We know many of you will be excited to hear the news about the third in our series of interviews. We are now pleased to announce we recently had the extreme pleasure of interviewing (drum roll please).......
.....Malachai himself, Courtney Gains!
COTC - How did you get into acting and when did you first hear that they were making a movie called Children of the Corn?
Courtney - Got the bug at age 6 doing theatre. Linda Francis was my first casting director and who was a fan of my work. She called me in for Children of the Corn.
COTC - Prior to getting involved with the production, were you familiar with the Stephen King short story?
Courtney - No, I was not.
COTC - What was it like auditioning for the role of Malachai and did you audition for any other parts?
Courtney - Well, I felt it was time for me to prove I could act. So I was very focused on getting the part.
COTC - How was it working with Fritz Kiersch and did he give you creative freedom with your character?
Courtney - I enjoyed Fritz. He is a very good guy. Yeah, he gave me a lot of freedom.
COTC - Except for pick-ups and certain close-up shots, the movie was entirely filmed in selected small towns in Iowa to give the look of the fictional, mid-west town of Gatlin, Nebraska. Was it easy to get into character when you were surrounded by, well, corn?
Courtney - The cornfield is where all the magic happened.....When I would be coming from my trailer through the corn I’d be saying - THIS IS MY FIELD! By the time I’d come to the set, I would be ready to go.
COTC - Shots from each location had to be combined in the end to make it all look like one town. Did they shoot all of the footage specific to one location before they moved production on to the next town?
Courtney - Yeah, pretty much.
COTC - How was it to work with the local kids that played many of the "Children of the Corn" and did they seem excited that a major motion picture was filming in their hometowns?
Courtney - They were great! I felt they were as good as us Hollywood actors, they were very into it.
COTC - During filming, were there any behind-the-scenes bloopers you could share with us that we may not have heard about?
Courtney - The best moment was in the scene where Linda Hamilton goes to the boy on the highway. She thought it was a dummy but they snuck Jonas (Marlowe) under the sheet and when he came out from under it, she really screamed! It was very funny.
COTC - In the beginning, we see your character playing pinball in Hansen’s Café waiting for the sign from Isaac. What do you think has convinced Malachai and the rest of the children that what they are doing is right and that they should follow Isaac’s teachings?
Courtney - That’s a director’s question really. I think for my character it was rebellion teen angst. He didn’t like being told what to do.
COTC - It seems that everyone but Isaac is afraid of Malachai. Is there a reason Malachai resorts to violence and intimidation and do you think that is why Isaac has chosen him as his right-hand man?
Courtney - Yes, he is the enforcer. He had the balls to kill the sheriff thus, becoming the keeper of the laws.
COTC - Throughout the movie, we can see the tension between Malachai and Isaac with both wanting to be in control. Doesn’t it cross Malachai’s mind that Isaac is the leader because He Who Walks Behind the Rows only speaks to him?
Courtney - Yes, I think it does cross his mind, but I also think he wants to be the leader.
COTC - What is it that finally turns Malachai against his leader and do you think Isaac ever had a clue that this might happen?
Courtney - I think with the pressure of the adults coming into town and how to handle it, he begins to question Isaac’s leadership.
COTC - Doesn’t Malachai wonder if He Who Walks Behind the Rows may not be pleased by this?
Courtney - He’s all about the rules.
COTC - Was Malachai’s fate in the end what you felt should have happened?
Courtney - Well, we had a better death scene written where Isaac drags him into the corn to be sacrificed. I would have loved to play that scene.
COTC - Children of the Corn has grown into a franchise and has produced, at present, six sequels. Have you seen any of them and if so, how do you feel where the storyline is being taken?
Courtney - I haven’t seen them. Don’t really want to.
COTC - Children of the Corn 6 showed Isaac’s Return. Isaac was resurrected, what about Malachai?
Courtney - I don’t think it’s gonna happen. Maybe for the best.
COTC - Speaking of returns, much talk has circulated in the last year of a possible remake to the classic 1984 film. If it is ever confirmed, how do you feel about it and would you be interested in a part or cameo role if asked? Maybe R.G. Armstrong’s character? One of the cafe customers? Maybe even Burt?
Courtney - I think it’s gonna happen. I would love to do a cameo. R.G.’s role would work.
COTC - Just curious, do you see or keep in touch with any of the actors, filmmakers or extras from the film?
Courtney - Yes. John the most, but Fritz as well. Some of the extras have found me on myspace etc..
COTC - We have been a big fan of your other films as well. Do fans ask more about your other roles you have done or does it seem they always ask about Malachai the most?
Courtney - Children of the Corn the most, but a lot of the 80’s films are classics at this point.
COTC - Do you hear your famous "Outlander!" line a lot when you run into fans?
Courtney - Oh yeah.
COTC - As fans ourselves, could you fill us in on what you’ve been up to lately?
Courtney - Got some things coming out. BENNY BLISS, a rock ’n’ roll road movie with a anti-tech message, will be on DVD this summer. Right now I have a web series playing I produced and star in called THE REAL DEAL. Go to the www.youtube.com/realufilms channel for new episodes.
COTC - With next year being the 25th Anniversary of Children of the Corn, do you think it is still as scary as when it appeared in theaters in 1984? Also, we have had the pleasure to find many loyal COTC fans out there. How does it feel to know you were involved in a movie that has such a cult following and played a character that some consider to be one of the scariest roles of all time?
Courtney - I think the film still holds up pretty well. It’s great to be in a cult classic and I’m proud my character is being considered so highly (no makeup).
COTC - Would you like to see something brought together for the anniversary like a reunion, convention or something else?
Courtney - Sure, that would be great!
COTC - Looking back, if you could pick your favorite scene from Children of the Corn, what would it be?
Courtney - We want to give you peace....
COTC - Thank you Courtney for answering our questions and for making us look over our shoulder anytime we see a cornfield.
Courtney - You’re welcome.
We want to send special thanks to Courtney for giving us the time out of his schedule for this exclusive interview. And if you want to check out more on Courtney, go to his Myspace at www.myspace.com/courtneygains, his official website at http://www.courtneygains.net/, the all-new website for Real U Masks at http://www.realumasks.com/ or its Myspace site at www.myspace.com/realumasks. Also, for more info on the movie Benny Bliss and the Disciples of Greatness, go to http://www.bennyblissmovie.com/ or check out the official Myspace page at www.myspace.com/bennybliss.
Until next time Outlanders........
We are very excited to bring you the next interview in our Children of the Corn series this week with Jonas Seaman (Marlowe). As many of you remember, Jonas played Joseph who tried to escape Gatlin only to have an untimely (and very unpleasant) meeting with Malachai in the cornfield. We recently talked with him about Japanese horror, Americanvirus, and hiding under blankets.
