Ross Noble is best known for being a stand-up comedian, but in his feature film debut he plays a re-incarnated clown out on a killing spree! With Stitches now out on DVD/Blu-ray, we caught up with the actor to talk about the character, the making of the movie and more…
Starburst: Stitches the Clown is a truly horrendous creation – in the best way, of course! - could you tell us about the inception of the character and your decision to make this your first film role?
Ross Noble: The actual reason I decided to do it was because it had everything in there that looked like it would be fun to do because I love horror, sci-fi and genre type stuff. A lot of the time the sort of things I get offered aren’t necessarily the sort of things I want to watch myself. The main thing that drew me to it was the physical aspect of it and the make-up and special effects which is something I really love.
And the decision on how to play the character was based on those northern working men club comics. The guys who wore ties, and had an air of showbiz about them but at the same time even though they were dressed in bow ties they would come out with this horrendous bile. They had a bit of the Bernard Manning about them. Stitches is an entertainer but also a drunken, filthy horrible creature. He’s wearing a clown face, a sort of veneer or a badge of show business that’s stuck on top of what is essentially a horrible individual.
So is horror a genre you’re particularly drawn to?
When I was a kid I was a massive fan of the Maniac Cop films. And Freaks is an interesting film, it crosses that fine line between what is a freak show and what is a circus. That has got to be one of the creepiest scenes where they’re all coming towards her at the end.
What research did you do for the role?
I used to do kids parties before I did stand up, I was obsessed with Circuses when I was a child as well. I hung around with quite a lot of clowns and professional children’s entertainers and I took a bit from there. Rather than Pennywise who is a real clown out to kill I see Stitches like they have dragged a drunk homeless man out of a ditch and dressed him as a clown. The thing about Stitches is, in terms of slasher, I like to think Freddy Krueger has gone on holiday and said to his daft mate down the pub “listen I know you’re not qualified, I know you haven’t done this before, but I’ll give you some cash and is there any chance you can fit in and no one will ever know” so he’s not an out and out killing machine, like he’s obligated to do it. The same way he’s only doing the children’s parties for the money. He’s out for revenge, not driven by anger but driven by the fact that they’ve brought him back to life and it’s just a gig for him.
The gore and prosthetics were brilliant, and it was refreshing to watch splatter that wasn’t CG heavy…
Obviously there is CG stuff in there but for the most part doing it for real appealed to me.
What are your future plans as far as your film career goes?
My main sort of passion is monster movies and creature features. So obviously there is something quite appealing about doing a film like that. I’m in no great hurry, but I’d like to do more films. You get a lot of comedians who want to be actors; they don’t care what they want to be in. I’m quite specific in the things I like.
Any directors you would love to work with?
I have a list as long as my arm. Terry Gilliam is top of my list; I love the stuff he has done. David Cronenberg and Tim Burton are favourites. Certainly Gilliam would be up there.
We know you’re into your motorbikes, where did your love of bikes spring from?
That came from shows like Street Hawk and CHiPs and also my love of stunt and action kind of came from The Fall Guy. As a kid that was one of my favourite shows. I think I have to wait a while before I get to do my own bike stunts in a film! But so far I’ve only managed to play a character whose main mode of transport is a kid’s tiny tricycle. I do like the idea that if we did do a sequel we could just do an enormous chase on a unicycle!
STITCHES is out now on DVD/Blu-ray - click on the cover to get your copy...
Find your local Starburst Magazine stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. Our issues are also available as fully interactive iPad editions, loaded with multimedia, and can be downloaded via Apple HERE.
Click To Buy