RON CHANEY talks to GUESTAR
1) Any pressure growing up to the CHANEY legacy?
Not growing up.
Most of my friends and acquaintances never knew the connection to my famous grandfathers.
Now, that I have been in a film, yes. When you enter a similar arena it is inevitable. Coming from a family of notoriety, can both help and hurt. On one hand the name helps, but on the other hand, impossible expectations. I believe most people think because I’m a Chaney, I must know everything my grandfathers knew or learned in their lifetime. They assume I’ve grown up on movie sets and lived a lavish lifestyle which couldn’t be further from the truth.
I understand that (as unfair as it may be) but when Eben called regarding House of the Wolf Man, I knew in my heart it was now or never.
2) Details on HOUSE OF THE WOLF MAN?
1. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. All my costars made it look easy.
2. I enjoyed the entire process and felt a part of the team. Most gratifying.
3. I met wonderful people who worked hard to support Eben and me in the effort to continue the Monster and Chaney legacy.
4. From the first conversation to the premier, everyone on board had a great attitude and appreciated being a part of the film.
5. My sincere thanks to the cast and crew.
6. Producers… you’ve restored my faith in the dream. Thank you for keeping your word.
7. My sincere thanks to Dan, Kelly,Gracie & Buster for your hospitality and help.
8. Thanks Jennifer for reading with me, Jaclynn for driving me home, Linda for your support, Creighton for coming to the set. I love you all.
10. Eben. We did it, I’ll be damn. Congratulations, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity.
3) MACH 2 film sounds like it was fun to make, Any juicy behind-the-scenes?
I believe it was originally titled “Hour of Valor”. Fred Olen Ray and I attended a convention together and he heard I was interested in pursuing acting.
At the time, Fred was directing a film (Mach 2) for HBO and said there was a small part available and if I was interested. Yes…finally a chance, later on, I became nervous realizing I didn’t have a clue about being an actor. I showed up three days later with a military haircut and a prayer. I asked Fred for a script when I arrived because I didn’t know my lines or if I had any lines. I only knew my character name was Stevens or so I thought.
I went to the trailer and began reading the script and quickly realized the character had a significant part in the film.
I began to panic…what the hell was I doing here, I only took a semester of acting in college and memorization was not one of my strengths. I thought I was going to die as my heart pounded harder with each new line I read.
Finally, I got the courage to ask Fred why he entrusted such a large part to someone with no experience. I said “I know my name is Chaney and appreciated the opportunity, but I’m not sure I’m ready for this.” He started to laugh and said I was Sgt. Wallace, not Stevens… that was Andrew Stevens part. Boy was I relieved! After that, I relaxed and enjoyed every minute of the three days on set. I met The Boz (Brian Bosworth), got shot in the back of the head by Worf (Michael Dorn) and met several other stars in the movie. It was awesome.
I loved the entire experience and from that day forward understood why my grandfathers chose their careers.
Also, walked right thru a scene while they were filming. I was exploring the movie making process behind the scenes and wandered into the background of the shot. I heard CUT and realized what I had just done. Talk about going from five foot eleven to one foot tall in a few seconds.
4) Favorite of LON Sr. films ? Why ?
I have many favorites, but in this case I’ll go with “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” because I believed it showcased all of Lon Sr. skills with make up and acting. He embodied every emotion a human being can feel and gained sympathy, fame and respect from audiences around the world.
5) Favorite of LON Jr. films ? Why ?
“The Wolf Man” He created a totally believable and sympathetic character that many people can relate and are inspired by including myself.
Also, “Of Mice and Men” from an acting stand point and the film in general. I believe it was his best performance and proved he was an excellent actor, not just another son of a famous actor.
6) Have you seen the ROUTE 66 episode “Lizards Leg and Owlets Wing, 1962”,Is that really your dad being awoke by grandpa in full werewolf makeup ?
No, it was not my father. The child in the episode was my age at the time. I believe he called the boy Ronnie which is what my family called me. My dad was Ron. I liked to think I was on his mind while doing that scene.
7) You have the looks of leading man,
I never thought of myself that way.
7. cont. Why havent you worked more in Hollyweird ?
Ever since I was a child, I knew I would someday pursue acting or get involved in the business. I just never thought it would be at this stage of my life.
I worked as an extra in Bugsy and Ruby as well as a few television episodes that were filmed in the desert area where I live. Just to get a feel for the business. I really enjoyed the camaraderie and atmosphere.
Mainly, I felt my first obligation was to my family. I’ve experienced separation of family through divorce and know that children need both parents. Life can be hard enough at times and I didn’t want to miss out on my children’s lives like my father missed out on mine.
But the dream of someday pursuing my own aspirations never went away.
So over the years along with running the Chaney Estate and my contracting business, I began to develop film scripts along with other productions. There was a lot of interest but they never came to fruition.
Perhaps, I need an agent or acting coach who can steer me in the right direction, better yet a financial backer who can see the bigger picture and vision of Chaney Entertainment.
I also discovered I had a lot to learn about Hollywood and that it is not always pleasant.
7. cont. Is your 9 to 5, too good ?
I actually would love nothing more than to work in the entertainment field. I’ve done many things in my life, but there is something unexplainable about being involved in the creative process. Trust me; I’ve worked very hard in my lifetime for less money and enjoyment. This is not a complaint, just a comment. Please do not misunderstand; I’m very blessed to have another viable business, especially in this economy.
Although, if I was able to dedicate the rest of my life to film as well as other entertainment projects…I would die happy.
8) One sentence descriptions- Bela Lugosi jr.–
A gentleman and treasured friend.
I met Sara in 1993 at the Famous Monsters Con. We’ve been through a lot together. I loved her then and I love her now.
Cathy Lorre I’ve never had the pleasure to meet her.
A wonderful human being, very talented and fun, I thought he did a great job on House of the Wolf Man.
A great guy who I am very pleased to know and be friends with.
9) Whats next for HOUSE OF THE WOLFMAN ? DVD,Bluray,SY FY,Chiller ???
I truly don’t know. I hope people have fun with the film and wish Eben, John, Dave Larry, Roland and the entire cast and crew all the best. Hope we do another one.
10) Ron, Here is your chance to say a line as famous, As those who came before ???
“My grandfathers were great actors and icons, my hope is to contribute to the Chaney legacy and explore my own creativity.”