The following mock interview uses real quotes spoken by horror icons BORIS KARLOFF, BELA LUGOSI, LON CHANEY JR., CHRISTOPHER LEE, PETER CUSHING, and VINCENT PRICE. The quotes and answers, therefore, are real.
My interview, obviously, is not.
That being said, I hope you will read on as I “interview” these horror stars with questions on their thoughts on horror.
MICHAEL ARRUDA: Welcome to a special Halloween column.
Here with me today to discuss horror are six of horror movies’ biggest stars, BORIS KARLOFF, BELA LUGOSI, LON CHANEY JR., CHRISTOPHER LEE, PETER CUSHING, and VINCENT PRICE. Thank you all for joining me tonight.
Let’s get right to it. Your thoughts on the horror genre and horror movies. Boris, we’ll start with you.
BORIS KARLOFF: Thank you, Michael.
MICHAEL ARRUDA: What does horror mean to you?
BORIS KARLOFF: Horror means something revolting.
Anybody can show you a pailful of innards. But the object of the roles I played is not to turn your stomach – but merely to make your hair stand on end.
CHRISTOPHER LEE (to Karloff): You’ve actually said you don’t like the word “horror.” You’ve said the same thing, Lon. (Chaney nods). And I agree with the both of you.
MICHAEL ARRUDA: They said that?
CHRISTOPHER LEE: Oh yes. Both Lon and Boris here don’t like the word “horror”. They– like I— go for the French description: “the theatre of the fantastique.”
LON CHANEY JR.: But on the other hand, nothing is more natural to me than horror.
PETER CUSHING: Strangely enough, I don’t like horror pictures at all. I love to make them because they give pleasure to people, but my favorite types of films are much more subtle than horror.
I like to watch films like BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI (1957), THE APARTMENT (1960), or lovely musicals.
VINCENT PRICE: I sometimes feel that I’m impersonating the dark unconscious of the whole human race. I know this sounds sick, but I love it.
MICHAEL ARRUDA: Second and final question tonight. Your thoughts on the roles you have played?
BELA LUGOSI: Every actor’s greatest ambition is to create his own, definite and original role, a character with which he will always be identified. In my case, that role was Dracula.
And Dracula never ends. I don’t know if I should call it a fortune or a curse, but Dracula ever ends.
CHRISTOPHER LEE: There are many vampires in the world today – you only have to think of the film business. (Everyone laughs)
Seriously, though, I’ve always acknowledged my debt to Hammer. I’ve always said I’m very grateful to them. They gave me this great opportunity, made me a well-known face all over the world for which I am profoundly grateful.
PETER CUSHING: Agreed. I mean, who wants to see me as Hamlet? Very few. But millions want to see me as Frankenstein so that’s the one I do.
LON CHANEY JR.: All the best of the monsters played for sympathy. That goes for my father,myself and all the others. They all won the audience’s sympathy.
The Wolf Man didn’t want to do all those bad things. He was forced into them.
VINCENT PRICE: I don’t play monsters. I play men besieged by fate and out for revenge.
BORIS KARLOFF: For me it was pure luck.
You could heave a brick out of the window and hit ten actors who could play my parts. I just happened to be on the right corner at the right time.
MICHAEL ARRUDA: And often that’s really what it comes down to. Being in the right place at the right time, and of course, being persistent.
Thank you gentlemen, for joining me this evening.
And thank you all for reading!