Firstly can you tell us how you got involved with the Judge Minty project
I met Steve Sterlacchini & the 2 Steves & Daniel at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank and they kindly offered me the part. I was very flattered! Steve said that I looked right (I took his word for it!) & “ticked all the boxes”: John Burdis, as an ex-Commando, was a great help when it came to the combat.
Was the character of Dredd and the world of 2000AD something you were familiar with prior to this? Can you tell us a bit about your history, if any, with the comic?
I knew the name of course & the Stallone film but it was a definite gap in my education. I had read comics when younger; as a child, I read war comics & at University, Marvel: my favourites were the Silver Surfer (it was the 70s!) & the Mighty Thor! I still have boxes of comics in a cupboard at home!
As far as I know, and please accept my apologies if this is not the case, other than yourself the rest of the Judge Minty cast weren’t professional actors. How did working on this compare with other work you’ve done?
I think the actor playing Aquila (principal villain) is a pro but you’re right, the rest are not. I have enjoyed every minute of it & made many new friends, I hope! This is my 1st fan film. Everyone was easy to work with & made me welcome in their world. I was impressed with the dedication of people who would drive, for example, from York to London (arriving for 10am!) to give their time for free to this project.
Did you have much input into the character’s story arc and dialogue? I get the impression it was quite a collaborative process.
No. My job was to try to bring the character to life. They didn’t need any help with the story!
Reading the script it would seem to be quite an effects heavy project. Even without that the costume is pretty extreme. Is this something you have dealt with before? How did this compare to more straightforward acting jobs?
My one “input” was to point out that the 1st boots I was given made it difficult to walk & impossible to run! The ‘Mark 2’ boots were much better! I suppose the costume is a bit extreme, but for a man my age, to be dressed in that WONDERFUL costume (skin tight black leather, helmet etc) & to be CGId onto a Lawmaster roaring through the streets – in fact it was a blue box in Daniel’s back garden in Brighton! – is a dream come true. I mean: what’s not to like?! & the only thing that might compare, I suppose, is “Knightmare” in the late 80s: I played a Wall Monster & I had to have a latex mask glued to my face each time. I was told that if they didn’t use a new mask each time, the glue would burn my face off!
Having played a variety of gravitas roles on stage and screen, what was your take on the life of a burned Judge (who has sacrificed everything from the age of five and given his all to a city that has cast him out)?
I loved it! I particularly loved the fact that Minty develops a conscience. It makes him great to play. & besides that, the answer is in your question: I relish the variety in what I do. An Australian in a lunatic asylum one week; Minty on a Welsh mountainside the next! Great!!!
I have to ask this on behalf of all nerdy British horror junkies like myself so I hope you’ll forgive this fanboy moment. How was working on Cradle of Fear (a copy of which I ordered this morning), did you get to work with Emily Booth and if so was she as cute in real life?
Yes, I worked with Emily briefly. & yes, she was lovely! My 1st day’s shooting involved finding 2 dead girls. 1 had had her face ripped off (a prosthetic skull was stuck to her real face). & the other, Emily, had had her insides ripped out! So she had to lie for hours on end, face up on a bed, with a t shirt on & a mess of what looked like tinned spaghetti, minced meat & raspberry jam piled onto her stomach. Every so often someone would shout: “Cut. Emily’s stomach is slipping again!” & it would be pushed back to a secure position before shooting could resume!
I noticed you’ve recorded the audio book version of the Gormenghast Trilogy. While a big fan of audiobooks myself I imagine it’s pretty gruelling to record. How is the process of doing these, particularly with regard giving each character their own voice, and are there any books you’d particularly like to add to your audiobook resume?
Its one of the things I’m proudest of. Yes its quite hard work. We did 1 volume at a time: a 500 page book took 5 days in studio (& a lot more preparation work at home!) That’s 20 hours listening in 5 days (about). The secret is in the homework because you have to change between character voices at reading pace. You can’t stop each time a new one turns up: you’d be there for weeks! Others to mention are “Gormenghast” Part 4 – “Titus Awakes” by Maeve Gilmore (Mervyn Peake’s widow) & the “Warlord Trilogy” by Bernard Cornwell (about King Arthur).
Keeping it nerdy, sorry its a comic book website, you also provided the voice for Admiral Ackbar in the Star Wars : Empire at War game. How did this come about and if you aren’t naturally a gamer were you tempted to then give this one a go?
No, I’m not a gamer & I haven’t even tried this one, I’m afraid! One day my Voice Over agent sent me 2 voices from Star Wars & said: they want people who can do these. If you think you can, show us & we’ll send them the tape. 1 was Peter Cushing: I couldn’t manage him. The other was Admiral Ackbar!
I dont know how much, if any, of the completed project you’ve seen, but what have been your impressions so far?
I’ve seen a fair bit. Some I saw recently, as I had to do some ADR. I can always find things about my performance to criticize but, apart from that, I think they’ve done a really good job. I’m pleased & they should be proud!
Lastly can you tell us what else you’ve got in the pipeline and if there’s any way people can keep up with what you are working on.
There have been several film projects recently, luckily for me! 2 are features: “Kid Gloves”, in which I play a Cuban ex-Olympic boxer; & “Bogo & Flit” in which I play the King of the Fairies! There’s also “Junta”, a short set in Argentina at the time of the disappeared & the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo & an Internet viral ad in which I play the celebrity chef Michel Roux! As I said, variety! &, as regards keeping up, I do have a website which I remember to update occasionally! www.edmunddehn.com.
Thanks for asking me!
Big thanks to Edmund for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m a bit behind on these but still have three more I need to write up and send off so as soon I get them done I’ll post them up.