Clancy Brown Interview
Interviewed by Beth Blighton
Beth: A lot of people have landed on the breakfast scene or whatever it was… the liver chopping scene…
Clancy: Oh. my God!
Beth: …as proof positive, though we didn’t actually see it, that Justin and Iris have gotten together and consummated this forbidden relationship. What do YOU think?
Clancy: I think people can see whatever they wanna see. It’s part of the carnival, part of the fireball show, ya know?
Beth: (laughing) Yes it is!
Clancy: If you see it, you see it. And this is also the way I was when looking for renewal – when I see it, then that’s what it is. If somebody is just playing games and doing semantics with me, and not showing me something, then there’s a reason they’re not showing me something! They’re trying to fool me…
Beth: That’s the way I look at it, too.
Clancy: We didn’t… Amy and I didn’t play it, and didn’t presume that there was any consummation of any lust or mutual lust. But there was, certainly, some kind of acknowledgement of it between us. And so, what was in our heads, at that moment, when we were playing that scene? It was simply that now we know that at least Justin wants to screw her.
Beth: Which she didn’t seem to be objecting to, too much. Considering Tommy Dolan got a slap upside the head, and Justin just got looked at…
Clancy: Right. Which is a tribute to Amy’s power as an actress, because the fact is, she’s HALF my size.
Beth: Yes she is!
Clancy: (laughing) Ya know? And anyone else would have been terrified into submitting. But she’s a tough cookie, so…
Beth: All I could think, when he throws her down on the couch, is that she’s about to try to talk her way out of this one, yet again. She was starting to say something!
Beth: She wasn’t anywhere close to done talking yet, or just giving in to whatever her fate may be.
Clancy: Yeah, the scene ended differently when we shot it, so…
Beth: Oh, really?
Clancy: But, I mean, I’m sure that they… HBO was very hot to have then get together in the first season. And we were v-e-r-y reluctant to do it, Amy and I. Because we felt it was too early for them to… We didn’t want the whole season culminating to that moment, cuz that’s really not what they’re about. It’s a sidelight to what they’re about. Ya know? It’s one of the things that informs them, informs their character and informs their motives. And everything else is this kind of repression. Which is much more interesting to me than just some kind of guilt or consummated guilt. “I did something bad, I committed a sin with you…and I’m… Now that’s gonna inform it the whole way…” It’s much more interesting if “I want to sleep with you, and you KNOW it… but I’m not going to because of what we BOTH know.”
Then… THEN it can rear its head at any moment! And then the tension continues, and it’s frightening. I think any kind of conversation with anyone else – like that conversation with Tommy Dolan, when Justin said, “You want my sister?” It’s like, whoa, my goodness! THAT line has been crossed! That’s definitely directed at embarrassing both his sister AND Tommy. So it can pop up and manifest itself at any moment, in any kind of guise. It’s a nice thing to have in your back pocket.
Have we slept with each other…? Ya know, I can understand how people would think that. I don’t think so, honestly, I don’t.
Beth: Well, my thinking is that -- being as it is a motivating factor or something that’s percolating there in the background, it would be something that they would actually SHOW us if it had happened, ya know what I mean?
Clancy: Yeah, yeah… right!
Beth: And say, “This is a momentous decision here.” Because he has to throw everything else he believe in aside to say, “This is what I want more than anything. Nothing else matters.”
Clancy: Yeah, right! And there was a good post to that affect, too, sort of in a very cynical, kinda cultural way, saying that, “Well, ya know, they showed Apollonia getting raped. So the reason they didn’t show the Justin/Iris combination was because it wasn’t rape.” -- and so, therefore not worthy of dramatization or something. And I was like, “Noooo…” That’s… That is a really… I mean, it was completely rational, but it’s really kind of a scary thought, so…
Beth: Because that would be such a life-altering decision for them to make. As much influence as she has in his life, as inter-dependent as they are on one another, if you change that relationship, which it would…
Beth: It’s gonna be major!
Clancy: Right! And there’s… That’s just… You’re right, you’re right… And there’s so much more to be mined from just that part of their nature that isn’t satisfied, I think.
Beth: Oh, yes! Frustration and jealousy and power, and all the other classics!
Clancy: Yeah, I mean, we already saw Justin try to pimp his sister. I mean, holy moly!
Beth: Although, I took that more as a very wicked sarcasm, just to try to put Iris back in her place, and put Tommy on the spot.
Clancy: Of course! Of course it was… But hey! It was what it was…
Beth: Yeah, take my sister – please! (laughing)
Clancy: And it’s not like there isn’t precedent for that in the show, to begin with, so…
Beth: The scenes with you and Amy are just great. And the scenes where you throw Tommy into the mix are even better. Because it’s not all written there in the script. A lot of it is just so there in the acting. Like the scene where Tommy comes to the door and finds that you’re back home, that was a great little scene. I loved it with those sidelong glances at Iris & Tommy, and the huffing out of the room… And Iris playing her little game of, “Well, let’s just invite Tommy to church, if you’re going to be a spoiled baby about this!”
Clancy: (laughing) Oh, man… We went right down that path to begin with. They actually had to hold us back, cuz we were just being very petulant and funny.
Beth: I thought it was great. The way she manipulates him is wonderful. Cuz here he is… He’s comin’ home – home from the asylum – and he thinks he’s got it all figured out…
Beth: He’s thinkin’ “I’ve got the world on a string!”
Beth: And within minutes, she’s got him right back where she wants him… just that quick. And I’m still looking at that Balthus revelation, too…
Clancy: Yeah, well when we shot that, we weren’t sure whether Balthus was killed or not…
Beth: At what point would he have been killed? Do you think Brother Justin might have done him in?
Clancy: Well, we just couldn’t figure it out. We couldn’t figure out… There was a moment in an early draft of the script where, at the end of that scene, Balthus is subsumed by some dark cloud or something…
Clancy: And it was a little too extreme, but the question mark for the whole final episode was, “Who’s alive and who’s dead?” So… It’s possible that Balthus is dead, though I don’t think so.
Beth: They didn’t give us that much of an indication that he was in any kind of physical peril, so… I’d agree with you. I don’t think he’s dead, either. Plus, I think he serves a better purpose alive, since he’s the one man who knows what’s going on with Justin – or he thinks he does.
