Chad Lindberg - actor supremo who has more than likely had a role in one of your favourite films – was kind enough to sit down and chat with us about his new film 'I Spit On Your Grave', which is released in the UK on January 21 and has already been making it's mark in America.
If I were to mention films such as 'The Fast & The Furious', 'October Sky', and 'Push', as well as institutions such as 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', and 'CSI: New York', you'd more than likely recognise them. If so you'd more than likely recognise the name Chad Lindberg, an acting chameleon who has infiltrated numerous films and franchises and is the face you will no doubt find yourself recognising when he appears on your screen.
And this recognition is only going to be further solidified with the forthcoming release of Chad's latest film 'I Spit On Your Grave', a remake of the highly controversial 1978 cult horror film 'Day Of The Woman'.
'I Spit On Your Grave' premièred in America on September 29th, where the cast alongside Meir Zarchi one of their executive producers and the director of the original incarnation were in attendance.
"This one especially [was fun] because I was extremely proud of my work." Chad tells us about the night, "I absolutely adore the cast, and I was able to have all of my close friends with me, and my mom came into town. I took my mom to the première, my girlfriend was with me and everyone got to walk the red carpet. It was just a fun experience. Watching it [the film] with the crowd is always fun, so it was a great time it was a good experience."
And seemingly everyone must have enjoyed it?
"Everyone did, everyone did. There were all the right cringes, people were definitely making noises. Its a very uncomfortable movie to watch, so you get a lot of reactions from the crowd. And they were gasping in the right places, and screaming and reacting to all the craziness that was going on and, I think the overall reaction was really great."
The film, without giving too much away for those who have not yet seen either version, tells the story of Jennifer Hills, a short story writer, who heads out to the countryside and stays in an isolated cottage by a lake to write her first novel. The arrival of the attractive and independent young woman draws the attention of a group of local men: Johnny, Stanley, Andy and Matthew, who begin their sordid game of cat and mouse. Before, ultimately, the tables are turned and Jennifer seeks out her revenge.
"[In the film] I play Matthew and he is a mentally challenged man." Chad explains as he tells us more about his character. "He is friends with the local boys, these are all guys that kind of grew up together in a remote part [of the country], nowhere basically. And he is - my character is - sort of goaded into assaulting this girl by his friends. He's a virgin and he kind of likes this girl but he kind of gets caught up with his friends and pushed into sexually assaulting her. But he's a very sympathetic character, as much as you can be, because he doesn't want to hurt her, but ends up going through with it, and making the choice. That's kind of my character in a nutshell."
Anyone having watched the original version of the film may feel a sense of sympathy for Matthew, which considering the circumstances he's thrown into by his group of friends is something that you probably wouldn't see coming.
"When I read the script I was enthralled by it because it was such, I mean the material was so out there and normally what you read, you won't read much material like that so I was instantly drawn to just the darkness of the material." Chad explains after I enquire why he was drawn to the role, "I love dark material, I'm sort of drawn to it. And originally my manager at the time had sent me sides - which is what we use to go in and audition - for Daniel Franzese's role. And I read the script and I knew that I responded to the role of Matthew, who also has a stutter and he's really just pure at heart, getting back to your previous question there for a second, he's you know pure at heart and very innocent, and I was just drawn to that and I was drawn through the situation that he was put in. I just felt connected to the character immediately. And then I auditioned and got called back and got called back again and I ended up getting it, and I was just overjoyed to be part of a very unique horror movie. I think, it's not your typical saw 5 or saw 6 you know it's got picture to it and it's a remake of one of the most notorious movies of all times, and to be a part of something like that is truly awesome."
Given that the film was notorious back in the late 1970's for it's content and it's story it's only fitting that since Chad is stepping into the role of Matthew to find out if he had seen the original film.
"I have, I saw it before. I'd actually never heard of it when I got the audition, they sent it out as 'Day Of The Woman' and I had never heard of that either, and then I got the part and then I realised it was a remake." he admits "I didn't even know it was a remake until after I got cast believe it or not. And I watched the original, and I mean its one of those movies that, yeah. Have you seen the original?"
I have, and I can tell you it's one of those films that you can't really discuss with people who haven't themselves watched it.
