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
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!