The following is an interview with Cuyle Carvin, a film, TV, and theatre actor who most recently appeared in the adaptation of Clive Barker’s “The Departed” at Sci-Fest LA in Hollywood, CA. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Dillon chats with Carvin about the creative process in preparing for the sci-fi one-act, his affinity towards the sci-fi genre, the charity work in which he is involved, and where you will be able to see him on screen next!
Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: You recently appeared in the one-act, “The Departed,” which was a part of Sci-Fest LA, a festival of sci-fi and horror-based stories. For our readers who may be unfamiliar, can you tell us about the story of “The Departed” and its well-known playwright?
Cuyle Carvin: “The Departed” was written by world-renowned horror icon Clive Barker. On the surface, this is a story about the co-existence of the spirit world in which ghosts live and their desire to connect with the world of the living. Specifically, a recently dead mother trying to connect with her living son, despite her spirit guide, who has long been dead, advising against it. But, what I really loved about the play was that it has a bit of social and moral commentary on human behavior and belief.
BD: The cast and crew of “The Departed” consisted of some amazingly talented creators and performers, including voice-over actors Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal. Given that “The Departed” is an adaptation of the source material, can you tell us about the process of working with the creative team and the contributions of these individuals in bringing the story to live?
CC: Absolutely. Tara and Yuri are supremely talented, seasoned vets, and they’re also incredible people. Ben Rock captained the ship. Ben is extremely intelligent and efficient, and that is not lost in the application to his work. He previously directed an awesome, sci-fi horror flick called Alien Raiders and most recently the man behind one of the best webseries I’ve ever seen, 20 Seconds to Live, which I highly suggest. You’ll see his skill set is incredible and his sense of humor makes everything even better. Ben was incredibly collaborative on “The Departed.” He and we (the cast) talked through a ton of ideas for how to unleash the beast of “The Departed.” Tara and Yuri were the two leads of the play, and I always thought their sense of play and pretend was invaluable in finding the right tone for the show, and that helped all of us streamline our ideas.
BD: What initially intrigued you about appearing in Sci-Fest, and did you have the chance to audition for specific shows or the festival as a whole?
CC: I’m a huge fan of the genre. I’m mostly a horror guy but anything within the umbrella of horror is near and dear, as is anything considered nerd culture. Plus, Sci-Fest is the only type of festival of its kind in existence. I mean, come on, you get to meet and work with so many of great names and talents of the genre. I auditioned specifically for “The Departed.”
BD: Many of your past credits have fallen firmly into either the sci-fi or horror genres. Do you find that these genres greatly appeal to you, and are there any other genres that you would like to take on as an actor?
CC: When I first started out as an actor, I did a ton of horror and sci-fi work. I didn’t actually seek it out, but it was what was mostly available to me. Luckily, as I mentioned, I’m such a huge fan of the genres that I wouldn’t have wanted it any differently anyway. I’ll always love to be a part of any horror, sci-fi, or comic/fantasy type of project, as it’s truly what I enjoy watching the best. The actor part of me knows that I can’t hold out solely for these projects; it’s hard enough just getting any work at all. I’m not a genre-ist. (If that’s not a real word, it should be.) I’ll do anything that I think is worth it.
BD: In addition to your acting work, you have a great affinity for giving back to your community through charitable work, including the creation of children’s books. What is your approach to charitable work, and how would you encourage our readers to get involved?
CC: Ha! I knew the coloring book would come up. I have to do a quick shout to Fred Grandinetti and Dave Hudon who are the author and illustrator of The Cuyle Carvin Coloring Book. I became really obsessed with documentary films about ten years ago. Documentaries on all topics, really. They opened my eyes, broadening my horizons as they say. That led to severely long nights of follow-up research and further education about information that I was presented with. As biased as documentaries can be, they often present new information, very specific and eye opening. It basically led me to criticize the way in which I thought about and saw the world. I wasn’t looking at anything with an analytical eye, and I realized I was so caught up in my own need bubble. Right around the same time, I also made the questionable decision to run the NYC marathon. In order to sign up, I had to join a charity group to run for, and so I joined the Team for Kids charity group. That was basically the first time I really witnessed such a large-scale event of people helping other people for the sake of goodwill. All of this came together around the same time in my life. I think the combo of being put into the action of a charity group with my newly minted, curious mind led me towards looking beyond my own four walls. Since then, I’ve definitely narrowed my focus of charity work. As much as it’d be great to be able to help with every charity, I personally think you can make the most difference if you apply yourself towards one or a few charities or groups that work in an area that really means something personal to you.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
CC: I just finished up a few things that might be of interest. For the horror fans, I recently finished up a couple of episodes of a new horror TV show that will be premiering later this year. It’s called South of Hell, and it’s created by Eli Roth, Jason Blum, and James Monos Jr – the creator of the hit show, Dexter. With a team like that, I imagine the show is going to kick asphalt. I also just wrapped up an episode of AMC’s hit show, Halt & Catch Fire. I have something to do with Nintendo on the show, so that’s kind of a cool thing on my own personal nerd level. I’m hoping to get into some more video game work, what’s cooler than that? And, I definitely need to be ready in a couple decades when they remake LOTR, I’m working on my Gandalf character.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about your work?
CC: I keep www.CuyleCarvin.com updated for the most part. IMDB is usually pretty on top of stuff, too. My quick link to that is www.IMDB.me/cuylecarvin. If anyone wants a few minutes of free entertainment, I also produce short films through my company, By the C productions. There’s some free content at the website. There’s no pressure to enjoy it.