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          Alright Flesh Farmers, who here loves the film, Stephen Kings" IT?" Lets see a raise of hands. Ok.. now those one or two of you who didn't raise your hand, promptly walk up the the barn and prepare for a swift kick to the grion.
          Oh yes my friends, Stephen King's "IT" is not a classic to fuck with. This made-for-tv juggernaut has risen through the ranks of horror to become a film that the majority of us share a love for.
         Brandon Crane protayed the chubby and lovable young, Ben Hanscom. A boy who is new to Dairy and in need of some friends.
          We caught up with Brandon to talk about his career, behind-the-scenes on Stephen Kings: "IT" and Jonathan Brandis.

          Thanks so much for this interview Brandon! So how did you get interested in acting?

The pleasure is all mine! I was just a little kid, really. I'd sit in front of the TV and play with my toys until the commercials came on - then I'd jump right up and "do" the commercials during the break. Scary child. When I was just over four, my grandfather who is also an actor was throwing a party and some woman thought I'd be good in commercials. Little did she know that I spent so much time practicing! I booked my first audition and kept working until college.

          I've noticed you were cast as 'Doug Porter' in the popular TV series, "The Wonder Years." How do you compare the experience of working long-term on a project to working on a single film, such as Stephen King's: IT?

They were both great experiences - but very different. I wouldn't know I was working on an episode of Wonder Years until just a few days before - as a messenger would literally drop the script off on my front door like a newspaper. There was a lot of regularity with that show, so it really felt like stable work. When I'd go off and do something like "IT" over the summer, (and especially that project) it was the greatest extended vacation! You focus on one story for months at a time.
          Another amazing thing about "IT" was the responsibility. I had finally won a starring role - I wasn't playing dumb, and I wasn't eating twinkies for laughs.

          How did you come about playing the role as Ben 'Haystack' Hanscom in Stephen King's: IT?

I read the book a few years before - my neighbor down the street passed it on to me and I couldn't put it down. Funny, I never imagined myself in that role, and never dreamed that I would have been cast if they put it to film.
          I ended up getting a call to audition and I remembered everything about the kids in the book. The audition went well, I was reading the scene with Eddie where we're talking about our Fathers. I walked out of there totally satisfied with the audition - and truly, what actor ever is? Loads of callbacks later, I'm sitting in an audition room with about 15 kids. They were bringing us in randomly reading different parts and it hit me - I'm looking around and there weren't any other kids like me. Not a chubby one in the lot. I ducked over to the casting director during a break and asked who else was up for the role - she smiled, but didn't respond. The camera guy leaned in and said, "There's a couple of kids in Canada, but it's probably going to be you". Kickass!

          Did you enjoy the "IT" experience?

It was tough work, but I knew it was going to be a big deal. I remember flying up to meet everyone and start shooting - but things had changed by the time I had arrived. I got fitted, they chopped off all of my hair and stuck me on a plane home for a week. The excess!
          We had some crazy hours - and it all started really quickly. My first shot was in the sewer picking up the pom-pom on the hunt for Pennywise. So much for easing into things. All in all, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

          What was it like to work with Tim Curry? His portrayal of Pennywise must have been pretty intimidating!

          - Tim Curry is definitely intimidating. He was all over the place at the time - a CBS show called "Wiseguy", and "Hunt for Red October" had just been released. To add to the intimidation factor, he'd change things up quite a bit from rehearsal to print. We were completely desensitized to the "horror" of it all, but the things he was coming up with kept us on our toes. I was so excited to meet him, but at the same time, I thought it would be best to give him LOTS and LOTS of space.

          Did you get a chance to meet John Ritter, your "older self" in the film?

          - You bet. When I flew up for the haircut, I was brought over to the location to meet up with him. He took the initiative to get together so we could create the similarities right down to biting fingernails. Of all the pairings, we looked the least alike so every little nuance helped! We played lots of games, had lots of chats and he was the first actor to show me a kind of "character process". I ran into him a few times since then, and he never forgot my name. What a terrible loss.

