To me, being a ’90s kid and growing up in that era is epic. In my opinion, we had all the best TV shows and teen movies. You all know what I am talking about, with TV shows like Married With Children, Saved by the Bell, and 90210 or movies like The Mighty Ducks, The Sandlot, Hocus Pocus… The list can go on and on and on. That’s why I get so excited when an actor or actress from that time crosses over into the horror genre, and I get the amazing opportunity to interview them. In this case, that awesome individual is none other than Rookie of the Year’s Thomas Ian Nicholas! Want to know how he got his start, and what he’s up to now? Read our interview with him here to find out!
PopHorror: Thomas, it’s always a pleasure running into you! I don’t want to take up much of your time, so let’s jump right in. How did you get into acting?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Well, I started acting when I was 6 years old. I got my first taste of being on set as an extra working for my mom, who was the casting director for the back round players. She basically brought me to set to save her job! She got a call at 10 PM on a Sunday that they needed an altar boy for a scene with a 6 AM call on Monday morning. So she woke me up early in the morning before I went to school and she said, “You’re coming to work with me.” That is how I got my first experience being on set!
PopHorror: Aww! I always love hearing about how people get their start in the industry! If I’m not mistaken, you were actually in the Christmas special of Married With Children, right?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Yes, I believe the episode was called It’s A Bundyful Life!
PopHorror: Yes! What was your experience like on that?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Oh, it was awesome! Of course, I got photos with everybody, with all the cast. My buddy, Jessie Christopher, was… I’m not actually sure what he was doing on that episode but he played Patrick Swayze’s younger brother in the original Point Break. He was also in the Point Break remake with James Le Gros. They played FBI agents which was very… random. “Let’s delete the previous canon, because obviously the original bad guys aren’t now FBI agents!” (laughs) So, they were playing new characters. But it was the same production company. I seem to remember him being there as well. It was a fun experience. You know, Sam Kinison was on that episode, may he rest in peace. Yeah, it was a good time! Thanks for bringing that up!
PopHorror: You obviously dabbled in a lot of different varieties of film, from horror to comedy to family films. Do you have a preference in what you really like to do?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: I just like to play diverse characters. I don’t really have a preference of genre. It’s just more like playing roles that are vastly different so that I can kinda fall into them and bury myself in them and be as unrecognizable from role to role as I possibly can, without the use of prosthetics. I mean, obviously, that would make it easier. But in the sense of altering my look to whatever degree, even looking at me as Walt Disney in Walt Before Mickey, and you look at my crazy hair now vs. that slick hairdo… (laughs)
PopHorror: So, you really like to be versatile?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: I like to be versatile. That is my main thing.
Pophorror: Well, since I do write for a horror site, I do have to ask you about Halloween: Resurrection. What was it like to be a victim of Michael Myers?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Well, it was really cool that it was my first horror film. I thought I was very fortunate to have it be a part of the franchise that was a part of the original horror films that started it all in that genre as we know it. So yeah, it was amazing! Probably harder to keep a straight face on that one than it was on the set of America Pie just because Brad Loree is kind of a comedian underneath the mask, though you would never know it. He would just say things as you were going through, so you tried to be scared and he’s cracking some jokes underneath the mask.
I’ve told this story before, but it’s my favorite, which is why it’s my story! When I was doing my death scene, Rick Rosenthal wanted to pay homage to Psycho, so you have that sort of shadow on the wall where you got the multiple sorts of stabbings. It’s very reminiscent of Psycho and being in the bathroom. So he wanted my shadow to be killed, so he wanted me to get lower and lower as Michael Myers was stabbing me. So Rick’s calling out, “Lower! Lower!” So pretty soon, I’m on the floor and on my knees in front of Brad Loree while he’s doing the stabbing motion with the knife, and he just says, “Suck it, you pig!”
So then I started laughing hysterically because it’s only my shadow on the wall that they are filming. So unbeknown to anyone watching the film, I am actually dying of laughter.
PopHorror: Wow! Best behind the scene story ever! Besides acting, are a musician. Do you have a band? Or are you solo?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: I have a band. I do a lot of solo shows. It’s kinda half and half. So I do solo acoustic, or I’ll do an acoustic duo or acoustic full band. So it’s whatever is available for the tour or whatever I happen to be doing during that time.
PopHorror: So awesome! Do you have any upcoming projects that you want your fans to know about?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Yeah! The latest film that just came out from Sony is called Living Among Us that I produced and starred in. It’s a new twist on vampire movies. So if you dig vampire movies, and you think you’ve seen enough, I certainly recommend watching this one. People have been really into it and liked the new take on it. I’m producing two more movies that we start shooting in a couple of weeks. One of them is a super dark neo-noir drama on the mean streets of Los Angeles, and the other one is a supernatural drama where I play the main antagonist! I think it might be the first time I’ve ever played the antagonist.
PopHorror: My editor, Tori Danielle, actually did a review on Living Among Us! [you can read the review here] I will have to check out the other one.
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Yeah! Cool! Thank you!
PopHorror: Absolutely! What is your favorite horror movie?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Oh, man. That’s a tough question!
PopHorror: I know! Everyone says that! (laughs)
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Okay… well, my favorite horror movie that’s a guilty pleasure is They Live!
PopHorror: I love They Live! You can’t go wrong with John Carpenter!
Thomas Ian Nicholas:: It’s one of those ones where it balances on the it’s-so-bad-it’s-good, but I can’t like not watch it.
PopHorror: Anything else you would like to add?
Thomas Ian Nicholas: We were talking about the film that I produced and starred in previous to Living Among Us, which was The Lost Tree. So to finish my answer before we started the interview, that was the film that ended up getting some recognition from the Academy because they added the script into the Margaret Herrick Library, which is the Academy of Arts and Sciences and Motion Pictures Library. When that film was in theaters, I don’t necessarily know how that happened, if someone from the Academy saw it playing at one of the theaters or something. That kind of hyped them to do that for some of that for the other projects, so even Living Among Us is in the Margaret Harris Library, which is pretty cool!
PopHorror: Amazing! Well, thank you for the interview!
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Yeah, Lacy! Thank you! Also, thanks to PopHorror.com!