COTC - When did you get into acting and how did you hear about the production of Stephen King's Children of the Corn?
Jonas - I was always performing or making up stories in some way or another when I was little. I've always been in love with the movies. When the lights go down in a theater I always feel a little jump in my heart. I think, like a lot people my age, my love for the movies began with Star Wars, but even then, I loved all kinds of films. Because of my Dad, I was exposed early on to a lot of great movies. When I was a kid my Dad began amassing a gigantic video collection. This was before VHS. He had one of these monster 3/4 inch videotape machines that in those days you would only see in a TV Studio. My Dad is Jackie Curtiss (JC Curtiss). He was a bit of a celebrity in the 50's and 60's. He made a number of comedy appearances on the Ed Sullivan show, Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, and played clubs all over the country. For a couple of years (before his movie collection began growing) we had only two films on 3/4 inch tape, Gunga Din and The Wizard of OZ. I watched those two movies about a hundred times, over and over again.
I was about 8 years old when I got a cassette-tape recorder as a gift from my Dad. I started tape recording movies and TV shows as they appeared on television. I walked around his apartment all day listening to them with these huge 1970's head-phones on. That's probably when I really started getting into performing. Star Wars came on TV, and I taped the whole movie so I could listen to it during the day. I was a bit obsessed. I would then take another tape recorder and record scenes from the movie, playing the scenes on one recorder, while I inserted my voice into the story, as if I was an added character in the film. It was pretty horrible, but kind of funny. I then started making up these radio mystery programs. I would press record, and say something like, 'It was a dark and stormy night... suddenly I was hit on the head! Ouch!' Then, I'd bang on the table, like I just fell down. I'd stop the recorder, think of what should happen next in the story, press record, and proceed, line by line, until somehow the mystery resolved itself.
I moved to Seattle with my mother when I was around 9 or 10. I'm not sure exactly how old I was. She really wanted me to grow up in a healthier environment than Los Angeles. I had a hard time adjusting to the move. My mom eventually enrolled me into a Performing Arts School, The Northwest School of the Arts, but even then I missed my Dad and brother who were back in Los Angeles. My brother Curtiss did a TV movie directed by Paul Newman called The Shadow Box, and I thought I was missing out on something by being in Seattle instead of Hollywood. When I was about 12 or 13 I made the decision that I wanted to live with my Dad. It was a pretty hard thing to do. I felt bad for my Mom, who really only wanted what was best for me.
That summer I moved to Los Angeles. My stepmom Bobbi, who is a photographer, took some pictures of me in a photography studio she built in the garage. She also built a darkroom in one of the closets. She submitted the pictures to a couple of agents. Estelle Hertzberg from 20th Century Artists' Agency called me in for an interview. She liked what she saw, and within a week I was out on my first audition. It was that summer that I was called in to audition for Children Of The Corn.
COTC - What was it like auditioning for the character of Joseph, and were there any other roles you considered trying out for?
Jonas - Joseph was the only role that I was being considered for. I remember I used a yellow highlighter to highlight all my lines in the sides that they gave me. It was the scene in the barn before I run off and get killed by Malachai. There weren't a lot of lines to memorize, but I was only 13, so it seemed like a lot at the time. I then rehearsed the scene with Bobbi a couple times. I usually didn't want to work on scenes too much because I wanted them to be fresh, not like I had memorized something. When I went in to read, I took a moment to get into character and then I read the scene. Afterwards, they said that was great and I could go, but I felt I hadn't done my best, so I asked if I could read it again. They said that wasn't necessary, but then they said, 'Ok, read it again if you want.' I read the scene a second time. I don't know if it was any better than the first or not, but I was glad that they let me read twice. About a week later, the phone rang, and I'd got the part.
COTC - Prior to getting the part, were you familiar with Stephen King's works and were you a fan of the horror movie genre growing up?
Jonas - Sure. Stephen King was famous... and I liked scary movies. Then again, at that age, you're easily scared. When I was around 10 my Mom said I could watch The Exorcist with her when it came on TV. I'm thankful that I was never really shielded from adult material as a kid. I think in some ways being exposed to all kinds of media has been a help in my creative life. None the less, I made it through about 30 minutes of The Exorcist before I stopped watching. I knew that was way too much for me to see at that age. Now, I consider it one of the best scary movies ever made. An Werewolf in London came out when I was 11 and somehow I got to see it in a theater, even though I'm pretty sure it was rated 'R'. Even during that movie, which was essentially a comedy, I had to get up out of my seat and leave the theater a couple of times because it was getting too scary. Now, I just think it's a funny movie, but at 11, I was kind of a wuss. On the other hand, I eventually started getting totally into gore and special effects. I loved the scene in American Werewolf where David turns into the monster. After I saw that movie I bought a book about Rick Baker who did the makeup effects. He won an Oscar because of that scene. One of the best things about working on Children Of The Corn was being able to see how all the blood and guts were created. I loved being in the makeup trailer and getting all gored up.
So yeah, I loved all kinds of horror movies as a kid: Trilogy of Terror, Carrie, Cujo, Christine, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, Friday The Thirteenth, Nightmare on Elm Street, Re-Animator, Scanners, Creepshow, The Fly, The Fog, and oh yeah, I loved John Carpenter's Halloween. I still think that's one of the great classic scary movies of my childhood.
Nowadays, I tend to lean more towards the creepy movies, and less the gory slasher films. I really liked The Others, Ju-on, and The Ring. The Japanese director Takashi Miike's Audition is an incredibly creepy film. I just saw a Vampire movie from Sweden the other night called Let The Right One In. That was a great creepy movie. I like movies that are more like those, movies that spend more time on creating a mood and a story, and less time setting up scenarios for hacking people to bits.
COTC - Were you given any of the backstory on the character of Joseph that helped you while doing the role?
Jonas - I wasn't. Fritz Kiersch was a very hands-off director from an acting standpoint. At least for me he was. Then again, I had a very small part in the movie. He was concerned with communicating to me that he didn't want to do another slasher film. He wanted the movie to be suspenseful, but he wanted the audience to use their imagination more than actually see the killings. In fact, if you count all the adults being knocked off at the beginning of the film, Children Of The Corn has a pretty high body count, but most of the deaths are not actually on screen. Like when I die, you never really see my throat slashed. You see my hand drop the suitcase and blood splatter on it, while you hear my throat gurgling. Kiersch was more concerned with how things were going to be shot. He would say how shooting a particular scene in a particular fashion would create tension. He talked to the kids like we were adults, and he was good at communicating his story-telling process. Instead of concerning himself with my backstory, or giving me any performance direction, he would tell me where to stand when I said my lines. The performance was up to me. But, he did talk about what it would look like shot-wise after it was all put together.