"Yeah its uhm, I think its not for everybody. And I think it was one of those films that was important back in the day because it sort of broke a lot of boundaries and raised a lot of questions, and it's a really interesting film. Did you hear the story of how the director came up with the idea?"
The concept was something that I hadn't heard, and be prepared because it is an extraordinary story and it gives the film a lot more meaning once you find out how it was conceived.
"The original director, Meir Zarchi," Chad explains "He was driving along the road with his daughter near a park, and this woman came out of the park and she had been beaten and severely raped. And he took her to the car and then he took her to the police to help, and the police didn't really end up doing much to help this woman. So he kind of just helped her and took care of her and ended up thinking about this idea you know. It kind of inspired this idea. What if a woman - if she was assaulted - what if she took justice into her own hands? And that's kind of where the idea came from, and it's looked at in a lot of different ways. It's looked at as a female empowerment movie, its looked at as an exploitation film, I mean there's a lot of levels to it. So I think on that note, if it's a movie that gets people talking then that's a good thing."
Surprisingly of all however, the film managed to find it's way to cinemas sans rating. Something that I don't ever recall happening before.
"Yeah, it went into theatres unrated, which its one of the first of it's kind to do that. Hatchet 2 was released unrated in to theatres and then it got pulled. We have had a run in theatres unrated. It's coming out in the UK I believe on the 21st of January, and then the DVD comes out on February 8th. So it came out unrated and went back and forth with the MPEAA, it came back with like a hundred cuts of the film, and they were actually the ones that said we think you guys should just go out unrated, because if they took out all the cuts, it would be extremely watered down and that would take away from what 'I Spit On Your Grave' represents, you know what I'm saying it wouldn't be 'I Spit On Your Grave' if they rated it R. We wanted to honour the original and we wanted to honour the fans. They didn't want to see our watered down version, so I'm pretty happy that they decided to do that and stay true to the original."
It's very easy to see just how proud of the film Chad is when you listen to him talk about the project with the passion that he does. And in hearing the passion it's safe to assume that everyone involved holds the project with just as much meaning as he himself does. Along with that passion comes another unique point about this movie. The fact that while not only staying true to the original they've managed to avoid the recent bout of stagnant Hollywood remakes and instead of perhaps pushing aside the familiarity of the original they've incorporated it, which I'm sure fans of the original will appreciate.
"We threw a few homages in there and I think if people who are true fans of the original movie [see it] might pick it out. There's a scene towards the beginning where she stops at the gas station and she's pumping her gas and then the total comes up to 1978, which is when the original was released. So there's little things like that that we've put in there, that the film threw in there. We put a lot of depth into the characters, gosh you know, we were hoping that it'll get reintroduced, obviously horror fans know about this film, but a lot of college students today have probably never heard of it, and I think it will be reintroduced to a new audience. We're not going to please everybody, as far as like the original people who like the original film, but overall, for the most part we've gotten tremendous feed back from real true horror fans, that love the original, and have thought that ours was awesome. I think not one is better than the other, they're just different. And one is very much older and we've just sort of given it a fresh take."
Another role which I'm sure many people out there will recognise Chad for is his portrayal as the party-loving, off-the-wall mulleted genius Dr. Badass aka Ash, from The CW's hit show 'Supernatural'.
"Supernatural has it's been a really big surprise for me, because of how much its broadened me." Chad admits as he talks about his experience working on the show, "When I got the part it was only season 2, and it had only been on a year, I don't think it had the fan base that it does now and the following that it does now. I'd seen it a couple of times before I had auditioned and I got the audition and I knew, I knew right away that this was something that I could do. And I got the part and I was elated, it was a reoccurring and," he laughs "I got to wear a mullet you know, and then just working on the show was awesome. Jared [Padalecki] and Jensen [Ackles] are two of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. And they really set the standard for a really comfortable working environment, and it was just kind of like a family working environment up there and a lot of laughs, a lot of fun you know, the guys are always cracking jokes and it's just a good time. The roadhouse scenes are really like you're hanging out at the roadhouse in a way, and then I died at the end of season 2.