          Have any fun behind-the-scenes stories to tell us?

          - Oh man, did we have fun. And the cops and hotel security knew where to find us every time. Sometimes it was because we were too loud, but most of the time we'd get it for dropping things off of our balconies. Like balloons filled with Kool-Aid into the back seat of plush convertibles. Eh, and we thought we were punks. We all had a great time working together and there are a ton of stories. I remember hearing that Bob Hope was staying in our Hotel so we were making cracks to his valet about his toupes in the elevator. They would have been funnier, if the man himself wasn't standing behind us!

          Did you make any lasting relationships with the cast or crew? If so, are you still in contact with them today?

I talk with Emily from time to time, and recently met up for drinks with Ben Heller when he was in town. After "IT", I met up with Seth Green quite a bit, but you just get busy and lose touch. Especially when you're not old enough to drive yourself. :P

          Did you keep anything from the filming? (ex: clothing, posters, pictures, ect.)

          - I kept one of my Red Jackets and my shoes. It's funny, I never noticed that I was a "prop klepto" until I moved the last time. I have something from every play or musical I've done since then, too. But it's great to have something tangible so I can always be reminded of the great experiences I've had.

          I remember hearing about Jonathan Brandis' suicide in 2003. I was shocked. How did you learn about his death?

          - The Oscars. Shitty, huh? Every year they do these great montages of the more memorable artists that have passed away. I immediately stood up and was like, "What the f@$&?" I cruised over to the computer and googled him. IMDB has these message boards that were ablaze with a pathetic mix of speculation and controversy. He was a good guy, who was really starting to segue into a legitimate adult career. I think he'd just finished a movie with Bruce Willis - he had a lot going for him. I almost punched a guy in the face for telling me that John Ritter had died - because I couldn't believe it, either. We weren't best friends, but we did spend a great deal of time together that summer.

          What was it like working with Jonathan and what was your most memorable experience with him?

          - Heh, I was across the street from the hotel in Vancouver when we met. I was playing a video game and he comes cruising up on his skate board. We played for hours - I had no idea that we would be working together for the next few months!
          Then there was the time we were all punchy from our grueling schedule so we end up going toe-to-toe with Mom jokes because we happened to not get along that day. The best I could come up with was "Oh yeah?". It's a by-product of being so far away from home and being a teenager.
          As an actor, he was very committed and like his character, a kind of leader - and really, really nice.

          Any big projects coming up?

          - Well, if you ask any actor in Hollywood, they'll all tell you the same thing - they've got a bunch of things "In development". Why should I be any different? I've been working on a few TV series concepts that I'm hashing out right now, but I've really been drawn closer to singing more than anything lately. I'm working on a jazz album that I can sell to sweet old ladies and anyone who wears salmon colored pants - and I'm going to start playing some supper clubs.
          I've developed quite a passion for music, but I think my biggest project right now is my daughter Fiona Rocket.
          There's also commercial out right now with my mug in it, so I'm still keeping busy. You'll see me fishing out of a lake of beer. What an awesome day.

          How do you feel about the direction that the horror genre is heading? Do you think it has gotten better or worse since your work in the genre?

I think overall, they're getting better! Movies like the Ring, Saw, the Hills Have Eyes - they're all incredibly thought out and executed with some of the best direction and cinematography I've ever seen. These films really surprise you, they're not just about senseless gore. They're dark, psychological mind blowers. But nothing is better than Evil Dead films.

          We hear you've gotten a chance to see our music video for "IT", featuring the music of Breaking Benjamin. Any comments?

          - Yeah, it's kind of like listening to "Dark Side of the Moon" when you're watching "Wizard of OZ". It fits really damn well.

          If you could say one thing to your fans and the visitors of The Flesh Farm, what would it be?

Buy my CD! Joking, of course. It's great to be a part of a great project that you all remember! I'll have updates on www.brandoncrane.com and on my MySpace page really soon! Oh yeah, don't accept balloons from strangers.

          Thank you again Mr. Crane for your time and the pleasure of interviewing you.

Thanks! Keep up the great work!



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