COTC - The movie was filmed in the small towns of Whiting, Hornick, and Salix in Iowa. What was it like filming there, did you meet many of the locals, and do you keep in touch?
Jonas - No. I really didn't meet many of the locals and I haven't kept in touch with anybody from Children Of The Corn. For awhile, after the movie, I'd run into Courtney Gains around town. He's a really great guy. Also, John Franklin was really nice. I had breakfast with Linda Hamilton because our call times were the same. She was a really wonderful person, and very friendly. We also hung out at night watching the dailies of the previous day's shoot. I remember watching the scene where I'm supposed to be run over, and they just pummeled a mannequin with the car. When it rolled under the tires, everybody laughed. The atmosphere on the set was just like that. A lot of laughter.
COTC - On screen, your character shares a friendship with Job and Sarah wonderfully played by Robby Kiger and AnneMarie McEvoy. How was it working with them and did you have fun on the set?
Jonas - They were great kids. Incredibly professional. They were both really cute and funny. We had a great time on the set. It was like playing 'pretend' and getting paid for it. Only, the game is, pretend someone might be trying to kill you.
COTC - Although we don't see his face, you have a scene in which you have an unfriendly meeting in the cornfield with Malachai, played by Courtney Gains. What was it like working with him and did you rehearse the scene prior to filming?
Jonas - Once again, I don't remember much rehearsal. It was more about remembering where we were supposed to stand. Courtney was fantastic. He actually hung out with the locals more than I did. He was old enough to stay out late with kids from the area. I was still too young for all that. I was always home to the hotel room early, practicing my lines or watching TV.
COTC - One of the most interesting scenes (and definitely one of our favorites) has us, as an audience, following Joseph as he tries to 'escape' the town of Gatlin through the cornfield. With inventive camera work, we are actually with him as he flees, first seeing the scene from above, from his point of view, and also as though we are following him through the corn. Do you remember the day of the shoot, was it difficult to film, and (ok, we'll ask it) did you get any cuts running through the cornfield?
Jonas - Yes, I remember it pretty well, and no, it wasn't difficult to film. I was having the time of my life. They'd yell 'Action!'...and I'd start thinking that someone was after me. Really believing it, getting psyched up, and then I'd book it through the cornfield all scared to death until they yelled 'Cut!' It was a blast. And yes, I was paper cut plenty all over the place. That corn is razor sharp. But I was really into it, so I really didn't care.
COTC - We've always wondered Jonas, when Vicky yells 'Burt, look out!!', was that really you we see standing in the middle of the road in the shot just before Burt slams on the brakes?
Jonas - If you mean the POV shot from the car as it's approaching me, yes, that's me. I'm standing in the street and the car is coming towards me while I'm holding my throat. They actually put the camera in the car and had a stunt driver speed towards me and then put on the brakes, stopping the car before hitting me. It was fun. Especially, trying not to flinch as the car was coming towards me. Of course, the shot of me actually being run over is a dummy.
COTC - There was a scene that involved you under a blanket, Linda Hamilton, and a scare in the middle of a road in Iowa. Tell us a little bit about the story and were you in on the joke?
Jonas - Oh that joke! You know, I completely forgot about that, but I vaguely remember something like that happening. Yes, I was in on it. We scared the crap out of her. They told her that because of the child labor laws they couldn't keep me under the blanket for so long, so they were just going to use the mannequin. As she's walking up to me in the shot that they used in the film, she has no idea that I'm actually under the blanket. They told her they would shoot the part where I jump up at her from under the blanket at another time. This would just be a shot of her walking up to my body. For the actual shot, they replaced the mannequin with me, and when she walked up to me, I jumped up at her from under the blanket. She really screamed and jumped away, and that's the shot they used in the film.
COTC - One scene that seems to have been cut from the movie depicts two of the boys attacking a policeman as the still photo appeared on the back sleeve of the original Embassy Home Entertainment Laserdisc version. Jonas, were their any other cut/deleted scenes that you know of or any bloopers that you can tell us about?
Jonas - Wow! I'm just impressed that you've seen a laser disc of Children Of The Corn. You are a fan. They didn't cut any of my part out, but as for bloopers, there's this horrible continuity error. After I'm run over, my dead body seems to flip flop. In one shot I'm on my stomach. In the next shot, I'm on my back. And then, I think I'm on my stomach again. I don't really remember the order the positions are, but when I saw it in the movie I cringed. Also, while filming, one of the crew members found out that there was a pig farm near by. They asked me if I would mind if, for added realism, they used pig-guts on me along with the makeup to create my split open throat. Keep in mind, I was definitely into my gory-makeup effects fascination faze, so I was like, 'Far Out, Man... Yeah, go ahead!'. So the make up artist, who was this wonderful lady that I had a mad crush on, put a pigs wind pipe sticking out of my neck. I thought it was awesome. You'll notice in the close up of me dead in the road, I really am attracting flies.
COTC - Although your character doesn't make it to the end of the movie, did you get the chance to stay throughout the filming in Iowa or was your part filmed out-of-sequence?
Jonas - No. I stayed for only one week. I think they did shoot the movie in sequence, but I don't remember. While I was there, they shot the motel scene, the barn scene, the driving scenes, the run through the cornfield scene, and then my getting run over. I wished I could stay. I was so curious about how movies were made, and I wanted to watch the whole thing, but after my week of filming, I had to go home. I remember I was really sad, because I made so many friends with the actors and crew.
COTC - As filming wrapped, were there any props you were allowed to keep or that you wanted? The red-stained suitcase for instance?
Jonas - Nope. But I did use what I learned about makeup effects in a lot of homemade monster movies. I also bought this really cheesy, totally touristy T-shirt that said 'I Heart Sioux City Iowa'. It was about two times too big for me, and I wore that shirt until it was filled with holes. I think my stepmother eventually had to throw it away.
COTC - Next year marks the 25th Anniversary of the horror classic. What would you like to see for the anniversary, what are your thoughts on it all these years later, and do you feel it is just as scary now as when it first appeared in theaters?
Jonas - 25 years. Wow! Well, I hear a remake is in production for the Sci-Fi Network. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's such a classic movie as it is. Then again, Children Of The Corn is a pretty twisted story, it might do well to be retold. You know, 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the cornfield....'
Overall, I think it's a pretty cheesy horror flick. I think the art direction is cool, and it has a creepy vibe at times. It has a fantastic soundtrack. Mainly, I think the movie is loved by a lot of people, because it's considered truly horrible. Although it was panned when it came out, and it's still thought of by many as a terrible film, it's one of those movies that for a lot of people is so bad, it's good. People love quoting the lines, 'He who walks behind the rows,', and 'He wants you too, Malachai!'
