Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Frog Prince and the Vampire - An interview with Jamison Newlander

The Night was hot, the air heavy, It was the kind of night that you should be at home, safe in your bed... But not me, no... I stood in a door way and watched the people walking up and down the Santa Carla beach front. This was a sleepy old town, nothing really happened.... apart from the Vampires that is.

I was here to meet with a vampire hunter of the highest repute, he and his partner had slayed these blood sucking vermin for years, the knew all the tricks to catch and kill these bastards and they knew Santa Carla like the back of their hands.

The man I was to meet, the hard ass that was to assist me with these nightmarish bloodsuckers was Jamison Newlander and I couldn't be happier with that...

Jamison Newlander (born April 2, 1970) is an American actor who attended New York University. He starred in the 1987 horror film The Lost Boys, playing Alan Frog.

Newlander's best known for his role as Alan Frog in the 1987 film The Lost Boys. He also played the part of Anthony in the 1988 remake of The Blob. In 2003, Newlander wrote, directed and starred in an independent film titled Rooster. In 2008 he was to reprise his role as Alan Frog along with Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog in Lost Boys: The Tribe. However, upon DVD release, Newlander's character can only be seen in the alternate ending bonus features of the DVD (and then only momentarily), having not made the movie's final cut. Both he and Corey Haim are however listed in the acting credits for their minor roles.
Newlander starred in a third Lost Boys film, titled Lost Boys: The Thirst,alongside Corey Feldman and Tanit Phoenix. [Wikipedia]

I checked my watch, it was a quarter after 11pm, I was right on time... I walked into the dark comic book store, this is where I was to meet him, and there at the back standing in the shadows was Jamison, he was unmistakable and looked like he was ready for some killin'... But first I wanted to get some low-down on his credentials... 

So I started with my questions...

On The lost boys, you were so lucky to work with such a great cast! Jason Patric, KieferSutherland, Edward Hermann, Alex Winter, Diane West and of course the two Corey's  Any divas? Any good stories? 
"Yes, some amazing people to work with. I felt very lucky and even more so looking back. At the time, Corey Haim was one of the actors who I was particularly amazed to be working with. I’d seen him in Lucas not too long before and there were a couple of times up in Santa Cruz where I stopped and was like, “Wow, here I am working with this kid. That’s awesome!”"

What were they all like?
"The only one of the cast that I didn’t really get to work with a lot in the filming was Kiefer. We really only had that one scene together where he grabs Haim’s foot as we’re running out of the cave after we killed Marko (Alex Winter). Everyone else, I had either a few scenes together or we found ourselves on set together a lot and we became pretty tight."

Did you make any life long mates?
"By far, the ones I grew to really love as friends the most were the Coreys. We were
together all the time that summer – on set and off. It was also a pretty big summer for us in our lives. We all had our first real girlfriends. And we often went out or hung out all six of us. They were both hilarious and really genuinely good guys. It’s hard to think about those times and not get a bit sad that the Haimster isn’t with us anymore. My girlfriend and Ialso went to see Jason Patrick and Jamie Gertz in a play together in Hollywood. They were kind of amazed to see us because the world of film and the world of live theatre didn’t always mix back then. But they were so awesome. And both of them were so great to know. I’ll even admit to a crush on Jamie – not that I was alone in that." 

That was all well and good, I thought, but where did he get his training, how did Jamison Newlander become Alan Frog? I asked...

How did you land the part?
"I just auditioned, really. A few things aligned. Marianne Dougherty was pretty well-known casting director at Warner Brothers. She was known for finding new talent – she’s credited with discovering a lot of actors/actresses who went on to be really famous and do amazing movies. I had seen her a few times and she was looking to put me in something. At the same time, I’d met Joel at an acting class. He knew my acting teacher and came to speak about St. Elmos Fire. I talk about this a little bit in the Special Features on the 20th Anniversary edition of Lost Boys. So, that part was luck. And also lucky that I used to wear my dad’s army clothes a lot. He saw me and we clicked.
There’s also the my connection with Corey F. He and I met at the audition and we really got along. We had good chemistry. I didn’t have the experience he had, so it took a little longer for them to trust me with the part. A couple of (very loooong) months went by after I auditioned where I thought they went another way. Then, I think Feldman was the one who said he liked me the best. And that tipped the scales. The rest is “film history.”"

What was it like with the two Corey's on set, did you ever feel like a third cog?
"To their credit, they never made me feel like a third cog. They were great friends in that way. Even when we went to industry parties, where we’d hang with their friends like Drew Barrymore and Jason Hervey and stuff, they were always just good friends who wouldn’t let me feel left out. I naturally felt like a bit of an outsider at first because I was really mostly a regular kid who loved acting and got some good breaks in the film biz. Whereas most of the others were real industry kids. And later, as they started developing their “Two Coreys thing” I’ll admit that I began to feel left out. But honestly, it was more my fault for turning back toward school and going off to college. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve leached off their fame a bit more and I think they would’ve been fine with that."

