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Duncan Regehr – Interview
[00:00:00] Jeff Haas: hello listeners to spoil our country today on the show we had the fantastic mr. Duncan. Regehr how’s it going?
Duncan Regehr: Pretty good. Good to hear you, John Jeff there.
Jeff Haas: Yes, you as well, sir. I’m a huge fan of yours back from all the way to monster squad. it’s definitely a great honor of mine to be able to talk with.
Duncan Regehr: Oh, that’s great. Thank you.
Jeff Haas: I read that you first broke into show business at the age of 14, when you hosted it. I’m a teenage oriented talk show in Canada. Is that true?
Duncan Regehr: That is true. that was a, that was sort of my introduction to show business in a way. and it was a team kind of talk show. We would have, you know, regular bands on and that sort of thing.
And then local, you know, entertainments and things that were going on. And, it was a good training. It’s an interesting place to start. I was actually interested in the theater, but you know, that was a fun place to begin.
Jeff Haas: So, what, what, what made you think I want to get to show business? Cause I know they always talk about, got bit by the bug.
When did that happen to you and how, and how did he know that, that bug, I guess bit you as it were
Duncan Regehr: the bug bit [00:01:00] me. Okay. I guess I got bitten pretty early. I was, I was really interested in Shakespeare. Beer. And, and that was due to my mother’s efforts to try and get me to read poetry. And, but I, I really caught into Shakespeare a lot and I’m always, you know, around about the age of 12, I knew I was going to be an actor.
I also knew I was going to be an artist, but, you know, I knew that those were in the cards for me, for sure.
Jeff Haas: Yeah, I’m, I’m actually, I’m in during my day job. I’m a high school English teacher at a therapeutic, high school and we read we’re reading Shakespeare coming up next week. One class is reading Hamlet.
later this year we’ll be doing Macbeth, which, Shakespeare plays your favorite.
Duncan Regehr: Well, those two for sure. Are wonderful, but they’re, you know, there are other ones that are a lot of fun as well. but I, I think probably Hamlet is my favorite. Yeah. I’m very excited. Maybe a little later I’ll do that.
Jeff Haas: Never talking later,
Duncan Regehr: this
Jeff Haas: is one of the, one of the main place that I’ve never had, the opportunity of teaching Hamlet. I’ll be teaching for the [00:02:00] first time next week before that has always been Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar,
Duncan Regehr: right? Yeah.
Jeff Haas: But I mean, Shakespeare had, have you had the opportunity to perform Shakespeare?
Duncan Regehr: Oh yeah. Yeah. Many times. Yeah. In my early years, yes. I sounds so old. I would say. Yeah. you know, especially during the years when I was doing a lot of theater in Canada, in those days we would travel all over the place. It was an easy, easy way of getting around, but we would go to the regional theaters and perform, you know, you do Hamlet one week and then you’d be at the other end of the country doing well, Julius Caesar or whatever.
That must give you
Jeff Haas: a, allowed you to study Shakespeare in a way that students and probably even myself, I’ve never had the opportunity to do it
Duncan Regehr: well, yes. In a way, because there, you can be open to more interpretations of it. You’re not restricted to any sort of curriculum it’s about making the stuff come to life and then [00:03:00] doing it in a way perhaps that it has never been seen before trying for that anyway.
Jeff Haas: I assume then you have played Hamlet.
Duncan Regehr: Yes, I have. So when you played his father as well,
Jeff Haas: but that was what kind of nice little change for you to go from a Hamlet to a Claudius?
Duncan Regehr: Well, no, it wasn’t Claudius it was his real father, the real father. Oh,
Jeff Haas: nice. You got to play the ghost,
Duncan Regehr: the ghost.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. Very cool.
As an interpretation of, Hamlet. I know we’re, we’re kinda getting to the weeds a little bit for the listeners, but either way, I I’m obviously a Shakespeare guy, That there’s some interpretations that the ghost is partly in the Mo in the head of Hamlet. Is, did you play him as being straight, honest God-willing Goodwill goes, or did you kind of add some elements that are little more, vengeful or anything like that to the car?
Duncan Regehr: I think, I think what I played ball was his rage, his absolute rage at having been poisoned. It asleep when he was [00:04:00] poisoned
Jeff Haas: for, for, especially for, a King that’s an a, I guess a former warrior. That’d be probably one of the worst ways that he didn’t have a chance to actually fight, I guess they would say, you know, with honor.
Duncan Regehr: Yes. It’s important in such a cowardly way. and I think so I played that rage and I was far too young to play the role. I mean, I was in my twenties, but I’m, you know, got all the, you know, the beard and the hair and the helmet and everything, and, you know, spooked around the stage. And I think one critic referred to me, he’s looking like Zsa Gabor.
That’s an odd
Jeff Haas: comparison.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, it was the head dress, I think
Jeff Haas: so. So what roles did you look at for inspiration? Is there, is there a particular version of Hamlet that you looked at and said, that’s the one I, I want to
Duncan Regehr: emulate? No. No, I, I don’t do that actually. I really do try to find my own way with these things.
And yeah, that’s what I did.
Jeff Haas: I can only imagine the complications [00:05:00] of trying to perform Hamlet. W when I’m teaching Shakespeare, I do it in the modern prose version because of the students I have. I can only imagine how difficult it is to get comfortable with that language.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, it is, and it is an antiquated language of course, but, it is just another one of the challenges and it is complex.
And the challenges in, in making it believable are our way of approaching it. Even when, at the time when I was playing, a lot of Shakespeare was to make it more accessible. We were used to the sort of Lawrence Olivier good will good kind of delivery. And that became sort of antiquated. It was very histrionic and it seemed to us anyway.
And so we tried to make it more personable. The, the recent Hamlet that I saw with David Tennant and, with a lot of other wonderful actors, is probably the best Hamlet I’ve ever seen. And, Patrick Stewart, I think for [00:06:00] sure. Did the most magnificent Claudius I’ve ever seen? Absolutely fabulous.
