To fans of the hit IFC show, Stan Against Evil, we know him fondly as Constable Thaddeus Eccles. But Randall Newsome has had a very successful career on and off the camera, as well as the theater and even did a stint with the infamous Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.
His most recent roles besides Stan Against Evil include, the award winning film Hidden Figures and AMC Networks hot show Turn.
We get to chat with him today about his career and his role in our favorite horror comedy from Dana Gould.
Stan Against Evil
TME: You have a great career with some awesome shows! How did you get involved with Stan Against Evil?
RN: Hey, thank you. As a journeyman actor, I realize I’ve been pretty lucky, and I’ve been able to spread it out among theatre, television and film.
And getting cast in Stan Against Evil turned out to be another lucky bonus. I got the call to audition for the show (which shoots in Atlanta), so I shot an audition on video in my NYC apartment, and bam – I got hired within a few days. I guess it was a right fit.
TME: How did you picture yourself playing the role of Constable Eccles and how did you incorporate that with what Dana Gould had put on the page?
RN: I knew that Constable Eccles had burned 172 witches in Willard’s Mill back in the 17th Century, he was good at time traveling, and that he set the demons in motion to wreak havoc on the current constable. I wasn’t exactly sure of the tone of my stuff until I got to the set, but I did know that they were looking for Eccles to establish more of the history and to play it straight. Since I have a pretty strong background in classical theatre, I knew that I could count on using the words to do most of the work for me. Dana’s dialogue is so colorful, I decided that if I could just “taste” the words as I spoke them, that it would go a long way.
TME: What are some things you can do with this character that you haven’t been able to do with previous roles? Especially as the main villain?
RN: Well, for one thing, I get to dress entirely in black. I figured that I’d only ever get to do that if I was playing a priest, or doing a Johnny Cash tribute lounge act. I also wield some fire and spend a hell of a lot of time immolating (so-called) innocent people. But one of the more fun things I got to do as Eccles was go in disguise. Before the character was fully established as the original Constable of the town who travels time, I got to make an appearance to Evie Barret as a mysterious sassy hobo in the woods. My job in that episode was to mainly establish the storyline, but they wanted me to do it hiding in plain sight as another character. I’m pretty good at accents and I dig improvising, and somebody said to throw on a baseball cap and a trench coat and do a cajun accent. So I did. And that’s how that happened. I was in heaven. Love that stuff.
TME: How is the chemistry on set when working with the cast and crew on Stan?
RN: I really enjoy that company of people. They are a dedicated group of professionals working in the heat of the outdoors with lots of bugs and snakes, and doing their jobs with skill and humor. I have such respect for all of them. Dana Gould is the only Producer/Comedian I’ve ever worked for, and from now on I want all the producers I work for to be comedians. I wish I could put that it my contract. He made it nothing but fun. And of course, John McGinley is a blast to work with. I did a feature with him for a minute years ago on a movie in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was terrific then, too. I was fired up to be able work with him again.
TME: Do you do your own stunts in the show? You were credited as a stuntman in Tremors.
RN: I did some physical stuff on the show, but nothing too stunty. Though I have done a bunch of stunts in other stuff including touring with the circus. I got into the Screen Actors Guild as a stunt double on Tremors. I was actually an Assistant Director on that classic. We had been shooting not far from Death Valley for weeks in a town that the art department had built. One day they needed somebody to stunt double for Michael Gross, so I threw on a hat and a fake mustache and BOOM – I was falling off of rocks and getting chased by giant worms.. Show biz, baby.
TME: What can you tell us to expect from Constable Eccles in Season 2 of Stan Against Evil?
RN: Ha. That’s a good question. They’re good at keeping it suspenseful and unexpected and secret -y, so I may be as surprised as you are as to what goes on with Eccles in Season 2. We filmed a bunch of stuff and I just went with it. So we’ll see!
TME: When we talk about your acting career, you once toured with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. What did you do with them and how has that experience added to your acting method?
RN: My experience with Ringling Bros Circus was a fantastic, raucous phenomenon. I was a clown. In the 90’s I got an invitation to RBB&B Clown College and later toured with the 125th Edition of the Circus. The whole experience was brilliant. There is hardly a day that I don’t think of some aspect of it. It was one of the worst paying and most exhausting (and physically painful) jobs that I’ve ever had, and I would’t trade it for anything. Its no doubt an asset to my acting career, but some of the people I trained and worked with became gifted dentists, firemen, lawyers, clergy, teachers… We learned that hard work spurs creativity (most people think it’s the opposite) and that an open heart invites wonder. It truly was awesome.
TME: What is one role you have had that you would pick as one of your greatest achievements?
RN: Years ago I was starring in a Larry Shue farce in an off-Loop Chicago theatre. A friends’s aunt come to the show one night, and in middle of Act 2, I made her laugh so hard she threw up in the aisle. We kept doing the show. It doesn’t get better than that.
TME: What is one of your dream roles you would love to play?
RN: A mean SOB in a western. On a horse, wearing boots (me, not the horse). And I want a good hat.
TME: Finally, if you had one piece of advice for actors what would that be?
RN: Shut up and listen.
Stan Against Evil airs on IFC November 1st, 10pm E/P with back to back episodes.
Follow them on Facebook @IFCStanAgainstEvil or on twitter @StanAgainstEvil
You can also follow the cast
John C. McGinley @JohnCMcGinley
Janet Varney @JanetVarney
Dana Gould @Danagould
Deborah Baker Jr. @deborahbakerjr
Randall Newsome @RMNewsome
Also check out Randall’s website www.randallnewsome.com