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Brian Downey Interview 7/28/09!
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Angel
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 Posted: Tue Jul 28th, 2009 10:23 pm

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The publication of this interview is strictly for lexxverse.com.  Permission is not given for anyone to post this anywhere else, translated or otherwise, without prior contact with Angel or MayaXXX. Thanks to Brian for a fantastic interview!

Brian Downey Interview 7/28/2009

Brian's answers are in
red.


 

 

Lexx related questions:

 

A question from Ellen Dubin, AKA Giggerota the wicked:

 

Did you model your character Stanley Tweedle after anyone you knew? You played that role with such ease and comfort.




 I modeled dear old Stan on EVERYONE I know.... well, little bits of actions and reactions that one sees every day, just in walking around in the world. The time and ability to observe others are an actor's best tools... so just ignore me if you see me staring at you - I'm just working.







What would you have done to improve the series if you had the opportunity?




I'd love to have had more time with everything. That's a common wish when shooting a TV series. And not just more time for those of us who were in front of the camera - It would have been so wonderful to have allowed the crew to have more time to do everything they KNEW they could do.

 

Did you ever want to direct an episode yourself, and if so, which one would you have liked to direct?




Directing is such a specific skill. And, as with any other skill, there are those who are very adept, and those who are weak. So, taking on directing any show would mean it would have to be something that really connected with some deep instinct or understanding. You may not believe it, but I like subtlety, so it would have to have been something like Yo Way Yo, or The Beach.




In some of the scenes at the beginning of the 'Mort' episode in Season 4, Stan carries Kai quite a few times. It looks like incredibly hard work but you made it look easy - how did you do it (or is Michael McManus actually really light?)




NO, Michael is not light. There is a way to carry people that is called 'the fireman's lift'... or something like that. It distributes the  weight of the person being carried in a way that makes it possible to walk relatively easily with someone slung over your shoulder... hey, try THIS at home !




If you had the chance would you have changed Stan’s character in season four to be different after his experience on Fire with Prince?




Well, after all the things that Stan had been through before ever encountering Prince, the tortures of Fire would have been just another lump of crap for Stan to flush down his mental toilet. Is that too pretty an image ?

 

Do you feel that Stan’s character deserved a permanent girlfriend for the series?  And who would you have chosen to be a girlfriend if she wasn’t already a cast member?




Well, the whole issue of Stan v/s a guy who 'gets lucky' is just a reflection of the way the world works for some folks. And the Lexx isn't the sort of vehicle you cruise up and down Main Street in on a Saturday night. So, I guess it is reasonable to assume that the odds of Stan meeting a reasonably sane and compatible person in the Dark Zone were pretty much nil. Whether Stan DESERVED a girlfriend or not almost doesn't enter the picture... how long would it have taken for Stan to screw it up, I wonder, if it ever had happened....

 

What was your favorite humorous anecdote from filming in season four?




There were lots of reasons to smile and laugh every day. On the first day of shooting we started with one of Stanley's first bits from Little Blue Planet. It took a while to shoot that first scene, because I could NOT, for the life of me, remember my lines, even though I could say them (literally) backwards at home the night before. And, getting near the end of the shoot in Thailand - and I don't mean this to be cruel or unusual - we were all given the option to stay in this very very lovely hotel called The River Quai Jungle Resort - marble floors, huge, beautiful swimming pool, great food, huge beautiful rooms, laundry service... the works .... OR .... we could stay on a floating room on the River, with no electricity, a toilet that emptied directly into the river, and come back to the hotel for food, etc. Michael chose the floating room. Everyone else stayed in the hotel. We don't know what he ate or what might have bitten him, but, ironically, Michael wound up being the only one with a rather severe case of "the trots". Wouldn't want to swim in that river any more. 

 

Did you ever think it might be cool for just one episode that 790 feel in love with Stan or did you think that might have been too corny?




I like to think of 790 as a slut, but not a whore... a fine distinction. I think it was quite enough with the gender switching in Love Grows, and the Kai/Stan 'lovey-dovey' scene in season 4.

 

How did Paul Donovan describe your character when he first pitched the show to you? And having worked with Paul in the past, did you offer any input when the show was first in the development stage?




Paul described Stanley as a person who had trouble with authority, in constant trouble, and insignificant in the eyes of other characters. Paul is always open to creative suggestions, as long as they make sense within the context of his overview, and the particulars of the scene being shot. I still have the 'bar code' identifier that we used when we shot the very first demo back in 1994. I suggested that if Stan was insignificant, why not label him the same way you'd label a package of ground beef. That 'bard code' thing later became the #4 badge, with the little round reader code in the corner.