And then I started doing all of these conventions and meeting the fans first hand, and realising that there's a huge life for Supernatural, and I've received a tremendous amount of love from that show, and then I was brought back on season 5. The fans sort of led a revolt on twitter, and made some noise to get Ash back and I was brought back into heaven. And that was an awesome episode I mean I just, I was so excited to be a part of that again, and you know still to this day. I mean most of my twitter followers are supernatural fans, mixed in with fast and the furious, and what not but it just continues to bring me a lot of love and I feel like I was a part of a phenomenon, a TV phenomenon, and that in itself is pretty awesome."
Given that Ash has been brought back once, do you think it's possible that we might see him again at some point?
"I really hope so, I really hope so." he admits, within which you can sense how much he enjoyed working on the show, "I know they've sort of, they've added a new flavour to the show in season 6, they've sort of shifted things a little and I think it looks really cool. I love where they're going with it. I don't know if they'll bring me back, I would hope they would find a way to maybe tie in like all the characters before they end the show, whenever that is. But if not you know, its okay because I was a part of something awesome. So you never know it is Supernatural. But now I am in heaven so whatever happens. I would actually like to come back and help Castiel. I think that would be fun, and you know to have a scene with him, I think the two - Ash and Castiel - would be hysterical together you know." he laughs "They would be an interesting pair. So you never know."
Now I'm not usually one to make a plea but I am now campaigning to the writers and asking them to make it happen. Because if you are a Supernatural fan or have seen enough to know who both Ash and Castiel are, you know that putting them together in a scene would be an act of monumental genius. Not to mention absolutely hilarious.
Another project that we here at Cult Following think Chad would be brilliant in is Ghostfacers. But could he see himself being a part of that too?
"Ghostfacers, yeah, they're awesome, AJ and Travis. You never know," he admits "I think it would be cool to go on that show, I don't know that they would have Ash, but I don't see why I couldn't like be like somebody else. You know because its kind of a spin off, I don't know, I would love to do that. I'm actually friends with AJ, we see each other from time to time and you know, I would love to do something like that."
So Ghostfacers, if you're listening could you make it happen?
Taking you back to the beginning of this piece and the mention of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', 'CSI: New York', 'Push', 'October Sky' and 'The Fast And The Furious', big name films and big name franchises all of which have seen the talent of Chad over the years. Out of the continually growing list has there been any that he has personally enjoyed working on the most?
"You know I've been really just grateful to have worked as an actor and I've gotten to do a lot of interesting and cool things across the board." he explains "You know from 'The X-Files', 'Buffy', 'October Sky', 'The Rookie', and then 'I Spit On Your Grave'. I've been all over the board. And each experience you learn something new and, I've just really been thankful to have had the work that I've had and, being able to be a part of the projects that I've been able to fortunately work in."
Given that he has worked on a variety of things, we were curious to know if there was anyone that Chad would have liked or would like to work with?
"I've always said this: Ed Norton. I think he's awesome, Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favourite actors. I think I could play Giovanni Ribisi's brother," he laughs "I think that's in the works somewhere. Same with Ryan Gosling, we could be brothers that would be cool."
I can definitely see it working should it happen. As we're drawing to a close there's only really one thing left to find out and that is if he's working on anything at the moment.
"Not at the moment. I'm auditioning a lot, getting close on things and you know just sort of working towards that next project." Chad tells me "Lets see, I have a movie coming out, well it just came out on DVD called 'Once Fallen', with Ed Harris. And you know 'Spit' comes out on February 8th, 'Other Side Of The Tracks' which is a film that I did that's coming out on Showtime in December. Uhm other than that I make my Funny or Die videos during my down time. I don't know if you've caught any of those." he laughs, I've seen a few of them and if you haven't then you should definitely check them out, as they are really good. Chad continues, "My buddy Josh Cowdery, him and I have sort of bonded forces to make little movies and we eventually want to turn those into films. So each time we sort of push ourselves to raise the bar on our next video and sometimes they're really stupid, but if they make us laugh and they make other people laugh you know, and it keeps us busy."
And so sadly we come to the end, but before we totally wrap it up, we want to know if there is anything Chad would like to put out there for your reading pleasure?
"Just that I'm thankful," he states and it's obvious that he means it. "I'm thankful for all my fans and thanks for the interview and you know, you've been awesome."
And so with that thanks and added compliment, it's time to say goodbye.
So mark it on your calendars: January 21st 'I Spit On Your Grave' gets it's UK release, so go and see it if you dare.