Beth: I’m thinking really, what the test is now… If Justin was really thinking clearly and he was really actually worried about finding out if he IS a demon or not… The test now is to look into Balthus’ soul again, and see what he sees now. Because, if he sees Balthus rescuing the two children, again, then maybe his greatest sin is saving Iris. But if the next time he looks he sees that Balthus’ worst sin is not bashing Justin in the head with that candlestick, then he’ll know for sure he’s the evil he fears he is.
Clancy: Or… maybe the power is not just revealing someone’s worst sin. Maybe it’s something else!
Clancy: Maybe it’s revealing their deepest desire…
Clancy: Or maybe it’s the greatest turning point in their life somewhere. Maybe Templeton’s deepest desire was to sleep with this little boy, and he did it. Maybe Balthus’ deepest desire was to have a family, because he couldn’t and he saw his moment. I was trying to figure out a way to actually make that scene… How do you interpret that scene as self-serving to Balthus -- and a lot of people online have done it -- but also maintain what’s consistent in Balthus’ character, his humanity and sincerity. And you can want something that's worth wanting bad enough that you make a wrong decision, whether you know it’s a wrong decision or not.
Clancy: So… And no matter how good of a person you are, you can do the right thing for the wrong reasons, you can do the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Beth: Because, right now, he seems to be the last righteous man standing.
Beth: And I don’t have a problem with that. Because there have been people just waiting to see what kind of horrible spider is gonna coming crawling out of his closet.
Clancy: And ya know, I don’t think a lot of these things are gonna be tied up that neatly. I think that some of these, it’s okay to leave them ambiguous. Some of these questions are okay left ambiguous. Like the fetus in the jar… It’s really not important. It can be whatever you think it is. It MAY pay off, but if it doesn’t pay off, then all it was, was what it was.
Beth: (chuckling) Maybe a cigar is just a cigar, maybe a bear is just a bear…
Clancy: (laughing) Yeah! And sometimes ambiguity itself is more informative than having some neat little plot moment that completely explains down to the last detail what was going on in someone’s mind at this time. I mean, too much exposition is just that, ya know, too much exposition. And we got other fish to fry!
Beth: Oh yeah, we do…
Clancy: But that being said… Is there gonna be a payoff for fetus in the jar? Perhaps.
Beth: You never know…
Clancy: There might be. It might be one of those things that actually, there was a payoff intended, or people perceive that they actually need one.
Beth: Well, fandom has certainly landed on that one.
Clancy: Yeah! Well, and it was early, too. But I always thought that was just kind of a moody thing… That was a mood thing. That was not so important, cuz this isn’t a comic book, it’s a big ol’ novel about the human condition. So there’s a lot that we can’t explain, cuz nobody quite knows all those answers. It’s a weird thing, so minute… To me, if you explain something so minute, then you kinda lose your credibility, in a way. Cuz it’s presumptuous to claim to know the answer to everything. That’s what bugs me about a lot of movies these days, that they just have to answer every question. And it should be left up to the mystery of life and all the rest of that.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Monday, December 29, 2003
Clancy Brown Interview
Monday, December 15, 2003
Because it wouldn't be a Monday morning without a "Decoding Carnivale"...
Clancy calls in to tell John Jay & Brother Phil the good news!
WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” Call-in with Clancy Brown • 12-15-03
This is the transcript from Clancy’s radio call-in segment on Southwest Michigan’s WIRX/Rock 107.1, with John Jay and Brother Phil.
John: A surprise visit from one Clancy Brown!
John: Brother Justin, how are ya?
Clancy: (Growling) Oh, man… I can’t believe it! They signed us up for another thirteen episodes, and I’m gonna have to be callin’ you guys at five in the morning again…
John: Yeah, baby!
Phil: Ya know, you ought to get a little stipend in your check every week! “Ya know, I have to get up at five in the morning for these!”
Clancy: Oh, my God! And they’re saying late 2004, so that means that right around this time, I’m gonna have to be getting’ up when it’s completely dark here in LA… (chuckling)
John: Beauty! Beau-tay!
John: How awesome is that? So, another thirteen?
Clancy: Another thirteen. They said they might get more than that, but you never know. Who knows?
John: Did they tell ya when you’re gonna start shooting or anything?
Clancy: And there’s no reason to talk to you while we’re doing that, since nobody knows what the hell’s going on anyway.
John & Phil: (laughing)
John: Well, you were probably pretty happy when you got the word, though. You probably told your wife, “Hey! We can eat and pay the bills next year. Pretty nice!”
Clancy: Yeah, it’s always nice to have an income! (laughing)
John: Yeah, that’s always good!
Phil: We can get that new G.I. Joe with the Kung-fu grip now for…
Clancy: That’s right, except my daughter looks at me with big eyes and wonders when they’re gonna start doing “SpongeBob” again.
Clancy: (Mr. Krabs voice) Sorry, darlin’… That’s over!
John & Phil: (laughing)
John: What is the deal with “SpongeBob”? Are they done shooting new episodes of that?
Clancy: Oh, man… We stopped that two and a half years ago!
Clancy: Yeah, you’re looking at old, old Bikini Bottom reruns there…
John: See, I’m not really up on the “SpongeBob” thing. I know it’s a funny cartoon when I see it.
Clancy: Oh, well… I’ll have to get Mr. Krabs to call you. You can do “Decoding Bikini Bottom”…
John: (laughing) Yeah, “Decoding Bikini Bottom” from two and a half years ago. “Wow, these guys are right on top of things, aren’t they?”
Phil: “Yeah, I’ve seen this!” (laughing)
John: “I’ve seen this fifty times!”
John: It’s still… God, man, I can’t believe that! That means Trace has seen every episode fifty times, and he STILL watches it!
Clancy: Exactly! That’s what little kids do.
John: That’s cartoon’s a phenomenon, it really is.
Phil: But it really didn’t get popular until after you were done with the whole thing.
John: Well… yeah.
Phil: Eh, it’s been popular for a while, yeah.
John: It’s kinda like “Ren & Stimpy.”
Clancy: I guess you have to watch it twenty times before it becomes popular.