 

Are there any more video or photographs coming from the behind the scenes or dailies?




Well, I do have thousands of photos, some interesting, and some not. I selected the 399 photos I thought gave the best insight into the range of moments and personalities over the course of the 4 seasons. And there is more footage from behind the scenes - interviews with Wolfram Tichy, the German producer, and some of the crew guys - but nothing of the day to day routine that is very interesting... just some archival footage for my own records. I'll have another look, once I get some of my writing projects out of the way.



Shortly after the show wrapped up, there was talk about you contributing some stories to a Lexx comic book series.  Could you elaborate on that a little more, and explain why the project ultimately never took off?




Well, that seems like such a long time ago now... I honestly can't remember many of those details. I do recall that there were several submissions of Lexx comic book art work that I looked at, but none that I thought captured the spirit of what Paul had in mind as he created the series. I did have the initial story outline of how the characters continue after Yo Way Yo... a few surprises from the past, and some new over riding concepts of time and space, and the nature of multiple universes.... but it all came to naught.

 

Were you completely satisfied with how the show ended?  Are there any abandoned ideas or story elements that you wish you could have explored?




Paul's decision to finish the series, and the way he chose to do it was, I think, the correct thing to do, and the right way to do it. There are dozens of ideas about story lines and story elements that made it to paper, but never made it to the shooting floor. I have a folder of them in my office. It is amazing the way the minds of the original 3 writers worked..... 

 

Any props or mementos that you hung onto after production wrapped?




All that I have left are the photos, the videos I shot, most of the DVDs, and the gloves and wet suit I wore under my costume while I was in the freezing cold water on the coast of Namibia. And a #4 badge from the Namibia shoot.... and some little presents from some very lovely fans. AND memories of some terrific people that I had a chance to work with - cast and crew. I'm happy to say, by the way, that a number of our crew guys are now making their own films, and doing quite well... that is fantastic to see. All those long hours, and sometimes rough conditions, have given birth and confidence to some very talented people's creative instincts. It couldn't be better !

  
 

Other film related topics:

 
What was the most bizarre part you were offered and did you take it?  And if not, why did you turn it down?




In Vancouver, some years ago, my agent sent me out to audition for the role of a cop. It was for an early episode of Millennium with Lance Hendrickson - audition at the North Shore Studios with the same casting director for X Files, Crrine Mayers. I get my lines down. I show up on time. I walk into the audition room when they call for me. I get looks. See.... my agent didn't give me a character description, only the sides.... so, I was audtioning for the role of a  200 Lb., 6 foot plus, black cop. Didn't know. Did the lines, had a laugh and a chat with Corine, and, guess what ?   didn't get the part ! I guess that doesn't exactly answer the question..... the real (short) answer to the actual question is, I've taken some very strange parts, but nothing that I'd consider really bizarre.... maybe that's just me.

 

There was a rumor that The Conclave was going to be turned into a series, if so, would you participate?




I'd happily work with Paul again if he decides to pursue further adventures of the Borgias. It is unlikely that there will be others, I'm afraid.

 

Who was the coach for your Spanish accent in The Conclave?




I have a good ear for accents. There actually wasn't a coach, but the lead actor was from Barcelona, and he had no problem with my pronunciation. I took that as a good sign.

 

In "The Rock," you played Stan's evil doppelganger "Brud" which was a bit of a shock to those who'd gotten used to you as the more mild-mannered Captain Stan. Are there any other roles in which you played such a mean hard-boiled character?




Oh YES ! I've often played a hard boiled character. In October 1970, I played an Italian mobster, and at the end of the first take, one of the crew guys said, "He scares the shit out of me !" I played Lee in Sam Shepard's "True West", and a South African interrogator in "The Jail Diaries of Albie Sachs", and many other tough guys.

 

Is there any part that you would like to have gotten that you never got a chance to play?




No, not really. There are roles I'd like to do again, but better.... isn't that always the case, though.

 

Is there any subject matter too controversial that you would not perform it for any play or movie?




It is never the material, is it - it is the way in which it is handled. One of the things I'm currently writing is a comedy about Jesus Christ and his father, which I call "Jesus and Joe"... it is very irreverent, and very funny, and nobody dies ! I hope it pisses off the extreme christian right, and that everyone else simply has a good time.

 

What would be your dream part?  And who would be your favorite co-star?




I think I'd have to write that one myself... and it would probably be Rita Hayworth, if she were alive. 

 

What projects are you doing now?




I'm working on several scripts - 3 stage plays and 2 film scripts ... that should keep me busy for a few hours !




Have you seen Nigel Bennett or any other cast members recently in live theater?




