While attending this year’s Comic-Con International I was able to sit down with Douglas Tait. He’s a creature man extraordinaire and he’s got a brand new currently running series to boast about.
UTF: My first question would be for those that don’t know what it is, can you tell us about The Quest?
Douglas Tait: It’s a new show for ABC from the executive producer of Lord of the Rings, Mark Ordesky. Basically it’s a scripted fantasy/reality show. It raises the bar since Reality TV has become so saturated in crap and a bunch of made-up fights. And this just has nothing to do with that.
They took this magical world of Everealm, which we shot in Austria, an amazing makeup effects house and added these creatures and magical characters. Spectral Motion, who did Hellboy and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters worked on this. Then we have these Paladins who are the contestants, they’ve come into this world with no idea what they’re going to experience. I play the lead villain Verlox and two other characters. They come across me and literally some of the reactions are epic.
UTF: How do you find your method in costume? Especially in those instances where outfits drastically change your appearance?
Douglas Tait: As an actor, in makeup, the process is so much different. I would never look at myself in the mirror and try to come up with facial expressions because then I’m a phony. You know? When you put on a prosthetic you never know how it’s going to read and you have to over-exaggerate your face to give even the slightest reaction like I did in Star Trek. I was doing the craziest faces as the Long Face Bar Alien just to get the slightest movement. That’s my process. I never know going into it. Once I see the design I get an idea, but once I get into it I start to get into character. Looking at it, okay how does this guy move? How does he speak? How is his posture?
In The Quest I was able to play with my voice and the dialogue. It’s really exciting to be able to explore what would never come close to yourself. And then having the fact that I didn’t know what was going to happen really keeps you on your toes. There was a lot stuff that wasn’t planned. When you’re doing a movie obviously you have a set thing and then the actors react and then cut. Here there was none of that. Things happen that weren’t planned and they were caught on camera. I think it’s going to be really exciting to get that organic reaction from the audience.
UTF: When it comes to the makeup chair, what was the longest time you spent there? And do you have any tips or advice for people on how to survive the experience?
Douglas Tait: It can be a very long process. In The Quest the villain, Verlox, that was a 5-hour ordeal. It’s because a lot of stuff was glued down to my body and it wasn’t just a pull-over suit. It needed to be that way to lay perfectly and to move right. When you’re having glue on your entire body, stomach to back to shoulders to face, it’s a long process and as the days go on it’s gets more tiring. Your skin gets irritated and whatnot. Basically I go into it knowing it’s going to be rough and that’s like the saving point. I know it’s going to be uncomfortable, but I get passed that.
I got into a zen moment and I start thinking about the character. Because if you’re uncomfortable and you’re in pain and you’re bitching, that might rub off in your performance. I never want that to happen so I’m trying to approach it in a way where yes, it’s going to be painful but let’s think about what you’re doing here and how epic it is to have this opportunity. Go and sell it. I get so into character and so immersed in this world that all that pain just goes away. Then you deal with it later once it’s all off. You’re like “Ooh!” I remember sticking to my sheets. I had glue all over my sheets. It’s tough.
UTF: For those out there that have no idea what LARPING is or even anything along that level, how would you pitch this series to them?
Douglas Tait: You know what? LARPING is Live Action Role Playing. Here’s an easy sell to a regular audience member: you’re getting a quality movie experience on this show. It’s up there with the Lord of the Rings production, and you have the added genuine reactions of real people that you can connect to, not actors. You could be that person. You could be auditioning for season two and be a part of this adventure. You’re getting the best of both worlds.
I want to take the time to thank Mr. Douglas Tait for chatting with me. It was a great pleasure to talk about The Quest and I for one am immensely addicted to this wonderful property and I can’t wait for the next episode! Come on Thursday hurry!
So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!