Interview With The Clown: Gracie Sits Down With David Howard Thornton

My first interview for Sinful Celluloid was nerve racking to say the least. Why? Art the Clown is the most nightmarish creature to inhabit the corner of my eye in the dark. I could talk about it but you want to hear Art, not me, so without further ado, I give you Art The Clown or David Howard Thornton as his friends call him…

Gracie:

Alright well I’m sure you know that we only have ten minutes so I kind of want to jump right in there.. but before we start I want to say how nice it is to put a face with the clown that has truly terrified me

*David laughs*

Gracie:

Although you weren’t the actor for All Hallows Eve, do you feel any sort of connection to that movie as well? Since you are Art the Clown now?

David:

Oh, definitely because I mean, it Mike Giannelli, who was original Art the Clown. He started it all out. So he set a great foundation for me and I based a lot of what I have done with Art off of his performance because I you know, I wanted to still stay true to what he had created. So I definitely feel a kinship with that.

Gracie:

that’s awesome. I feel like you’ve also really made it your own in a way as well.

David:

Yeah, I definitely wanted to add more of the physical clowning aspect to the character this time and I had a lot of fun doing that because that’s where my background really lies is in comedy. Ive done a lot of physical comedy, especially for children’s theater growing up, so I wanted to add that that aspect to the character.

Gracie:

That definitely adds a creepy aspect for us. I’m sure you’re aware of this but how do you feel being first new horror icon since the creeper? Do you feel any responsibility that comes along with that since you’ve earned that seat at the table?

David:

It’s still sinking in to tell you the truth. It’s been a few years but I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. Because I still see myself as just myself and so it’s freaky for people to throw that that icon word around and stuff like that. So it’s pretty cool as I’m, I’m hoping I kind of feel a little bit of responsibility. I think you’re right I kind of hope that we’re hopefully, I guess encouraging other people, other filmmakers and other actors to create new horror icons because I think we need to keep this going. Like we can’t just rely on you know Freddy and Jason, Michael Myers’s and Chucky forever. This is like, you know, just like how they came about after you know you had the Universal Monsters for so long. It’s like it’s always good to bring new blood in and extend the family. And I’m hoping we’re going to inspire more filmmakers to take risks again and create one character that lasts.

Gracie:

I think that’s extremely well put. You definitely bring out a lot of new blood , I mean, both figuratively and literally to horror, I mean, there’s a lot of blood in this franchise.

David:

Yeah, just a little just a little. Haha

Gracie:

To you on set. It must be like oh, you know, just blood… just props but to the average viewer and to a fan like myself. When we watch you perform. We forget about you as you are. Now we go into that mindset of this is an actual clown and it’s scary. And he is ruthless. And he’s not sparing, you know, women and Infants, you know anybody. He’s just on that kill path.

David:

He’s a bastard.

Gracie:

No haha, he definitely is. I actually had a friend of mine posts on his social media page that he just met you at New Jersey, Horror con. And I was wondering, you know, since you’ve become art, and since you become part of this legacy, have you had any notable fan experiences, or have you actually even scared someone out of convention?

David:

Oh, yeah, I’ve done that several times. I kind of do it on purpose too. Especially when I do my photo ops, I do everything in character. I never talk or anything like that. And it’s even more fun when I do, because we’re usually doing these in hotels. So I like to just go out and mess around with people and sometimes they’re not even the people at the convention that’s the other guests the hotel and they’ll walk in the elevator with me and I am just like right there in the elevator and they’re like, oh my god, what is going on?

Gracie:

Noo, I’d just have to walk right out. I’d take the stairs.

David:

Yeah, I’ve had several People. One time I was doing a convention somewhere and there was a woman that was in charge of prepping all the food stuff like that for the green room. And I was just standing in the room chilling out and everything she walks in sees me and she just goes “NOPE” and walks right out.

Gracie:

That’s incredible. I I like to think that I’m tough girl and I can handle you know, slashers and psychological. Then you throw clown in the mix and I’m like, I gotta go, you know? I left my oven on really need to go. Self Preservation kicks in like that.

David:

It’s even more fun. Once a grown adult like male that’s- I’ve done that even to like a guy that was my security guard. He had a huge fear of clowns, and he got trapped in an elevator with me for a few minutes and that was fun. I waited until the doors open and I was like slowly bringing my horn up his face and then honked right in his face right the door open so he screamed. And of course everybody saw this big mountain of a man scream and that was just, it was wonderful. It was wonderful moment.

Gracie:

Just you talking about that actually gave me chills. I mean, you probably can’t see it, but the hair on my arm standing up because I can see that clown is slowly coming into frame. and I do have to say that I believe your portrayal of art has not only wedged itself in the creases, but also the depths of horror and clourophobia which is the phobia of clowns. I mean, you have given a whole new life to the phobia of clowns it surpasses killer clowns. It’s a passes you know it and penny wise I mean, you are this new breed of psychotic clown and you’re terrifying. You’re great at what you do. Thank you Do you Do you have any phobias and maybe a specific specific thing and for the twist you up inside.

David:

I have a hard time with empty void just like dark spaces and stuff like that goes just back to my childhood so I can’t have doors open. When I’m in bed. I have to have all my doors closed , closets closed all that I just don’t like looking into a dark void. So like when I saw the first Paranormal Activity movie and you have all those things in the bedroom, I need to see that that dark void in the hallway. Oh god that was so.. oooo… for me because I was always expecting to see something materialize from that void and that’s Oh, that’s why I also like the first Blair Witch Project freaked me out as well because yes, the darkness out there in the woods because I grew up in the woods and working in the woods as a camp counselor. So I know what it’s like to be in the woods at night. And it’s when you turn your flashlight out and you see eyes looking back at you. It’s very freaky. And so those are the things that get me

Gracie:

all right. Well, I just got a message saying we’re gonna have to wrap it up. So I do want to ask that you share with me. Did you have a horror movie that terrified you as a child?

David:

Yes I would say the poltergeist freaked me out a lot.

Gracie:

Yeah, absolutely. I have not watched it since. Yeah, I’ve only seen it once. And that was going to work for me, that’s for sure.

David:

Oh, that got me as a kid.

Gracie:

Well, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure meeting you and talking with you and hopefully you know you get some downtime after closing up filming for terrifier two and have more fun at cons and meeting and scaring more people.

David:

Oh definitely. Well, it’s been great talking to you, Gracie. Thank you. Yes, take care. You too. Bye Bye!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s