When I tell people I was in Children Of The Corn, they usually remember it as that movie with all those creepy kids, or they say, 'Wow, that movie really sucked'. Then again, I've met a number of people who actually thought the movie was terrifying, and had a hard time watching it. As for whether or not I think the movie is as scary now as it was then... to be honest, I didn't think it was a very scary movie back then, or now. Probably, because I was in it. When I see the movie, I get memories of making the movie, and I don't really pay attention to the story at all.
I think ultimately it's a monster film. After all (spoiler alert), there is a monster in the cornfield, but there's also this other level to it. There's this comment on religion, manipulation, and the shift of power between the adults and the children in the movie. In my opinion, religion can be a humbling, unifying force for humanity, but humanity sometimes has a way of twisting this gift into something grotesque and self serving... and then on top of that, children can be little monsters. That's probably what's frightening about Children Of The Corn for some people, to see the way religion is used as a justification for mass murder, and is manipulated to serve something truly demonic. I know it's just a b-horror movie, but there's a reason why it's a classic cult-film. Yes, it's a film people love to hate, but it also has a theme which you could say is pertinent to our times... at least, I think that's why
for some people, it is scary. Then again, maybe people just like it when all the funny looking red headed freckled kids go on a killing spree.
COTC - How do feel about all the remakes Hollywood is doing of the slasher/horror classics of the 70's and 80's and what is your take on the great Japanese horror movies that are being remade with American actors like Ringu / The Ring for instance?
Jonas - I haven't seen a lot of the remakes. I saw the Rob Zombie Halloween remake and I didn't like it very much, but I think it accomplished what Rob Zombie set out to do, which was to make a movie that's actually horrific. I'm not a huge fan of his movies. I think they look really interesting, but I'm always hyper aware in a Rob Zombie movie, that I'm actually watching a movie. I never get sucked in. I also never connect with his characters. For me to be scared, I usually have to have at least some kind of connection to the main character. I think he tried really hard to develop the Michael Myers character, to give us some insight into why he's a killer, but it just seemed so over the top to me that it became unbelievable. What I love about the original Halloween is that we really don't have any insight into why Michael is the way he is. That to me was so much scarier, the not knowing. I love all the slow burning build up in the original, which there's none of in the Rob Zombie version. Then again, like I said, I don't think Rob Zombie sets out to make suspenseful (or even scary) movies. I think he wants to horrify us. So if that's his intent, he accomplishes what he sets out to do. He delights in killing off his characters and grossing us out, and I think he tries to get the audience to delight in it as well. When I think about it, I love scary movies, but I'm not a fan of the horror genre in the strictest sense of the term: I go to scary movies to be frightened more than horrified.
Overall, I'm usually disappointed when they remake a classic horror movie.
As for the American remakes of Japanese horror flicks, I really liked the American version of Ringu. I also liked The Grudge, but the Japanese original in my opinion, is a more interesting ghost story. I also think Kairo was a really great slow moving creepy film, but when it was remade for America as Pulse with Kristen Bell... well, that was horrible. I never saw the American version of One Missed Call, but I heard it was awful. I thought the original Japanese version by Miike was actually pretty funny. Then again, I like almost every Takashi Miike movie I've ever seen.
COTC - From Joseph in 1984's 'Children of the Corn' to Kevin in the 1987 made-for-tv-movie 'The Legend of Firefly Marsh', you played on both the big screen and television. How would you describe your roles and was production different creating a movie for the small screen than for a theatrical release?
Jonas - Every project was completely different. In some projects, I hardly ever spoke to the director. They would just give me my mark, and as long as I hit it and said the lines, they were happy. Fritz Kiersch was very much about the shot, and how with editing, it would tell the story or create the mood he was looking for. He didn't talk to us about character or motivation, but he did talk about how the scene was going to look and feel. Gabe Torres, who directed The Legend Of Firefly Marsh on the other hand, had a tiny budget, and somehow with next to no capital pulled off a miracle of a short film. He basically made it himself with a handful of friends from film school. He actually drove me from Los Angeles to New York in his car to film that movie in his hometown. My memories of Legend of Firefly Marsh are really special to me. Just as special as Children Of The Corn, if not more, because I really saw how amazing and creative somebody could be while completely limited by their resources. Gabe's style of directing was very hands on. He had a specific story to tell, and he wanted the right performance. I did a TV miniseries called Evergreen where I played Leslie Ann Warren's and Armand Assante's son. That was a 'Slam-bam thank-you Mam' television production that we filmed in Canada. I have awesome memories of that. I got to come back to Seattle to film the TV movie The Rape of Richard Beck where I played Richard Crenna's son. That was also fun. I guess the real differences between projects are in their budgets, but all of them also had their own unique atmospheres. The best thing about the entertainment industry is everyone is very creative, and it's great when all these creative people come together to form this small family in order to tell a story. It's a really special experience. Every production is unique in it's own way, whether it's on the big screen or the little one. It's funny that you mention Legend of Firefly Marsh, because I think my two favorite experiences making movies were Children Of The Corn and Legend of Firefly Marsh.
COTC - We're sure the fans would like to know what you've been up to lately, especially life behind the lens...
Jonas - I decided when I was eighteen that I didn't want to become an actor. I moved back to Washington where I've been ever since. My acting career spans about 4 years between 1984 and 1987. I have nothing against it as a profession. I think people who can earn a living that way are amazing. One of my closest friends still has a career in Hollywood. For me, what I found in those four years, watching the adult actors around me, is that it's much easier to be a child actor than an adult one. As a child actor, you go on auditions and you go to school. If you get a part, that's great. If you don't, no big deal, you've got your life as a kid. When I turned eighteen, I realized I had a choice to make. I had to choose whether or not acting would be my profession. I saw so many adults around me striving to make ends meet, waiting tables, doing odd jobs, and hoping that their big break would come. I didn't want that life. People rib me sometimes, asking why I didn't I keep it up. I really don't regret my decision. Don't get me wrong. Acting is awesome. But, the lifestyle of an actor who is trying to be successful is all consuming. You eat, breath, and sleep, working towards getting that next big role, or little role for that matter in order to pay the bills. I've done so many things now in my life. I've made some great decisions and I've made some absolutely horrible ones. Looking back, my life has been enriched by so many experiences that I just never would have had if I stayed in Hollywood.
Life right now is still pretty fun. I have a wonderful girlfriend, an amazing family in both Seattle and in Los Angeles, and a very challenging job. I also have an awesome group of friends. I love creative people. I try to stay creative in some way every day. I also love the internet. I think there are so many cool things happening with technology and social media right now. I love the fact that somebody can have an interest in some niche subject, like a particular camera, or style of music, or Children Of The Corn for that matter, and they can just start a blog or website about it.
