In the new feature film THE DEMONOLOGIST, Brian Krause stars as police detective Damian Seryph. Investigating a series of brutal murders, Damian finds that there may be a supernatural component, and that the crimes may be hitting close to home.
Krause is no stranger to otherworldly plotlines, having spent eight seasons as Whitelighter Leo Wyatt on the WB’s original CHARMED. The Southern California native got his first big break as the male lead in the 1991 feature RETURN TO THE BLUE LAGOON. Since then, Krause’s plentiful credits have included the cult favorite SLEEPWALKERS, guest spots on TALES FROM THE CRYPT and MAD MEN, and series regular roles in DARK RISING: WARRIOR OF WORLDS, TURN BACK TIME and FIRST LIST.
In a telephone interview, Krause talks facing hellish menace once more, as well as the feature film he is making with producing partner Mark Ralston.
ASSIGNMENT X: THE DEMONOLOGIST is set in New Orleans. Did you shoot in Louisiana?
BRIAN KRAUSE: We were in New Orleans.
AX: How did you become involved in THE DEMONOLOGIST?
KRAUSE: I had worked with Justin Jones, one of the producers, a couple of times before. He had just called me up and sent me the script and asked if I was interested. So it was an offer situation.
AX: You’ve done some non-genre work, but a lot of your work has been in the fantasy/horror/sci-fi area. Is that something that you’re particularly drawn to as a viewer, or is that just where the work has been?
KRAUSE: I do like the fantasy/sci-fi, and I do enjoy a bit of horror. I think it’s something that, you get a job, and you just start going down that path. It’s funny – I initially started in comedy and half-hour, and then once I booked a few jobs, and SLEEPWALKERS, and on from there, it was like, “Oh, he’s a serious actor, he doesn’t do funny.” Now, somebody goes, “Well, he’s a sci-fi/horror guy …” It’s funny how our industry likes to put people in little boxes and tell them what they are.
AX: Well, you did MAD MEN, so that’s pretty straight drama …
KRAUSE: That was straight drama, exactly.
AX: You’ve also played a fair amount of people involved in police work or investigative work, like your DEMONOLOGIST character …
KRAUSE: I am a detective working a case that happens to get too close, and what I find out leads me down to the path of the Demonologist. I uncover a darkness, if you will, through regular police work. And that’s something that, yeah, playing the police detective, the dad, it’s something I think, as I age, I fit more and more.
AX: Did you do any research, either for THE DEMONOLOGIST or in the past, into police work and/or mythology about demons?
KRAUSE: Well, as far as police work, I do have several friends that I play baseball with that are policemen, S.W.A.T., detectives, and I’ve picked their brains a little, I’ve gone to the [shooting] range and done some tactical work. I’m a huge fan of crime documentary, reality TV shows, like FORENSIC FILES and DATELINE and SNAPPED. I probably watch a couple hours a day of reality documentary crime drama, which is nuts [laughs].
AX: That seems like it would be good research for when you play these kinds of roles …
KRAUSE: Yeah, it is. Also, as a writer in development myself about true crime and horror, it’s amazing. I think true crime is so outrageous sometimes that if you put it in a script, people would think it would be too farfetched. So learning about that, and how things unveil, and how mysterious really it is, and how scary the real world can be, it’s shocking. As far as the supernatural, I’m into ancient aliens, and I’m a believer, and I’m a believer in witchcraft. This sort of thing has been around for millennia. People believed in it thousands of years ago, and to discount it would be silly. I think when I did CHARMED, it was something I looked into a lot, as far as the witchcraft, the good and evil, the yin and yang of it all. So it’s something I’m definitely trying to educate myself on.
AX: Your character on CHARMED, Leo, was a White-Lighter?
KRAUSE: That’s right, a guardian angel, if you will.
AX: Is there anything different between playing a guardian angel and I guess you might term the Demonologist as a guardian demon?
KRAUSE: There’s a difference. I think playing Leo was always basically the guardian angel, the epitome of the moral choice, always doing good, and good will prevail. If you choose the right path, it will prevail. And I think with THE DEMONOLOGIST, there’s a much harder edge to Damian as far as what is revealed and what he becomes. I don’t think Damian has any problem taking out a good guy or a bad guy, so I guess, he’s the White-Lighter of demons? I don’t know [laughs].
AX: Late in THE DEMONOLOGIST, Damian finds he has powers and uses them, so you’re displaying the sort of power you’d display if you were in a physical conflict, but in the shots, you’re on your own. How do you play use of power when you don’t have a scene partner?
KRAUSE: It’s a whole lot of make-believe. It’s trying to understand from the director, writer, producer, how is it being shot, what’s the visual? What are we doing? What’s the outcome of my actions? So I kind of know, if I do this, or I don’t, what is it that you’re going for? So it really is make-believe. I think at the end of the day, there’s always an emotion behind it. So it’s, what is the emotion, and how strong is the emotion, how much do you play it up? Trying to just feel the emotion is a hundred percent of it for me, and then just trying to believe in the make-believe, or something that’s not there, I think it’s the biggest trick actors face today, with green screen and the way CGI has gone. We’ve gone away from practical effects. [Writer/director J.M.] Stelly explained what he was going for, and what he wanted it to look like. So I could only imagine how that was going to be developed through the creative department on the back end. There was no picture of it to look at, to be like, “This is it.” There were a few sketches, and some ideas, but you just have to trust that it’s done and it’s not hokey and it’s believable and the audience is going to have fun with it, one way or the other.