Obviously Corey Feldman is quite a character...
"I get a huge kick out of Corey. Yes, he can be a character in his public persona (and privately too, actually). But most people I know are totally nuts in one way or other, myself includedSo, I give him as much leeway as anybody else I know. He’s a good friend – always warm and welcoming. Always supportive."

And hanging out with him, did you ever meet Michael Jackson? 
"So, the funny thing is that … I don’t know if I met him. Corey had this party in Hollywood around 1987/88. And I looked up, and there, riding up in the elevator with me was none other than the King of Pop himself. It seemed like him. It easily could’ve been him. But then I heard that Michael used to send impersonators places. So, now I don’t know. It was stunning, is all I could say. I’m not easily star struck. But it felt pretty amazing to be standing there with him. The only thing he said was, “Corey invited me.” I’ve thought about those words a lot in the years since then, and I just can’t say whether it was really him or not."

As he was talking I scanned the shop, there was more than just comics in here, posters records and books... I noticed a copy of 'Murders in the Rue Morgue', it got me thinking...

So, when did you realise that the names of the Frog brothers, Edgar and Alan, are a
reference to Edgar Allan Poe, the well-known writer of horror fiction?
"I realized it pretty quick. I just thought it was a kind of bizarre inside joke among the writers."

I'd heard that originally with the Frog Brothers were going to be "chubby 8 year old cub scouts", how do you think this would have changed the dynamics of the film?
"Well, as the story goes, Joel wanted that stuff changed from the very beginning. That would’ve been a completely different film. After he signed on to direct, the project changed to align with his vision – which is what it became. By the time I got the script and read for him, the idea of the Frogs as these paramilitary pseudo tough guys was already in there. I don’t think the film would’ve been anywhere near as epic, and I don’t think it would’ve been such a fresh take on vampires if he hadn’t insisted on those kinds of changes."

Suddenly we heard a noise behind us... A sort of hissing, I looked but there was nothing, Jamison caught my eye, I could tell he had heard the same and that he had felt the same chill up his spine that I had... I cleared my throat, I couldn't show this guy that I was worried... I continued with my questions. 

I haven't counted but I've heard that the characters in the movie say the name
'Michael'approximately 118 times, is it hard to use that name without saying it with a Kiefer Sutherland lilt? (I know I can't!) Do you remember how many times you had to say it?
"To tell you the truth, I don’t think I ever said Michael. I think, upon reflection, that my interpretation of Alan Frog is that he never even knew his name or cared. He was thinking in much more basic terms: Kill vampires regardless of who they were."

For a second there I felt a stupid, I should have done my homework better... dumb... But I knew my next question was well researched...

Now, I heard that Richard Donner was originally meant to be directing the movie, but passed it onto Joel Schumacher to make Lethal weapon. How do you think the movie might have differed, if at all, with another director? Also I heard that Mary Lambert was going to take it on to?
"I think that even Richard Donner will admit that he could never have made Lost Boys so awesome as Joel did. Donner was still Exec. Producer. The one time I really got to hang with him was at his office at Warner Brothers for a few minutes during filming. Bit of trivia, we actually used his office to shower after we got covered in slime during shooting. It was a big office. He was so happy with what Joel was doing with the movie. I don’t think there’s anybody who could’ve nailed it the way Joel did."

And what was he like to work for? 
"It’s always great to work with someone in any situation who is serving a strong vision. Joel was so in tune with what he was looking for. And he had/has such respect for actors that it was so frickin fun to go there with him. Now, having said that, he was a guy who also had a real temper. When things weren't going right on set, you saw the gates of hell open up and it wasn’t pretty. Corey Feldman was a recipient of that wrath on more than one occasion. I’ve talked to Corey about it recently and he was saying that his wardrobe was so complex that it always felt like they were waiting for him, so he would get the brunt of Joel’s dark side. And I buy that … I think. Truth be known, I’m going to go out on a limb and risk the Felddog being mad at me, but I think he was a bit of a trouble maker (Corey, if you’re reading this … I don’t know … feel free to tell me I’m wrong).
Another funny thing about Joel is that he was always joking “We’re making film history here!” He really was joking, but as it turned out he was right."

The shop bell tinkled and in walked a group of young men, handsome, young and rugged, they paced the room like they owned it... Their eyes and piercing gaze seem to follow us as they picked up and discarded comics and laughed wildly at the terrified customers hiding themselves in the shadows, or making a quick exit... Their good looks and obvious charisma led me on to my next question.