As for life behind the lens, I have become really interested in photography. I've started taking a lot of pictures and posting them to my personal blog (www.americanvirus.com). I pretty much post whatever I'm doing creatively. It's very self serving, but I love the fact that it's open for everyone to see. I love it when somebody stumbles across my blog to look at my personal pictures. I think it's amazing actually. I made some stop-motion/time-lapse movies with my camera recently and posted them. A woman in Australia came across them and posted a link on her blog. All of a sudden I had a bunch of hits to my site. I love it that people can be creative and share this way, without it being connected to trying to pay for their next meal. I was recently contacted by the curator for the Gasteig Cultural Center in Munich Germany. He had come across my posts, and now my little movies are going to be a part of a video art installation in Munich for 10 weeks. I think it's amazing. I mean, like I said, my blog is pretty self serving. It's just an excuse to try to be creative every day. I approach it with the same spirit of play that I had with acting, or even when I made those radio shows as a little kid. It is strictly a personal blog. I have no intended audience. Of the 12 people that actually probably visit my site daily, 11 are friends and family, and the other one is me, but I love that we can do these things in this day and age. I love that we can accomplish these kind of playful creative experiments.
COTC - As of this interview, a total of 8 Children of the Corn movies have been produced (9 if you include the 1983 short movie 'Disciples of the Crow' that was included on Stephen King's Nightshift Collection). The 1984 original, 6 sequels, and a Sci-Fi Channel remake of the original that just just finished shooting in September in and around the Quad-City area in Iowa and the town of Lost Nation. Although you were only in the first movie Jonas, have you seen any of the sequels and if you have, what are your feelings on the direction of the series?
Jonas - I really have no opinion on the direction of the series because I've never seen any of the sequels. I'm curious about the Sci Fi channels remake. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it.
COTC - As Vicky, Burt, Job and Sarah walk off towards Hemingford at the end of the movie, they leave their car and everything behind. Did they forget about Joseph in the trunk? That was why they drove into Gatlin in the first place!
Jonas - Yes, those bastards... they forgot about me. You know that car must have ended up smelling horrible with my body decomposing back there. You'd think at some point in the movie, they'd notice the smell.
COTC - Jonas, thank you so much for giving your time for this interview and for taking us all on one more run through the cornfield!
Jonas - My pleasure.
It was our extreme pleasure to be able to bring you this interview and we want to extend our sincere 'Thanks' to Jonas for taking the time to talk with us. Don't forget to check out Jonas at his website - http://www.americanvirus.com/ - and his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/jonasseaman. You can also check out americanvirus on Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo and Flickriver.
"You Have The Gift of Sight...." The Drawings of Judeanne Winter Wiley
"It happened everywhere in Gatlin that day. That's when Sarah started drawing these pictures...."
If you are a fan of Children of the Corn, then you definitely remember this line as it gave light to the horror that was unfolding in the rural, midwest town of Gatlin, Nebraska. As the town's future was foretold by a child's artisitic hand, what many may not know is that the drawings were, in fact, not drawn by a "child" at all. In actuality, the creative task of creating Sarah's visions was given to illustrator Judeanne Winter Wiley. We recently caught up with Judeanne who took the time to talk with us about Stephen King, daytime drawing and surprising friends.
COTCM - Before we begin, we would like to thank you Judeanne for taking the time talking with us and the fans about your involvement and insights into the production and creation of the original, 1984 classic film, Children of the Corn. It is a pleasure and very much appreciated!
JWW - You are welcome.
COTCM - By 1984, Stephen King was becoming a household name as his novels and movie adaptations like The Shining, Christine, and Carrie were already very well received and known. When did you develop an interest in art illustrations and how did you first become familiar with a girl named Sarah, cornfields and a little town in Nebraska?
JWW - I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. I became familiar with Sarah and the cornfields when I was asked to make Sarah's drawings.
COTCM - To make the audience believe these were the drawings of a little girl, they had to be simple yet they were crucial to the storytelling and had to be recognizable. How did you prepare yourself to draw with the child-like qualities that were required and was a certain look needed for them that the producer and director felt could not be accomplished by an actual child?
JWW - I did some drawing with my left hand to make it appear as if someone younger created them. Even at this age it is easy to remember how I felt about many things as a young girl. Sarah's drawings were my first job as an illustrator. I thought it was ironic that after years of art school, my first job was to draw like I did as a child.
COTCM - As three years pass for Job and Sarah, through her pictures we are able to witness what transpired after the cafe incident as Isaac took full control of the children of Gatlin. Were these scenes depicted in the actual script for you to work from or was it through verbal discussion with the director that these "unfilmed ideas" took shape?
JWW - I remember speaking with the film's Art Director more than anyone else about the look of Sarah's drawings.
COTCM - Early on, we see that Sarah has "The Gift of Sight" as her drawings predict the events that have unfolded in the town of Gatlin thus giving the audience their own sight into what came to be. Did you and AnneMarie McEvoy (Sarah) meet prior to filming and also, was the role of Sarah explained in detail to you since you were actually a part of the character too?
JWW - I have never met AnneMarie McEvoy but I did read the movie script and the part of Sarah was explained to me.
COTCM - Storyboard artists usually produce multiple art panels that give the movie makers a visual tool to work from and to see how each scene will work. Did you start with sketches first to give the director an idea of how your interpretations would look or was the first drafts basically what we see on film?
JWW - I met with the Art Director, he described his vision of what Sarah's art should be and then I got to work on the drawings.
COTCM - Throughout the production of a film, many people are needed in specific areas to bring together the overall final product that the audience will see on the screen. Being your first job as an illustrator, was it exciting to be working on something as big as a major motion picture?
JWW - It was very exciting. It's always fun to be on a movie set. I would go in and meet with the art director and the producer, but I did do the illustrations at home in my studio.
COTCM - The Hansen's Cafe Massacre drawing is absolutely stunning and depicts the grisly scene as nothing less than "An Adult Nightmare." During your initial meeting, was it made clear by the director whether they would be crayon-based or was it a decision that was left up to you entirely as an artist? Also, was the presence of full color discussed as being an absolute definite?
JWW - I believe they wanted crayon from the start. I knew it would be in color from the onset.
COTCM - From looking at the characters, we notice that two of them have the absence of color as they are drawn completely black. Was this a subtle way to show there was a connection between Isaac and He Who Walks Behind The Rows?
JWW - Yes, I was instructed to draw these characters in black because of Isaac's connection to He Who Walks Behind The Rows.
COTCM - The drawings, because of the necessary relationship and interaction with the character of Sarah, were essential to the story. Were you given an approximate allotted time frame to have them completed and what was the total number of drawings you were commissioned to do for the film?
