By Chaz Lipp
|Chris Sarandon onstage at Emerald City Comicon 2013|
Chris Sarandon was Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride, Jerry Dandridge in Fright Night, and the voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oh, and he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his film debut, a little Sidney Lumet film by the name of Dog Day Afternoon. On the afternoon of March 3, Sarandon spoke with fans during an hour-long panel at Emerald City Comicon.
While the discussion and Q&A period skipped around to various aspects of Sarandon’s career, the majority of the questions focused on Bride and Fright Night. He described how then-first-time director Tom Holland went through the script of Fright Night “frame-by-frame,” winning him over with his meticulous eye for detail. Regarding his contributions to the Jerry Dandridge character, Sarandon said, “If the guy’s got some fruit bat DNA, how about I eat a lot of fruit?”
Of the recent Fright Night remake, Sarandon had positive remarks, describing the film as a re-imagining rather than a straight remake. When he was asked by the producers who he would like to play in his cameo appearance, Sarandon told them, “I want to be the guy that Jerry devours.” He had especially kind words about Colin Farrell, who played Jerry in the remake. Farrell presented him with a nice bottle of wine and told him he used to watch the original Fright Night “50 times a year as a kid.”
The most emotional moment occurred as Sarandon warmly recalled working with the late André the Giant on The Princess Bride. Once Sarandon’s young children heard that their father was making a movie with a “giant,” they wanted nothing more than to meet him. When they finally did, in André’s oversized trailer, they ended up screaming their heads off. Sarandon, embarrassed, apologized to his large-statured co-star. “It’s alright,” Sarandon recalled André saying. “They either run to me, or run from me.” Making the story all the more touching was the presence of André’s daughter, Robin Christensen Roussimoff, in the audience. She received an enthusiastic round of applause when she stood after being acknowledged by Sarandon.
(Photos: Sherry Lipp)