John: Well, I didn’t get the craze that adults had about this thing, until I watched the first couple episodes I ever saw. And it’s pretty damned funny!
Clancy: It is funny.
John: It is a hilarious cartoon.
Clancy: It’s another one I don’t get completely! (laughing)
John: Well, ya know… You just cut the voice parts and go, “Just put those wherever you wanna put ‘em. It doesn’t matter to me…”
Clancy: (Mr. Krabs voice) “Where are the jokes in this, for cryin’ out loud? We’re not doing dinner theater!” Oh, my God…
John: Yeah, Mr. Krabs doing dinner theater…(laughing)
John: Well, hey congratulations, man. That’s great to know that you guys got picked up. I’m really happy for ya!
Clancy: Yeah… I’m happy, too!
John: I’m happy for myself, too, because I love watching the show.
Clancy: Oh, my gosh… Well, we’ll have to get you out here to do a little radio thing.
John: That would be awesome! Hey, did you get my little email about the plotline I think you should go with?
Clancy: Yeah… But ya know what? I… I don’t think the sex change… I don’t think the sex change will work.
John: Yeah, Brother Justina comes back… (laughing)
Clancy: Maybe Iris could have a sex change. But I don’t think Justin has a sex change. I think he gets caught in some sort of Nordic orgy!
John: That would be kinda cool!
Phil: That would be kinda cool, yeah…
Clancy: There ya go… yeah.
John: I gotta tell ya… Ya know I love ya, but Clancy Brown would make one ugly woman right there!
Clancy: (laughing hard) No kiddin’!
John: Six foot four, with an Adam’s apple the size of a softball!
Clancy: That’s right. And a five o’clock shadow!
Phil: We have to pack up the radio station, the radio show, and go out and do a live broadcast from the set of “Carnivale.”
Clancy: Now yer talkin’…
John: Wouldn’t that be cool?
Clancy: Now yer talkin’! You can see what it’s like to get up a five in the mornin’! (laughing)
Phil: Well, we are pretty… we’re well aware of that! (laughing)
John: Yeah, we’re pretty accustomed to that…
Phil: I got six years under my belt at 5 am. (laughing)
Clancy: We’ll have to make it 2 am, then…
John: Hey, you can get us on as extras, can’t you? Like we could be, uh… I dunno, we could be dirty locals at a Cooch Show!
Clancy: Ah, ya know, because you’re media, you have to go through the whole sorta rigamarole with the PR Department. But… (evil voice) We could start those wheels turning! Sure, I know a few people… Sure!
John: That would be awesome!
Phil: That would be funny! (laughing)
John: “Watch this, honey. Here I come! I’m dirty head #4… Right there! Look!”
Clancy: “There I am!”
John: Yeah, that’s it. That’s awesome.
Phil: “Yeah, look at that… I’m the one that just wet my pants!”
John: Hey, congratulations, Clancy!
Phil: Excellent news!
Clancy: It’ll be fun. It should be a little easier to watch next year. Maybe not.
John: Why? Are you gonna make it less confusing, do you think?
Clancy: That’s what they say… But what do I know?
John: Well, I mean, at least we’ll have a whole plotline to lean on…
Clancy: Yeah. And I liked last year’s so, ya know… (chuckling) I don’t care, as long as they pay me.
John & Phil: (laughing)
John: As long as that HBO check clears, you’re happy!
Clancy: As long as I get my hooch, I’m okay… (laughing)
John: “As long as I get my hooch!” Fantastic! That’s what I like to hear! Hey, have a great day, man. Thanks for the call. I really appreciate it.
Clancy: All right. Seeya… Happy holidays!
John: You too, brother. Merry Christmas to ya!
Phil: Excellent! Have a good one.
John: That’s Clancy Brown from “Carnivale”. What a surprise, huh?
Phil: Very good!
John: Excellent! I’m impressed that HE called US!
John: Out of the blue! He must like us on some level…
Phil: It’s nice to be liked… yeah.
John: That’s pretty awesome right there.
Phil: Yeah, it is.
John: That’s pretty awesome.
To Comment on this Interview, click HERE
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Clancy Brown Interview
Interviewed by Beth Blighton
Beth: So how do you feel about “Carnivale’s” renewal for a second season?
Clancy: How do I feel about the renewal? I feel relieved. I feel vindicated. I feel impatient. I feel kinda exasperated that they took so long to do it. I feel like I can hardly wait, and I also feel like I’ve waited long enough. So, ya know? It’s like, YEAH! Let’s get going! I would start filming tomorrow, if they would let us!
Beth: And how did you find out?
Clancy: I got sort of an early phone call, early in the week last week, which was probably the Monday after the Friday that they made the decision – when all the muckety-mucks made the decision. So those people who hold that kind of information, who make those decisions, once they give up that information, that’s kind of a power that they release, so they hang onto it as long as they can, right? So, certainly, I’m sure I was one of the first cast members to know, but I know I wasn’t even CLOSE to being the first person to know! I wasn’t even in the top twenty!
Dan tells this story… Dan was told about the renewal, and he got it from the horse’s mouth, the Big Kahuna at HBO, their Tony Soprano, you know… And then he was told, “But don’t tell anybody. Keep it under your hat and everything.” And he was like, “all right… I understand, I’ll keep it under my hat.” And so he goes into work the next day, to continue breaking out the scripts, and he gets there early (and I guess they get there pretty early in the morning), and he’s walking in the building… And the guy is there, the maintenance guy who opens up the building is there, and he says, “Hey! I heard you got renewed! Congratulations!” (laughing)
Beth: (laughing) That sounds about right, doesn’t it?
Clancy: And then he’s going in to talk to… kinda hanging out with the wardrobe or the prop people, and somebody who was working on another show comes by and says, “Hey! I heard you got picked up… Congratulations!” (laughing) So that’s a bunch of garbage, that keeping it under your hat stuff! But I didn’t mention it… just because I don’t believe it until it actually happens, and I know that from experience.