Jeff Haas: I think that my, my pivot version only because I think the way it was performed, it was the most understandable for me, especially as a younger individual was, the Mel Gibson Hamlet.
Duncan Regehr: Okay.
Jeff Haas: I kind of felt that, I’m not necessarily saying it was the best performed, but I think the way the words were spoken, it just felt like I could understand it. Better. Yeah. And obviously that tends to be the most difficult part for chefs before those who are not used to the language is understanding it as being spoken.
Duncan Regehr: Yes. Yeah.
Jeff Haas: Now I did also read something, kind of interesting about you that, in high school you actually was a fit that you were a figure skater that true.
Duncan Regehr: well, actually a bit earlier than that, I started quite young with that. I was a figure skater up until, I didn’t know. I was old enough to say, no, I don’t want to do this anymore.
So it wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. Like, you know, I, [00:07:00] I was okay at doing it. So, you know, it was one of those things, you know, and, and I’m grateful for having done it because it gave me a lot of gifts. So understood about balance and how to coordinate my body and all of that kind of thing.
so I was very grateful for that. And, and I think in later years it became very handy. when I started fencing,
Jeff Haas: Oh, wow.
Duncan Regehr: stage fencing. And what have you, the, the moves and you, you know, particularly in playing the part of Zorro, trying to, to find a sort of. Way of fighting that had grace to it and ease and, and humor as well.
so you know, all of that sort of graceful sweeping around on the ice kind of flowed right into the character of Zuora when he was in fighting stance. So
Jeff Haas: that is amazing how things connect, how something that I, that you wouldn’t necessarily. Connect to acting. In [00:08:00] other words, figure skating does actually pay a lot of dividends to have that training and can be utilized so well.
Duncan Regehr: Well, sure. And it’s also, apart from that, the practical discipline of figure skating or any other sport or anything that requires the real focus, all becomes handy perhaps in another way later on. If you learn it early enough as a child.
Jeff Haas: I mean, what I really like about you and reading about you is that you definitely seem like a student of the craft.
I read that you had got your acting instruction from the Bastian theater school in Victoria A.
Duncan Regehr: Little bit. Yeah. What.
Jeff Haas: Lessons and techniques. Did you learn from that, that still, that you still use today in interacting?
Duncan Regehr: Not very much actually to tell you the truth. I think I learned more after, you know, because I really wasn’t with the school very long.
Then I became a professional actor at the age of 16. I was, you know, performing the classics, with a theater company and I’m going to school at the same time. [00:09:00] I learned a lot from those professionals. About how to approach a role. I learned how to learn makeup. I learned all kinds of things and all the tricks and all the games that you play at theater school kind of, you know, weren’t very interesting anymore.
It was, it was just, it was actually doing it that way that I learned the most from that,
Jeff Haas: that does seem to be true of almost any art that you learn more through the experience than through the actual lessons. I know as a teacher, I learned more from being in the classroom that I ever learned. In college, in my education classes.
I think there’s something about the doing of the thing that can never fully be expressed. Probably maybe education.
Duncan Regehr: Well, sure. Because they’re going to give you the standard way of approaching something with the education. It’s like anybody, you know, I always say this to, to younger artists when they come to me and say, well, how do I, how do I paint like you?
And I said, well, that’s the last thing you want to do? If I’m the [00:10:00] teacher, all I can do is teach you how to mix paint. And if you start trying to get you to paint like me, then you’re, I’m taking you away from what your genius might be and how you would approach something. And I think the same thing might apply to you with, you know, the way that you teach you find your own flow with it.
You find that you’ve, you’ve got an agenda to get this stuff across to these children, as you say, they’ve I presume handicapped children or, they’re
Jeff Haas: emotionally and, or, and behavioral
Duncan Regehr: emotional. Okay. Okay. So you, you definitely have an agenda, probably a way of, of wanting to really infuse something into these children.
And the best way to do it is to find your own course, your own flow with that. I think it’s, you know,
Jeff Haas: I, I agree with you a hundred percent and I do want to, later in the discussion and definitely talk about your artwork and your sculpture, because I did go on your website and you have some beautiful paintings.
And I definitely wanna discuss that in a little bit. I really feel you’re definitely like a Renaissance individual.
[00:11:00] Now you’ve had the opportunity to play some very iconic roles. You’ve played Zorro heroes like Zorro and arrow Flynn. You played Dracula and Prince dark Blackpool. how are you able to be so versatile? Cause some people tend to either be able to be really good heroes, but they don’t quite handle the villain.
Well, some villains are not great at playing the hero. How are you able to move from one to the other? So, effort effortlessly.
Duncan Regehr: Well, I’ve always thought that, you know, from the very beginning and my training is theater, you know, it’s more of the, the kind of chameleon aspect that can be right for, for actors.
We’re familiar now today with a lot of what comes out in the movies. And, we have. These iconic movie stars who are fantastic at being themselves. I admire them greatly. I mean, you know, going back to the th the beginnings of, film, you know, these huge, huge movie stars, and they don’t step outside of what that [00:12:00] iconic image is.
And people like it that way, even if they could step outside of it, but you have other actors like Meryl Streep, for example, who’s wonderfully versatile or, or, or, Daniel Day Lewis. There are many, there are many, those are the chameleons. and, so it’s just a different kind of approach, a different way of doing things.
and that’s been the attraction for me was to try and change as much of myself for the role as I could. There are of course, limitations, physical limitations that you’ve got to work around, mannerisms, et cetera, that you need to apply in a different way, if you can. And, that’s always been my approach.
Jeff Haas: Does that risk excite you the risk of playing against perhaps type against what an audience expectations of you are?
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, that’s fine with me.
Jeff Haas: Yeah, I think that’s really impressive. And like I said, you also mean the play, a character like [00:13:00] Zorro and Dracula and, Aero, Flint, either. Definitely Ella, especially with Dracula and Zorro roles that have been made iconic prior to enjoy the challenge of making it your own and owning that role for yourself.
