Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Life of Judith Iscariot... And interview with Sue Jones-Davies

nd lo, here cometh the first lesson, the lesson was thus. Thy who a watcheth the film that maketh the people laugh and createth a film so funny and so wonderful that it is still making people laugh and createth much hillarity today. 

That film tells the story of Brian, who is not the massiah but a very naughty boy... Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Made in 1979 it starred a young Welsh actress by the name of Sue Jones-Davis playing Judith Iscariot... A woman who went on to become the Mayor of Aberystwyth from 2008–2009, she now serves as town councillor... Now that's a carrer change... eth...

So did you know the Pythons prior to filming?
"I knew of the Pythons before working with them through the TV series but I was not someone who followed them avidly. John Cleese had the same acting agent as myself and that was how my name came to be put before them."

How did you get the part? 

"There was another actress up for the part.I"m not sure who .She dropped out and my agent suggested me to the Python team."

It must have been so hot in Tunisia! especially in those Robes, what was it like working in the heat?  

"Tunisia was very hot but I wasn't filming everyday so there was time to lie on the beach or around the pool at the hotel to cool off."

And I heard that Graham held a surgery for the cast and crew after a days work in all that head... Did you ever get treated by him?
"Graham Chapman didn't treat me but he did treat my son who was out with me for heatrash which I thought was chicken pox-panic!"

ow has it effected your political career knowing you've been naked on screen? Or that you were in such a notorious film!? And what do people say when they realise exactly who you are?! 
"I'm not aware that my involvement in the film hampered anything.If it did no one ever told me. "

Ok, I've heard that it was Simon Callow that was the naked body double for Grahame Chapman... BUT I also heard that Graham Chapman used a rubber band to fake 'Jewishness' in the scene... Do you know the truth? If so, which is it? 

"Graham had no standins. I can vouch for that."

I know it was Terry Jones who directed the film but how much input did the others have? (Especially terry Gilliam) 
"It wasn't always easy for Terry to direct as the others would chip in all the time but in his easy going way he usually got what he wanted.Terry Gilliam is a powerhouse of creativity but he was always so busy building the sets that the acting was a side line in his timetable.I certainly don't remember him contributing to the directing."

And how lovely is Michael Palin? 

"Michel is lovely!"

Did you socialise with the guys after filming? Or during? What were they like, personally and as fellow actors?

"We all socialized every night in the hotel,as much or as little as you wanted."

Do you ever or did you get personal negative reaction to your part in the film and the film itself? How did you feel about the backlash when it first came out? Did anyone on set think that people would take it that badly? Especially the church? And considering it was banned in Wales What was the reaction when you got home?!  Especially as the ban was only lifted in 2009!
"I was delighted the film was banned where I lived as I had no desire for my parents or their friends to see me naked. I can't remember now if I was shocked by the church's reaction or expected it. I'd already experienced a similar thing at the Palace Theatre where for the first month that Jesus Christ Superstar was on we were picketed by nuns at the stage door,forecasting our death and damnation."

hat was your reaction when you first read the script? And discovered that you would be doing a nude scene?! 
"I loved the script from the first time I read it and the nude scene was so in context that I didn't mind."

How did everyone feel when they found out that Spike Milligan, holidaying in Tunisia, was going to appear in the film?
"Whoever turned up on the set was roped in, so it was no surprise,but great that Spike was in it."

Were you a Beatles fan? It must have been amazing working with George?

"I was a Beatles fan in my teenage years. I can't remember if I met George on set or not."

And lastly what  is your favourite quote? And when was the last time you quoted a line in the film, or a line was quoted to you?!
"I think my favorite line is "we're all different".
I have to say I"m hopeless at remember lines from work I've done.People quote lines at me and expect me to carry on and I can't."

And here endeth the lesson...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

When the going gets tough...The tough get a stuntman... An interview with Vic Armstrong.

He's been Indiana Jones, Superman and Bond, but you won't find his face on the poster or his name headlining the artwork... This is Vic Armstrong unsung hero of these movies... He brings drama and danger to the set... he is the stuntman... and the world's most prolific according to the Guinness Book of Records. 

Reportedly, Armstrong looked so much like Harrison Ford that the crew members on the films were constantly mistaking him for Ford. This proved useful when Ford injured his back and had to sit out for filming crucial action sequences in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Armstrong filled in for him. The stunt where he jumps from a horse onto a German tank in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was voted one of the Top Ten film stunts of all time by a panel of experts and Sky Movies viewers in the UK in 2002. On a private
photograph taken on the film set, Ford wrote to Armstrong, "If you learn to talk I'm in deep trouble!" Armstrong was unable to work on the fourth Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull due to commitments to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. However, he had discussed possible action sequences with Steven Spielberg during production of War of the Worlds.