Beth: And you’re not about to jinx yourself…
Clancy: And it’s not even about jinxing, really. It’s just that I believe that they’re lying to me! (laughing) I mean, I just don’t trust em, at all! And when you care about something… Ya know, I always care about these shows like WAY more than I should, and you leave it in the hands of these people, and they make the wrong decisions 90% of the time…
Not HBO! I mean, HBO’s very GOOD! They’ve actually proven themselves to be what I thought they were, which is a very brave, instinctive group of executives who don’t really live and die by the culture of numbers that’s out here. And I can’t stress that enough! So it’s really my own paranoia and my own failings that make me so skeptical about stuff like this. I also don’t want them to be insulted by thinking, “Well, jeez! What’s wrong with Clancy? He doesn’t think we’re liars, does he? What’s wrong?” Cuz there is that culture in Hollywood that admires duplicitous-ness, which I’ve never quite understood…
But to me, HBO did the right thing. And they’ve once again proven that they have different standards, or march to the tune of a different drummer, however you wanna put it. And it’s to my benefit this time, and it’s been to other benefits, for the most part. I mean, they killed “K Street” and they killed “Mind of a Married Man,” and I don’t think anybody will miss any of those shows. But I would have missed “The Wire” terribly, and I’m dyin’ to see “Deadwood”! They’ve maintained if not enhanced their own position, as far as I’m concerned. My own regard for them is intact. I just wish they could make the decision quicker! (laughing) That they could come to these decisions and announce them, and not goof around. But they did it now, so I’m not gonna complain!
So I’m THRILLED! I’m excited! I would start this afternoon! I would start tomorrow! I would start doing it in a second! I love this show so much, and I love playing this character so much.
Beth: Now, what do you think that HBO survey was about?
Clancy: Ah… The Survey! That weirdo survey!
Beth: Yup, that weirdo survey that all the fans got ahold of real quick.
Clancy: Ya know, it’s funny because, I was thinking about this after our last conversation… And, ya know, it was a survey FOR the demographic of the fan base that showed up from the internet!
Clancy: I mean, I’ve never seen a survey like that connected with any show! A kind of marketing survey like that… connected with any show, on any network, at any time! And so specifically targeted! I mean, it’s not like they emailed their entire HBO list. You had to actually FIND that survey and fill it out. So they were really… Ya know, the more I think about it, they were really getting the opinion of people who watched the show, and paid attention, and liked the show.
Beth: I don’t really know who got it first. I don’t know how it got out, in the first place, cuz I never got it. I mean, I only heard about it.
Clancy: I know! I never got an email… I saw it on the list! So… It’s kind of a weird thing. It’s kinda cool, if you think about it, cuz it’s very shrewd on their part -- if it is shrewd on their part – that they have a control group built-in, and they have people who are into the show. They know the people watch the show. It’s not just some bonehead they have to ask a bunch of preliminary questions to see if it’s gonna be a useful interview or not. I mean, on further analysis, I thought it was pretty smart of them! I don’t know what the point of the questions were, that they were asking. They were pretty standard kind of marketing questions, and what kind of decision they’re gonna be making from that.
Beth: So, the decision about the renewal was probably pretty much made by the time they put that survey out, though, do you think?
Clancy: I would imagine. Cuz at the time that they put it up, they had already hired the writers to break out the first five or six scripts, or whatever, to at least kinda give them an idea of what the arc might be. So, I think they were on that path, and maybe trying to get an idea about what stories served the people that are devoted to the show.
Now, I read a couple of posts that said people were kinda alarmed by it, that it was some kind of marginalization of the show, but I don’t think so. I think it’s got a different purpose than that. I think it’s really… Just because it was so specific, it was so targeted, it was so hard to find… I mean, there was nothing about it on HBO’s website. There was nothing on the “Carnivale” portion of the HBO website. I mean, you had to sort of discover it!
Beth: Yeah, it had to be brought to you by your own contacts in fandom almost.
Clancy: Right, so in that sense I think it was kinda cool! I just hope that Brother Justin scored well! (laughing)
Beth: Yeah! That’s what I’m worried about, too! Cuz people have kinda tagged you as the villain, and I would hate to see that reflect in that survey just because people might not want to answer in favor of “the villain,” ya know what I mean? (laughing) Ya know, kinda the “Boo, hiss!” vote expressing itself.
Clancy: Well, it could be that if they see high marks for Lodz and Lila and Samson, they might say, “Okay, obviously, we’ve handled that storyline well. So, now what we need to do is concentrate on these other stories.” I mean, you just never know what’s going to be derived from the quantification of this sort of thing. So you just gotta kinda take it as a whole piece of cloth, and say… well, it’s interesting that they did it, and it’s probably good that they did it.
Beth: So where do you hope that your character goes next year?
Clancy: Well, more to the point, where do I hope the show goes next year…I think the show kinda got off track somewhere around “Babylon.” As excellent as I think “Babylon” and “Take a Number” were – and I really think they were probably the two best shows that we did -- although, all of them were very good. But those ones really got to me. I loved those the most. And you have to take that with a grain of salt, cuz I wasn’t IN them as much. So I was really kinda watching it fresh. But I really liked those shows, and they were very episodic in nature. But it’s also where we got off track, I think.
Right around there is where we got off track. Ben goes down in the mine, and he sort of loses his mind. When he emerges, he’s not the same character. I mean, he’s really driven in those first few episodes to find out who Scudder is, and to solve his own mystery. And right around then, he kinda takes a back seat in the story to the grief of the Driefuss family, and Stumpy in particular. So that was great. Toby and Cynthia and Tim got a chance to shine. But they shine at the expense of what we’ve established as our central storyline. You can take issue with that, that maybe there was still plenty of things going on with Ben. And there certainly were with Ruthie and all that stuff. But you can’t deny that whole storyline, because it was acted so well by the actors and written so well, kinda took over the show.
So, I’m sitting here thinking, how can we have that and have it inform the main point which, we know, is a battle between good and evil, or wonder and reason, or whatever the ultimate confrontation is. And I’m thinking, well, maybe that’s the key… That you write it, you construct stories that become these sort of allegories to the main story. And maybe they don’t give particular clues to it, but you basically see that struggle manifest. And our own story can deliver whatever clues we need.
