In the new horror/thriller Some Kind of Hate, bullies get a strong taste of their own medicine. It is a violent and disturbing piece of cinema yet it tells an interesting story in a very original way. I recently interviewed one of the film’s stars, Spencer Breslin (The Santa Clause 2 & 3, The Cat in the Hat, The Happening), and he spoke about the horror genre, his work as a musician and his impressive film and TV career which started when he was just a young boy. Since about 1997, Breslin has made a name for himself and has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names, becoming quite a name himself in the process.
Some Kind of Hate is one crazy movie. How did you get involved with it?
It is a crazy movie. Pretty much back in 2013, I auditioned for the role of Isaac. The movie was still called Bullied at that point, and the audition went well, and I kept talking to Gab and the other producers and we all kind of decided we wanted to work together on it. And then it took about another year for the movie to actually get made, so that’s pretty much how I got involved, in the initial casting process two years ago. I auditioned, met with the director, and kind of a basic set up.
How was it like working with director Adam Egypt Mortimer?
Adam is amazing. You know, he is a first-time director on his first-ever feature, and when we were on set, you really couldn’t tell that he was a first-time director. He wasn’t nervous or unsure of himself or doubting himself all the time. He had a really clear vision for what he wanted, and he’s really good with actors. We were working on really no money. This movie is so low budget, and when you have a budget as low as we did, you’re always chasing daylight, you’re always trying to get the shot, and Adam still took the time when anyone had a question, no matter how stupid or important the question was, he always took time to explain it to the actors. I thought that was really kind of cool. He ended up becoming a really good friend of mine. Great guy.
That’s great. Do you like doing horror movies as opposed to, say, comedies?
You know, I’ve done like one sort of horror-thriller movie before. It was an M. Night Shyamalan movie called The Happening, but this was a real bloody slasher true kind of horror movie, and I had a great time. I love working on a set with practical effects, blood and guts and I thought this movie is kind of interesting because there’s a lot of drama and comedy too. It’s not really like a traditional slasher film, so I had a lot of fun keeping up with a little bit of everything, but yeah, I loved working on this film.
What was used as blood in the movie?
The blood was, you know, I never really asked. It was just a fake blood that they made, I don’t know. Corn syrup or something, very sweet definitely because all the bees on the campsite decided that when I was in contact with any blood, they had to try and nest in my hair, so it did attract all the insects to me, so I don’t know if that helps out at all.
Okay, just a little curiosity. Would you ever do another horror movie?
Totally, yeah. I’m a huge fan of the genre. You know, me and my buddies probably watched three horror movies a week, and we all get together late at night. We turn the lights out and scream like a bunch of little kids. So I’d definitely work on another horror movie. I love the genre.
Would you have any favorites?
So my favorite horror movie, I know a lot of people say this, the scariest movie I’ve ever seen is The Shining, the Kubrick film.
Oh yeah, classic.
I love that movie, and it’s one of those movies that, you know, sometimes the thing about horror films is as you become older, they become less scary because you start to figure out, oh, that’s real, that’s not real, okay, this isn’t as scary as when I was 10 years old. That movie just becomes scarier to me every time we watch it, which is what you aspire to when you make a horror movie. The Shining becomes scarier the older you get, and that’s how I want my movie to be.
Okay. The film deals with being bullied and revenge. Now personally, were you ever bullied growing up?
Yeah, you know, I was. I think it’s one of the great things about the film is that the message is kind of relatable to everyone. I don’t really know anyone who hasn’t been bullied or hasn’t felt alienated or like an outcast at one point or another in their life. So yeah, I suppose. I think that’s what makes this movie so cool is that everyone gets it. Someone can kind of feel like Lincoln or Moira or Isaac at some point in their life.
So what exactly would you want audiences to take away from the film?
I mean, I’d want them to have a great time and to feel scared when they leave. I think that’s what you kind of want with a horror movie. I want them to be really scared while they’re watching it.
Nice, nice. Were there any challenges that you faced on set?
Just working long days out in the desert, out in the heat. That was kind of tough. I mean, obviously as an actor, it’s a pretty fun job and a pretty easy job, but the heat can be challenging at times when you’re so much outside, but overall, I think it’s the people you’re working with, and I have no complaints about that. They’re all really nice people, so we all really got along.
So what other projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m playing in a new band, a rock ‘n roll band, called Broken Machine, and we are getting ready to release a record later this month. We’re just kicking off our radio campaign, so that’s kind of taking up a lot of my time, and I’m helping out my brother with some film projects that he’s working on and kind of working on writing my first film, a real script with my writing partner. A couple little things kicking around.
And it’s a horror film, so there you go.
Nice, keep going with that.
Alright, so obviously you were a kid actor. You started working at a young age, I believe it was Soul Man with Dan Aykroyd in 1997?
Yeah, that was the first big thing that I worked on.
What was it like, growing up as an actor and growing up famous?
You know, it was always, I had a really good time growing up as an actor. I feel really lucky because I’m a born and raised New Yorker, and New York as opposed to LA I think is a lot easier as a kid to grow up an actor because in New York, no one really gives a shit that you’re an actor because everyone’s doing something else. It’s kind of like everyone’s got different jobs, everyone’s like, okay, cool, you’re an actor, you’re special, whatever, and I got to grow up hanging out on the playground and playing baseball with my friends when I wasn’t working, so that was, you know, people always talk to me about a normal childhood as opposed to an actor’s childhood. I feel like I had a pretty normal childhood except for once in awhile, I’d fly out to LA or something like that and make a movie. It was pretty awesome, pretty unique and you know, it was a pretty normal childhood. It was a pretty normal family.
Out of all your roles and your career, do you have a favorite memory?
You know, it’s not really one film as much as the people I worked with. Tim Allen and Gary Marshall, I worked with them on, like, four movies. Pretty much for four years, every movie we made was with each other.
What was it like working with him?
He’s been such a big influence on my life. He’s probably the funniest guy I ever met. It’s weird because a lot of big comedians when they’re not on camera, they’re kind of quiet, and Tim’s one of those guys who is always on and always making everybody laugh without trying to. You know, we have a very similar sense of humor, and Gary Marshall as well. Gary Marshall is a comedy icon, you know, every great sitcom ever made pretty much. Those two guys are both pretty influential people as an actor or comedian or whatever.
Awesome, awesome. Do you prefer film to TV or TV to film?
For me, it’s all about the character and all about the script. It’s kind of cool being on a TV show that’s a hit because you’re getting like a steady paycheck every week, but for me, it’s all about the script, it’s all about the character and the people I’m working with, so it doesn’t really matter to me. I like working on anything, you know?