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The Sandman Cometh: Interview With Mick Ignis

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Mick Ignis is a prolific character actor who you may have seen in the popular Harry Potter short “Serverus Snape in the Marauders”. His latest works include several demons on the hit IFC show “Stan Against Evil”.
I had a chance to catch up with him to talk about his latest movie project that will air on the SyFy channel October 14th  9pm/8 CT called “The Sandman” .

AQ: Hey Mick! thanks for talking with us. Tell us about your upcoming project “The Sandman”? What is it about?

MI: “The Sandman” follows a young girl named Madison (Shae Smolik) who has a powerful and uncontrollable ability to manifest a murderous, supernatural guardian whenever she feels fear. After being taken in by her aunt Claire (Haylie Duff), Madison becomes the target of an agency, lead by a shady character called Valentine (Tobin Bell), looking to use The Sandman for their own gain. It’s a terrifying introduction to this new horror monster that I can’t wait to unleash on audiences.

AQ: How did you get involved in this project?

MI: I was recommended to the film’s writer/director Peter Sullivan by my good friends George Troester and Cig Neutron, who’s studio TroTron FX, handled the creature effects for “The Sandman“. I met with Peter at his office to discuss the role and we immediately had a blast talking about the script and all the terrifying directions we could take the character in. Peter is clearly a huge fan of the genre and managed to create a character that resonates the energy of past horror icons while bringing something completely new and horrific to the table. I was already excited about the project when I first read the script, but that excitement continued to grow after every shot we got in the can. As horror nerds, this was a dream film for us all.

Photo Credit The Sandman

AQ: Did you have any creative input into the final look of your character?

MI: The creatures look was all the work of the talented FX team who designed him. Creature concept artist Adam Milicevic did some amazing designs of “The Sandman” and the suit really came together with the sculpt and finishing texture that truly gave the appearance of a being made from dark sand. The added visual effects that complete the characters transformations will be the icing on the cake.

I noticed that it was executive produced by Stan Lee. Did you ever get to meet him on set?

I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Stan, but I hope to soon! I’ve been a HUGE Marvel fan since I was a comic book devouring child, so I just about lost my mind after finding out that Stan signed on as Executive Producer of the film. It’s beyond an honor to share a project with someone who’s work has had such a profound effect on my life.

AQ: What was the casting process like for this movie?

MI: This being such a small community, so many of the roles that come my way are by referral. Which I’m grateful for, as I (like many actors) HATE auditioning. I had worked with George on several projects before this and have been good friends with him and Cig for years, so we already had a strong working relationship. For creature roles like this, having a strong team around the character is essential. I’m playing The Sandman, but it’s the entire fx team that truly brings him to life. It’s a very collaborative effort.

Photo Credit The Sandman

AQ: What was the makeup process like when suiting up for your scenes?

MI: This project was MUCH easier on me than others I’ve been on. The suit and mask were custom sculpted to my body cast, so I have an excellent range of movement with it. It takes two people about 20 minutes to get me in the suit and pop on the mask. Significantly less than the hours spent gluing me in to prosthetics!

AQ: Tell me a little more about your acting background.  Where did you get your start? Did you always want to be an actor?

MI: I feel like, while I didn’t have the confidence to be an actor until my early 20s, I was always finding some way in which to tell stories. I started in entertainment as a stop-motion animator on shows like “Robot Chicken” and “Moral Orel“, where my focus was on studying movement and transferring that over to the puppets I was pushing around. That itself is a sort of acting performance. While I loved animation, it didn’t feel like THE thing I was meant to be doing with my life, so I took what I loved most about the animation process and furthered it by going to school for acting and makeup artistry. Playing monsters wasn’t my initial pursuit but, with my physicality and connection to the makeup fx world, it was an inevitable path and I love the diverse range of characters I’ve been able to portray.

Photo Credit The Sandman

AQ: How did the practical fx make up come into play with your acting career? Was there some intensive training involved?

MI: The first person to really start throwing me under prosthetics was my fx teacher Rob Burman and I took to it quickly. From there, I worked at a studio called Amalgamated Dynamics, where veteran fx artist Alec Gillis cast me in projects like “The Evil Within” and “Harbinger Down”. This being such a small industry, word traveled fast between FX studios and film producers and I’ve been steadily building up my rogues gallery ever since. There wasn’t any specific training for this, just experience and learning more and more from each role.

AQ: You came from a theater background. Do you think you would go back to it?

MI: I absolutely would! I love performing on stage. It’s a completely different feeling from doing something for film and the immediate audience response is intoxicating. It’s a bit of a time commitment but, if the right role opportunity came along, I would definitely jump back in to doing a theater production.

AQ: Which do you prefer TV /movies or the stage?

