Dlisted Interview: Adam Carl, star of The Monster Squad
Dlisted had the opportunity to interview Adam Carl, star of the Monster Squad, Life Goes On, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II and other fine works. Adam (seen below on the left) is really fucking hot and was gracious to talk to me.
Hello Adam! Tell me how you got cast in The Monster Squad
Wow, you’re making reach way back here in the old memory banks. Well, if my recall can be trusted (and I’m not swearing it can), I originally read for the role of “Rudy”, the tough kid played by Ryan Lambert, but was not at all right for the part. So I ended up getting a callback for the role of EJ, one of the two school bullies that pick on Fat Kid. That role eventually went to Jason Hervey and I got the role of the other bully, Derek. Damn, I actually remember more than I thought I did.
What is your favorite scene in the movie?
That’s a tough one, because my attachments to certain things in it are more personal and sort of arbitrary. For example, I love when Ryan Lambert is at the church door and yells “It’s locked is what it is!” because it’s such an atrocious line reading and I harassed him about it for years. I also love when he says to the Mummy “See ya later Band-Aid breath!” because it tortured him so much to have to say it, which gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure. And for years my sister and I went around quoting Scary German Guy saying “This is your last chance for pie”. So it’s bits like that that I like the most.
I think the Monster Squad is one of the most quotable movies ever. Some of the exchanges are just brilliant. Here are a few of my favorites:
(Fat Kid after kicking Wolf Man in the balls): "Whoa, Wolf Man's got nards."
(Rudy, delicately asking Brooke if she's a virgin): "Have you, and to what degree, have you done, or been, dorked?"
(Phoebe the Feebs after the Squad runs away from Frankenstein): "Come on you guys, don't be chicken shit!"
Am I missing any?
When I first read the screenplay (by Shane Black and Fred Dekker), I thought it was the best script I had ever read. I read it from cover-to-cover in one sitting, actually laughing out loud. Shane and Fred made even the stage directions enormously entertaining. They would write things like “now’s not the time to get up for popcorn, folks, you’re not gonna want to miss this.” No audience member would ever see that, of course, but it made reading the script such a pleasure and it really let you see in your mind’s eye what their vision for this movie was, especially the tone they wanted to achieve.
Some other great quotes:
Fat Kid: “Scary German Guy is bitchin”.
And of course, the classic, from Patrick: “Aww, man, Fat Kid farted.”
Totally! Those are great. I also love when stupid Brooke can't repeat what Scary German Guy is saying so she just offers "ya ya, what he said!"
Do you still talk to anyone from the film?
Ryan Lambert (“Rudy”) and I became best friends after that movie. We ended up getting a place together when we were about sixteen. And then we went to Indiana to make a movie together called “Freeze Frame” with everyone’s favorite A-list movie star Shannen Doherty. Ryan lives in San Francisco now, pursuing a music career, but his fourteen year old son is like my godson and lives here in L.A. and I’m still really close to his mom, dad and brother. They’re basically like a second family to me. In fact, Ryan’s dad Bob recently played a part for me in an indie movie I directed. I also ran into Andre Gower ("Sean") a couple years back when I was directing and acting in a play in Hollywood, and we’ve shot a few emails back and forth since, but I haven’t really had a chance to hang out with him recently. You’ve just reminded me that I owe him a call. I haven’t really seen any of the others, although I don’t know if you know this, but Brent Chalem (“Fat Kid”) died a few years back. I believe it was pneumonia, and I think he was working as a legal assistant at the time, but I’m not totally sure I have the correct information.
Holy Fuck! Fat Kid dying is just terrible, terrible news. Why are more people not taking about this? Is Shannen Doherty a bitch?
Yeah, I don’t know why, but it’s not something you hear a lot about. As for Shannen, I haven’t seen her in close to twenty years, so I can’t vouche for what she’s like now, but back then, at 17, she was a nightmare. And I worked with her before she did 90210, before Heathers was even released. She was coming off of Little House and Our House, her whole House period… she was nobody… and she was already brutal to work with. A stunningly unpleasant human being.
The monsters in the film were hot shit, especially the Gill Man and the Dracula Brides. However, what was the deal with the Mummy? He's so thin and decrepit, he makes Nicole Richie look like Shamu! Dakota Fanning could kick that bitch's ass! Why was he so wimpy?
Unfortunately, that’s something you’d have to ask the director, Fred Dekker. Maybe that was Fred’s thing. I mean, I made a career out of playing neurotics and geeks, so why’d they cast me to play a bully? Dakota Fanning could probably have kicked my ass too. It’s very possible she still can.
Was there a premiere party for the Monster Squad? With a red carpet event? Were there any coked up celebrities there? Perhaps the mom from the Goonies, who gives a stirring performance as a misunderstood and ignored wife in the Monster Squad.
The mom was played by Mary Ellen Trainor who at the time was married to the director Robert Zemeckis. She also played Mel Gibson’s police psychiatrist nemesis in “Lethal Weapon”. At least I think that’s what her character was.
