Exclusive: Interview with Dylan Baker: Trick ‘r Treat and Spider-Man

dylan baker trick r treat2

Trick ‘r Treat has quickly become a cult horror classic. Written and Directed by Michael Dougherty (X-Men 2), the film follows different stories that happen on the same block on Halloween…with deadly results. Dylan Baker plays the high school principal who also happens to be a serial killer. We had the opportunity to chat with the actor about the upcoming screening and panel of Trick ‘r Treat on Monday, October 28th, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Joining Baker on the panel will be Brian Cox and Michael Dougherty with Seth Green moderating. You can check out the live streaming on Legendary’s Facebook Page on October 28th at 7:30pm PST (you can also purchase tickets at the page). Fans who attend the screening will receive a Trick ‘r Treat limited edition print by James Fosdike (you can also purchase them at the Odd City Site).


John “Spartan” Nguyen (Nerd Reactor): Hey Dylan, how’s it going?

Dylan Baker: Good, good.

Nerd Reactor: So Trick ‘r Treat is going to be in theaters, in Hollywood. So how does it feel to be able to watch it in theaters? You’re going to be at the panel, yes?

Dylan Baker: Oh yeah. You know what? I gotta tell you. Michael Dougherty is not going to let this film die. He might let several audience members along the way that will still be freaked out by the film, but he’s not going to let the film go away. It just keeps coming back and coming back. I loved it when I first saw it. I love it every time I see it, I think it’s such a gas. I have a child, and when she was in high school, she showed it to her friends and it was so much fun, ’cause I got to sneak out of the kitchen with a big old steak knife in my hand going, “You kids need anything?” and they freaked out! So that was kind of fun.

Nerd Reactor: Yeah. It seems like you have these characters that you play where you’re the normal guy but deep down, something is evil or dark about that character.

Dylan Baker: Well, I would just claim that it was just something “a little off.” (laughter)

Nerd Reactor:  Just a little. Are these the type of roles that you like to pursue or do they just drop on your lap?

Dylan Baker: Well, it’s funny. I guess there’s something about my career from the beginning that I’ve gotten to play a lot of guys who appear to be normal, and then they’ve got kind of a secret. It just depends on how far that secret goes. At times it gets me into trouble when I’m just playing a normal guy, and trying to appear normal on-screen and people are like, “Uh oh! I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” But most of the time it adds to the character development, the depth of the character to be carrying a secret around, and have a built-in audience reaction that they’re kind of prepared for something going on that they’ve got to be on the lookout for. I kind of like that.

Nerd Reactor: Yeah! And nothing says normal guy like your character in Trick ‘r Treat who plays a principal. Then later on it’s revealed that he’s pretty sick and twisted.

Dylan Baker: (nasty chuckle) I guess so.

Nerd Reactor: I’m pretty sure we can spoil it now ’cause the movie has been out for a while, but in the end, he goes into the basement, and one of the kids that was stealing from him ends up dead.

Dylan Baker: This is true. Then again, that kid was messing with the rules of Halloween, and you do not mess with the rules of Halloween. It’s like I try to tell those students every day.

Nerd Reactor: How does it feel to be a part of something that keeps on coming back?

Dylan Baker: Well, it’s funny. I was actually in London a couple of months ago and I was going to meet a friend and I ran into Brian Cox on the street. I didn’t see him, and he called out, “Dylan!” and we both were just laughing about the fact that Trick ‘r Treat just keeps coming back again, and we both love it, because we both think the movie is hilarious, scary and fun. It’s very great to be able to revisit it, and check it out again with a whole new audience. And to freak people out yet again. What better place than at the Egyptian Theatre? That will be fun.

Nerd Reactor: Will this be your first time watching it with the public?

Dylan Baker: I have seen another screening in New York. I can’t remember if I ever saw it in LA, but I did see it in a screening in New York; I think it was over at the Lincoln Center and there was a little Q&A afterwards. It’s not your typical fare for the Lincoln Center, so I think a couple of people wondered where the heck they’d wandered into. But people reacted to it, I think, as they always did. They had a ball. I’ve gone to one Comic-Con with Michael Dougherty, and everybody there seemed to know about it. They were all so excited, “When does it come out? When does this come out?” So it’s nice to think that they’ll actually get a chance to see it in the theaters now.

Nerd Reactor: I have to talk to you about your role as Dr. Curt Connors in Spider-Man. A lot of fans are like, “What happened? I so wanted you to play him in the Amazing Spider-Man film.”

Dylan Baker: So did I, so did I. But I think it would have been a little strange some of the people, even if it was just me, carrying it over to the new film. It was a whole new regime and the guys had a chance to do their whole thing. Tough thing for me was that Sam Raimi kept saying that if he had kept going, that pretty soon he was going to have the Lizard appear and do the whole treatment, and that would have been fun. But I’m glad that The Lizard finally made it and I thought they did a great job with the new film.

