Actor Robert Picardo’s been in so many genre projects over the past few decades that his face alone elicits a grin from most fans. Everything from Legend to Star Trek: Voyager to Smallville has been made better by the versatile character actor’s presence. But he’s best known to horror fans for his longstanding series of collaborations with Joe Dante, beginning with The Howling and continuing through to the director’s Masters of Horror episode Homecoming. I caught up with Picardo at the recent Saturn Awards here in Los Angeles and asked him about his upcoming serial killer film Sensored – and of course when we can expect to see him in another Dante phantasmagoria. Find out what he told us after the jump.
What can you tell us about Sensored?
I play a very odd guy in Sensored. I think the log line would be “If Hannibal Lecter worked at Jamba Juice.” I’m a very peculiar guy who seems like the normal kind of suburban guy down the street, [but] who is secretly torturing people in the basement. But then because the movie has separate layers of reality, you start to doubt whether or not he’s actually doing what he’s doing or he just thinks he’s doing what he’s doing. So he’s a bit crazy, but it’s a great role. I had a really wonderful time doing it.
There have been rumblings of another Joe Dante film in the works. And of course with most Dante films comes a great Robert Picardo role.
He’s got a movie called Hole coming out, which is in 3D, which is great. I am not in the movie – I think Bruce Dern got my part. I can’t argue with that: Bruce Dern is an Oscar winner, and I’m happy to play second fiddle in that case. But I’m sure I’ll be in the next one, because Joe couldn’t possibly go two movies without using me. I have no idea what it will be, but I’ve also heard rumblings that there was a new one. Joe asked to see Sensored. So I’ll be speaking to him, and see if he’ll give us a nice quote for our DVD jacket when the time comes. He owes me that, by God! [Laughs.]
What other projects do you have in development right now?
I’m going to be doing another movie. The title may change, but it’s called Gabriel’s Story right now. It’s sort of a dramatic version of the Princess Bride. There’s a fantasy story that is told to a young child. My nine-year-old grandson is having trouble with his parent’s divorce, and acting up in school and all that, and I tell him this great story that cuts in to this amazing science-fiction world. Because the kid dreams about the story once I tell him, he envisions me as part of the sci-fi world, so I have a dual role, as sort of an old warrior in the story itself and his grandfather. It’s a sweet little movie.
Thank you very much.