There was, in fact, a premiere party at the Hard Rock Café. Arnold Schwarzenegger made an appearance. I don’t remember who else. I spent most of the evening standing in the corner talking with a young Drew Barrymore, who was really sweet. And I guarantee you there’s no way she remembers that. She was probably about twelve.
Here’s a great story from the premiere. It was a huge screening and there were a lot of celebrities there, many with their families, as you might imagine. And all of us young cast members were really excited. Well Billy Crystal was sitting directly in front of me with his wife and kids. And Ryan Lambert was sitting to my right and was really nervous and jumpy and was swinging his foot and kicking the chair in front of… me. So he’s kicking Billy’s chair. And so all of a sudden Crystal turns around and snaps at me, “Stop kicking my chair!”. I mean, he wasn’t even polite or gracious about it and it wasn’t like I’d been warned. And it wasn’t even me! So I was non-plussed and was all “I don’t know what you’re…” and he cut me off and barked “Please! Okay? Please”. Really rude. Really cranky. Really schmucky. But I guess if you’re the man responsible for such comedic gems as “Memories of Me” and “Forget Paris”, it gives you a certain carte blanche to be an asshole to overly excited fifteen year old kids at their movie premiere. What a dick. Ryan swears that years later he was introduced to Crystal at a Laker game and told him the story - and copped to being the kicker - and that Crystal said “Tell him I’m sorry.” But I’m fairly sure that Ryan is a lying sack.
You worked on Life Goes On. What was Corky like? Did he sing? He's got a band now. My favorite song of theirs is "Eating is Fun, Eating is Serious." Do you have a favorite?
I did not know that about Corky’s band, I’ll have to check that out. But he was a really, really sweet kid. And he always remembered me each time I came back, which at the time I thought was impressive. I don’t think I ever saw him sing. But it couldn’t have been any worse than Tommy Puett, who actually did sing on the show. His rendition of “Footloose” in the episode “Spring Fling” was one of the most appalling things you’ve ever heard. It would’ve put Simon Cowell into a coma. I have it on tape, I’ll have to show it to you some time. If you can handle it.
There were a couple of times on that show where I had to kiss Kellie Martin, and I’m fairly sure she was disgusted by it, cause at the time I was a two pack a day smoker. But I carried spearmint Binaca around and tried to make sure my breath wasn’t too ashy. I don’t know how successful I was. Plus, I was nineteen and I think she was, like fifteen, so that was kind of weird.
I was on the set one day on what I think was like my sixth episode and the ABC liaison came over to me and said “We just want you to know… we’re really happy that you’ve joined the cast.” And in my head, I’m thinking “I have? I’ve joined the cast? Sweet!” That was last time I ever worked on the show.
You mentioned you've directed a film. Tell us more about what you are up to now.
I wrote and directed an indie movie called “Pieces of Eight”, which is a character and dialogue driven ensemble romantic comedy about love, relationships, marriage and the one night stand who gets up in the morning and puts on your kimono. Shot the whole thing digitally in a little over two weeks with a cast of fresh new twentysomething actors you’ve never seen before but will soon. It got rejected by Sundance and Slamdance, which I’m beginning to consider a badge of honor, frankly. After all, it doesn’t have any movie stars in it and there’s no scene with Chloe Sevigny giving Vincent Gallo a blowjob. I’m seriously considering dubbing the whole thing in French and adding English subtitles because then it might seem artsy and foreign get some attention.
I’m right now working on creating the DVD and building a website so I can sell the damn thing straight to consumers. And maybe I’ll convince a few retailers to pick it up along the way. But it’s a relationship comedy with no movie stars, no car chases, no guns, no nudity, and a few scattered sociopolitical references. So a tough sell, I admit.
I’m also trying to take my play “Waiting For Ophelia”, which had its world premiere here in L.A. a few years ago, and find a new theater to do a second production of it.
Put two shirtless buff guys kissing in it, and you've got a whole new audience. Homos eat that shit up. OMG, I just realized you were also the voice of Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. Is that the one with Vanilla Ice?
Yes. Yes it is. And at the premiere party, a bunch of us were sitting around our table making fun of Vanilla Ice and his performance. And it turned out that one of guys at our table was his manager. Yikes.
Corey Feldman was the voice of Donatello in the original but they recast the role for the second one after his drug bust. That’s where I came in. Well, when it came time to shoot the third one, they re-hired him. I guess that’s how much they hated me. I remember a review of the movie, I think it was in the L.A. Weekly, said something to the effect of “I never thought I’d say this, but I actually missed the presence of Corey Feldman.” Ouch. I blew up that review and framed it, to keep me forever humble.
What do you think of Joan Van Ark?
I can honestly say without a moment’s hesitation that I have never once thought of Joan Van Ark.
Wait, holy shit, and you were a voice on Defenders of the Earth and appeared on Mathnet! You are like a fucking 80s icon! Any stories?
Yeah, on Defenders I was the voice of Kshin, Mandrake the Magician’s adopted Asian son. Although my portrayal of an Asian wasn’t nearly as offensive as, say, Mickey Rooney’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I got to work with some amazingly talented voice actors on that show, like Tress MacNeille who’s been doing various voices on the Simpsons for years.
Thanks Adam, you are hot shit!