The fact that I was basically out of two episodes just tells you that you can tell the Brother Justin story in ten! (laughing) And then if you say, well, he was in half of those shows – and that would be generous – then you could say, well, you can tell Brother Justin’s story in five. (laughing) So, I mean, you can go on and on like that. And I think, actually, my arc was probably the best conceived and executed, just in the narrative sense. It was very clear. There wasn’t a lot of wasted stuff. But there’s still plenty of interesting speculation going on. Answers were given, and the character moved through the season, and he is a different character from when he started the season. And that’s the key, to me. The journey in the character is what’s gonna excite me. But it’s also what’s gonna keep people watching.
Beth: Now Dan did an interview with TV Guide, I think, toward the end, when they were talking about renewing. And he was saying that even next year, Brother Justin and Ben won’t meet.
Clancy: I don’t think they’ve decided that just yet…
Beth: He was saying that their worlds would begin to intertwine, though.
Clancy: Yeah, that’s probably true. I don’t know how they can avoid that. I mean, they gotta do that, at least, for cryin’ out loud. Ya know, the woulda, shoulda, couldas are all over the first season. So I think that if there are any mistakes that have been made, they’ve already been made. And that’s the end of the mistakes. It’ll start being a lot more focused. And if anybody asked me, which they don’t, or wanted my opinion, which they don’t, the first thing I would say to them is – you ask yourself, in every episode, in every scene you write, how does this illuminate the human struggle between darkness and light? It has to be about that. It all has to be about that in some way.
Beth: And if they’re working toward this confrontation, eventually, I think we need to see how Ben is going to get to the point where he’s going to take an active part in that. Because Brother Justin, you can kinda see where his power base is building. But I can’t quite figure out what Ben’s power base is going to be.
Clancy: You certainly know that Brother Justin has got some idea of what he can do and what he can do with it – how he can change things, how he can affect things. We don’t really know what ultimately his goal is, though we can safely assume there’s some religious rationalization to it.
But you’re right. Ben kinda is the same guy. It was frustrating for me at the end of the first season, in the finale, because he really didn’t get the moment where he accepted what he did. He killed in a moment of passion and was cornered into it, manipulated into it – which doesn’t reflect well on his own self-control and his own self-awareness, self-possession and intelligence, or whatever else. And that’s not to impugn the job that Nick did, cuz he did exactly what he should have done, and he did it excellently. But I think the writers aren’t giving Ben enough credit yet, aren’t – I don’t know what. It’s like they don’t trust him enough yet.
Beth: It seems like they’ve got to tell us a little bit more. We have to see him grow a little bit more into his destiny.
Clancy: And he’s gotta get sharp! He was very sharp in the beginning. He was a sharp kid. He was his own man and everything else, and he was not a dummy. And then he just got dumber and dumber through the show… Now, you can argue that it’s sleep deprivation and everything else, but at the same time, it’s sorta “keep your eyes on the prize” here. You have a mystery you have to solve. And it’s not just a matter of avoiding it, it’s a matter of solving it. He was very proactive about that in the beginning, but by the end of the show he was completely a pawn in everyone’s hands, which doesn’t bode well for our little buddy!
Beth: No, because he’s being manipulated!
Clancy: He’s being manipulated, and he’s manipulated into committing mortal sins. And, ya know, I just have a hard time with this whole “he’s the messiah” thing (laughing), if he’s so easily controlled, and will commit a murder based on hearsay evidence, and all the rest of it. It’s like, c’mon you guys… C’mon, c’mon, c’mon… It’s either a mistake in the writing, or it’s NOT a mistake in the writing – which I tend to think – and he’s not who we think he is!
Beth: It may be purposeful that he’s not quite with the program yet?
Clancy: Well, yes.
Beth: And I’m just wondering, if there IS gonna be some kind of ultimate battle, right now I’d say Justin has got the upper hand on him – big time!
Clancy: Yeah, and in the original vision of Dan’s, the original thing that we all read first, that was part of it. It was part of him learning and cultivating his power enough to really confront somebody who was in the full flower as a powerful preacher. It’s much more interesting now. They changed it for the better. And it’s one of the reasons I tend to trust HBO and give them a pass on losing our way in the middle of the season, because you could see them running to get back on track there in the last two or three episodes. Which I was pleased to see, but it wasn’t quite as artful as the first four, I think.
To Be Continued…
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Friday, December 12, 2003
"Carnivale" gets a Second Season!
Good News! "Carnivale" has been renewed for another season! This from the Hollywood Reporter:
"Dec. 12, 2003
HBO crystal ball: 'Carnivale' back
"Carnivale" will reopen its tent next year on HBO. Sources said the premium cable network has greenlighted a second season for the primetime series, ordering 13 more episodes. Production is expected to begin in the spring in anticipation of returning the Depression-era drama to air sometime in late 2004. Created by Daniel Knauf, "Carnivale" completed its 13-episode rookie season earlier this month with an episode drawing 3.5 million total viewers, just under its season average. While HBO's more established series such as "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" attract much bigger audiences, "Carnivale" earned a respectable viewership on par with another of its critically acclaimed dramas, "The Wire." The series appeared to hit a ratings trough early against stiff competition on the broadcast networks but surged in the latter half of its run even as its lead-out, the faux-reality series "K Street," faltered. Launched simultaneously with "Carnivale," "Street" will not return for a second season. "Carnivale" is executive produced by Knauf and Howard Klein. Knauf is repped by Agency for the Performing Arts' Marc Pariser. (Andrew Wallenstein)"
Congratulations to the cast, crew, and everyone involved with "Carnivale"! It's a great show, and we're all looking forward to seeing the next chapter.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
WIRX “Decoding Carnivale” Call-in with Clancy Brown • 12-2-03
This is the transcript from Clancy’s radio call-in segment on Southwest Michigan’s WIRX/Rock 107.1, with John Jay and Brother Phil.
John: (Carnivale Theme Music starts up) Rock 107/WIRX. It’s 8:06, and the News Center 16 Storm Team Forecast: today partly cloudy, very windy, high of 43, 33 for the low overnight tonight.
Phil: Very scary, too… Mysterious…
John: Very, very dusty out there, and windy, and blowing… The final episode was on last night of “Carnivale” on HBO.
Phil: The Season Finale!
John: The Season Finale… Let’s not say final, let’s just say Season Finale.
Phil: Yeah, it better not be the final!