Duncan Regehr: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, yeah, for sure. Both of those worlds, I, that good examples of trying to make something that’s a bit different, I think, you know, especially, you know, with the world of drag killer, you know, w was. It was a bit of a challenge to convince Fred Decker who was the director, you know, during the audition process.
And after that, that I had, you know, really strong ideas about how to play Dracula. And I wanted to play him differently than he’d been portrayed in the past by well, so many excellent character actors and, have still retain the classic iconic qualities. I wanted to infuse the character with kind of the, the right balance of.
Malice and humor. I mean, he had to be [00:14:00] extremely dangerous, lethal without mercy. And yet camp and his commentary enough to sort of take the edge off his diarrhea, right? Yeah. Yeah. And that way he could be less, less of a monster we’re in the beast steel sense. Right. You could be more psychotic human sociopathic in, in, in his drive to reach his goals.
Jeff Haas: I kind of thought of him almost like a gentleman sociopath. Cause there’s something very elegant about the way you played them. Very classic. And obviously, but there’s that definitely a homicidal look in the eyes. It’s like what? It’s like the mannerism and how you held yourself. Looks very gentlemen like, but it’s in the eyes that you really made him look horrifying.
Duncan Regehr: Thanks a lot.
Jeff Haas: I mean, honestly, I’m a huge fan of, and since seeing the movie and I saw the movie originally, I think I was seven years old. so every time I think of Dracula, it’s your performance? That is the first one that comes to my mind.
Duncan Regehr: Wow.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. [00:15:00] cause I mean, it was perfect. I mean the role, I mean, you were scary, but he didn’t almost seem on some level.
I mean, even though he was monster, is there, was that like intellect as well behind that medium was more, terrifying that you knew this one is deep thing, you know, he’s a deep thinker he’s going to strategize. He’s going to find a way, you know?
Duncan Regehr: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Jeff Haas: And so how, how did you, how did you get involved with monster squared as Dracula?
Duncan Regehr: Well, it was a series of, just audition auditioning. I was quite a few auditions as I recall, because it came down to me and another chap. and, you know, I just kept pushing for, for my idea of how I want it to be. And I, I, at the beginning, Fred, was more interested in having a, kind of a more B steel Dracula, I think, you know, more about the fangs.
Then the intellect. And I said, well, it’s all there. And you’ve given them these, these lines. And I would go for more of those lines. And I guess he, he kind of confirmed that [00:16:00] with his partner, Shane black, and, and also the executive producer, Peter Hyams, who was quite wonderful as well. These guys, the three of them along with Stan Winston, who did the wonderful may pick makeup, special effects.
it was really their vision that kind of. Just galvanized the whole thing. And, it was challenging at the beginning and I think Hyams really understood and, where I was going with it. And once Fred got on bandwagon with him, he was fine. He wanted to go that way too.
Jeff Haas: One of the, my favorite moments in that movie and I think has really a lot to do with how you performed it or the scenes between Dracula and the Frankenstein’s monster.
Duncan Regehr: Right.
Jeff Haas: And I think it, the way you perform the role added such layering to the character, because you could almost send a Lima, it could’ve been an illusion or not, but a sense of compassion that Dracula had for Frankenstein [00:17:00] Frankenstein’s monster, Lisa, identification with that character, how much.
Is that connection or that compassion that directly showed you? How much was it? The script? How was it? How much was it in a discussion between you and mr. Decker?
Duncan Regehr: it was definitely a choice. It was my, my choice to do it that way. I thought about the, the character as being almost these, the other monsters within the show where were sort of my by charges or my children in a way.
And it’s deep compassion for he did he sort of loved Frankenstein in a way, you know, sort of, you know, we are, this is who we are. We are these monsters. And, you know, and I, I care for you. I have, I have an agenda for you, but the leave me, I care for you. I do.
Jeff Haas: And I think that really made it, it worked so well because like I said, the way, just the way you do with your voice, some of your mannerisms, it definitely made [00:18:00] Dracula more complex of a character.
And I think it was fantastic.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah.
Jeff Haas: in performing that, did you create for yourself a backstory for those two characters to make it work?
Duncan Regehr: Not really. I’m trying to remember that. I don’t think so. No, I don’t know. I would say no.
Jeff Haas: Well, like I said, I think that was fantastic. And I think another, I mean, there’s also the other very famous moment in the movie and I definitely want to, discuss it with the actress actually bank.
I’m sure, you know, the scene I’m talking about where you kind of like, it’s like, you kinda like hiss at her and she screams and it became famous in monster squad lore. Then that’s a real scream that, that the little girl is doing because you terrified her so much. Later after that scene was when you found out she really was that terrified as an actor, do you feel a little bit bad?
Duncan Regehr: She scared me when she screamed and this awesome. No, I knew she could scream, but I didn’t know. She could scream like that.
[00:19:00] Jeff Haas: Did you think to yourself what’s one level you’re like, yeah, I got it. You know, I did, that must have been perfect for perfectly performed, but on the other end where you’re like, Four girls scarred for life.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, well, no, she definitely wasn’t scarred for life. Ashley’s very smart lady. Yeah. And I think that smart lady was in that little girl a long time ago.
Jeff Haas: Well, I’m just getting about the scar, cause I know I I’ve seen her treats on social media. She’s does seem very intelligent and put in. Oh
Duncan Regehr: yeah. She’s a really smart lady and she’s a lot of fun. Very funny too.
Jeff Haas: And so there’s also. a debate that, I’m going to see, I’m going to want you to weigh in on if you don’t mind.
Duncan Regehr: Okay.
Jeff Haas: So Dracula at the end of the movie, he’s staked by Shawn, but he’s still alive fighting Ben housing in the tunnel. So as an, as the actor who plays Dracula to Sean, get credit for the kill that had been held and candidly kill him, or do you still believe he’s alive? And, after going through the board
Duncan Regehr: decks, Well, I think there’s, there’s a, [00:20:00] an element of him being alive after the, when he’s in the vortex and some sort of, limbo, permanent limbo situation.
