Nick Principe is the man behind the silver mask in “Laid to Rest,” which is the movie that pumped life back into the slasher genre. I had a chance to talk with him at Texas Frightmare Weekend about the upcoming sequel “Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2.”
When you put on the Chromeskull suit and the mask how long does it take?
In the first film, the mask just had adhesive that stuck to my face and was fine to breathe in. Since Chromeskull got so jacked up in the first one, Robb and his guys actually created a cowl. It’s this rubber thing that your face peaks out of. The mask was sticking on to that and it was absolutely miserable compared to the first one. Since you get to see Chromeskull’s face in this one, there was a seven hour make-up appliance. I showed up at 4:00 a.m. when the call time for the rest of the crew was 9:00 a.m. to be ready to shoot at 11:00 a.m.
What sort of mindset do you get into to play the character?
Honestly, it sickens me. To get into the mindset I just listened to a play list that I had on my iPod of dark ambient noise, sludge, and grindcore. With “Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2,” it brought back all those horrible sick thoughts. My girlfriend at the time wouldn’t sleep in the same bed with me while we were shooting it. I started getting too serious and went method with it. I started hating women – even my own girlfriend. That’s what Chromeskull does to me and that’s why when Rob said we were doing a sequel, I was like “that’s awesome, but everyone in my life is going to hate me for the next month.”
What other roles have you done besides Chromeskull?
I’ve done tons of SyFy Channel movies. I’m mostly known for stunt work. It’s funny because the biggest role I’m known for is one where I’m wearing a mask. I’ve been doing a few more roles. I’ve got like four or five features that are still waiting on release dates and are coming out soon.
I’m promoting a movie called “Madison County” which is a hillbilly “out-in-the-woods” movie and a really cool concept. It reminded me of one of my favorite slashers of all time which is “Just Before Dawn.” In the movie, nothing takes place at night. There’s no stalking by the killer at night. Everything happens in the safety of daylight. I have a drama heist that I’m the lead in called “Nobody Can Cool” that should be out sometime in 2011. Another film that did really well at SXSW called “The FP” is waiting on distribution.
Who has inspired you in your career?
Kane Hodder (Jason actor in several “Friday the 13th” movies) is a personal hero of mine that I’m very proud to call my friend. I don’t think everybody knows that Kane has been a stunt man since the late 1970s. He has always said that a good stuntman is one that you don’t really recognize his face.
What are your future plans with your acting?
I moved from Providence, Rhode Island to California with Kane Hodder dreams. I wanted to be the monster. Now I have more Boris Karloff type aspirations. I love playing bad guys. I’m a good guy in real life. I want to do something challenging and more fun. The bad guys are always more in your memory than the good.