Posted January 14, 2011 by Marcia Degia - Publisher in Features
 
 

Actor Chris Massogli


Dane Thompson interviews actor Chris Massogli, star of Joe Dante’s The Hole, released on DVD & Blu ray on Mon, Jan 17.

You started out in TV?

Yeah, I started doing local acting in Minneapolis and I did a lot of
commercials. I then did a big movie audition which led me to New York
and I got an agent out there. I did a few more auditions, got on some TV
stuff and it slowly built up from there.

How did you find out about The Hole?

It was an audition and because I live in Minneapolis, normally what I
do is tape myself reading the sides and then my agent will show it to
the producers and the director and they will fly me out if they like me.
And that’s what happened with this – I flew out, met Joe, met the
producers and then they told me I got the part. It was really cool.

It’s a big part for you…

It’s a really cool story and to be able to work with Joe Dante was pretty cool.

Are you a fan of Gremlins?

Yeah, I had seen Gremlins but I didn’t connect it with Joe until I
was going to meet him and I looked at his credits. After I found out I
went out and got a bunch of his stuff.

Do you get nervous when you act?

I don’t normally get nervous on set after I have the job but I get
nervous sometimes doing the audition, preparing for it. I don’t really
know how I cope with it. It’s just something I need to get over, in the
moment, and try to calm myself and do the best job I can.

What sort of guy and what sort of director is Joe Dante?

He’s very interesting. He’s a very technical director. He has
everything planned out about the shots and the scene and what’s going to
take place. It’s so cool – it was awesome to see how it all came
together and to see everything he planned come out perfectly. The
perfect scare, the perfect jumps and everything the hole is, is really a
tribute to his work. So it’s pretty cool.

Do you think it’s unusual for a director to make a scary film aimed at teenagers?

It is a psychological thriller for people my age. But I think more
and more films are being made that are a little edgier, scarier, being
aimed towards younger audiences and I think that’s cool. It’s not too
hardcore. There’s no blood or heads being chopped off.

What do you like about your character Dane?

Dane kind of goes through an arc. In the beginning he’s very
rebellious and mad at everything and everyone and he comes off as a
jerk. And as you get deeper in the story you see his true colours in a
lot of ways. One of the things I really liked about Dane is that in the
hole, each character deals with his own personal fear and I really liked
Dane’s. It’s so realistic, you can totally see how people can relate to
his fear. And I liked it because part of his fear was his little
brother getting hurt and that was almost such a crucial part of the
storyline. I’m the oldest of four and I have two younger brothers so I
could really relate to Dane’s motivation to protect him. I thought it
(the hole) was almost like a fantasy world and it’s like Dane going in
to his nightmare of what he has created, his father figure type thing.

Would you be friends with Dane?

I don’t know because he comes off really hard at first and doesn’t seem so friendly. But I probably would.

What were Nathan and Haley like as co-stars?

Nathan is so awesome… he’s one of my favourite people. I see him all
the time when I’m in L.A. We’re really close, he’s so mature and he’s a
good person. You know when you meet somebody and they’re a good person?
Yeah, that’s Nathan. We really hit it off. He’s never had an older
brother and I have two younger brothers, so I kind of knew how to treat
him. I thought we played really well together on film. Haley is really
funny, she’s really cool too. She’s crazy in so many ways. It was a good
atmosphere.

Did you have a lot of chance to rehearse?

Me and Nathan had a little more time because they cast our parts
before they cast Haley. So when me and Nathan found out we were going to
play brothers, we hung out more and built a rapport with each other. We
didn’t do that many rehearsals on set. We had a couple of days of
rehearsal.

What was your favourite scene to act in?

I really like the sequence at the end with my ‘dad’ and the whole
fantasy world thing. I found that really exciting. It was fun doing the
stuff with special effects and the crazy stuff. And the bit where we
have our last showdown – the last piece of my fear. That was really fun,
they built a special set, a big floor the size of this hotel room ad it
was all up in the air apart from the middle which was on a twirly
thing. And the whole floor would spin around and go different ways and
up and down. It was like a ride, really fun.

What was the hardest scene to shoot, emotionally or technically?

The scene when we go to visit Creepy Carl, That whole building used
to be an ice-rink and we were filming in Vancouver and it was super
cold. It was kind of ironic because we were supposed to be filming in
the summer. But it was really cold.

Do you ever Google yourself?

I took a class and part of the class was to Google yourself. There’s a
lot of stuff but I didn’t really look through it. There’s a lot of
stuff that wasn’t true and some of the facts were crazy, like that I
know sign language. Half the stuff on there, you don’t know who writes
it! I just remember looking at a bunch of facts and thinking that’s not
right!

If this propels you to another level, are you ready to be famous?

I don’t really know if I’m ready because I don’t think you will ever
know what it’s like unless you’re actually in it. There’s so much stuff
that messes with your head and you can say I would never do some of the
things these famous people are doing it but at the same time, you don’t
know what it’s like unless you live that lifestyle. It’s one of the
reasons I’ve stayed in Minnesota and not moved to LA, because I like
that environment, the real world.

Are you a fan of DVD, what sort of genres do you go for?

There’s this really awesome thing in the States, called Redbox – it’s
awesome – a DVD vending machine. You swipe your credit card and it’s a
dollar a day, they’re just on the street or MacDonalds. I tend to watch
more comedies and Indie films. The big budget action movies are better
in theatres on the bigger screen.

Do you like the extras?

It depends… if it’s a comedy I like to watch the blooper reels.

If you could take any actress on the red carpet who would it be?

It would have to be someone super famous because then I would get more attention, maybe Jodie Foster.

What do your parents think of your acting?

I can’t say that they liked it at first but they always said that if was something I really liked they would be behind me.

What else are you good at?

I’m decent at a lot of things but not super good at anything. All of
the sports I’m decent at but I don’t think I could have gone pro. I was
all right at baseball and I’m smart I guess.

Did you hang out with the geeks or the jocks at high school?

I was home schooled. I went to school when I was in third grade and
they did this test thing and they put me in classes with eight graders
and I got beat up and stuff. So I was home schooled. My Mum home
schooled all four of us.


Marcia Degia - Publisher

 
Marcia Degia has worked in the media industry for more than 10 years. She was previously Acting Managing Editor of Homes and Gardens magazine, Publishing Editor at Macmillan Publishers and Editor of Pride Magazine. Marcia, who has a Masters degree in Screenwriting, has also been involved in many broadcast projects. Among other things, she was the devisor of the documentary series Secret Suburbia for Living TV.