But, it was supposed to be there for in perpetuity. So I think so. Yes. I mean, it would go into some other space and possibly could come back again. I don’t know, you know, how these things go, but, so yeah, it’s an interesting debate.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. I, I was, I, last. well, earlier in this month and a little bit, I think the end of October, I had the privilege of interviewing, mr.
Andre Gower and Ryan Lambert. and I, and I mentioned to Lambert mr. Lambert, that I found it interesting that Sean, the kid who’s the leader actually doesn’t kill anybody. And he pointed out, well, he killed directly like, well, no, no, no, no. Technically he’s not dead when he’s in the top when he’s in the vortex.
So yeah, I thought that was interesting. You know, so I was curious what your thoughts were on that.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, no, I think I always thought that he went into the vortex and he was still alive, but [00:21:00] just, you know, doomed to be in some other universe or whatever.
Jeff Haas: Well, like I said, there’s so many good moments in that movie as well.
There’s the scene with the dynamite and Sean’s father. And once again there, that was just a perfectly. Performed and shot scene. I think, I mean, once again, it, it felt, I mean maybe cause it you’re at the guy at their house, it just felt extra terrifying that you, you kind of like, it got personalized like that.
And I, once again, did you have a favorite part of the movie that you think to yourself? That’s my favorite moment.
Duncan Regehr: yeah, I kind of had sort of like throwing the cops around. That was fun. Yeah. It’s the stunt work was great fun, but yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve just found it amusing. That’s all. I, you know, it’s good.
Fun. Yeah. And I loved, I loved my car.
Jeff Haas: That was a wonderful car.
Duncan Regehr: That
Jeff Haas: part of you wish you could like snag it at the end of the shot. Shoot.
Duncan Regehr: I wonder if it’s still around, you [00:22:00] know,
Jeff Haas: Oh, I can’t imagine any guys in my way of car like that,
Duncan Regehr: you know?
Jeff Haas: No, I don’t know the name of the producer, but he probably, he probably stole it.
It was over.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah.
Jeff Haas: So when w when you’re on, when, when you were on set, did you find that the people who played the monsters? the Wolf man, I’m unfortunate. I don’t have, I can’t remember the name. Oh, I know mr. Noonan from the Frankenstein monster. Did you guys stay together as a click and the kids stayed them separately as a click?
Or where do you guys, Able to hang out with, like, did you guys interact with one another more?
Duncan Regehr: No, I certainly didn’t. you know, it was sort of an active approach to do it that way to create more of a distance from the kids, particularly they, they, I think they, they were more frightened of us.
The more we stayed away from them. And I think as I recall, Tom. Quite often stayed in makeup for a long time after, you know, until all the kids were [00:23:00] gone, so that they would never see him without the makeup.
Jeff Haas: That’s cool.
Duncan Regehr: which was great. but I didn’t have a lot of applications as being, Dracula.
And you’ve met makeup applications. you know, that’s what I naturally looked like, of course, with a white face. And
Jeff Haas: I’m gonna say apparently I was like, I hope not. Cause it’s like dark terrifying as a kid. I was terrified
Duncan Regehr: by drunk. Yeah. I mean that distance helped anyways, what I’m saying it, you know, I think, but I, I, you know, the monster guys, all the people who were playing Wolf, man and the mummy and we didn’t actually, we didn’t have much to do with each other other than when we were doing the scenes.
That’s about it. So,
Jeff Haas: I mean, I know the, the people who played the children did stay tight after the movie was over. So the, the monster did not the
Duncan Regehr: adults.
Jeff Haas: Hello? Oh, I said, did [00:24:00] the adults are not stay tight?
Duncan Regehr: not really. I mean, I get to see them, you know, conventions and what have you. and it’s always great to run into them and I think we’ve become much closer now. not obvious. I obviously we have, it’s always good to run into them and to catch up and, you know, they’ve all grown up and have families and, you know, it’s, it’s really great to see them all
Jeff Haas: now.
Monster squad has. There’s also some debate. I actually had the great opportunity to, watch Wolfman’s gotten ours, a documentary by Andre Gower. Yes. and there was a debate that they discussed in the documentary, whether or not monster squad counts as being a cult film. What is your thoughts on it?
Duncan Regehr: Oh, I don’t think there’s any question about it. It is a cultural.
Jeff Haas: And when did you, and obviously you were on in the documentary yourself, when, when did you know that the movie eventually did catch on and be, and [00:25:00] grow the size of anonymous that it now has?
Duncan Regehr: Well, when people started, you know, the fans started turning up that to, to, to, I dunno, they wanted autographs.
They wanted it, you know, pull families would come in, you know, generations in one family would be there, the grandfather and the father and the children and the mother and the little ones, big ones they all showed up. And that’s when I kind of knew, well, this is definitely a family coat movie. and I think that would probably, I would say about 10 years ago, maybe a little more than that.
I began to realize that.
Jeff Haas: Now just recently you appeared, or, or is it not happening at galaxy con that, you’re a guest on, is that th that coming up or has that already happened?
Duncan Regehr: That’s happened.
Jeff Haas: So, I mean, that, must’ve been a fun experience. I assumed, once again, another opportunity to see just how many fans are of you in the movie.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah. yeah, it was, it was a good con to do we have another one coming up on [00:26:00] Friday, with full empire promotions.com, with Dominic Manzini and, we’ll be discussing my career, I guess. And, you know, a lot of the movies that I’ve made and, and a question and answer session, and I don’t know the whole schedule, but I know it’s coming up on Friday and it’ll probably be for.
A good portion of the day.
Jeff Haas: what time on Friday and are there you buy tickets to it? How does that work?
Duncan Regehr: I guess you go to full empire promotions.com and you can buy time to, you know, I got, I guess that’s what they do. and I, I started, 1:00 PM Pacific standard time.
Jeff Haas: So buy by by time. So this is one of those, it, it, it’s the type of convention where people pay for like five minutes with you too.
Duncan Regehr: It is. Yeah. It’s that sort of thing. But I think there’s a kind of a, you know, an interview beforehand and, you know, I, I, I’m not sure of the whole [00:27:00] agenda, but yeah. I mean, I know they’re getting a pretty big response for it.
