Manchester film fans turned out for a special screening of The Terminator and we interview Brian Thompson.

80s ravers, punks, police and more than 1,000 film fans joined original cast member, Brian Thompson for Jameson Cult Film Club's screening of The Terminator. Guests encountered all sorts of strange scenes as they reached the warehouse, walking past a homeless man by a fire pit and two cops searching for a man last seen naked running in the direction of the club.

 

Once inside we joined Sarah Connor for a complimentary Jameson's at the bar, we're surrounded by flashing lights, red neon, smoke and 80s music. Sarah's sat nervously, eying the door as a strange figure dressed in a leather jacket and dark shades stalked around the club scanning for his victim.

 

Exploring the club further we discovered the LAPD Homicide Unit’s office where the Lieutenant and his colleague Ed were examining pictures of the various Sarah Connors who had been executed that morning.

 

Just prior to opening credits we were lucky enough to meet with guest star for the evening, Brian Thompson who played opposite Arnie as one of the ‘Punks’ in the film.

 

Brian is a Hollywood movie star who cuts an imposing figure (and bares more than a passing resemblance to Brian Blessed), he's a 6ft odd man mountain, I think he caught me a bit by surprise because the first words to come out of my mouth were "Wow, looking awesome"... on reflection - not the best way to greet someone for the first time.

 

Interview with Brian Thompson

Do you enjoy coming to theme events, fans dressing up celebrating a movies success?

I would say I enjoy it extremely, you know – it’s rare to have a really great movie and a theme party running along with it. I do go to autograph signing conventions from time to time but they don’t focus on one particular movie and theme.

 

The Terminator was the very first movie you worked on; way back in 1984, working with James Cameron, Arnie, Bill Paxton… you must have fond memories?

Extremely fond memories, As fond as memories can get, many people say that their fondest memories are from their time at college, well I was in college when I got that job, So I had the fun of being in college coupled with the fun of being in a Hollywood movie shot at an iconic location – The Griffith Observatory.

 

Two of James Dean’s movies were filmed at the Observatory, Elizabeth Taylor’s filmed there; literally 100’s of classic movies have been made at that location.

 

This film was my first experience of working with a known actor, first time dying in a movie, first time dealing with stage blood, in fact first time for almost everything, including my first time working with a fully naked actor and I might add; the last.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger with Bill Paxton and Brian Thompson ‘Wash day tomorrow? Nothing clean, right? ..’

You've been in countless films and successful TV shows including Star Trek, X-files, Buffy, Californication … the list is pretty exhaustive…(Check out his IMDb). Not content with that - I understand you've just written, produced, directed and starred in a film of your own called 'Action Hero'. How did you manage all the different disciplines?

In a big budget aspect, the director says – I want to do this or that and gets to dream of the ideas, the producer then figures out how to get the people and the parts there to make it happen.

 

When you’re wearing both hats you tend to talk yourself in and out of ideas, it was exhausting, and it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked.

 

 

Choosing to write, produce, direct and star answers a lot of questions. I’ve always thought I could direct, but can I actually do it? can I edit a film to a high standard? do I have the ability to do this?…

 

This project has been looming on the horizon for a long time for me and since HD cameras became available they've made the process very affordable.

 

Now you’ve had a taste of what it's like to direct a movie, do you fancy yourself as the next James Cameron?

No, Something I admire about Jim is his understanding of plot on an epic scale, there’s a reverberation of how a heroic character moves through his environment and the obstacles that he encounters, I marvel at Jim’s understanding of that.

 

What would it be like if Inspector Clouseau bulked up on steroids and was given a job to direct a movie?

Is Action Hero available to watch now?

Not yet, it’s just reached our distributor – Gravitas. They’re taking care of domestic distribution; foreign distribution is being negotiated right at this moment.

 

It’s been a great project for me personally, the pitch for this movie is ‘What would it be like if Inspector Clouseau bulked up on steroids and was given a job to direct a movie?

 

The plot features lots of rumored misbehavior that took place in the 80’s with the big movie stars, Arnold, Stallone, Bruce Willis, Van Damme, I can say that all the events that take place in the film did actually happen; just not all to the same person.

 

Compared to what the producer and director are doing - we as actors have nothing to do, after making this film I took an acting job and believe me; I felt like the happiest kid on set.

What did learn about yourself when you made this movie?

I learned that I would never attempt to do something this vast again without surrounding myself with some seriously talented people. I need to work with more experienced and talented horses. I had some terrifically well intentioned people that came to help me make this movie but ultimately they lacked experience.

 

Another thing I learned is that I love acting, having just finished making my own film I now realise that acting is the easiest job in the world, if I could encourage the actors of the world to make their own movie they would be so much easier to work with on set.

 

Compared to what the producer and director are doing - we as actors have nothing to do, after making this film I took an acting job and believe me; I felt like the happiest kid on set.

 

I read somewhere that you love to kite surf? Are you a bit of a beach bum at heart?

Yes, I’m a stand up power surfer, if I’m on set for more than a couple of weeks at a time, I start thinking ‘Are we gonna be here much longer, the swells up!’  ‘I wanna go surfing’ …

 

At this point Brian skims through his phone looking for pictures of him surfing, I can’t help but notice his screen saver shows a beautiful women standing in a door way, half naked - silhouette fashion, I ask if that’s his new squeeze, he replies with a chuckle and nods his head. I guess that's just one of the many perks of being a movie star.

 

With that, the organisers intervene and escort Brian into the packed warehouse-come-cinema for his stage appearance. He answers fans questions and introduces the movie to rapturous applause, the level of which was only surpassed when; during the film - a naked Arnie plunges his fist into Brian’s chest, pulls out his still-beating heart and slings it on to the floor. The whole place erupted!

 

If you missed the event this time – don’t panic, Jameson Cult Film Club is back in 2013.

Register your interest by visiting
www.facebook.com/jamesoncultfilmclub

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