John: Yeah! No man, I’m tellin’ you what! And Clancy, once again, welcome to the show, and thanks for all the time you’ve spent with us, and I really don’t know what’s been in it for you, but I’m not questioning the fact that…
Phil: Next week, we start Decoding SpongeBob!
John: That’s right!
Clancy: There ya go…
John: Looking for hidden messages within “SpongeBob SquarePants.” So, Mr Krabs, what did it REALLY mean when you walked backwards on Bikini Bottom?
Clancy & Phil: (laughing)
Clancy: (Mr. Krabs voice) Well, I argued with the producers over that one! I thought it was too obvious!
John & Phil: (laughing hard)
Phil: What’s on special this week at the…
John: I dunno man…
John: “Carnivale” last night was pretty awesome!
Clancy: Didja like it?
John: Oh, I thought it was an awesome show, and there was a… Boy, what an expensive night for the Carnivale! They lost three people!
Clancy: Well, ya know… I GUESS they lost three people! But, ya know… They might have, like, “roast vegetables” for a while…
Phil: Yeah, ya never know…
John: God! Well, Lodz… We lost Lodz!
Clancy: (“can’t believe it” laugh) Yeah…
John: At least we THINK we lost… well, actually four! Apollonia, Sophie, Jonesy, and Lodz…
John: That was a pretty catastrophic evening for the folks at the Carnivale!
Clancy: Yeah, and I think… I think that other little girl is probably gonna go out and off herself… the other little lesbian.
John: Yeah… I liked the little lesbian scene…
John: Sophie’s little comeuppance scene for everybody.
Clancy: (wicked voice) Ya know, they did that just for YOU!
John: I know they did… You went to the producers and said, “Hey, put some lesbo action in there for my boys in Michigan, wouldja? They’re really gonna like that!”
John: And you got… One of the nicest lines, I thought, the nicest scenes in the whole thing last night, was your meeting with the Radio Guy. What the hell’s his name?
Clancy: Yeah, Tommy Dolan!
John: Right, yeah!
Clancy: Our John Jay!
John: And you said to him, “I’m reminded of the phrase, ya know, making a deal with the devil.”
Clancy: “Making a deal with the devil.”
John: And he says, “Oh, I’m not THAT bad!” And you said something like, “No, YOU’RE not that bad…”
Clancy: I said, “No… Of course you’re not….”
John: “Of course you’re not…”
Clancy: I was just joking! (laughing)
John: Tommy, it’s YOU that’s makin’ a deal with the devil! Not me!
Phil: (laughing) That’s right!
Clancy: Hey, maybe five! Maybe Balthus died, too! I mean, there could be… There could be lots of bodies next season!
John: The body count was HUGE last night!
Phil: They’re gonna have to recast next season!
Clancy: Yeah, and bring in some more people.
Phil: Fresh meat!
John: If we were not lead down HBO’s primrose path last night, the body count was significant! I mean, four carnivale members, minimum! And I liked the scene with Nick Stahl, with Ben almost offing himself!
Clancy: (giggling) Yeah, THAT’S a solution to his dilemma!
John & Phil: (laughing)
Clancy: “Yeah well, ya know? I’ll just kill myself!”
John: Wow! “I’ll just slit my own throat right here!”
Clancy: “And then it will all be over!” (laughing)
John: Yeah, God… And then Scudder… Then, ya know, John Savage gets to come in on the last episode, ya know? It’s like, “Hey, thanks a lot! Final episode, I get one line. Beautiful!”
John: And that’s about it.
Clancy: Does is all make sense to you now?
Clancy: Do you all know what’s going on?
John: No, it doesn’t make complete sense, but…
Clancy: (sputtering) Oh, but…. ack!
Phil: I toldja, I toldja when John was gone that one week that I’m not as deep… I didn’t go to the film appreciation class.
John: It does not make perfect sense to me yet, but at least I’m pretty confident now that I’ve got the good and evil part of it separated, ya know?
Phil: Um-hmm… You’re evil!
John & Phil: (laughing hard)
Clancy: Yeah, well, what can I say…? It sure SEEMS that way, doesn’t it?
John: I was suspicious in episode two with the black contact lenses, but now I’m pretty sure!
Phil: Well… And last week, when you were handing the razor blade wafers…
Clancy: Well, that was BEN’S dream, not mine…
John: Yeah, that was Ben’s dream!
Phil: I know! But the look on your face was, “Oh, man! He’s evil!”
John: I like the razor blade Hosts…
Phil: Yeah, that was good…
John: There’s some sick monkeys writing that show, let me tell ya.
Clancy: The blood of resurrection and the fire of… whatever I said. I dunno. I’ve forgotten it all now. It’s all over, it’s all outta my head, so… I’m useless to you.
John: That’s right. And you’re his greatest evil! Ya know?
Clancy: (hesitates) Yeah… Ya know, I was talking with Dan about that, and it might not be “greatest evil.” That might not be sorta the tag line to those little trips into the subconscious that we take.
Clancy: It might be sumthin’ else…
Clancy: Yeah, it might be sumthin’ else. Like, you gotta think about what the motivation of the person is that goes down those little paths and takes those journeys, so…
John: I was somewhat disappointed…Not, ya know… I was disappointed that you…
Clancy: Yeah, you were hopin’ to see Pa Walton & Ma Walton, weren’tcha? (chuckling)
John: I was wondering what was gonna happen with that giant candelabra! I was lookin’ for some sort of bashing-in of the skull of Justin Crowe, and then… uh, some sort of resurrection thing!
Clancy: Oh, I see… yeah.
John: But that’s not what disappointed me. I was a little disappointed that there was no real non-dream state confrontation or physical contact between you and Ben Hawkins. But the conflagration between good and evil, I suppose, has to happen later
Clancy: Well, ya know what? This first season is like the first book of a novel. Ya know? Ya gotta get these characters logically to a point where they are gonna do battle. You can’t, like, just say, “These guys are opposed or these guys are allied…” or whatever, and then go forward. Ya know, most TV shows, they just say, “Okay, he’s a Good Guy, he’s a Bad Guy, and they’re gonna fight,” and you’re never gonna know WHY! Or even how the people, themselves, got to that point…
Clancy: So that’s sort of what the first season was about. And that’s gonna upset some people, but I appreciate it, personally.