Jeff Haas: Oh, I can, I can only imagine. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, Like I said, I, I I’m
Duncan Regehr: shocked.
Jeff Haas: I was talking to once that when I, when I talked to, mr.
Lambert, mr. Gower, I remember mentioning to them that when I grew up. I always just assumed monster squad was a classic movie. You know what I’m saying? I always just felt that it was, I always loved it when I, so when I say
Duncan Regehr: yeah, in a way it’s kind of an homage to, to classic monster movies and, and I guess in that sense, it makes it kind of classical.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. And I mean, It’s kind of interesting, like it handled the, the monsters away that you figured universal studios has tried to do as there as a, collected universe and never managed it, but you got the movie monster squad did it in a way that was absolutely brilliant. I thought,
Duncan Regehr: yeah. Yeah. It’s [00:28:00] still a movie that while it’s stood the test of time.
So, you know, that speaks for itself.
Jeff Haas: I mean, it ages well, but the special facts, I mean, even though they were, they weren’t CGI, like nowadays they even, they look some ways better than a lot of the CGI type things that they come out with now.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah. I know we were all pretty impressed at the time. And, you know, with what they could do.
And I mean, of course today it’s, it’s extraordinary what people can do. So w
Jeff Haas: w when you were invited to appear on Wolfman’s got noise in the documentary, were you surprised that, would it be, did you knew at that point already that monster squad had that following? Or was it. In experiencing the documentary that you started learning more about?
Duncan Regehr: I knew before that I th stay all the way round. I guess the documentary was being, was being made by Andre because he thought, well, Hey, this is a good idea. It is a, it is a cult classic. So, you know, why don’t we. Make a documentary and my hat goes off to him. He’s done a good job
Jeff Haas: brilliantly done. And I, and I, [00:29:00] multiple times I’ve told our listeners to check it out.
and I, and like I said, I think not only do I think it was just an interesting look at the movie, but I think it was interesting insight by those who are in the movie and who reflected upon it. Right. so why do you think monster squad has age as well as it has.
Duncan Regehr: Because of the, the reason being that it is cross-generational, whole families that have been interested in it.
So it’s given us that kind of timeless qualities. There are movies that come along like that. And I’m, I’m thinking of one that I, I loved, but it D it looks dated is a Christmas Carol with Allister sandwiches. I take the 1951 or 52 version and black and white, and I love that movie. But it, it stood the test of time.
They put it on every year. And I don’t know, there are some movies that just work like that. They’re quite wonderful.
Jeff Haas: Now, looking back, do you think a movie like [00:30:00] the monster squad would be made nowadays considering? I mean, it’s interesting. The movie itself that once again, it’s technically a kid’s movie, but it’s actually quite dark in many ways.
Do you think they could make, they still wouldn’t make movies like that nowadays?
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. I mean, you know, the kids were the heroes in this thing and I, I don’t know if you can repeat it quite in the same way or tastes case might be different today. You, you would have, instead of a little boy, you would have a little girl for sure.
or maybe it would be the daughter of, Ashley Banks or of, Andre hour’s character. she would, of course have, you know, be the one that would be that’s how they would do it today. I think. If they had a recurrence of it or, or sequel or whatever,
Jeff Haas: it sounds like there’s been rumors of either a SQL or, a remake for a couple of decades now.
I probably would love to see a remake. the, obviously. not remake, sorry, a SQL. it does seem like the way [00:31:00] Hollywood usually works. It is more likely to remake than SQL. but I think SQL would be better. What is your thoughts on whether or not you think SQL would work better or a remake?
Duncan Regehr: I think both would work.
I think both would be fine. I think. I think w you know, it has a fan base already as a cult film. I’m not sure. I’m not sure about a remake, I guess. cause it always gets compared to what went before. And if people are really in love with the Rocky horror show, for example, you’re going to do another one, the Rocky horror show and, and beat the first one.
It’s tough to do. No, but then there are generations of people that are not going to be aware of the first movie at all. So you could play it for them. I,
Jeff Haas: I think a remake would be fast, especially considering that every, all the act well, most of the actors from the original could definitely return. and [00:32:00] you still probably, I mean, you probably could still play Dracula nowadays.
Duncan Regehr: No, I know I could, but, you know, and I don’t look that much different. I don’t think. Well, just older and wiser. I like to, I like to imagine myself
Jeff Haas: well also as I, and I do want to, also, discussed a little bit, your website. There’s a whole host of paintings and sculptures and drawings by you. how long have you been an artist and sculptor for?
Duncan Regehr: Since well, since I was a child, you know, began and, you know, certainly was we were going over the, with my gallery in Vancouver.
we were going over the different series of works that I’ve done in the last five decades. And we were kind of surprised to see that it was 48. Different series of, of art works, that have been done in, in other words, things that followed a different theme and had a different [00:33:00] look. That’s what I mean by series.
yeah, so it’s, it’s a lot of paintings, a lot of sculpture over many decades.
Jeff Haas: Now what I saw, all the paintings and the sculpture, they look, they look tremendous. Oh, you’re welcome. are you professionally trained or are you self-taught.
Duncan Regehr: kind of both. I mean, we were talking earlier about, you know, how you find your own flow with things and that’s the best learning place in a way, is actually doing it.
I am, you know, I’ve often said, you know, you go to art school and you can and have the talent taught right out of you. Because you’ll, you’ll be telling the line or be doing what is standardly expected of you and you have a curriculum to follow, et cetera, et cetera. And many of the finest artists in the world had no training whatsoever.
yeah, it’s it’s, for me, that was the way to go. I, my father was a painter as well. not a professional painter, but, he loved to paint and it [00:34:00] was pretty good. And, you know, I also trained for a little while with Henry Posey, who was one of the original Dutch surrealists and, you know, sort of just worked with him in his studio and picked up tips from him, which were very helpful.
Jeff Haas: I would definitely say, I think the favorites, my favorite thing on your website, for your art is the w the doppelganger series.
Duncan Regehr: Wow. Okay.
