We were very lucky to be able to get an interview with this guy, he’s an inspiration to me, and I’m sure he will be to you as well. But let me not disregard that he is also one of the nicest guys you could ever talk to.
Chances are, you probably already recognize him. Let me give you a little background on some of the things he’s got on his resume.
Do any of these sound familiar? Friday the 13th Part II, Christine, M*A*S*H, The X-Files, Sleepwalker, Once Bitten, The Chosen, and the up and coming Horrorween.
Now, without further ado, let’s get onto what you’re all waiting for; the interview!
MS: I have heard you accidentally got into acting. How did that happen exactly?
SC: Y’know I was just telling this story at the Fear Fest Convention in Texas. This whole acting thing (25 years…) is an accident for me. I’m a jazz piano player… I was just sitting in a club, listening to a friend sing, when a woman, who had been looking at me over and over, finally sidled her chair over to my table and asked me, “are you a comedian?”
I quickly said, “well, I feel funny…”
“Go study some acting… I want to represent you”, she said, handing me her card… Yvette Bickoff was her name…
I studied a tiny bit of acting (some workshops), and she started sending me on auditions. I got 3 movies back to back. The Chosen, a TV movie and Friday the 13th part 2…
MS: Many may not be aware of this but you have a background in music. Can you tell us about that?
SC: Yeah… I’ve been playing piano since I was seven. The first time I heard Jazz swing by, my brain said; “I love that…”. I wound up learning piano from jazz legend Lennie Tristano, who just happened to live in my neighborhood. I had no idea who he was. He was just a blind piano player, and I was just 13… More good fortune… Later, when I went to the School of Contemporary Music, in Boston, (which was one of the few colleges at the time that taught Jazz), they made me a teacher there after just a few months, because of what I had learned from Lennie.
MS: Amongst horror fans, you are probably most famous for being Ted from “Friday the 13th, Part II”. How did you land that role?
I had to kill the other actors. It wasn’t a big deal… I was on a spree anyway…
MS: I have heard you ad-libbed most of the humor in the film, is that true?
SC: Yeah… the director, Steve Miner, who recognized my nature right away, kept on saying, “Stu, tell a joke…” If we all laughed, he shot it…
MS: As you know, you were left at the bar — how do you envision how Ted’s night concluded?
SC:I think I’m not alone when I say, that dear waitress and I were made for each other… She didn’t want the bar to fall down on me, and I was collecting empties…. True love….
MS: Were you ever asked to return in Part III?
SC: I was still out getting jrunk…
MS: Another favorite of ours is the film “Just One of the Guys”. How did that film come about for you???
SC: More killings of the other actors. It works every time…
MS: Did you have any training to handle the reptiles and lizards?
SC: This is one of the incredible things about acting — imagine this — you, an otherwise regular yoomie (yoomie — human… y’know… you… me… a yoomie), are asked to do something in a film — from handling frogs and snakes, or having a bucket of worms dropped on your head, or being spun around into a hole by a giant screwdriver, and like any good sport, you say, sure… so actors wind up actually doing things they never otherwise would have had a chance to do…. I think that’s so cool… and of course, sometimes it’s insane…
MS: There’s been rumors of a “Just One of the Guys” remake. How does that make you feel that – quite possibly – someone can be portraying your role?
SC: I can always kill him….
MS: If you had to, who would you cast to play your role?
MS: According to IMDB, you are created for the story of three “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episodes. How did that come about exactly?
SC: Myself and my first ex-wife, Sara, were fans of the show and had both been writing scripts, and started to think of ideas for that show that we thought were really good. We had an agent set it up, and we had a blast telling them our stories, and they ultimately liked three of them enough to buy ‘em…
MS: You have done roles on several hit shows like “Newhart,” “MASH” and “The X-Files”. How do you compare acting on the big screen to the small screen? Which do you prefer?
SC: To me, there’s no difference. I am perhaps mistaken in this, but my internal process is the same. I never like what I do anyway… Acting is lying. Really good liars, don’t care who’s watching or listening.
MS: I’m not sure everyone is aware of it, but you’re quite the handy man. Speaking with you previously, I got to see pictures of ‘The Bar That Stu’ built. Care to share those pictures with us so others can see what a craftsman you are?
SC: Yeah… on www.StuCharno.com there are bunches of pictures of things I’ve build for clients and myself. And there’s more all the time! I’m self-taught, but my appreciation for Japanese works comes out in my pieces. From hand cut dovetails, to golf tees as wooden nails, to a secret compartment included in the piece somewhere… Every piece is one-of-a-kind….
MS: You recently made it down to FearFest in Texas, any notable moments and did you have a good time?
SC: I love doing these conventions and meeting people from all over, that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Truly, I live for that kinda stuff… Group celebrating is one of my favorite things to do… There were folks who came to Texas from 5000 miles away, just to meet me and celebrate together… I think that’s SO fun…
MS: Last, but definitely not least, what do you hope to do in the future and what would you like the world to know about Stu Charno that they may not already?
SC: “BrainwaX”, is what I’m calling my one-man-show. Secrets to happiness, by understanding the natural, invisible limits of a yoomie brain… Like my song, “Everybody’s Right (that’s why we disagree…)”. etc… It’s learning about how the genius of instinct surrounds and fills everything, and the perception that things are going bad, is seen as coming from the viewer, not the view… some of us can relax by understanding some of these things….
I could go on and on…. but I hope to bust this out for everyone as soon as the pieces fall into place…
Proper applications of BrainwaX, can change a life…
MS: Stu tells us that these days, he’s just happy to be out of the ‘audition game’. I got a copy of some of his music the other day and it is a LOT of fun. A truly talented, genuinely nice guy who’s done a lot of things that fans like us dream of doing.
Now, I want to once again thank Mr Stu Charno for doing us the honor of the interview. If you’d like to find out more about him, I suggest you start with these two links: Official Stu Charno Website / Stu Charno on IMDB.net