Derek Long: Paging Socket's Dark Doctor of Death by Brian Kirst

You have to admit it - Derek Long is resilient. As an actor, he's survived unworldly encounters with Steven Seagal's entourages in - 'Black Dawn' , an unfaithful boyfriend and blood thirsty Republicans in 'Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror' and a kinkily bizarre version of electroshock therapy as a twisted surgeon in Sean Abley's sizzling, scary 'Socket'. And the man is not half done yet! So, if you're smart, you'll quickly catch him in the entertaining interview, below, before he is on to his next murderous project. Just be sure to keep your stethoscope and vitamins handy in case you suddenly happen to grow faint!


Who were your earliest performance inspirations - Groucho Marx on the 'Tonight Show' - Harrison Ford obliterating evil Nazis in 'Raiders' - Nancy Sinatra working her Go Go boots in 'Ghost in the Invisible Bikini' - Others?

Derek: Wow.... that's a fun question.... you're talking childhood. Any of the Disney villains were a big impression-very intense. I also had a thing for vampires.
Christopher Lee as Dracula.... Frank Langella as Dracula..... they were tall, dark heroes.... - also beautiful and romantic.... and their beauty was dangerous. Gene Wilder being absolutely bonkers (".... and that's not bad!.....") as Willy Wonka. And I gotta put this out there: Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Steven.... beautiful, smart, and funny.....very rare.

Brian: Is there a specific technique you use to get into each character you play or does it depend on the role's circumstances?

Derek: Across the board, I would say Stanislavski technique (the Method), but I also like Laurence Olivier's habit of picturing the character in your mind as well.... but every actor is a unique personality.... you pick and choose what works for you.

Brian: Is it always darkest before dawn as 'Black Dawn's' slogan states? - Anyhow, it is so cool that you rocked a Steven Seagal movie! Did you get to hang with the man himself?

Derek: Nahhhh.... Mr Seagal had entourage on top of entourage.... I got to do my first stunt with a "Squib", though (wired explosive blood pack), which was very cool.

Brian: Many customer reviews on Amazon bemoan the fact that Seagal is no longer the action wielding, swinging wild Aikido master in 'Black Dawn'. I don't think many of them have recovered as of yet. Have you?

Derek: Yeah.... what I saw on set was an actor who was punching in/punching out for work.... he's not a spring chicken.... and his time on set was minimal.... but he still has this solid fan base.... so you make your money till you can't make it any more-

Brian: Can you tell us a little about 'Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror' and your role in it?

Derek: 'The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror' is a cult-style horror flick about various types of gay travelers enticed to a dilapidated gay friendly bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere in the desert. What they think is quaint turns into living hell. There's plenty of camp, with a deep-seated jab at the Republican view of Gay rights.
I play Mike, one of the hapless travelers. He's an uptight, upper crust preppie traveling with his handsome, adulterous boyfriend and his whining fag-hag girlfriend Mike's pretty much an asshole, but there are moments when you see his unhappiness.

Brian: Your performance as Bill Matthews in 'Socket' is amazingly intense. Congrats! How did you and director Sean Abley work together to get such a provocative presence onscreen?

Derek: Thank you.... that's so great to hear.... From day one, Sean and I were in deep discussion about who Bill is in the story....a man who starts out one person, and comes out another person in the end. Also-this is a fantastical plot, but it needed to be grounded in the real situation of addiction. Sean had a definite vision, and I had the definite intention of making that happen. I'm not one of those actors that have to contradict the director to make my own statement.... if a director has a specific vision; I'm there to honor it.

Brian: What was the best thing about working on 'Socket' and what was the most difficult thing you had to accomplish on the project?

Derek: The best thing was working with a cast and crew who were clearly excited about making this story happen.... who's heard of addiction to electricity before? It was completely innovative, and you could feel it on the set. The most difficult thing was the process of putting me, as an actor, into the mindset of a killer. There was a particular night shoot where I had to kill 3 different characters. By the time we wrapped, I was in a very dark place psychologically.... can't really describe it.... very futile.... took a few hours-and a little bourbon- to snap out of it.

Brian: Your IMDB name counterpart's main credit is for working on 'Best of British: Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance' which sounds self explanatory enough. What would happen to this simple concept, do you suppose, if we threw 'Socket's' Bill Matthews into the works?

Derek: Yeah, I've seen my counterpart's credit.... That's hilarious.... I think it would be 'Socket: the Musical'..... Bill Matthews would be a West Ender.... the electricity scenes would be the music numbers.... very early MTV.... possibly Pet Shop Boys. Don't get me started....

Brian: Lastly, any future projects that you'd like to tell us about or words of wisdom (IE: Don't swallow fire while dancing with electrical appliances) that you'd like to leave us with? And - thanks so much for doing this! It's been a shock (in a good way, though)!

Derek: Right now I'm in a production of 'Hamlet' at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles . Yes, you heard right, it\rquote s being performed in a CEMETERY. I play the ghost of Hamlet\rquote s father.... I get to wear chain mail, and loom around real mausoleums! - If there was a 'Socket' sequel, I wouldn't mind revisiting Bill Matthews again.... he's a good guy deep down.... and he's learned some lessons.... I think his words of wisdom might be: "Don't get struck by Lightning"....