This is no laughing matter: Tom Green talks about his role in the horror film “BETHANY”


Tom Green has been making people laugh for decades, however, now the comedian and sausage connoisseur is ready to make audiences scream.  Best known for his film FREDDY GOT FINGERED, which he also directed, Green has also played roles in CHARLIE’S ANGELS, ROAD TRIP, SUPERSTAR and even had his own TV show, THE TOM GREEN SHOW. Still, there is one genre he’s been keeping his distance from; horror.

In his latest endeavor, Green plays a therapist to a woman who’s past and current situation are leading her towards insanity, in the horror film BETHANY. Shockingly unfunny and surprisingly well played, Green nails his role as the house-visiting therapist, leaving any notion of the comedian he truly is, off set.  

FANGORIA: Well, I must admit I watch a lot of horror movies and I was a bit surprised to hear your name come up.

TOM GREEN: That’s kind of a funny thing because I don’t watch them; they scare the living daylights out of me.  So, I’ve never really grown up watching horror movies, but I have watched a couple lately. I have a pretty hair-trigger emotional sensitivity.  I can literally go into a panic watching horror movies. So, I don’t even know how I’m going to watch this movie. I haven’t watched it yet.  I’ve seen scenes of it when I was doing the dialogue recording during editing. Even that was terrifying and I knew what was going to happen. It’s interesting and exciting to be part of something like this but they have a real high impact on me. When I was a kid everyone was watching FRIDAY THE 13TH and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, I was just sort of at my friend’s door saying “you guys go ahead and do that, I’m just going to go now.” I couldn’t sit through it and I just couldn’t separate in my mind, the fact that it was a movie. To me it was actually happening. It still happens today, it’s embarrassing; I’m a 45-year-old man, that can’t go to a horror movie with someone because I’m like a little kid. But I think it helped me with this movie. That tension and anxiety I feel, sort of translates into the performance.

FANGORIA: And your performance was pretty entertaining. Did you need to do any preparation or research?

TOM GREEN: Not really. [Laughing] What I did to prepare was not entirely different for what I would do to prepare to do a comedic role. I really just break down the script, make sure I understand what the character is going through and I really spend some time thinking about the motivation of every word that he’s saying and every line that he’s saying. I really think about the scene. I spend time with it.  That’s the kind of preparation I do.  Though it did require me going to and shadowing a therapist. Believe it or not, I actually don’t have a therapist. [Laughing]

FANGORIA: So how did you come about getting the role of Dr. Brown in BETHANY?

TOM GREEN: So, I was walking down the street by my office, in Los Angeles, and James Cullen Bressack, the director, producer, and writer of the movie, was walking in the other direction and ran into me.  We started talking; he was big fan of my movie FREDDIE GOT FINGERED and so we chatted about that and he told me what he was up to and what he was doing. I thought it sounded like a cool role, and it sounded like a cool movie.  It was nice to run into him. I’ve not done a horror film before and it was fun. I’ve done a couple serious roles over the last year, more serious characters, and I really enjoy it.

FANGORIA: Was it an easy transition from comedy to horror?

TOM GREEN: A lot of comedy comes from very serious things. I spent my life travelling the world talking about very serious subjects on stage but making them funny. It was fun to be able to try something a little more reserved where you lose the punchline and stay in that lower energy, emotional place which was very cool. I really enjoyed it. I think when I do my stand up, it’s important to me that I’m making a point about something meaningful to people, in their lives, and layering it there. It’s kind of cool to try something different.  Also, it was a serious environment and we are so aware of what the scene was. There was a tension in the set, but in a good way and it made it easier.  We were really getting the right frame of mind for what was happening.

FANGORIA: How was the gore level on the film?

TOM GREEN: There was a pretty bloody and dramatic and shocking scene with me. It was pretty wild to shoot that. I think it’s going to be pretty fun to actually see that. There was some prosthetics involved and some blood pumping devices. It was pretty straightforward and I always enjoy those kinds of real effects.  I directed the movie FREDDY GOT FINGERED so I had to work with the special effects and makeup people to build a lot of really crazy effects. It’s something that’s really awesome and fun to put together.

FANGORIA: And I’m sure you haven’t watched that scene. [Laughing]

TOM GREEN: No. I haven’t seen it yet but I know that when we shot it was very intense, very bloody, and very graphic. It was completely insane, so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of reaction that gets in a movie theater.

FANGORIA: So, would you consider doing another horror film?

TOM GREEN: I would do anther horror movie, for sure. Honestly I don’t really pursue films. I do them when they kind of come to me, like this. I run into a director on the street.  

FANGORIA: What’s next?

TOM GREEN: I’m doing my first European tour in June. I’m doing England, Ireland Scotland, Wales, Norway, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. I’m also performing my very first shows in Tel-Aviv, Israel. It’s my first time being in Israel, so I’m excited about it.  I just re-launched my website, Tomgreen.com. You can go there to get all my tour dates and you can also watch a lot of the classic videos from THE TOM GREEN SHOW.  Also, I’m developing a TV show now and that’s going to pretty be cool, it’s in the early stages of development. I’m recording an album as well; that’ll be kind of a funny comedy album and that’ll be coming out in about year.

BETHANY, which also stars Zach Ward (RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE, A CHRISTMAS STORY), Stefanie Estes (DISASTER L.A., MARY LAST SEEN), Shannen Doherty (CHARMED, 90210) and directed and co-written by James Cullen Bressack, is now in theaters and VOD.

Check out the trailer for BETHANY below:

Stay tuned here at FANGORIA.com for more on BETHANY!

About the author
Adam Lee Price
Adam Lee Price has an intense love of horror films and has since being a child. This love of horror has led him to focus on a career in writing films for the next generation of genre fans. Adam has recently completed writing his first feature length horror screenplay entitled THE MASQUERADE. Now, he looks forward to the next chapter of his life working alongside great writers in the horror industry and at FANGORIA Magazine.
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