The worlds of film and TV have been impacted significantly over the years by the performances of Dayton Callie. From The Devil’s Carnival and Abattoir to Sons of Anarchy and Deadwood, Dayton has proven time and again that’s he got a knack for making sure whatever character he portrays is going to dig into your brain and stay there. Be sure to check out his amazing performance in Abattoir which is now available in select theaters as well on iTunes and On Demand.
Terror Time: Hi Dayton. Congratulations on Abattoir. Your performance in the film is amazing. How weird was it to be working on a film with Darren Lynn Bousman and your character not having to sing?
Dayton Callie: Ha ha ha. Yeah that’s an experience in itself. I take it you’re a fan of The Devils Carnival. Darren actually contacted me over Facebook initially in regards to The Devils Carnival and sent me the script to it. I read it and thought wow this is going to be fun and different. It was a really fun time and the entire time on Devil’s Carnival he was talking about Abattoir and how he wanted me to play the character of Jebediah Crone. Darren’s a lot of fun and has a ton of energy when he shoots. We aggravate each other and fight like family but we love each other and we’ve done three movies together so far and were looking to do more.
TT: The character of Jebediah Crone in Abattoir has an odd duality about him. He’s very charismatic and a family man yet he does some insanely evil deeds. The character is not monstrous or indestructible like Freddy, Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers so what was your inspiration in bringing the character to life?
DC: I felt it was pretty simple to tell you the truth. Like you said he’s a family man first and that we have in common. All he wanted to do was right by his family. He was a religious man which I’ve been around thru out my entire life. Of course what I didn’t have in common with the character is the killings but I understand why the character would commit those atrocities if he thought he was saving people. Darren and I went thru a lot of rewrites trying to get the story and the character right and narrowing it down to what was needed and what wasn’t needed.
TT: If you were building a house similar to the house in Abattoir what room would you concentrate the most on?
DC: Oh wow I’ve never even thought about that. In my younger days it would definitely have been the bedroom but in my older days I’ve got to say the kitchen because there’s plenty of food in the cupboard.
TT: Ha ha. That’s hilarious. I followed the evolution of the film from the comic book and the years of development and I remember something being said somewhere about a sequel to Abattoir being called The Dwelling and bringing your character back. Is there anything you can tell me in regards to that potential sequel?
DC: I’d say 75% that yeah they’ll make it happen but it all depends on how Abattoir does financially. We’ve discussed it and if there’s a place for the character of Crone I’m sure he’ll return.
TT: That’s great to hear. I’ve got to mention to you my extreme admiration for the film, The Last Days of Frankie the Fly. I absolutely love that movie.
DC: Wow thank you. I’m really proud of how that film turned out. The characters said all the words I wrote in the script, the actors played the roles a little bit differently than what I wrote but the executives left it alone. Everyone loved the script and it was my first time producing, it was a very exciting time my first day on set and seeing all of the equipment and the trucks and I’m like oh shit this is really happening. Thank you so much for bringing that movie up. It didn’t get a big release that’s what the problem was.
TT: Was it surreal hearing Dennis Hopper on set saying the lines that you wrote?
DC: Oh definitely. There was one-time on set with Dennis where one of the scenes wasn’t working and the director wanted to change one of the lines and Dennis stood up to him and said if you change one line in this script I’ll leave. I thought wow now that’s pretty cool. I had a great experience with Daryl Hannah and Michael Madsen as well. Everyone was fantastic to work with. The shoot was very similar to Abattoir because everyone got along under difficult circumstances and it was just fun every day. Even going through freezing your ass off and all of the elements and things that go on it was all worth it.
TT: That’s a great story and it also brings up a fantastic question. What is it that powers you thru those times on sets when the weather is bad and the conditions are less than ideal? Because you’re not making millions of dollars working on these films and you’re out there busting your ass and giving it your all along with everyone else in the cast and crew. So what keeps you going?
DC: The way I look at is if there’s something embarrassing or a bad performance in the movie it’s not going to be me. I don’t want someone to watch a film and see me as the weak link. Pride makes me go and motivates me.
TT: That’s a powerful motivator. What’s a film that you feel is underrated that everyone should see in their lifetime?
DC: Oh well that’s an easy question. The Last Days of Frankie the Fly.
TT: Ha. Yes, that’s a perfect answer.
DC: Even Darren talked about how he loves The Last Days of Frankie the Fly. I’m just always surprised when people watch it and then mention it to me and they come out the woodwork to tell me that they love it. I think you can get it on DVD for like six dollars on Amazon.
TT: Yeah my VHS copy is definitely worn out over the years. I’m going to have to make that a priority purchase. Dayton thank you so much for the time today and congratulations again on Abattoir.
DC: Thank you Brad and have a great holiday.