JWW - There was a time frame for the completion of the art work because it had to be done before filming started.
I have absolutely no idea how many drawings I did.
COTCM - As actors have a stunt double to perform for them when calling for dangerous scenes, many key prop items that are essential to the movie storyline are sometimes duplicated in case of accidents. Was it required that you make an approximate second drawing to resemble the originals in case something happened to them?
JWW - I don't remember making duplicates but that doesn't mean I didn't.
COTCM - Since it's release in 1984, Stephen King's Children of the Corn has been released many times on vhs, laserdisc and dvd formats. What are your memories of the first time you saw it in a theater and what was it like seeing your drawings "super-sized", especially in the opening credit montage?
JWW - I enjoyed seeing my artwork "super-sized". It's always exciting to see your work produced and out in public for the rest of the world to see.
COTCM - In the movie, as Burt (Peter Horton) ventures through the deserted town, he stops inside the "Town Hall" building where he picks up a drawing of a fire-breathing dragon. Was this one of your original pieces and if it was, what was the idea and inspiration for it? Also, how did your drawing technique differ as compared to that for the Sarah drawings?
JWW - Yes. It was intended to depict the horror in the cornfield.
COTCM - Although the drawings have an innocent quality about them, the smiles on the children's faces send chills down your spine. That's what makes them so horrifying! Does the movie ever come up in conversation and what are people's reactions when they find out you gave Sarah her "Sight"?
JWW - It had been a long time since I mentioned Sarah's drawings to anyone. So, the other night at a party I did. My friends were surprised. I had not seen the film in the last fifteen years so I watched it again with a couple of friends, Yvonne and Alex. We had a great time watching it. We all enjoyed it.
COTCM - As the drawings were completed, an approximate number of 18 different pieces of artwork appeared on screen. As the biggest number of them were shown in the opening credits of the movie, did any of the drawings you created for the film end up "on-the-cutting-room-floor" so to speak?
JWW - Lots of drawings ended up being redone and I'm not certain all were used in the film.
COTCM - If Burt would have known the history of Gatlin, he could have recounted the events when he saw a collection of drawings hanging on the wall as he and Vicky searched the house of Job and Sarah. The house itself was actually filmed in two different locations in Iowa as the exterior was in the town of Hornick and the interior used was a house in Sioux City. Were you available to visit any of the "On Set" locations as production was filmed there?
JWW - I did not go on location. I have never been to Sioux City or Hornick. I am considering a road trip next year with my ten-year-old son. Hopefully, when we drive through the midwest we won't end up in Gatlin!
COTCM - Throughout the movie, Sarah's drawings begin with the cafe massacre and carry on to predict the coming of the interlopers. Were any of the drawings more interesting to draw than others or, in other words, more creatively challenging?
JWW - I enjoyed working on all of the drawings. The creative challenge was to keep the naive feeling in all of the drawings and to never let them look "polished." I did make a point to work on the drawings during the day. It was just too creepy to work on them at night.
COTCM - Since Children of the Corn, you have worked as title graphics designer on the documentary film A League of Their Own, as well as illustrator on the book The Tree Of Life: The Wonders Of Evolution with author Ellen Jackson. Judeanne, what are the differences between working on visuals for the screen as compared to pictures for the reader and also, what projects have kept you busy since?
JWW - Most of the work I've done for the screen has been for print ads. Artwork for books is done larger and then reduced to give it a crisper, tighter look.
From 1984 until 2000, I worked as a freelance graphic artist and illustrator for commercial and editorial projects. I have almost completed my middle grade novel, but it's my ten-year-old son who keeps me busiest.
COTCM - It's been twenty-five years since Job, Sarah and a cornfield of children graced the screen and the names "Isaac" and "Malachai" were forever thrust into cinematic horror history. Since then, the film itself has seemed to have grown to "Cult Classic" status and has recently sparked a Sci-Fi Channel remake by original COTC producer, Donald Borchers. In retrospect, what are your thoughts on the 25th anniversary of the movie and did you ever think when you started on the drawings that your work would become so well known and remembered as fans still go out to buy this film after all these years?
JWW - I was totally unaware of the "Cult Classic" status. I think the people are Stephen King fans, not Judeanne fans. I also believe Stephen King is a great writer and deserves greater critical acclaim.
COTCM - As the anniversary brings new fans and a highly anticipated blu-ray release of the original film, we have a question that has been on our minds. After filming, what became of the drawings, were you able to keep any of them and were you given anything from the production?
JWW - I do not have any of the drawings. The producer would know more about the whereabouts of the original artwork than I do.
COTCM - Judeanne, thank you for this amazing interview and giving us a look into the making of "The Drawings of Sarah". I'm sure fans will agree that, along with the great performances, your outstanding drawings helped catapult the film as one of the most memorable and terrifying movies to ever come out of the cornfields of the horror genre!
JWW - You are welcome.
We would like to personally thank Judeanne again for her time answering our questions to give us her views on what it was like being involved in creating this classic film with her unforgettable drawings of Isaac, He Who Walks Behind The Rows, and the little town of Gatlin. Twenty-five years later, these illustrations still have the same effect as when we first met Sarah and her "Gift of Sight".
From Gatlin to Iowa : Our Interview with Corey Frizzell
In the original Children of the Corn, many actors were brought together to keep us terrified by children in a small Nebraska town and cornfield. One actor's name you may not recognize, but are sure to remember his performance, is Corey Frizzell. Corey played one of the children from Gatlin and was featured in several scenes. One thing you may not know is that Corey also was a stand-in double for the character of Job, played by Robby Kiger. Recently, we talked with Corey about Sioux City, being a part of the Frizzell country music legacy, and being trampled by Peter Horton.
COTCM - Corey, first off I want to say thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. It is greatly appreciated.
Corey – I appreciate you asking me to do it. I actually haven’t thought much about the movie through the years until now. But with the 25th anniversary coming up and meeting you and working with your site, it’s brought back a lot of memories. I am excited to be a part of this!
COTCM - Back in 1983, a certain movie was filmed in and around the Sioux City area of Iowa. That film of course, as we all know, was Stephen King's Children of the Corn. Many of the children from Sioux City IA were picked to play the "children" from Gatlin and as the cast was rounded out, you were hired to play a couple of different roles. Tell us about how you got involved in the production and thinking back, was acting something you had always wanted to do?
Corey – Although I have done some other minor acting in videos and commercials since the movie, acting was never really something I just wanted to do. I believe my mom knew or met some people with the movie at the time and was asked if she would be interested in having her children be in it. Also my dad was a country artist at the time and had a hit song out and that probably added to the appeal. I’m glad it worked out though since I got to work as an extra as one of the evil children and a stand-in double for the character Job.