Jeff Haas: I, it just, I mean, it looks, I mean, you did a great job with the coloring. The images are fantastic. W where did those ideas come from? What inspired you producing this series?
Duncan Regehr: Well, I think, you know, it’s all sort of tied up with. You know, and understanding of, of, I believe everybody has multiple personalities within them. but I wanted to do the doppelganger is a little bit different. I mean, the traditional way of seeing a doppelganger is as physically being identical to. [00:35:00] the, each, each being is identical to the other.
So except they have different personality changes. And I, I wanted to go into, you know, other aspects of, of possession obsession, and that kind of drive psychological drive manipulation of one character over another. And, It’s all tied up. A lot of it with, you know, roles that I’ve played, for example, like Zuora, which is a dual character, you know, that, you know, has to feed into it somehow as an influence.
there’s a madness to Zaro in a way. it’s a, it’s not exactly his doppelganger, but he does have the Diego character and the Zoro character. And he doesn’t reveal himself even to the woman that he loves. He doesn’t break his disguise with her or his father. The only person he shares it with is a deaf mute boy.
And, I mean, I’m using the language of the time. Yeah. and, So there’s a kind of odd madness to it, this, this Crusader [00:36:00] character. And also the other side of it, I played him more as an intellectual. I think traditionally that Diego character has been played as a father and, and I didn’t want to go that way with him.
I wanted to do something different. So I played him more as an intellectual scientist. and then had the, you know, the darker side of him was Zorro the hero. Now, you know, I press, you’re telling, you’re asking me about painting. Yeah,
Jeff Haas: no worries. No
Duncan Regehr: worries. Just trying to understand the duality of characters, you know, it just intrigued me a great deal.
And a lot of my work is about the solitary figure, the individual in context with his, environment. So it was an interesting challenge to go in that direction.
Jeff Haas: Now on your website, you, there, there’s a, there’s a listing of a couple of the galleries that you had been to. Are you still, showing your sculptors sculpting and [00:37:00] painting that galleries or
Duncan Regehr: yeah.
Yes. yeah, I’m represented by Petly Jones gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia. And, you know, I have my, my own, which is Duncan recare artworks. Duncan rugged artwork studios. And we just opened a new website, which you probably haven’t seen, which is devoted to prints to find art additions. And, we decided to develop that because a lot of people can’t afford the paintings.
So I wanted to create prints that ma you know, made the artwork more accessible to everybody. And, so we wanted to open it up. We opened it in time for the Christmas season. And, it’s Duncan regear, artworks.com. And you can, if you go access that you get more recent works than are on the other website.
Jeff Haas: if, if when you purchase a print, do they come autograph by any chance?
[00:38:00] Duncan Regehr: They’re fine. Art prints. So they, they actually have a signature and, you know, they have a proofing, the process that goes to them. They’re, they’re very high-end quality prints. So they’re, you know, it’s not really an autograph it’s assigned piece of artwork.
Jeff Haas: I was just curious. I definitely always want to do autograph is, but definitely, but at least the, the, the artwork was, I mean, it’s just a phenomenal,
Duncan Regehr: piece of it
Jeff Haas: now.
Can you hear me, sir?
Duncan Regehr: Hello. Hello?
Jeff Haas: Can you hear me?
Duncan Regehr: Yes.
Jeff Haas: All right. Cool. apparently I’m having some internet connection issues. That’s probably what I’m probably the internet is coming in and out. but, anyways, but either way, so to buy when your prints would go on, Duncan, Ray gear artwork,
Duncan Regehr: R R works, is it works.
Art works.com. Yeah. Duncan Maghera works.com and you can that’s that’s the print website. You know, makes the prints available. Yeah. And, or books you can get, you know, [00:39:00] pick up, you know, I’ve written seven books, so you can pick up, one of the books there too. They make great Christmas gifts. I,
Jeff Haas: I, I actually didn’t know you, that you wrote books as well.
I, I must admit I apparently on my research bits that.
Duncan Regehr: Well, yeah. And you know, it’s always involved with my art. you know, so I do a combination usually of poetry with painting and, I’ve done several books like that.
Jeff Haas: Well, I’m definitely going to, look at the books as well. Cause like I said, I was really impressed with what I sold on, your, your webpage and I definitely hope our listeners fuck it as well.
Duncan Regehr: Well, thank you.
Jeff Haas: And if you do have time, I don’t mind that you have time for me to ask you a couple questions about Zorro and what maybe went about these baseline testing. I do appreciate that. so you also have, obviously we all already mentioned that you paid Zuora, which is extremely iconic and the, your, your shows are actually lasted 88.
Episodes. what was that experience like
Duncan Regehr: for you? fabulous. because we shot it all in Europe, in just outside of Madrid in Spain and, it was wonderful to be there. I mean, for [00:40:00] those years, working. You know, endlessly every week, seven days a week. and it was, the challenge was fantastic. I mean, I would always be learning, you know, speeches and lines for both characters that I played and, Rehearsing on the weekends doing the fight scenes and choreographing, you know, all of that sort of thing.
it was pretty exciting, but I could, it also allowed me to do an awful lot of travel in the hiatus times, to all over Europe, basically. So I loved it. I had a wonderful time. It was very challenging and, and I loved it. I just, yeah, it was great.
Jeff Haas: what is the key to getting artists is to connect with a character like Zora, who was he?
That is not someone who’s easily identifiable and immediately when you cause obviously very heroic, memory started there, a wealthy, H what is the key to making the viewers connect with them?
Duncan Regehr: Well at some, you have to, you have to have [00:41:00] compassion, I think, in a way, his compassion for the people of the Pueblo of Los Angeles, you know, he is their hero and he sacrifices basically sacrifices his own identity, his himself.
I don’t know if you’ve ever read any of Joseph Campbell or not, but, you know, Joseph Campbell does talk about the nature of the hero. And I, you know, certainly studied that. the nature of the hero being that he sacrifices him self is very being for his people. And in that way, the people of the Pueblo were like his audience in a way.