John: Do we then have you on record that there will be a season two?
John & Phil: (groaning) Oh! Arrrrgh, no?!? Aw…
Clancy: No, ya know… You can have me on record as saying I sure think there is! And I sure hope there is… But there’s been no official word.
Clancy: It’s not up to me…
John: I know, but I just thought you were spillin’ something.
Clancy: I wish it were up to me!
John: I thought you were spillin’ some Clancy beans there.
Clancy: I dunno, man. A lot of people put in jeopardy, that’s like an old Hollywood trick to say “Don’t renegotiate!” (laughing) Ya know? So…
Clancy: (laughing) Ya know, Jonesy got very popular there for a while. So they just might be sayin’, “Hey, Tim… If you’re thinkin’ about asking for a raise… Think again!”
John: We’ve gotcha in the burning bus, buddy! You might not come out!
Clancy: You might not come out… (laughing)
John: Yeah, well, I was thinkin’ that last night when your head was on the altar rail!
Clancy: (laughing) Yeah!
John: And we had Pa Walton poised over your head with a five pound candelabra… I’m thinking, man! Maybe Clancy’s really been, ya know, standoffish about season two. Cuz his head gets bashed in here in the next…!
Phil: Maybe it really won’t happen!
Clancy: I’m even askin’ for it!
John: Man, this is gonna be a GREAT show tomorrow, if he gets killed! But no… He backed off… And then that was the, ya know… You had the black contact lense scene, and that was pretty much it for you, right? Wasn’t that the last scene of you in the show?
Clancy: No, man! I sat down on my bed with my sister, and we talked about what God wants…
John: Oh, yeah!
Clancy: And then we went into the church, in virtual darkness…
John: Oh, yeah, yeah!
Clancy: I gave this big, long political speech…
John: That’s right, the soliloquy in the end, as we kept flashing back and going across to the carnivale, while you were talking.
John: Which was good stuff. I really enjoyed that!
John: Yeah, that was a great show! I thought it was a great show. And I thought it was… There was a lot of satisfaction that Ben finally sort of realized, ya know, what he was. And he couldn’t just walk away from what he was. And we heard from management a little bit more… Management sounds female to me, to be honest with ya…
Clancy: Does it? Yeah, well, it’s definitely Linda Hunt.
John: Oh, it’s definitely Linda Hunt? Wow! Really?
Clancy: Yeah! So, you know…
John: I didn’t know that!
Clancy: So, but ya know… She’s… It could be a female. It could be male. I’m really not sure.
John: But it’s Linda Hunt’s voice?
Clancy: But it’s Linda Hunt’s voice, yeah.
Phil: Ah, okay…
John: But you don’t have a Linda Hunt without committing to a season two. I gotta believe that HBO’s gonna…
Clancy: But you can have a Linda Hunt without committing to a gender, okay? (chuckling)
John: Yeah, sure! (laughing) That’s absolutely the truth. But I thought it was a great show.
Clancy: Okay, dudes… What’s gonna happen NEXT? Who gets off the bus?
John: I think Jonesy gets off the bus.
Clancy: Do ya?
John: I don’t think Sophie and Apollonia get off the bus.
Clancy: You think they’re both goners?
John: I, uh… The actress who played Sophie?
John: I wasn’t sure quite what to think of her… She’s one of those actresses where… I mean, I thought she did a great job on the show, not her acting! I’m talking about… Like, she’s one of those women you see on TV, and you go, “Okay… I wonder what she looks like… Like, if I saw her in Letterman…” And that’s what I always think of, if I saw her on… Like she’s kinda good looking, and then at other times, she doesn’t really… Ya know, she’s not all that. And then, ya know, you wonder what she looks like in real life!
Phil: She’s like the good light/bad light attractive, like from “Seinfeld.”
John: Right, like on “Seinfeld.”
Phil: (laughing) Sometimes she looks good, and other times…
Clancy: I find her very attractive.
John: She did a wonderful job on the show. If that was her final scene, it was awesome for that actress!
Clancy: Yeah, you liked that?
John: But I gotta believe they’re bringin’ back Jonesy. You gotta keep the gimpy carnivale manager, don’tcha?
Clancy: Yeah, and maybe he’s even MORE scarred!
John: Yeah, oh absolutely! There’s more scars for Rita Sue to kiss!
Clancy: Yeah, there you go! (laughing) Rita Sue won’t be able to RESIST him if he has a couple of burn scars on him now…
John: Yeah, let me give you a burn job, Jonesy! Oh, argh!
Clancy: (laughing) You saw how excited she was when he jumped in that burning bus…
John: Was Stumpy gonna cap Rita Sue? That’s what I’m thinkin’!
Clancy: Ya know… I dunno. But I’m gonna cop to sumthin’ that I probably shouldn’t… and don’t ever tell my wife… But, like, who HASN’T had the thought, “If I had a gun, right now…”
John: Oh, man!
Clancy: Ya know?
Clancy: What married couple?
John: That’s what I was thinkin’! It’s a good thing that Rita Sue said all the right things in that little meeting there.
Clancy: Yeah… But, ya know, it could have been HER sittin’ there with the gun, too. I’m not saying just guys… (laughing)
John: Oh, I know! That’s why it’s not a good idea to have one sittin’ in your nightstand! Ya know?
Clancy: I know.
John: Well, he sat there and said… What did he say? “I have a plan, but I’m not sure if…”
Clancy: “I don’t think I can do it.”
John: “I don’t think I can do it…” And he had a gun hanging there by his side.
Clancy: Yeah… We don’t know what his plan was. Was he gonna cap himself, or her, or whoever? I dunno…
John: Well, I, myself, am happy to see a Stumpy and a Rita Sue back together!
Clancy: Yeah, isn’t it nice to see that pimps and whores have the same kind of domestic quarrels that all of us do?
John: Yeah, I like it when his daughter, his beautiful daughter, is getting dressed up to go out, and he says, “What? Have ya got a Johnny?”
Clancy: “Hey, hey… that I don’t know about?!?”
Phil: That’s heartwarming…
Clancy: “Don’t you be holding out on me!”