COTCM - While living in Sioux City during the filming, was there a lot of excitement from the kids at school and people in the community that a Stephen King movie, or just a movie in general for that matter, was being filmed in the area?
Corey – I think for the Siouxlanders there was a lot of excitement. As for me though, at the age of 8, I guess it didn’t seem like that big of a deal while it was going on. My brother Michael and I were actually born in California and moved from there to Nashville, TN. We were the product of the famed country music Frizzell family. We then moved for the first time to Sioux City, IA with our mom around 1980. Just about this time my dad, Allen Frizzell, was re-married to another country artist named Shelly West who was the daughter of Dottie West. You had these two huge country music family’s coming together. So very early on we were very aware of fame and having famous relatives and that’s all we ever heard about whether we were visiting them in Nashville or here with mom. We were already different from any of the kids we associated with in Sioux City. I guess I realized we were a part of something neat when it was finished and it was all over the news. It was the first time I would have that kind of attention on the basis of my own merits and not who I was related to.
COTCM - Being that young and having a movie made in your town had to be thrilling. Let's talk about auditioning day, were there a lot of kids coming in to fill the roles of the children from Gatlin, and the first time you saw Jonas Marlowe.
Corey – Like I mentioned earlier, I believe we had the parts without having to do any real auditions. I remember the first time we met the director and some of the other crew, my brother Michael and I were carried over to what was a Howard Johnson’s hotel at the time and were just simply asked if we could make a mean face (some audition). I think they really just wanted to size us up since we would be playing the character Job in one form or another. Mike would be playing Robby’s stunt double and I would be his stand-in double. This hotel was also the first place I had seen and met Jonas Marlowe who would play Joseph. He was just standing there in the lobby playing a full size arcade game. I can’t really remember much about him since he wasn’t there long.
COTCM - Since you had no speaking parts, do you think as an 8 year-old, it made it easier to concentrate on what you needed to do acting-wise or were you disappointed that you had no lines to memorize?
Corey – I wasn’t disappointed at all. I had a great time back then doing just what they wanted me to do. I am sure it would have been difficult to get me to learn any speaking parts at that time anyways.
COTCM - Although many, if not all, of the extras used were from Iowa, the main character actors were not. Who do you remember meeting the most and give us an idea what it was like for an Iowa kid to be surrounded by Hollywood?
Corey – It’s kind of funny because back then I didn’t look at anyone as any kind of star. To be honest I thought I had more famous relatives because of the success of Frizzell & West at the time and at 8 years old, family is pretty much all you care about. I believe this film was the first major project for most of the Hollywood gang anyway. However I do remember Courtney Gains, Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton and John Franklin being around a lot and being very nice.
COTCM - Here is a question I have been waiting to ask. Corey, was it made clear to you what the movie was about when you got the part or were you more aware of the job rather than story?
Corey – I was too small to know what the story was really about. I was familiar with Stephen King though. I had grown up watching horror movies. But even at 8 I knew when I saw the fake blood and rubber weapons everywhere, it was a horror movie. On a funny note I remember visiting a church shortly after the film had premiered and a lady there telling me that I would go to hell for taking part in the movie.
COTCM- As you and Robby Kiger both took on the role of Job, your brother Mike was also cast to play the lone survivor of the Hansen's Cafe Massacre. Did he audition at the same time you did or was he cast after you had the part? It must have been fun being on the set playing the same character!
Corey – I am guessing Michael and I were cast at the same time. We were all three (Robby, Mike & I) close in age and size and had a similar look. I remember the crew just having to spray Michael’s hair to look a little lighter because it was so dark. But Robby, Michael and I all wore that same goofy little outfit with the wool vest whenever we had to do anything associated with Job. I remember it having a safety pin on the shoulder to keep it together when I had to wear it. We had a blast though - Robby was who we played with on the set most. Actually we got in a lot of trouble, running around and wresting like kids do.
COTCM - As an 8 year-old, being cooped up on a movie set is sure to have its down time. During the filming, do you remember some of the things that you and the other actors did in-between your scenes? I bet you have some great stories!
Corey – I remember a lot of down time. The filming for the interior of the church scene was located in a church on 5th and George St. in Sioux City and took all day long, about 17 hours of shooting. While the crew was preparing the church for the scene I can remember having to stay in the basement with all the actors including Courtney Gains (Malachai) and try to pass the time. Everyone mostly played cards. I think Courtney was teaching a lot of the kids how to play poker. I was too young and preferred wrestling around. On one occasion Courtney and I were horsing around and he hog tied me and tried to stuff me in a closet. I think the church may have been the place where Robby, my brother and I got in the most trouble with the crew because we were all over the place. We had a lot more room to run around at the farm house in Hornick. It was during this time that I learned how they made fake blood and how someone could be stabbed in a movie and look so real. They showed us that the blood was just white corn syrup and red food coloring and the knife used to stab Peter Horton had a corncob handle in which the blade retracted into when he was struck. I do remember them having to shoot the scene where Peter is stabbed several times because the blood pack under his white shirt kept malfunctioning and exploding. There are so many stories I could tell, you just don’t have enough website for them all.
COTCM - The scene in the church where Burt witnesses the passage of Amos (played by John Philbin) was a very pivotal scene in the film as we find out that many children have sacrificed themselves to He Who Walks Behind The Rows on the first night of their 19th birthday. This scene featured you again, this time as one of the children in the church. What are some of the memories you have of this shoot and what is the story behind why you were the last to leave the church during the chase?
Corey – This scene was shot several times and if you watch it you will see that they really pieced it together. One moment the kids are standing, then they're sitting, and then standing again. I was sitting in a front row pew on the side where Peter is attacked and my brother Michael is in the second or third pew. We must have chased Peter out those doors a dozen times after he is stabbed but the one scene they put in the movie is where I was knocked over and trampled by Peter on the way out, then a girl grabbed my hand to help me out and yelled “Come on.” So we are the last two out of the church.
COTCM - One of your big scenes involved you as Job, following Burt (Peter Horton) around inside the interior of the Gatlin Town Hall Building which was actually a train depot station in Sioux City. As the scene just involved you and Peter, were you able to spend quite a bit of time with him and how long did it take to film?
Corey – I was a stand-in double for the character Job, played by Robby Kiger for this scene. I remember having the little Job outfit on and having to walk with a crouch to this counter and peak over it at Peter. When he looks my way I had to duck. I think that shoot went pretty quick but I remember being with both Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton all day because just a block or two away was that Howard Johnson’s hotel where a lot of the crew was staying and the first place I saw Marlowe. We skipped over there and they shot the opening scene where Linda sings the happy birthday song to Peter. I don’t remember exactly why I had to be there for that but it took the rest of the day.