And he had the deepest compassion for them in every way. He would defend them to the death. And, I think that the audience felt that kind of transference with that. So there was a deep connection, you know, it’s the kind of connection that you can get on stage with an audience, except that we weren’t dealing with [00:42:00] being on stage.
We were doing film, but I think that’s part of it for sure.
Jeff Haas: I think that’s fantastic. When I teach the Epic hero, to my freshmen at, in school, we do touch on the heroic journey by Campbell and I that’s, that’s fascinating that, you know, that you’re you to make that connection. it’s it does sound like it, it helps like you do a lot of research for the roles you’re playing and not just the character itself, but you’re looking deeper into, the mechanics of the character.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah. And particularly with the iconic roles, because I mean, you know, someone like Zaro he’s, we have our mythological heroes, you know, are, are available all over the place. You can read the wonderful stories about all of them, and we’ve sort of lost sight of what an actual hero is today. I mean, we call basketball players.
Heroes true. And they’re not actually heroes. They just play basketball really, really well. Or they can run really fast or [00:43:00] something, you know, but that that’s not actually a hero. Although many basketball players who’ve gone on to do heroic things. Outside of being fabulous basketball players.
Jeff Haas: Right, right, right.
Duncan Regehr: You know, it, it takes something else to be doing it. We do doing that sort of thing. I mean, at one time OJ Simpson was called a hero. right. Why? Because he could run fast. basically, but it turned out that he wasn’t such a hero in real life now.
Jeff Haas: Do you think it sounds definitely like people confuse being good at something with being heard
Duncan Regehr: and, yeah.
Jeff Haas: And, and absolutely being good at something is not necessarily heroic if that’s, you know, what you’re paid to do. I always looked at the idea of the hero is you need that element of sacrifice to be here.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah, I agree. I agree.
Jeff Haas: and I also think that’s why some characters. Who are overpowered very powerful characters or not as I would not label heroic because there’s not the [00:44:00] danger of losing witch or the danger of, or that danger at all, which I think is the heroic.
Duncan Regehr: I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, you know, we look at, some characters that, you know, you look at the way, some of them have portrayed themselves as being, you know, They rush in with the gun and they’re blowing people, I don’t know, Rambo or one of those types that, you know, it’s the one who’s, who’s absolutely terrified who overcomes his fear, her fear, and achieves a goal.
That means that it will probably die in the process of doing that. That’s the hero. They overcome all obstacles and fears that they, and the fear is the worst obstacle they will have. That’s a hero, not the one who’s running it like a crazy person and shooting everything know that’s, that’s a psycho path or whatever.
Jeff Haas: I agree with a hundred percent. I mean, a firefighter is [00:45:00] heroic. They go into a burning fire there’s danger there. A baseball player who hits the game, winning home run did his job, you know, the difference
Duncan Regehr: and got paid huge amounts of money, you know,
and that’s not to put them down. I mean, they do have a role to play and people love, love, you know, of course. And, Yeah.
Jeff Haas: Yeah. And that’s kind of funny. I always teach my students from the old model.
Duncan Regehr: Let’s put it that way. That they’re role models possibly, possibly yes. Rather than heroes. Yeah.
Jeff Haas: And unless you listen to Charles Barkley, who disagrees with the possibility of a, a role model, athlete, we teach my students when we do Epic heroes is the key really is the tragic flaw.
The tragic flaw is what makes or does it make your hero?
Duncan Regehr: Yes. Yeah.
Jeff Haas: And when you were thinking about Zorro, did you have a, a flaw in mind that you thought to yourself that, that he must possess, that he has to work through over the course of seasons?
Duncan Regehr: Yes, but it’s a secret.
Jeff Haas: Oh, [00:46:00] okay.
All right. Fair enough. you know, you also mentioned that, you learned fencing for Zorro?
Duncan Regehr: No. no, I, I, I knew how to fence before I got to Zahra, but, I’ve worked with the most wonderful fencing master in aro, Peter diamond, the late Peter diamond. it was a BA. Beautiful guy. And I’d worked with him in the last days of Pompei in Italy and in England, probably prior to that.
And of course, when Xero came along, I’d done all the gladiatorial fights with, with Peter, a couple of years before, several years before. And when it came time to do Zorro, I said, well, there’s only one guy who you’d need to hire to do this. And I said, that’s Peter diamond. you did, you know, all the work for princess bride, which had, you know, some wonderful fight scenes in it and that they they’re wonderful because we actually had to do that stuff.
We, there wasn’t any CGI, there wasn’t any, you know, speeding up of the blades and [00:47:00] jumping and leaping and twirling around and impossible ways. And you actually had to do. You know, jump off the balcony and grab a rope and swing across to the other side and tip over a bunch of barrels. Yeah. You had to do it
Jeff Haas: yourself.
Duncan Regehr: right. So the, and that was the time. So a lot of when you look back on those things, now you see the blades don’t move as, as fast as they do today because of the, you know, we don’t have the technology, we didn’t have the technology to do that. we had to do it ourselves. But yeah, the learning defense was, I was taught by a Stratford actually when I was doing Shakespeare by Patrick Crane, but I learned a very basic sort of stage fighting, later on, you know, working with Peter, that was a gladiatorial sort of approach, you know, using different weapons to, In a play lightening, the, the gladiator.
And then when we got together for Zaro in Spain, I [00:48:00] wanted to develop a different approach to it. I wanted to do it to make it more cat-like. As I said, you know, the moves, the sweeping moves that you could have, as a figure skater, good could be applied to the movement of Zorro in a way. and then. To do a combination of what we would call Sabre, which would be the broader strokes, which.
You would perhaps use it. You’re going, gonna cross the Plaza together, you know, fighting all the way from the Tavern to the jail house, let’s say right the way across. So you’d use big, broad strokes, and then you get into a smaller confined space. You use more fencing moves and you could see the blades clicking off of each other in very close quarters.
And, that was kind of the approach that I wanted to take. And I think it worked fairly well.