Actually, Nigel and Jeremy Webb are the only ones I have seen on stage. They are both very good. Nigel appears to work ALL the time, god bless him!

  

Other Topics: 
 

Are you planning any more road trips?  If so, where are you going?



After a month in Newfoundland, and the road trip that it took to get there and back and the travel while I was there, I'm happy to stay put for at least a little while... might be moving to Montreal for a year or two - does that count ?




What sports are you addicted to right now?




Sleeping ... it takes a lot of hard work, hours of couch training, but finally, when you move up to the bed level, you feel you've really mastered the sport... so cool, so relaxing.

 

Are you still gardening, if so, tell us about your latest gardening project.




It has been the absolute PITS of a year here for crops ! Everything is drowning ! I have potato plants that are fading already. But my carrots are OK, some arugula is fine, zucchini plants are hurting, beans are slow, peas are all but dead, and on and on.... but, hey, the dahlias are open, the lilies are doing fine, and there are lots of other flowers that are struggling, but are hanging on. My next big garden project is to look for that Jack (of beanstalk fame) and see if I can coax a few beans from him., and grow something that I can climb to get me above these constant rain clouds... anyone got a line on this 'Jack' guy ??

 

A lot of fans know about your musical ability.  What clubs are you playing in these days, if any?




I don't play the clubs any more - too hard on the liver, too hard on the ears. But I may start jamming again with a couple of guys... I just like to pick up one of the guitars every so often, and simply play and sing some tune I like.... something gentle and soothing, and spiritual.. like Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom", or "Stonehenge".... and I turn it all to eleven.... Does anyone know those gentle ballad's ?  Just being a bit silly... Spinal Tap is one of my favourite movies.... totally silly, but it did give rise to the whole 'mocumentary' movement.... and it was Rob Reiner;s first feature as writer and director.... if you haven't seen it, check it out.

 

Some of the fans wonder how you have been doing since you were mugged awhile back, has your health fully recovered?




I recover VERY quickly... after about 6 weeks or so, I was going for my final check-up. A new doctor was making the rounds. He poked, prodded and asked me when the incident had happened. I told him, but he said "No, that's impossible." I told him I KNEW when I had  the shit kicked out of me, trust me ! He said the healing he was looking at was healing he would have expected to see 6 months along, not after just 6 weeks.... But the whole thing gave me a better understanding of how to handle muggers... For instance, when a mugger says , "Give me you're fucking money", you don't respond by saying "Fuck off you fucking assturd". No, no, no, all wrong. What you should say is, "Would you PLEASE fuck off you fucking assturd",  See, you should be polite... always say PLEASE ! Way better approach. Wish I'd known.

 

Would you ever consider getting the other Lexx cast members who are musicians together to form a band, and go on the road, and what would you call yourselves?




That would be interesting, wouldn't it ? I'd wonder about who would play what. Jeff is a really good harp (harmonica to the uninitiated)  player. I can play play bass and guitar, Michael can play guitar and a bit of piano... think Xenia can drum ?  Or Patricia ? We need a drummer with STYLE.... I saw Band From TV on the Jay Leno show a few months ago... Hugh Laurie playing piano, and people from all sorts of TV series playing really well !  Maybe we could be absorbed into that group, and change the name to Band From Cable TV... just a thought.

 

What is your funniest fan experience?




At an UnCon, in 2001, at a club called Breakers in Halifax.... some sweet lady appeared to be to shy to meet with us directly, so, when she saw me coming for her, she ran.... she ran into the ladies can. I said to myself "Whatever!" and followed her in. Thank heavens she wasn't running because of some digestive problem.... she finally came out of her stall, we shook hands (after careful washing) (not) and all was fine.

There were other strange encounters.... stories for another time.


Brian, have you seen an animated serial "Samurai Jack"? In an episode 3.11 The Birth of Evil: Part 1 (on air was 16 August 2003) the history of the main villain Aku is told. And it in many things reminds history of the Last Insect/HDS, which has been shown at start of episode 2.01 Mantrid. And Jack itself is very similar to Kai: once he has started the war against the evil, which have attacked his planet. But has been sent by Aku through time. And now tries to destroy the villain after the millennia. There is an impression that Genndy Tartakovsky took some ideas from
Lexx.


 

I have never seen the show. I watch little TV.  I use the Tv for watching films.

 

Any plans for conventions this year?


So far, nothing has come up. 


Are you still using the flask you got from the fans at Megacon?



I took the Canadian flag off it, and it was used in the play I wrote and directed in Newfoundland just recently. So it is getting a variety of uses.

 

Lastly, is there anything you like to personally address to the fans?


