Interview done by Michael Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
LT: Hello my name is Lew Temple, I play Jeffrey Hannigan in the movie.
MW: How did you become a part of Silent Night, Zombie Night?
LT: The writer/director Sean Cain, I have been friends for quite some time. I worked in his first short film in Texas, SOUTH OF HEAVEN. We have remained close, and have been supporters of each other’s careers since then. He sent me the script, and asked if I would be interested in doing the role, and I of course was happy to be involved. I thought this project was very well structured in story-telling as well, and wanted to do a role that was like Jeffrey. I am a big fan of Sean’s, and will continue to support his work whenever possible.
MW: Tell me about a day on Silent Night, Zombie Night?
LT: My days on set were limited to just two I believe. Each was well organized with a shot list, and very good art direction. Things ran fairly smooth on my work days, of course when Zombie action came into to play, the world changed, and the special effects makeup team was hustling. I am sure that Tom and his team were running on empty tanks by the end of the shoot. I was so very impressed with the level of commitment made by those portraying the Zombies. I think that Sean deserves a lot of credit in that he gave each Zombie a bit of a character arc, a personality, and that gave folks something to work with, rather than just a stumbling bunch of post human mass.
MW: Give me a story from the set of Silent Night, Zombie Night?
LT: On one afternoon, I sat and had lunch with Luke Thompson; we had a very nice visit. After lunch, I had a scene where I am attacked by a Zombie, and it was Luke (Wal-Mart Zombie). I had no idea it was him, until after our scene. It was a total transformation. Very funny at some point I realized I had had a lovely conversation with the fellow who then would have me for lunch…
MW: What do you think of the craze of zombie movies? Do you think there is to many of them?
LT: I think that Zombie movies, Television, and the zombie culture in general mirror our society today. With the economic downturn, we are all just trying to survive, with what little we have. It can be desperate times, so I feel folks are closely connected to that primal instinct, and also to the anger of, how did this happen to me? I also feel as if people are able to just relax and let their imaginations run while watching, so, no I don’t think there are too many Zombie movies. I would like to see a vehicle that related to the Zombie lifestyle, as we somehow all co-existed, and Zombies were struggling to get by like the rest of us (similar to the DVD extras in Trailer Park of Terror). I prefer Zombies to Cheerleaders. However put the two together, and now you have got my attention.
MW: What other movies are you known for?
LT: Most recently and critically, Unstoppable and Rango. I have also been seen by fans of this genre, most notably in The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Begging, and House. I also am very fond of Waitress and Domino.
MW: What is on tap for the future?
LT: I have The Wettest County coming out soon, directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition and The Road), starring Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Shia Lebouf and Guy Pearce. I also have another Zombie film, Zombex, with Malcolm McDowell and Sid Haig. And Saving Lincoln, a very well done historical piece on Mr. Lincoln, no vampire though. And I am hoping for some participation in a couple of big films this coming spring, and Nothing Major, a television show I have built.
MW: Have you been to any horror conventions to promote Silent Night, Zombie Night?
LT: I was in Kansas City in September. I was getting the word out as best I could. I have not really been on the horror convention circuit this year, as I have been working. I am thinking that the fans will be excited for both Halloween and Christmas on this film.
MW: Do you think there will be a Silent Night, Zombie Night 2?
LT: I would say yes, if Sean has the time with his schedule. He should consider bringing everyone back as a Zombie, and spend a Holiday in Hawaii.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
LT: I really am impressed with this film, its storytelling, special effects, and heart. It really has a love story, and some sensitivity. Of course all the good stuff that comes with flesh eating creatures is also apparent in full. I love the subtlety of the film in both its humor and drama. I was very happy to have the opportunity to do the type of thing that Silent Night, Zombie Night allowed me to do. It gives me a good feeling to see all of us get together on the holidays. You know, it’s Christmas.