Do you think 'The Lost Boys' helped launch the trend of 'Sexy vampires'?... I'm thinking about modern films like Twilight, that my daughter is obsessed with! - What do you think of Twilight for that matter?
"I think vampires have always been a little sexy. First thing that comes to mind is Interview with a Vampire. That book was published in the 70s. I definitely think it played off the sex and romance of vampires. In fact, Sting did song off that book, right? It’s part of the genre, I think. And it’s part of an overall love of the bad boy. But, Lost Boys took that to a whole new level, definitely – where it was just oozing with sex.
Haven’t gotten into Twilight. I guess there’s a whole backlash against it by Lost Boys fans, who feel like it just goes too far. I’ve heard on more than one occasion from fans, “Vampires don’t sparkle or “glitter” or something like that. I probably should see it just once, but I haven’t."

And talking of sparkle...  Did the blood really have glitter in it?
"Yes. Actual glitter."

As they passed us one of the men, obviously their leader caught my eye, he gave me a long drawn out gaze... sensing my fear he lurched forward as if ready to bite, but then abruptly stopped... Teasing me he laughed and walked on. After I had caught my breath and composed myself I scanned my note pad and still shaking a little read out my next question... Jamison, as calm as ever answered as if they were nothing more than naughty  ... And talking of naughty school children...

With so many 'kids' in the production, were there any pranks pulled or funny goofs you remember?
"There were a lot of things that the older kids were up to on location in Santa Cruz that the younger kids weren’t privy to, I think. We got into some trouble, like sneaking into the pool and other fun stuff like that at the hotel. But nothing else I remember."

And so, do you know the answer? did David die?
"No one’s ever asked me that before. The best answer I can think of is that this is Hollywood we’re talking about. If Kiefer said, “I’d like to do another Lost Boys movie,” they would find some way to justify that he’s still alive in some realm of the multiverse or something."

You went on to make 'Lost Boys - The Thirst' in 2010, how were the dynamics with the cast after all those years?
"Feldman and I have been in touch off and on, and in the last 10 years we’ve gotten somewhat close again. So, working with him was just great. Being back together as the Frog Brothers was awesome. We found we were able to tap into a lot of the same chemistry. What a thrill for both of us. But nobody else from the original cast was involved. Of course, it would’ve been great to work with others. But that’s show biz, as they say."

Now this guy was more than just Alan Frog, I wanted to hear more about the real Jamison Newlander. 

You were in the remake of 'The Blob' how do you think it compares to the original?
"I actually really liked The Blob that I was in. I think it was pretty different than the original. And I’ll have to give kudos to the original because it was part of the birth of that genre. But I think our version held up nicely. I wish it did better in the theaters. The director, Chuck Russell, was another guy who had some strong vision."

Do you prefer writing, acting or directing?
"I have come to the realization that I cannot direct to save my life.  I’m not saying I don’t have some bit of talent at it. I think I possibly do have some natural ability. But I’m pretty horrible at being the boss, I think. I get all insecure and try to make everybody happy. Those are my issues. But those issues work much better as a writer or actor. It’s a natural fit for those professions. So, directing is a distant last on that list.
And at this point in my life, I would say that I’m really a writer. I love acting. I think I’m a good actor. I’m proud of the work I’ve done. And I hope to do more. But in terms of what I’m am in my core, I’m a writer. It’s what I do for a living now."

The men started to leave the shop, they had achieved what they had come in for, to scare the b'Jesus out of the local folks. Jamison indicated for us to follow them, I was nervous, but I was sure I could trust him... I made small talk as we neared to neon exit sign...

So... um...Jamison, what is your favourite Vampire movie?

"Um … Lost Boys. I also have a real love of Buffy (the TV show)."

Lastly, I know you made The thirst, but that was a couple of years ago... But what do think the Frog brothers would be up to now?
"I think the Frogs would be heavily into technology, finding new ways to seek out the undead … and kill them. I see them running a boutique vampire hunting agency, parachuting into unknown territories where there seems to be evidence of vampire activity."

We left the shop and stood in the once bustling street, this street that had seemed so friendly not one hour ago, now felt like the inside of a coffin, cold and damp and claustrophobic...  I looked at Jamison, he was already prepared brandishing a stake and scanning the street in front of us...He was already to fight for his mortal soul if he had to...

...But unfortunately my new friend here was looking the wrong way... I smiled as I felt my teeth pull and grow, my blood lust calling to me, I was hungry and with intense pleasure I sank my teeth into Jamisons neck... I could feel the warm liquid run down my throat... No glitter in this blood I thought... No special effects... And for poor old Jamison Newlander, no boutique vampire agency...
For more information on Jamison go to


  1. uh huh?!?” I was giving you a tiny hard time. But in the context of you being awesome - part of a Twitter conversation between Jamison and Corey...

  2. Great interview! I can tell that U have much love 4 Corey...even if he is a troublemaker. ;)