John: This heartwarming family tale…
Phil: Well, it’s the holiday season, she has to go out and make a little bit more cash.
Clancy: Yeah, just a teenager going out on a date…
John: Well, I tell ya what. It was a good show, and it was a great run! I sure enjoyed “Carnivale,” Clancy…
John: And the chats with you on Monday have been a blast, really!
Clancy: Wow! What am I gonna do now?
John: I dunno… You’re gonna sleep, I guess!
Clancy: I dunno. I don’t think I can!
John: I might just call you on Mondays to bug the hell outta ya!
Clancy: What the heck?
John: Ya know?
Phil: We’ll Decode something else! (laughing)
Clancy: What the heck, we’ll talk about Arnold… We’ll talk about Governor Schwarzenegar.
Phil: There ya go!
John: Are you still living in California? Or have you guys all decided to move across the border now?
Clancy: Yeah, well, ya know… Mexico’s got those great parties…
John: What are you guys doing out there? Is everybody just shaking their head about that whole deal?
Clancy: We’re just waiting to see what happens, ya know? We feel like Minnesotans!
John: Well, hey! We’re gonna join the club before too long. Ya know, Ted Nugent’s thinking about running for…
Phil: Yeah, wouldn’t that be good?
Phil: “Wang-dang Sweet Poontang” up at the capital!
Clancy: Ya know? Yeah! Then there’s a reason to cover the Governor’s Ball or whatever they have there every year…
John: Yeah, right! You’d have Schwarzenegar over there, and Nuge here…
Clancy: Nuge there… And Jesse’s not done… He’s not done. He’ll run again
John: Jesse’s not done. He’ll run for Governor somewhere. He’ll get his foot in the pool, ya know.
Phil: Ted just wants to be Governor so he can open up all the state land and everything to hunting! (laughing) No more wildlife preserves or anything like that in Michigan.
John: (laughing) He could open up Deer Forest. [the local kiddie park/petting zoo – ed.]
Clancy: You could just drive it down the interstate, and…
Phil: And it’s also okay now to shoot the state bird! You go right ahead and…
John & Clancy: (laughing)
John: Robin season is open!
Phil: It’s robin season! They make a great little sandwich!
John: That little robin red breast hogie! Man, oh man! Clancy Brown from “Carnivale,” what’s on your schedule now? You’ve got the new “Rugrats” thing, and you’re still SpongeBob’s guy…
Clancy: Yeah, SpongeBob is in production – “SpongeBob, the MOVIE!”
John: Is that right?
Clancy: Yeah, “SpongeBob, The Movie.”
Phil: I was waitin’… I’ve been waiting! I can exhale now!
Clancy: (laughing) Yeah, you and most of us…
John: But what about stuff where we actually see you, though?
Clancy: Uh... I dunno! You know, they said that they weren’t gonna start up production of this for a while, so I guess I gotta go get a job! Which really bums me out!
Clancy: Cuz, now I actually have to…
Phil: Go back to work?
Clancy: It just ruins my holidays
John: That damned gainful employment! It sucks!
Clancy: No kiddin’! I gotta go find myself a job. I had a new baby, so…
Phil: Oh, really?
Clancy: So, it’s been great, cuz I’ve just been able to hang out with him and haven’t worried about working for a while, but I…
John: Really? When was the arrival?
Clancy: January 2nd, 2003.
John: Is that right?
Clancy: Yeah, so he’s about a year old.
John: Well, belated congratulations to you, my friend.
Clancy: Well, thank you very much!
John: Kids are wonderful, and they’re far more challenging than the “SpongeBob” voiceover work…
Clancy: And this TV show, that’s for sure!
Phil: Have you named him yet? (laughing)
Clancy: No, as a matter of fact.
John & Phil: (laughing)
Phil: Just call him “The Baby.”
Clancy: Just use “The Baby.”
John: “The Baby.”
Clancy: He’s the Baby.
John: Well, I’ve got two. I’ve got a sixteen-year-old and a twelve-year old, so you’ll be there soon enough, my friend!
Clancy: And they don’t have names either?
John: Yeah, we never named either one of them…
John: Just the First One and the Second One, that’s their names.
Phil: Yeah, I just have me. I’m 38, and I still can’t take care of myself!
Clancy: I’m hoping he has a career in the CIA. He could be a completely off the books, kind of Wet Ops kinda guy.
John & Phil: (laughing)
Phil: Wet Ops…
John: Wet Ops! My son, the Wet Ops agent…
Clancy: There’s a lot of that wet work going on right now, lemme tell ya…
John: I bet there is, I bet there is! Hey, Clancy Brown… Thanks, buddy! I really appreciate it.
Clancy: Thanks, you guys! It’s been fun!
John: I’ve told you that every week, but I really can’t describe to you how much it’s meant to us.
Clancy: It’s been early! (laughing)
John: Yeah, it’s been early…
Phil: It’s been early, it’s been often, but it’s been awesome!
John: And thanks to…I gotta throw out, as long as we’re on the air talking about it, to Beth Blighton at the Clancy Brown Fan Club.
John: She’s been incredibly diligent in transcribing these things, and I’ve been getting emails, I mean, from people all over… Literally, all over the world!
Clancy: Have ya?!?
Phil: Oh, yeah!
John: Yeah! New Zealand, Australia! From people who are reading the transcripts of these interviews, and then sending me emails saying that, “We wish that we could pick up your station, and Clancy’s great!” and all this. So… Just outstanding!
Phil: Yeah, send money and we can boost our signal!
Clancy: There ya go!
John: Take up a collection for that new New Zealand transmitter!
Clancy: (laughing) That’s right!
John: Hey Clancy, thanks again, man! And I’ll stay in touch. Believe me, I’m gonna keep buggin’ you, okay?
Clancy: All right. Great! That’ll be good.
John: All right, Buddy…
Clancy: Take it easy, you guys.
Phil: Yeah, thanks!
John: Clancy Brown from “Carnivale.” Thank you very much! What a guy, huh?
John: I’m so disappointed that show is over!
Phil: I can’t wait to see him in his next project!
John: I guess on Sunday nights now, I’ll turn off the TV and talk to my family…
John: Just until something new starts! (laughing)
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