AX: Have you seen The CW’s reboot of CHARMED?
KRAUSE: I have not yet, no. I’ve seen trailers, but I haven’t actually watched an episode.
AX: Do you have any feelings about it, good, bad, or indifferent?
KRAUSE: I feel honored that they rebooted a show that I was a part of. It’s a real testament to what the original writers, creators and actors did, Shannen [Doherty], Alyssa [Milano], Holly [Marie Combs], Rose [McGowan]. They were fantastic. What the WB put out is something that stands really as loved, back then, and really, it’s grown more today. So to give them that again, and to say the CHARMED universe moves on, I think it’s great for the fans. Apparently, I think the fans want some sort of crossovers from the original to the new, as they did with THE FLASH and some of these other shows. You bring the audience with you. So there’s been no talk of that towards me or my character as of yet. Obviously, I’d be open. It’s a blessing that they’ve moved on. I’m not going to tell them how to do whatever. I was an actor, but I still go out and I do Comic-Cons, and I meet the fans, and it’s a blessing how many people were attached to the show – not just watch it once, but repetitively binge-watched on Netflix, or they bought the DVDs. So hopefully it succeeds, and they can go on and do eight seasons like we did.
AX: You do the convention scene?
KRAUSE: I’ve done a bit of conventions, yeah. It’s been fantastic. It’s something a long time ago that I used to hear, “Oh, you can’t do conventions, [it will make you look like] you’re an un-working actor.” But that whole scene has changed, and it’s turned out to be a great way to promote current projects. But I think the best part of it is actually meeting the fans, and getting the face to face and the understanding of why they watch the show. I’m a fan of all of the movies and different things that you would find there and superhero movies, or if you go to a horror con, it’s a lot of fun.
AX: You’re also a writer and producer. Are you working on anything now?
KRAUSE: I have a project that we’ve been working on for the last year-and-a-half, called MICHAEL AND ME. Michael is a [real] homeless man in the Valley of Los Angeles, who befriended the actor Mark Ralston. Originally, it started – I was a year sober, and I was undertaking this idea about alcohol, and drugs, and homelessness in America, and thinking about making a documentary on homelessness in America, and what the root of the problem is, how much alcohol really affects everybody. Mark, who is one of my best friends, had befriended this guy Michael, and said, “I’d love to be a part of whatever you’re doing, but not a documentary.” So he wrote this story of him and Michael, this unlikely friendship that they’ve had over the last six years. And that’s the story of Michael and Mark, and this friendship they have, and we just want to put a light on homelessness. Homeless people are people, too, and they’re brothers and sisters and parents, just like everybody else that has fallen on hard times, or addiction, or they’ve been abused. So our story takes a look at that, and how their lives are similar, and obviously how they’re different, and how they come together and form this friendship. We have Michael actually starring as himself in the movie. And I think that’s one of the things that makes our movie so different. It’s extraordinary how great he is, and how much the camera just loves him. He makes me feel bad, because he just acts. It’s just so easy. He’s like, “Acting’s easy. You just pretend and believe, and it’s easy.” I’m like, “Oh, my God.” [laughs] That’s something we’re up against as well. Michael still does live rough. He lives in a tent and he goes from tree to tree, from shrub to shrub. He doesn’t want to be put in a box. It’s a tough thing. So we’re up against him getting arrested or potentially passing away, just living in the dirt. Our goal is to make enough to help Michael out, get his own place, get off the street, donate to his church, and help others. There are so many homeless today that it’s really a shame. I could go on about it for hours, how shameful it is that our country allows it to happen.
So we started that [film project] with five thousand dollars of our own money. We did an IndieGoGo, we raised a little money, we shot some more scenes, we have a great script. We’re trying to do it just through our own means and just turn it out kind of rough, as you would if you were on the streets. So it’s shoot a little here, shoot a little there, we have some Christmas stuff that we just shot recently, and we’ll start back probably in another few weeks, and hopefully it’s complete well before next summer. It’s a long time coming. And beyond that, as a writer, I have a few scripts that I’m working on that fit more towards the horror genre. And then as far as producing, I haven’t really stepped out and produced for somebody else, their project. It’s more trying to get my own stuff off the ground.
AX: If you were going to tell somebody to go see THE DEMONOLOGIST, how would you pitch it to them as a viewing experience?
KRAUSE: Wow [laughs]. It’s crime drama meets horror meets CHARMED? I don’t know. We made DEMONOLOGIST in ten days of film production. It’s the shortest production I’ve ever been on to make an actual full-length feature film. It’s a credit to Stelly and the production team, the cameramen, the makeup artists, our set designers, our wardrobe people. These people went above and beyond something [for] that was so short. Our crew did an amazing job. So I’m proud to be a part of it, and hopefully, it opens itself up to a sequel in which we get more time to get a little bit more of the story going forward.
AX: Anything else you’d like to say right now about your career overall?
KRAUSE: As far as my career, here I am, thirty-some years later, still acting and making a living at it. That was always my goal as a young eighteen-year-old, getting into Hollywood, was that. I just want to work the rest of my life as an actor, and make a living at it. Good, bad, ugly, brilliant, whatever it is, here I am, I’m still doing it. It’s a blessing, and I think it’s a lesson to everybody to just chase your dreams and do whatever it is you love, because it can happen.
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: THE DEMONOLOGIST: Brian Krause talks about his new feature horror film