One of many impressive celebrities making appearances at this year’s Days of the Dead Indianapolis was horror icon Tony Todd. Breaking into horror as Ben in Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead, Tony found continued success in Bernard Rose’s 1992 award-winning film Candyman. Since making his initial mark in the genre, Tony has made countless on-screen franchise appearances including Final Destination, Adam Green’s Hatchet franchise, and the non-genre film The Man from Earth (2007) – the latter being a lesser known must-see for fans of quality cinema. Tony took some time from his busy schedule to briefly talk about last year’s events, his start in horror and the upcoming remake of Candyman!
Scifi.Radio: Hi Tony! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. We’ve been living some crazy times, to say the least. How did you spend last year’s quarantine?
Tony Todd: I spent quarantine refining my culinary techniques and taking care of my cats. And, at the start of the pandemic, Candyman (1992) director Bernard Rose told me he just bought a new camera and wanted to shoot a new project. We shot this film on Friday and wrapped on the day of the riots following the George Floyd incident. It was fast-tracked into a festival, and I’m very proud of it. It’s called Traveling Light.
Scifi.Radio: That sounds like something to watch for! How did you become involved with Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead remake?
Tony Todd: I was in the town of Pittsburgh doing a film with Forest Whitaker. And it was Forest who told me they were doing a remake. He pointed out that I had the facial recognition of Duane Jones from the original film. On my day off, I ran into the production office. I saw Tom and his hands started shaking! I shook him down. Literally. And the next thing I know, I have a lead role in his film! And it was my very significant introduction to horror.
Scifi.Radio: And you gave an incredible performance as Ben!
Tony Todd: To this day, people think of that role when they see me. That’s the beautiful thing about horror. Horror fans are precious. They hold onto the memories! And I keep making new sh*t! And I think one day, people are going to realize the depth of the genre.
Scifi.Radio: I agree! Memorable as the classics may be, there is still so much more to horror. Of course, coming soon, there is a highly anticipated remake written by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta. What can you tell me about this feature?
Tony Todd: I can tell you this. And this is top secret information. The name of the film … is Candyman! (laughs) This sh*t is going to drop hard! Very soon! I was in Chicago the day I finished filming and people still recognize me as the character. And it’s the same thing here in Indianapolis. It doesn’t bother me, though. I’m a happy-go-lucky guy. That’s the secret to longevity.
Scifi.Radio: I know fans, myself included, are looking forward to seeing the film! Thank you, Tony, for taking a moment from your busy schedule.
Look for the return of Candyman coming to the big screen August 27th!