I noticed that everything that you have been in is either Comedy or Horror. Do you prefer one over the other?
I like comedy, but I’m a huge fan of horror, too. I grew up with horror and watch it every chance I get. The stuff that I write is comedy, but I go either way. Whenever they need a generic middle age, white dude, that’s me.
Why do you think these two genres overlap so much?
I think there is a similar sensibility between the people that really like horror and that really appreciate comedy. I don’t know exactly what it is, but there are definitely similarities between the people I’ve worked with in comedy and the people I’ve worked with in horror.
What is your role in Sacrament?
I’m the preacher; the whole town follows me and has bought into my teachings. Sinners have to be biblically punished.
*Footnote:Richard does not condone or encourage cannibalism in real life.
How did this role come to you?
I auditioned for Shawn. I did both of the Pot Zombie movies; I believe Shawn and I had mutual friends that worked on those films, so I think I had actually met him prior to auditioning for him.
I go on a lot of auditions and it just so happened that I knew these people. When I read it, it was really good so I got pretty excited. I’ve been in horror films, ya’ know, Ilve played a zombie a couple times, but this was one , where for me, it was a larger role. Almost theatrical, over the top kind of deal, which was fun coming from a background where you do that kind of thing. Usually, people have to reign me in and I was kind of challenging Shawn to do that, but he let me go and be as big as I wanted to be.
Do you have any fond memories or funny stories from your time filming Sacrament?
One day, they were shooting footage, but they weren’t using the sound. So, I had the congregation all around me, but I didn’t need to be saying anything specific, so I started doing my old comedy. I was doing my standup as a preacher, with all of the preacher type gestures, to all of these nice people who had come out to be my congregation. The other stuff I can’t talk about because it would give too much away.
What is it like to work with Shawn Ewert?
Shawn is awesome. He absolutely know what he wants, but he also gives you the freedom to figure it out yourself. He wrote it and he’s lived it and breathed it. I’m hoping to work with Shawn again in some capacity. He’s a pro, he’s got a vision and he knows what he’s trying to do.This was a great team (group of people working on Sacrament). I think we’re going to be really proud of the movie and I think it’s going to do some really cool things just on an awareness perspective and because it’s going to be a really good movie.
What aspects of acting aren’t, necessarily, fun?
It’s the same thing with comedy; you do a lot of sitting around, standing around. You’re at locations all day long to do your 10-15 minutes of filming. That 10-15 minutes is absolutely awesome, but you do spend a lot of time waiting around, so, you fight to keep your focus. With a project like this it becomes kind of a family thing. With any project, where you spend a lot of time with the same people everyday, it becomes more of a family thing, which is kind of cool.
With Sacrament being filmed on the weekends, was it difficult to keep going back into that character?
No, I’ve known a lot of people that are just like him, so, I patterned him after some very specific people. Most of them are no longer living, so, I don’t think I’ll be in trouble, but I did pattern him after some very specific people that I’ve known over the years.
You have a bachelors degree in painting and drawing….
Yeah! The only thing I do now is draw the family Christmas card. I was a cartoonist and the closest thing I could find that would give me a degree as a cartoonist was a painting and drawing degree, so I started painting also. I got really passionate about it and had planned on teaching at the university level. When my first child was born, I changed plans and went into technology.
With all of these things in your background, how did you end up acting?
How is this for an awesome college career; I was a painting and drawing major and a drama minor. You can imagine how great that sounds on job interviews. I’ve, practically, always worked in technology for my “real job” and I’ve been able to do that and keep doing comedy, writing and acting on the side.
What is one thing that you would like to accomplish this year?
I’ve got a web series that I’m really going to try to get going in the next year. It’s called Yoga Garage; it’s about struggling actors who work on scenes in a garage. And do yoga.