirely different side her.

TrunkSpace: The Stargate brand has a very rich history and a strong, passionate fandom behind it. Was it exciting coming into a series knowing that it would already have eager eyeballs lined up to watch it?
Gall: I was so excited coming onto this project and getting to play a beloved character. It’s intimidating to join a series with such a passionate fan base – you want to make everyone happy and do the franchise justice.

TrunkSpace: We mentioned the rich history behind the brand, but with this being an origin story, your character Catherine Langford actually plays a big part in sort of writing the parts of the history that we as an audience have yet to see. Can you tell us a little bit about how Catherine sets the table for all past (but future in terms of story timeline) versions of Stargate?
Gall: Catherine’s intelligence and strength of character is established in this installment, and that is carried through in all versions of Stargate.

TrunkSpace: From a performance standpoint, what aspects of Catherine’s personality appealed to you most when you first read for her and how did you go about finding who she was in order to bring her to life?
Gall: I was immediately drawn to how headstrong and uncompromising Catherine is – she never second-guesses herself, and does everything with a fiery passion, even if it’s a situation that might get her into trouble. I spent some time thinking about what her life would look like, having spent the last 10 years in Egypt with her father, making a name as a researcher. I was basically creating a world view and making sure Catherine has strong opinions because she is always observing everything around her – nothing goes unnoticed. In every scene I tried to make sure she was always one step ahead.

TrunkSpace: When you’re getting to play in the science fiction sandbox, often times anything is possible. As a performer, is it interesting being a part of a project like “Stargate Origins” where you can show up to work and be thrust into a scene that is both grounded in reality and at the same time, so far removed from it?
Gall: Every day was fun and exciting, working in this genre really allows you to play and use your imagination. You have to be fully invested in what’s happening in any scene that’s not grounded in reality – you have to know everything that’s going on. It calls for a lot of focus.

TrunkSpace: Science fiction fans can be very protective of their favorite worlds and characters. Knowing what you know about “Stargate Origins,” are you confident that existing fans will embrace it as part of the universe they already know and love?
Gall: I can’t say with confidence that everyone will embrace this new chapter with open arms, although I’m sure anyone with an open mind will love it! It plays more to the fans of the film and anyone who’s excited to see Catherine’s new story. We had some really positive feedback at LACC and on various social media platforms before and after the show came out. It’s impossible to please everyone of course and because Stargate has chronicled so many stories over the years, fans have their own favorite stories they would like to see.

TrunkSpace: The audience who watches something always remembers the final product, whether it’s a film or a series. For those involved in it, we imagine that the experience becomes the most memorable part. Looking back over your time on the series thus far, what are the highlights that you’ll carry with you through the rest of your life?
Gall: The people I worked with for sure! I met so many amazingly talented artists on this set who really inspired me and with whom I became good friends. I hope we get another opportunity to work together in the future.

TrunkSpace: You’re also set to appear in Season 3 of “Ash vs Evil Dead,” which is a personal favorite for a lot of us around here. We imagine you can’t give too much away, but what can you tell us about Rachel? Will she be sticking around or does she become a victim of the Deadites?
Gall: Hmmm, this one’s tough without giving too much away…

Rachel is the best friend of Brandy (Ash’s long-lost daughter) and we encounter some evil early in the season. It’s the start of Brandy’s mission to follow her father’s footsteps and fight evil. I don’t get a chance to stick around, but if you want to know my fate you’ll have to tune in and find out.

TrunkSpace: Both series will hit audiences at about the same time. As far as your own personal expectations for 2018, is this shaping up to be an exciting year for you in terms of your career and what lies ahead?
Gall: 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year! I have nothing lined up yet, but I’m back in Los Angeles for pilot season looking for the next gig.

TrunkSpace: If the success of these projects catapults you to a level of stardom where you’re recognized frequently on the streets or in coffee shops, is that an aspect of the job that you think you’ll be comfortable with? Is fame a benefit of living out your dream or is it an unwanted side effect?
Gall: I value my privacy and I love the normalcy of my life but it would be strange to have people approach me in public. I will say it is exciting to think that my work could reach a level where people recognize me in a public setting – it means it’s impacting people’s lives and that’s a big part of what I love about my job.

TrunkSpace: If someone came to you with a time machine and offered you a chance to have a glimpse at what your career will look like 10 years from now, would you take the futuristic peek?
Gall: I think if you had of asked me that question 10 years ago I would have said yes but now I would have to say no. Part of the human experience is living in the unknown, in the present moment, having goals for the future drive us. So much unhappiness comes from either living in the past or the future, it’s more fun to not know where you are heading. I trust that I’ll end up exactly where I need to be in 10 years and it might be different from what I want now.

Stargate Origins” is streaming now on Stargate Command. The first three episodes are available to watch for free with new episodes arriving every week.

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