And we got to chat to him...
You've worked with so many fabulous people but who is your favourite person to body double for?  - "I don't do it any more because it is a young mans job but it when I was it would have to be Harrison Ford."
....And the best director? - "There are so many and its like asking a parent who is your favourite child, but right up there are Marty Scorsese, Ken Brannagh, Paul Verhoven, Steven Spielberg, Rob Cohen."
.... And the hardest to work for?  - "Thats for only me to know!"
Now you've double for Harrison Ford a number
of times, does he request you?  - "Yes he used to request me and he is great to work with he is a real collaborator... 
And does he ever want to do his own stunts?  ... and yes he ALWAYS wants to do his own stunts and is certainly capable of doing them it is just an insurance thing."
Have you ever had an actor do their own stunts when you've been onset ready to do it? -  "This happens all the time and is no problem you discuss it and decide on the best course of action." 
What's the most dangerous stunt you've done or co-ordinated? - "They are all "dangerous" when you plan them when you have completed them they are history and you move onto the next most dangerous one" 
So, what's the worst injury you've had while 'on the job'? -  "Probably breaking my shin bone in Morocco and having a plate and 8 screws put in it."
Now, what do you think of Early actors like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd who coordinated and performed all their own stunts? What do you they would think of actors today, are they 'wimping out'? - "I think they were incredible because they were doing and inventing what we do nowadays, but it was a different time then and if they were around today they would be in awe of some of the things actors do today."
On many occasion I have refused to jump of a high wall, or eaten a hot chilli... I bet this is childs play to you, but have you ever refused to do a stunt? Or have you ever had to tell a director that it can't be done? - "No never "NO" but have had to suggest a different way to achieve a similar effect."
What do you think is the greatest stunt ever performed? Is there a stunt you wish you'd done? and do you have a stunt hero? - "That is like asking what is the best song ever, what is the best film ever, there are too many to mention, my stunt heroes would be Hal Needham, Joe Powell, to name just 2 of man many."
Now, people die doing your job... Have you ever been close to death?  - "Obviously there have been times when things could have got worse but that happens in everyday life as well."
Actors train for a long time to get into character, how do it?  - "It happens naturally when you are working on a movie and totally involved."
And have you ever dreamt of being an actor or are you just happy doing their dangerous work?  - "I did until I tried it once and hated it, i have the utmost admiration for actors it is a very difficult job and something you must have a gift for." 
Has anything ever gone disastrously wrong?  - "Not that I care to talk about."
Or have you ever laughed when you shouldn't have?  - "Always"
Do the directors give you free range to design a stunt, or do you work with them? - "I am just a cog n a big machine and I work very closely with directors to get what THEY want in THEIR movie."
How are CGI effects and green screens effecting demand for stunt doubles?  - "It makes little or no difference in fact it creates a lot of work because the computer usually has to have an example to copy and imitate and stunt people are employed during most of the CG photography."
Was the Fall Guy an accurate portrayal of your job?  - "I wrote the original Fall Guy it was based on me and Doug McLure was going to play me but it got away from us as things do in this business. They made a great show of it though and it is great fun, not really accurate ours would be a bit too boring, the TV show is much more fun."
How do you get paid? Is it per stunt or how dangerous they are? - "We get paid a weekly salary and then an "adjustment: for doing a stunt based on degree of difficulty and and danger."
Has there been a stunt where you think "surely the actor could do that themselves?" - "No it is money in the bank for a stunt man to do it."
And who is the most daredevil actor you know? And the biggest wimp?  - "Tom Cruise is amazing the things he will do and has no fear, Biggest wimp? if you think I am going to answer that you are crazy."
Any funny or memorable onset stories? - "Read my book!" 
I shall Vic... I shall...  

His book is available from Amazon  at

Or for more info just Google him... There's loads!!!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

We've been Nominated!

Some jolly lovely news has just been passed to me! Retro LadyLand has just recently won the Liebster award for new and upcoming blogs. We were kindly nominated by - make sure to check out their blog, it's a must if you love your horror! 

The Liebster is an internet only award and those who are nominated automatically win! In a way this award works like a glorified chain letter, but is so much more than that. The Liebster award is about working together as an online community and publicizing other bloggers out there on the web!

Basically, if a blog wins this award they are required to pick eleven other lesser known blogs out there in the immense web to nominate and give the award to! The winner also links back to the person who nominated them. It helps other blogs get publicity and renown as well as helping the original winner who made the nominations.

Cool huh?! 

Anyway, here are my worthy nominations:

curtains for the windows in my head
finding fault at the sub atomic level
the deadite slayer
secret fun spot
horror blogger alliance
the girl who loves horror
rogues hollow
andys retro space
excuses and half truths
crikey its vintage

Visit and enjoy this eclectic collection of brilliance.