COTCM - On a movie set, things don't always go as planned. Were there any moments that stand out in your mind on the Children of the Corn set that didn't run as smoothly as everyone had hoped?
Corey – Yeah, like I said they had some issues with that blood pack that Peter had to wear in the church scene. Also I remember the scene at the end where “He Who Walks Behind The Rows” comes to attack, which was just a wrecking ball being pulled under a layer of dirt through a trench. Anyways it wasn’t cooperating the way they wanted. They shot that a few different times. That same night, they were trying to film the explosion in the cornfield and the first time it didn’t go off so well. By the time they were able to prepare a second explosion I had already fell asleep in my moms lap while her and Linda Hamilton were sitting indian style in the grass talking. I believe my brother Michael had some issues with his stunts and the Molotov cocktail that night, but that’s another interview.
COTCM - For the climactic ending of the movie, a huge explosion was needed for the destruction of "He Who Walks Behind The Rows". There must have been a lot of anticipation from everyone about what to expect. What do you remember from this night and were you at all aware that filming was coming to an end?
Corey – This was another shoot that took a long time, it may have even been a couple of days. Even though this scene was near the end of the movie it was actually filmed early on. I believe most of the movie was filmed backward and out of sequence. It along with several other scenes were shot at the farm house in Hornick, so we were out there a lot. The night of the explosion they had several wind machines, some fire trucks and a lot of crew scrambling around for this scene. Of course it didn’t go off as planned and they prepared to try it again. Other things I remember about being out there at that farm house were that they had this giant yellow tent set up for the food catering and you could go in there and eat anything you wanted anytime you wanted. Man I had a lot of chocolate pudding. On one of the down times I remember being in a trailer out there with the blue man who would later end up on a cross. The makeup lady just let me play with him. I guess it didn’t bother me that he looked like a corpse.
COTCM - After the actors had left and the crews went home, did media frenzy descend on Iowa to talk with the locals who participated in the film?
Corey – There was a lot of attention from the news and newspapers. My brother and I were one of the few kids interviewed. I can also remember having to speak to a couple of classes at the school about the experience which is kind of funny looking back since it was a horror movie.
COTCM - When the film opened in March of 1984, the world would never look at a cornfield the same way again. Was the opening night a huge event in Sioux City, did any of the main actors return to Iowa for the showing, and were you allowed to go due to the 'R' rating?
Corey – My brother and I were at the premier but I don’t remember much about who else was there. One thing I do remember was some talk at the premier about Stephen King actually being disappointed in the final product. Now whether that is true or not, I don’t know.
COTCM - If you are a country music fan, then the name Frizzell is sure to ring a bell. If you didn't already know, Corey is the nephew of Lefty and David and the son of country gospel artist Allen Frizzell. Throughout the years, the Frizzell's have excelled as talented artists, vocalists, musicians and songwriters and many country artists will tell you that Lefty's music was a big influence to them. Was country music a staple in your house growing up Corey and were you aware at an early age that the Frizzell name was held so respectively with fans of the country music genre?
Corey – We were taught early on about our musical heritage and really couldn’t get away from it. When I was young, my dad was in the middle of a successful solo career, Uncle David was having a successful solo career and so was my dad’s wife at the time, Shelly West. At the same time you had the team up of Frizzell & West and their success. If you went to Nashville it was all music, but while I was in Sioux City with mom I was exposed to other great music like Al Green, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Journey and The Temptations. So I have a well rounded taste for music.
COTCM - Since acting, you have achieved a successful boxing career and now work as a full-time portrait artist and also a graphic art designer. Corey, where does your passion for these things originate from and how would you explain taking a different path from your family's country music heritage?
Corey – I feel that I am actually carrying on the family name, just blazing my own trail. I think that I have the same desire to be creative that Lefty, David and dad have, it runs very deep in the family. When I got a little older, I fell in love with the sport of boxing and persued that for about 10 years. Even when I was fighting I felt like I was being creative or entertaining. When I retired from the sport I started drawing, creating portraits for anyone and later being commissioned by Country Stars like George Jones, Randy Travis and Brad Paisley. Drawing has always been there as a hobby for me and now that I am doing it full time, I guess I have come full circle working with a lot of talent in the country music industry.
COTCM - Corey, you have been working on many new projects. You have been commissioned for your amazing portrait work, started a new website and most recently, returned to myspace (which can be viewed here) after a three-year hiatus with a new (and fantastic) page! When did the idea for the website become a reality and what can we expect to see at coreyfrizzell.com?
Corey – About 4 years ago, I decided to create my own website. Since then, I have designed and maintained it myself. But this last December I revamped it with a complete new design -
It was because of the website that I started messing around with graphic design and now find myself doing that also. I take a different approach to my graphic design and try to create things that are not run of the mill. It seems like I have more going on than ever now. I am always open to portrait commissions. I have just launched a project called Fallen Heroes to honor our soldiers who have lost their lives in a time of war. Through this project I am honoring their memory and giving back to the family’s for their sacrifice. I have a book deal with the great Henry Paul from the groups Blackhawk, The Outlaws and The Henry Paul Band. He wrote a children’s book and I am illustrating it. It’s definitely one of the most challenging things I have been a part of. We are working real hard to have it out soon. I play guitar and write music when I can and I am currently writing a movie screenplay. My most recent venture has to do with the 25th anniversary of the Children of The Corn movie and is in conjunction with your website. It’s a surprise right now but I hope to have something out real soon. I think there will be a lot of horror flick fans that will be real interested. All I can say is “That’s when Frizzell started drawing these picures....”
COTCM – In March of this year (2009), it has been 25 years since Stephen King's Children of the Corn graced the big screen and the state of Iowa was transformed by a Gatlin, Nebraska cornfield. Looking back, what do you think it did for the horror genre, how do you feel to have been involved, and what are your feelings on the upcoming anniversary?
Corey – I am proud to have been a part of the movie. It looks a little funny in parts when you look back at it compared to the movies of today but one thing you cannot deny is that there is a huge fan base for this movie, even after all these years. I think it’s one of those great horror movies from the eighties. I would like to see some sort of a reunion for the 25th anniversary and I would love to be a part of it. Maybe that’s something you can work up, John!
COTCM - Corey, thank you so much for talking with us. Your insights from being on the Children of the Corn set, playing Job, and the Frizzell family legacy have been amazing. It truly has been a pleasure! Do you have any final news or anything you would like to say to the fans?
Corey – It has been a pleasure. Speaking with you has brought back a lot of good memories. I would just like to tell people to check out my website at www.coreyfrizzell.com and if you’re interested in any of the services that I provide, just let me know. Also stay tuned to John’s site for the 25th anniversary project!