MI: In a perfect world, I’d be performing on stage whenever I’m not shooting on film. Being an actor for movies and television will always be my dream and number one priority, but live performance is something I’ll always be passionate about. I get a bit of that feeling from dressing up and performing at conventions, but nothing beats a well-oiled stage production.

AQ: One of the big things we know you from is “Severus Snape and the Marauders”. Rumor has it that it’s developing a possible sequel. What can you tell us about that?

MI: The rumors are true! As “Severus Snape and The Marauders” closes in at 3 million views, the entire cast has decided to reunite to keep the story going with “The Great Wizarding War”.   This will be a new medium for me, as we’ll be telling this ambitious magical war story as a 12-part radio play series. I’ve read the first few episodes and, if you thought the stakes and intensity was high in the film, just wait to hear what’ll be unleashed in this tale set in one of the wizarding worlds most dangerous times. I’m very excited to jump back in to playing Snape and take his story down this spiral. We’ll be announcing more details about the project soon!

John C. McGinley, Mick Ignis -Photo Credit Kim Simms/IFC

AQ: We also have seen you as that awesome goat demon in “Stan Against Evil”! What was it like working on that show!

MI: “Stan Against Evil” is one of the greatest joys in my career and I’m beyond grateful to series creator Dana Gould for bringing me on. I’ve now portrayed 4 different demons plaguing Willard’s Mill, which has given me a lot to play with. The entire cast is an absolute joy to work with and the show is only getting better as the blend of horror, comedy, and heart finds its perfect balance. It’s great to work on a show that has so much love and respect for monster characters. Rather than just being a “be scary from Point A to Point B” sort of production, the creatures really drive the story forward and give me something good to dig in to. And getting to fight John McGinley each summer doesn’t suck!

AQ: We’ve seen you in many forms. You are a great chameleon. We can never tell what you will show up in next. What’s your favorite character you have portrayed so far?

MI: It is SO hard to pick one character that I’ve enjoyed the most. Every one of them has been a different game. For Stan, the Baphomet is definitely close to my heart after seeing his scowling face around LA on bus stop posters and billboards (at the moment I’m wearing him as a lapel pin!). There’s a character I play in the season 2 finale that had such a fun, sinister personality to play with (and possibly one of my favorite kills in my career), so she’s definitely up there in my faves. Tomorrow night I’ll be seeing The Sandman for the first time and that’s going to be a majorly impactful experience, as it’s the first film I’ve been featured in to this extent. I don’t know…I’m terrible at picking favorites. I don’t really have favorites!

AQ: During the San Diego Comic Con you showed up in a wild WAHLUIGI cosplay. Do you always go dressed up to cons and what are some of your greatest costumes?

MI: Waluigi was something my buddy Cig and I have been talking about doing for YEARS! I saw a previous Wario makeup he did on himself and was immediately like, “dude, PLEASE do that again and turn me in to Waluigi so we can cause some chaos at Comic Con!”. He and Rannie Rodil did an amazing job putting the character together. Nintendo really loved it and it got a great viral response. This was my fourth year of doing these crazy, massive cosplay projects. In the past I’ve been Apocalypse, Thanos, The Vulture…now I’m looking for ways to raise the bar higher for next year! They’re a unique sort of “live theater” opportunity and I have a great time spending the day interacting with convention guests in character.

AQ: Do you have any advice for new actors wanting to do what you do?

MI: I’m all about character study. Get to know your characters as best you can. Learn what makes them tick, what their backstory is, why they do what they do. And remember to enjoy yourself. Be kind and supportive to those you work with. This is a hard and often times painful industry to navigate (I’m definitely still learning) so, if you’re not having fun doing what you love on set, what’s the point?!

Follow Mick on 

Twitter @ignistwote

IG: MickIgnis

Facebook OfficialMickIgnis

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Frogfathers lessons from the Normandy surf

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Frog Fathers: Lessons from the Normandy Surf” is a deeply moving documentary directed by Bob Whitney, narrated by John C McGinley, and presented by World of Warships and FORCE BLUE. It chronicles the journey of four Navy SEAL veterans revisiting the site of the D-Day landings to honor their forefathers and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made during World War II.

The film’s strength lies in its raw emotional impact and historical significance. It blends personal narratives with archival footage, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought on June 6, 1944. The veterans’ reflections and the cinematography effectively capture the solemnity and reverence of their pilgrimage.

While the documentary focuses primarily on the veterans’ experiences, it also serves as an educational tool, highlighting the strategic importance of the Normandy invasion and its pivotal role in shaping modern history. The film’s respectful approach and engaging storytelling make it a compelling watch for anyone interested in military history and the enduring legacy of the D-Day heroes.

Overall, “Frog Fathers” is a powerful and heartfelt documentary that honors the past while inspiring present and future generations to remember the sacrifices made for freedom 

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American Horror Story: Delicate

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As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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