Jeff Haas: Considering that once they get Dornell is such a beloved character and ex and expectations, and it feels like, and every fan of Zuora has her own interpretation of what they want to see as Zorro is, is it difficult to play a role where do [00:49:00] you know the audience has certain expectations?
Duncan Regehr: they always are going to have those expectations, but, you know, My job is always to sell what, what I think the character should be and, and get them interested in it.
Jeff Haas: And another role that you played, I want to go that has a very strong, following is obviously you played, I’m probably gonna pronounce it wrong.
Checar in deep space nine, we had a very deep, following. what was it like to play opposite? None of visitor. and were you familiar with DHD space nine prior to playing it?
Duncan Regehr: well, I’ll start with the last question first. No, I wasn’t. And, the NaviSite is w is a lovely, lovely lady and very easy to fall in love with she’s beautiful and funny and, very comfortable to, you know, perform with, I really enjoyed her very, very much.
Jeff Haas: And I think what you did was Chicago was another great role. I think that you play because once again, it’s a [00:50:00] character. Who was very nuanced, the character that was fighting against in many ways, its own people who he was previously a hero to. how did you view the character yourself and what decisions did you make in performing Chicago?
Duncan Regehr: Well, the character of Chicago and it really interested me to begin with because he was he as the hero, again, another situation where he was really working very hard for his own people and fighting against virtually his own people in a way, That character I understood as being, you know, the, the rebel Crusader, you know, with his reasons for doing what he was doing.
I think what happened with the character and I never really clearly understood this when the character was trans transferred into being the prime minister. I didn’t understand him anymore. Okay. I did not CA I could not fathom. It was almost as though they neutered the character. They’d castrated him. he just became a pawn [00:51:00] to paying homage to the other characters around him there, you know, it just didn’t make any more sense to me.
and I left the series.
Jeff Haas: Did. Is it that you don’t even believe that the character would go in that direction or the character just didn’t make sense for what he was doing?
Duncan Regehr: Well, it was a different character and I didn’t ha it was not the character that I was interested in playing. the character that I was interested in playing was the rebel leader.
The checar that, that was the character that interested me, this other guy that they came up with called the prime minister was somebody else. And I never really understood who, who, or what it was supposed to be. It wasn’t, it certainly wasn’t in any discussions or any, the scripts that were given to me, it was as though it was written for somebody else and then to try and, you know, find a way of making it work.
You know, that became the chore rather than to actually developing a character. So I, I moved on
Jeff Haas: th th they actually had a larger role for the character in mind [00:52:00] originally.
Duncan Regehr: No. I mean, I I’m, I was actually surprised when they, they, they came to me and said, you know, there was always talk about, you know, well, we think we’re going to maybe expand this character into more episodes, et cetera, et cetera.
They always have that discussion. So, but it did kind of surprised me when they came and said, you know, well, you know, you’re going to become the prime minister now. And, and that’s it.
Jeff Haas: So the, the cool thing about, star Trek fans, I don’t know if they call themselves trekkers now or Trekkies or whatever, is that once you enter their, their, gravity in any way, they embrace you kind of forever.
Do you still find that star Trek fans have him still embrace you as a part of their like, universe?
Duncan Regehr: Yes. Oh, sure. Yeah, definitely for that role and for the other character that I played in a next generation Ronan.
Jeff Haas: Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Duncan Regehr: Yeah. So that one actually, really, yeah.
Jeff Haas: I was always more interested I [00:53:00] think, in Chicago and I it’s mainly because I do like the whole deep space, nine concept better, and I think Chicago was a great character within it.
but it, it must be amazing to think that. Do you have played three extra, you know, in three iconic, worlds now, awesome monster squad Zoro. And you played it in the star Trek universe. That’s a hell of a career right there.
Duncan Regehr: There’s a few others in there too. I think, you know, Charles and VI, perhaps and black pool and wizards and warriors, you know, and of course, yeah.
Jeff Haas: Is there a role that. That you enjoyed the most and which you could go back
Duncan Regehr: to? not really, you know, I’d be more interested in moving on if I was going to do anything at all. you know, it would have to be interesting in some way attracted in some way. Yeah. but I’m, I’m open for it. Sure. Of course I am.
Jeff Haas: like I said, I really enjoyed, and I, and when I was able to do some research on going through your [00:54:00] career, like you said, you’ve just had an extraordinary, long. when, fantastic career and what advice you have for other future actors to how to also have a career that was as extensive as yours?
Duncan Regehr: I would say, you know, Go for the role, go for the developing the role, always, you know, there’s enough of, you know, there’s so many people out there that are just interested in fame and money today, and those are all good things, I guess, you know, and if you’re an actor, you have certainly have to perpetuate your fame so that you’re, you know, people become interested I guess.
but I think a lot of people just, they have the vision of being famous and. You know, hence we have all the social media that we have and you know, these profiles that people put up about themselves and we’re all heroes and we’re all, we’re all there. But I think go for the substance, you know, that’s what we need online, you know, in any character that you approach. [00:55:00]
and that’s, that’s a definitely the way I approached the whole thing in acting was it was always the role that I loved to develop. That was what was interesting. interpreting the script, whether it be Shakespeare or deep space nine or whatever, that that’s what was interesting. And then the interaction with other characters to see what would happen, that that’s where you, the focus can be.
If you really want to be an actor.
Jeff Haas: Well, thank you so much, mr. Reggae for talking with me, you are a fantastic guest and I greatly appreciate,
Duncan Regehr: Oh, thanks.
Jeff Haas: I, I definitely want to remind our listeners to check out your, your website and your artwork is phenomenal. Yeah.
Duncan Regehr: Very welcome. artworks.com. I’ll give myself a plug.
Jeff Haas: How’s that? Please do.
Duncan Regehr: and also I’d like people to maybe if they can tune in on Friday this Friday, full empire promotions.com, because you know, me can book in and say [00:56:00] hello or whatever, and that would be nice. Check it out.
Jeff Haas: Thank you so much, sir. You’re a fantastic guest, please come back anytime.
Okay. Thank you, Jeff. Have a great night. Good night. Okay.