Cain - can you start us off with a little
description of the room where you are answering
Well it's actually my
bedroom so I all I can say is that it's very
clean and bright right now, it has a bed, a desk
and a closet and a window through which I'm
hearing the neighbor's dog barking endlessly for
being locked out. In fact, there's always an
annoying sound coming from out there, be it
lawn-mowers, garbage trucks or this dog. And
trust me, when they wake me up with these sounds,
I want to grab a big knife, a hockey mask and go
play. I've seen too many horror movies, huh?
talk about 'Catacombs' which
is the first original movie on Fearnet. I just
watched it the other night. How did your role as
Leon come about?
original script, Leon and Nico were twins, but
the directors I think had a hard time finding
funny twins who spoke English well in Romania so
they scrapped that. Of course, maybe they just
saw me and Radu (who plays Nico) and were so
impressed they re-wrote the script for us. LOL.
As for how did I get it? Through a casting in
Bucharest, Romania. I originally went in for
Michel, but I was blonde at the time and they
needed someone dark and mysterious so they made
me improvise that I'm high on some drug and I
made them laugh. Next thing I know, I get a call
saying I'm going to be Leon.
movie somewhere like the catacombs beneath Paris
seems like it would be filled with all sorts of
technical difficulties. What was the most
challenging part of the shoot?
burst your bubble, but it's all a soundstage. The
people at Media Pro Studios did an amazing job
creating these really creepy hallways inside a
soundstage. The most challenging part of the
shoot must be the scene where the CataCops break
up the party. We had to run around for about one
or two hours being chased, and the dust off the
floor began to rise to the point where all extras
and actors had masks for breathing in-between
takes. I think two days later I was still
coughing up dust.
So was it
creepy for you to film on the set surrounded by
all the skulls and bones?
I have to admit that the set was very realistic.
It really helped us get in character and feel
like we really shouldn't be there. But I can't
say that it was creepy. There's always a huge
crew involved with every shoot so no one was
alone. I think it might have been very creepy for
Shannyn who is an amazing actress and who
prepares intensely for each scene - I think she
made sure it was creepy when she was filming her
solo scenes running through the Catacombs. But
then again, I'd do the same. No matter how
thorough your preparation is for getting in a
certain state of mind, it's nothing like actually
creating the reality of the scene when you shoot.
starred as Jeremy in 'Return of
the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave'
(2005). What was your most memorable moment or
recollection of that film shoot?
I had a
lot of fun on that shoot. Again, it comes from my
way of tackling the role - Jeremy was a big
buffoon and a DJ, so he's always getting people
to have fun and party. And I ended up being
somewhat similar. I'd hang out with the crew and
the extras, chat endlessly with everyone during
my takes, dance around, crack jokes, etc. All in
all, I really enjoyed myself. I was a bit sad
that the American actors were a little out of
their element, being in a different country and
not knowing anyone except the American crew. I
read somewhere their complaints over how they had
nothing to do all the time and how there's
nothing to do in Bucharest. They should have hung
out with me, I guess, cause I was having a blast.
always been a big horror fan and are roles in
horror movies something you pursued or is that
just the way your film career has gone so far?
happened that way. Most of the movies being shot
in Romania tend to be horror because the budget
is usually smaller. Also because my country can
really look like anything they need. But that's
not to say that I am not excited for having been
in two horror movies. Right before my first role
in ROTLD5, I was telling some friends how badly I
wanted to play a vampire or a zombie, how fun it
would be. And a few months later, I got my wish.
I'm only sad that due to time constraints they
never shot my death scene for Catacombs. I would
have loved to be chopped to pieces.
Do you have
any other future films or projects lined up you
would like to let the www.racksandrazors.com fans know about?
supposed to be filming this little independent
feature about italian painter Caravaggio.
Definitely a stretch from the horror movies, but
that's one of the reasons I want to do it. I'll
get to wear a wig and speak italian and be a
bohemian painter named Mario Minniti.
You grew up in
Romania under the communist regime in the 80s.
What are your most vivid recollections of that
Oh God. I
have to say my most vivid memory is when I was
very little, sitting in my parents' bedroom
watching TV by myself. Ceausescu, the communist
leader, used to have gatherings that were
televised where he would speak and everyone was
supposed to clap in admiration. If you didnt
agree with his speech, you'd be suddenly escorted
out by security, and you'd dissapear either for a
few days to re-evaluate your own points of view,
or forever. So anyway, I was watching one of
these congress meetings and began applauding when
they applauded on TV. But then I realized I
didn't know what I was applauding for and I felt
really bad about having done it. It's a very
strange memory but I think that even I, at 5
years old, was registering that the applause was
wrong and fake.
I also want to
chat a bit about your debut album 'Break
the Game Rules'. Who have been
your biggest musical influences and which come
across most strongly on the CD?
album came out when I was 21, I think. It was a
great stepping stone for me and I learned a
tremendous amount of things for having done it,
but I was not really calling the shots. I was
approached with a concept and I agreed because it
was something I thought would be cool - posing as
a bad boy who sings mainly about sex. I'm not a
prude or a late-bloomer in that department, but I
have been raised well by my mother and in real
life, I'm much more discreet about such topics.
So the real me was a bit incongruous with the
character I was portraying through my music.
For my new music, a demo of which is on my
website http://www.myspace.com/cainmanoli, I've looked to
Robbie Williams, Dido, Madonna and Depeche Mode
What's in your
CD player right now?
in my iPod? Lots and lots of different music -
Zen meditation and Enya right next to country
music or Janet Jackson. As an actor, I use music
sometimes to get into certain moods, so I want to
make sure I have a vast array of music to choose
from. A couple of weeks ago I went for an
audition where my character was an awkward
high-schooler who eventually discovers
supernatural powers in himself. I found a cheesy
song which would have been perfect for the
soundtrack and played it over and over again
while driving to the casting director.
And your DVD
going to sound silly, but Agatha Christie's
Poirot movies. I bought a collection of them. I
feel really British and old when I watch them,
but I love guessing who's the murderer.
What was the
first movie you saw that made you sleep with the
It was a
TV show - Twin Peaks. Watched a little bit of an
episode and had nightmares for weeks on end.
Granted, I was very young at the time. Being in a
horror movie has cured me forever of being scared
by them. Yes, I get the jolts when I watch them
in theaters, but they don't haunt me after that.
I just have to think of the make-up or the fake
blood or the several takes they did of each scene
and I can go sleep like a baby. Also, I think
there was a scene from The Omen that really
scared me at the time - where a priest is
decapitated by this big piece of glass
pulling into the Cain Manoli Drive In. What three
horror movies are on the triple bill tonight and
what goodies are they going to be serving up at
the concession stand?
That's a really fun question. I'd give my
drive-in a better name though. The movies would
have to be: "The Others", "The
Ring" and "28 Days Later". As for
the concession stand - lotsa chocolate and Coke
and Red Bull, to get people jittery.
you in real life?
Killing others in the name of God. Prejudice and
hatred. Or cults. Stories like Matthew Shepard or
People's Temple. I'm most scared about what
sociologists call "group hysteria" and
in general, the way masses of people can be
affected through carefully worded speeches.