Despite being only 10 years old, Canadian thespian Quinn Lord is quickly building an impressive resume that would make many older, seasoned actors jealous. As of 2009, Lord has already appeared in more than 25 movies (Things We Lost In The Fire; Deck the Halls) and TV shows (“Blade”; “Stargate SG-1”).
In 2008, Lord was nominated for a Young Artist Award for his recurring role on “Smallville.” At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, he had two films in attendance: Joe Dante’s return to horror, The Hole, and Terry Gilliam’s highly anticipated fantasy tale, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. In addition, Lord takes on the lead role of “Sam” in the much buzzed-about horror anthology, Trick ‘r Treat, which is now out on DVD and Blu-Ray.
MM recently spoke with the precocious young actor about his quickly rising star.
Kyle Rupprecht (MM): When did you first catch the acting bug?
Quinn Lord (QL): When I was about four or five I used to watch my dad at a coffee house where he did some improv theater for fun. He used me as a prop a few times and I loved it! I really liked yelling out things for the actors to be or do, but my favorite part was getting up in front of all the people and making them laugh.
I loved it so much that I used to re-enact scenes from movies, sing songs and do break dancing in a big group of people like in a mall, on a ferry, in stores, pretty much anywhere! It was fun, people cheered for me. My favorite is to get into the store windows with the mannequins and then freak people out when they walk by! Sometimes I become a mannequin in a grocery store and hold a box of cereal or something, and just freeze there, once a lady walked by and said “I didn’t know they had mannequins in grocery stores.” I love that!
MM: Tell us about your character, “Sam,” in Trick ‘r Treat.
QL: Sam is the spirit of Halloween; he enforces the rules and punishes the ones who break the rules. Getting into the character of Sam was so fun. I was so comfortable running around in footy pajamas on set—for three months I got to hang out in my PJ’s. Who wouldn’t love that!
Sam sees everything that’s going on during Halloween night, and only gets involved when he needs to. He’s cute enough to walk around like a kid trick or treater without anyone getting scared, but when he needs to do his job he’s pretty creepy! Michael Dougherty sent me the movie book and two figures, I have one standing beside my bed and before I go to sleep sometimes I say to Sam, “Did I tell you I’m dressing up for Halloween? Well I am, and I’m handing out candy, too”! Just in case—you never know with demons! (laughs) Oh, I have also seen on the Internet that people have been getting Sam tattoos, they look pretty cool!
MM: You’ll also be appearing in another horror movie—Joe Dante’s The Hole, which premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. What can you tell us about the film? Do you enjoy horror movies?
QL: The Hole is about two brothers who move into a new house and find an old trap door in the basement. Underneath it is a very deep hole and when they and their neighbor look into the hole, their darkest fears come true. I was lucky to get to see it at TIFF, I really loved it and want to see it again! Joe Dante was lots of fun to work with. I love Gremlins, so I was so excited to meet him. The first day on set he gave me a few DVDs one of them was the original The Day the Earth Stood Still and another was Jason and the Argonauts. They were both awesome films and the special effects they were able to do back then with none of the technology we have now was pretty cool!
I do love horror movies; Army of Darkness, The Shining, War of the Worlds, Gremlins, Trick ‘r Treat and The Hole are some of my favorites. I’ve just started watching old Vincent Price and Hitchcock movies and I love them! I also love action films like The Matrix, Indiana Jones and tons of others, also comedies like all the Monty Python skits and films like Austin Powers, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure films (Death is hilarious) and lots more!
MM: You also have a role in Terry Gilliam’s highly-anticipated The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. What was it like working with Terry, who’s known to be a perfectionist?
QL: It’s an amazing film. I have watched it twice so far and I’m going to watch it again, there is so much to see, I love it! I love Monty Python and meeting and working with Terry Gilliam was great, he is so creative and has a wild imagination and I’m lucky to be a small part of this awesome film!
MM: Are there any former kid actors whose work you admire, or would like to follow in their footsteps? (Jodie Foster, Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, etc.)
QL: I think it’s really cool that some former kid actors are still acting and also directing films now like Drew Barrymore and Jodie Foster; they are so talented I would love to work with both of them! I would definitely ask them for tips! I have a box of scripts that I have written, hopefully one day I can turn some of them into films.
MM: Is acting a lifelong ambition for you? Would you still like to be doing this in 30 years?
QL: 30 years? Wow, that’s like three of my lifetimes so far! Right now I will say yes, I want to act, direct and produce movies until the day I die because I’m having so much fun! When I’m in college I might want to try out new skills that I learn too. Our technology will be more advanced by then so there might be some pretty cool things to do, maybe even direct holographic films! Cool, now I have some new ideas!