What can you say to people who have given you so very much. I have ALWAYS known that the entire effort, from the first idea for a show, to meeting and mixing with the kind people who have taken the time to to watch our efforts, that we are all part of the whole thing. Without you, we are nothing, and I KNOW it. We are all brothers and sisters. Advertisers would have you think otherwise, some actors would have you think otherwise, but that is bullshit. We help and entertain each other, and that's the way the REAL world works. I'm proud to know you as our friends, and I hope you accept our friendship as well.




Brian








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 Posted: Tue Jul 28th, 2009 10:40 pm

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I love it! He's even funnier than I thought. I want to see "Jesus and Joe" so badly! Sounds right up my alley.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 28th, 2009 10:55 pm

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So glad to hear he's doing well! And keeping busy! Brian's one of my favourites ever since the first time I saw him as Stanley H. Tweedle on Lexx. Wish it was still on, or I had the series on DVD, sigh.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 28th, 2009 11:45 pm

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Awesome interview.  Thanks to both Brian and Angel.  I loved talking to and getting to know Brian at TD con and MegaCon.  I'm glad to hear he's doing well and keeping busy. I'm also curious to hear more about his play 'Jesus and Joe'. It sounds funny.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2009 07:16 am

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Excellent, entertaining interview.

I'd say to muggers "Go forth and multiply".  That's a polite way of saying FucK off.

Glad to hear Brian well and busy.

He's very witty regarding the sport answer, lol.

Thanks Angel and Maya for taking time out and also Brian to do this for us Lexxverse fans:2567::D

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2009 07:29 am

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"Go forth and multiply." LoL, that's a good one!

I can't believe I forgot to thank the moderators for the great work they do! I love, love, love getting to read the interviews!



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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2009 09:44 am

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isn't Brian just the sweetest thing? so giving and very generous with his responses to the fans questions, how can you not love this man? I'm glad to see he's also enjoying his flask, must say we have excellent taste *muah*



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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2009 11:34 am

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As always, it's great to hear how he's doing these days.  Thanks for helping us keep up with him, Maya and FooFoo.  You're totally awesome, Brian!



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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 12:44 am

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Thanks to Brian for being so candid and as usual, funny and charming. He's truly the Heart behind Lexx.

 

:beat_hea::stan-h::heartbeat::stanfacial::emot140::emot147::STANHAND::s010a:



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 Posted: Sun Aug 2nd, 2009 10:53 am

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He's truly a sweet man.  I'm so glad I got to meet him, not to mention y'all.  The fly in the ointment was that Ketana wasn't there.  Lioness, I still regret you didn't make it to Orlando.  Had you only been there it would have been a perfect weekend!



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 Posted: Thu Feb 25th, 2010 03:14 pm

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he IS stanley tweedle. He made that character and each of them had so much heart. I love reading and re-reading these :)



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 Posted: Wed Mar 3rd, 2010 05:52 pm

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Lexxx wrote: he IS stanley tweedle. He made that character and each of them had so much heart. I love reading and re-reading these :)

That is the truth.  Although the real Brian is not shallow, very intelligent and interesting.  But more often than not, when hanging out with him, its like walking the earth with Stanley, I kid you not.  Honestly, I have never met anyone like him.

Stanley is not a creation, its simply one of Brians personas.  Thats why he was perfect for the "role."

I think that is kind of true of all actors/ actresses.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 18th, 2010 01:11 pm

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In the SyFy thread below, a person with the handle PrinceLotor says this about Stanley Tweedle:

I honestly can't tell if he's ugly or kind of handsome, but he does have a face reminiscent of Stanley Tweedle from "Lexx", who is generally considered ugly, I think.


http://forums.syfy.com/index.php?showtopic=2344893&st=80&gopid=6760310&#entry6760310

I found Brian Downey charming, articulate, attractive kind and generous with his time.  Does anyone here 'generally consider him ugly'? 

Personally, I think he's a :10SCORE:



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 Posted: Sun Apr 18th, 2010 02:31 pm

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PeridotEyes wrote:
In the SyFy thread below, a person with the handle PrinceLotor says this about Stanley Tweedle:

I honestly can't tell if he's ugly or kind of handsome, but he does have a face reminiscent of Stanley Tweedle from "Lexx", who is generally considered ugly, I think.


http://forums.syfy.com/index.php?showtopic=2344893&st=80&gopid=6760310&#entry6760310

I found Brian Downey charming, articulate, attractive kind and generous with his time.  Does anyone here 'generally consider him ugly'? 

Personally, I think he's a :10SCORE:


Ugly?! I think he's verrrry attractive! There's just something about him that I find adorable.

And I agree, I think he's a 10! :-)



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