Nerd Reactor: Oh yeah. You could do a short fan film, just to please those fans out there, who wanted to see you as the actual Lizard if someone was down to come up with the cash.

Dylan Baker: They absolutely have to have a little money for special effects. But other than that, I’ll bring out my old Lizard costume and try and make it work.

Nerd Reactor: Anchorman 2 – You’re going to be in that one?

Dylan Baker: I am. It comes out on Christmas, and it’s a gas. I understand there’s a new trailer out either yesterday or the day before. But I play the producer that hires Will Ferrell to his new job, and gets this whole crew together. He rejects them all and says, “I gotta bring my old team back together.” So they get all the guys together and they get our new network of 24 news and the movie happens. It was so much fun to be in. But I can’t wait to see it all put together.

Nerd Reactor: You’ve been in a lot of different shows, so I’m wondering, what’s your favorite type of role to play?

Dylan Baker: Well, I gotta say I’ve been having a lot of fun on The Good Wife playing Colin Sweeney. The thing that’s best about that is that The Good Wife already has some of the best writing on TV, I think. But the writing staff seems to really get their paychecks earned when Colin Sweeney’s episodes come up because they put me into situations that are so much fun, and I just get to do the wildest things. They seem to push the envelope every time he comes on an episode. Before that, I have to say that the four seasons I got to do the show Damages was, I think, some of the best TV I was ever involved in. Those ten or eleven episodes, whatever it was, the whole season with John Goodman and Chris Messina, and then of course with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. Some of the best TV I’ve ever been involved in. It’s one of the best ensembles and director after director kept coming in, whether it was one of the Kessler brothers, or Tim Busfield, and they continually had quality, quality stuff going on, and I loved that character. He was this sort of a CIA shadow guy who now was totally off the grid and just existing in his own paradigm in the middle of the world, going from place to place and making the world fit his sphere of influence. I love that guy. I thought that was great fun to play.

Nerd Reactor: That’s cool. So other than TV shows, you’ve also done Broadway shows?

Dylan Baker: That’s right! I did a couple recently. I did a David Mamet play on Broadway called November. It’s got Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf. But just before that, I got to do a Theresa Rebeck play called Mauritius, and that was with Allison Pill who is now on The Newsroom, and with Katie Finneran who is on the Michael J. Fox Show, and with Bobby Cannavale, who is blowing up into one of the biggest stars that we have right now. That play was incredibly well-written and really well-crafted. I had a ball doing that. It was really a lot of fun. And then I got to do God of Carnage on Broadway as well with Jeff Daniels, also from The Newsroom, and with Janet McTeer and Lucy Liu. So I really have had some good times on Broadway over the last six years or so.

Nerd Reactor: Oh wow. Do you prefer one medium over another? Broadway, TV or movies? Or are they all equally great in their own way?

Dylan Baker: Yeah, the second I choose, I find out the next job is in some other thing, and it’s like I love good jobs and I love good writing. Acting can appear in television, it can appear on the stage, it can appear in a movie. You never know where the next job is going to be. I have to say I really enjoy all three, and you can find great things from any of them.

Nerd Reactor: Perhaps the next one could be a combination of your previous projects. For example the Spider-Man movie and Broadway, so maybe playing Dr. Connors in the Spider-Man musical?

Dylan Baker: OK, yeah, I’ll look into that. I’ll have to look into voice lessons too though I think.

Nerd Reactor: Any last words?

Dylan Baker: I’ve also just shown a movie, my first directing experience. It’s a movie called 23 Blast we just showed at the Heartland Film Festival. We’re in negotiations with some distributors to try to get that released at some point. So I’m very excited about that coming out. It’s my inaugural directing piece of a feature film.

23 Blast is a family-friendly sports-themed inspirational film that’s based on a true story. It’s about a boy who grew up in Corbin, Kentucky, named Travis Freeman. He had played football and had contracted a disease that left him in his sinus area that left him totally blind. Then he went back and he played football again. He played football for his high school varsity team. So we’ve crafted a story about that, and the crowd at the Heartland just went nuts about it. The audiences were giving us the highest marks for every screening. So we’re really excited about that, and we hope to get the film sold as soon as possible. We have some great people in it. Stephen Lang from Avatar, Timothy Busfield from Thirtysomething and Field of Dreams. My wife Becky Ann Baker from Girls and Freaks and Geeks. And Senator Fred Thompson is in it, and Alexa Vega who’s coming out out of Machete Kills. So we have an amazing cast and I think the film is really good. I’m hoping we’ll get to tell it real soon so we can get it out to theaters.

Nerd Reactor: And don’t forget to visit the Legendary’s Facebook Page on October 28th at 7:30pm PST for the live screening of Trick ‘r Treat.

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