Exclusive interview with LANCE HENRIKSEN (part 2 of 3)

In December, BacktoFRANKBLACK published the first of a three part interview with Lance Henriksen conducted late last year. Again we thank Lance for his time and hope you enjoy this interview.
If you missed the first part of this interview, click here to read part one!

For further information on how YOU can help us promote the campaign, contact jim@backtofrankblack.com!

BacktoFRANKBLACK: You very much get in the character - what we see in Frank Black seems a great deal from what you've researched and what you feel about the character. Are there any actors you'd be interested, from a purely artistic point of view, to see what they could bring to the character?

LANCE HENRIKSEN: A friend of mine has a great phrase "if you're having bacon and eggs for breakfast a chicken was involved in laying the egg, but the pig was committed," and I think commitment is something that an actor like Heath Ledger had. Man, he really tried. You see it a lot when you see him in Batman - this guy really went somewhere! He dug deep. There are a lot of actors out there like that, there really are - but you can't hit a home run without a bat.

If you are given a role that requires that type of commitment and a director and producer want to support you in that pursuit, then you can do that kind of work. But often they'll give you a job that is in a style that they're not willing to let you go there - they're asking for more a surface style that doesn't lend itself to that pursuit of commitment.

BTFB: So are there any actors you'd like to see try a different take on Frank Black?

LH: There are many good actors out there, believe me, I've met a lot of them! Of course giving their names might be giving the job away! [laughs]

BTFB: Fair point! What in your mind gives Frank Black and Millennium the longevity required to return after nearly a decades absence?

LH: While we were doing Millennium, we were a little ahead of our time, Chris had a real vision for the show in what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. When I met with him I said "this is very dark, where is the light? How is this going to work?" He was very cryptic - he said "the yellow house." I said "what?" and he said "yeah Lance, the yellow house - trust me this is going to really work!" The guy had the vision and so I went along with it. He was very convincing to me.

BTFB: Indeed - the devotion and love of Frank's family was not just unique for television, it very much lifted the show from its dark themes.

LH: Right, and when the show killed Catherine Black, I was like "what? Now the audience has nothing to hold on to! Now what?"

BTFB: That's very true - though Frank's relationship with his daughter Jordan remained very strong as the show moved into the third season.

LH: Oh I loved her! Brittany Tiplady, what a wonderful child. Oh my God - I fell in love with her, she was like my daughter - she really was! I remember when we did the pilot she did this incredible thing. We pulled up in front of the Yellow House for the first time and we looked out - she was so excited she licked my nose! She was such a giving and wonderful child.

BTFB: Going back to the campaign, one of the aspects BacktoFrankBlack is keen to emphasize is we're not looking to go "back" to Millennium, but taking Frank and the Millennium universe from its theme of 20th century pre-millennial angst and into our dark new world of the twenty-first century. A Frank Black film could offer thematic answers to the questions the vision that Millennium posed: what would life be like after the millennium? The idea that the 21st Century carries its own paranoia, tensions and fears could make for an interesting interpretation of a future Frank Black project. What are your feelings on the 21st Century?

LH: Sure, well, when you look at what's going on in the world right now - extreme people causing destruction. It's more like what everybody thought it would be when the clock ticked to midnight [2000] - and here we are - and there is a lot of terrible shit going on, there really is.

But weaving through that there is a lot of people really trying to have a good life and do the right thing. There are lot of these people - more than the others causing destruction! Of course governments are a pain in the ass, but the thing to remember is that there are people trying to have a life and from that there's a lot of beauty.

I think children are the only heaven I'll ever know when you really get down to it - my children are the only heaven I'll ever know. They're incredible to watch and they are the best of what we are.

BTFB: In regards to the vision you describe, Frank Black would be a fitting character to return to - because his devotion for his daughter very much epitomizes those values. That purity of love between a parent and their child is such a definite contrast to the horror we see around us.

LH: He's not another James Bond, he's the opposite of James Bond - and he's not a Partridge family - there is a reality to it [Millennium], so yes, there's a place for Frank Black in the 21st Century - and I think there is room for a guy like me doing it!

BTFB: We've had a lot of feedback from the 30-something fan base which to me implies there is an evolving demographic for a show that doesn't cater simply for a young audience - an older group who want something a little different, like Millennium was.

LH: Right. I think to be honest, Millennium has taken a life of its own, which is why I really want to talk to you - if a thing like this is happening it should be done!

BTFB: We're just hoping this mutual desire for Frank Black's return is felt by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz too. Frank has certainly been kind enough to regularly promote the BacktoFrankBlack campaign.

LH: I like Frank a lot - I like both Chris and Frank. Also some of the writers on that show [Millennium] too - I really liked their work.

There was a line in the first season that fascinated me. "There's an unusual element of mindfulness associated with the violence," I thought, "oh my God - what does that mean?" When I picked up the People's Choice award for Millennium that was one of things I said and I could see the audience jaw drop they didn't know what the meaning was anymore than I did when I first heard it! I loved the writer who wrote it and the writer thanked me for saying the line! It was funny!

I hope that Chris and Frank take the lead and say "this will happen." Sometimes it's a sociological event - if this is something the fans really want, they can certainly get it.

Part three will be released at the end of this month in which Lance speaks politics, pleasure and of course, the campaign!

7 Responses to "Exclusive interview with LANCE HENRIKSEN (part 2 of 3)"

Robert Sharpe said... February 7, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Brilliant second part of the interview guys. I have been a fan of Lance's for many years and think Frank Black was his greatest role to date. So wonderful to think that he is so supportive of you all. What a wonderful guy!

Benedict Angel said... February 8, 2009 at 7:10 AM

I love these interviews! Thanks to Lance! Big thanks! Big, big thanks!

Aliatope1013 said... February 8, 2009 at 11:45 AM

wonderful interview! once again we have to be very thankfull to Mr. Henriksen for his support!

can't wait to read part 3!

Graham Smith said... February 9, 2009 at 1:48 AM

Fantastic interview guys! Lance has such an amazing outlook on life.

By the way, the quote he mentioned "There's an unusual element of mindfulness associated with the violence." was from The Judge if anyone's interested. Enjoy your dinner Frank.

Unknown said... February 9, 2009 at 9:50 AM

Great, great, great. Keep up the good work! Was looking forward to the second part and I'm looking forward to the third one!

Laurent. said... February 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM

"To be Frank with you"... Nice one.

I'm just glad Lance himself is so interested in the idea of returning as Frank Black. I hope that counts for something in the eyes of the men in suits.

Anonymous said... February 12, 2009 at 5:48 AM

To the "Back to Frank Black" team,

The work you've put into this campaign is unbelievable! I have been following its developments since the early days and when I stop to think about it I can't believe how much you have already achieved!!!

It is clear you have the strong support of the key players here, so why isn't FOX doing anything, not even taking notice? I have seen tv-to-movie campaigns become successful on much much less than what you have done so far.

I hope you continue to receive the support of readers (and letter-writers!) from all over the globe, and that these voices come to be heard because it's the only way we have of bringing back Frank!!!

All the best,

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