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Nick Nicholson

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Nick Nicholson (page 2)


Could you briefly tell us about your experience on big-budgeted American films made in the Philippines, such as "Apocalypse Now" and "Platoon"? Did you often work as a local assistant (line producer, casting director) for foreign pictures shot in the Philippines?

On "Apocalypse Now", I was just an "Extra", and either drunk or messed up on drugs (as mostly everybody else was) most of the time. When I finish my book "Fish Heads and Rice" I talk about it a little more. "Platoon" was hard work, but on the other hand I learned so much from Gordon Boos, Oliver Stone, and Dale Dye. I will be forever thankful that I was able to work with them on that project! All of the hard work was well worth all of the aggravation and harsh shooting conditions especially on the mountain top in Maragondon Cavite. We had to walk up the mountain which took us about three hours, and if you left something at the bottom in one of the trucks, you could run down in about 15 minutes, and haul your ass up again. Whew! All of the actors were really great people, as was the crew! Yes, I did a lot of production work with both local and foreign outfits. I read, speak, and write Tagalog fluently.

Was your work in movies your only professional activity in the Philippines?

No, I did a lot of other jobs as well. For a while I rebuilt and sold Harley Davidson motorcycles. I worked in the Construction business, managed a Security Agency, worked in a "Boiler Room" (sold stock over the phone hahahahahaha). I did many jobs, and worked with a variety of characters over the years. After I finish "Fish Heads and Rice", I will start another book dealing with the other part of my life.

How (where and when) were you hired for Kinavesa International ("Silver Star Film" abroad)? What kind of person was Mr Lim, the owner of Kinavesa?

As I said earlier, a guy I worked with had an uncle who was in the business and he got us the jobs. Ah yes... Mr. Lim! A very misunderstood and much maligned individual. If it wasn't for Kimmy Lim I might have starved at times. Most of his films were shit (I smile as I say this), yet he provided us with work on a regular basis. I can't really say anything bad about the man or his wife. A Kinavesa shoot was always the bare essentials, but they were fun.


"A Kinavesa shoot was always the bare essentials"

On the shooting of Kinavesa flicks, the making of stunts sometimes seemed quite rudimentary. We read you once broke a rib and your nose "during a fight routine" and on your site, you comment a photo of you standing next to a car this way : "Me after a stunt on Dead Ringer where I doubled for Max Thayer. The bullet hole was from a 5.56mm round. They used a live M-16 to shoot at me as I crawled up on the roof while the car was moving!" Were you particularly willing to do the daredevil or, in a general way, was it just risky for every actor to act in these movies?

Well, it was always best to do your own stunts. Robert Patrick got his job for Terminator II as he had picked up this attitude from us while shooting with Cirio. He is a member of "Pigs in Space" (Our local acting group). In "Deadringer", I was asked to crawl up the back of the car, then a guy in the front seat would shoot at me. The gunshot would be simulated by using a .45 bullet (Just the lead) fired from a slingshot. We tried it three times and the slug just flattened out on the glass. Then Gapo (the SFX guy) said we would have to do it live. By this time I just said "Fuck it! Let's do it!" and we did. I got 100 pesos [US$ 5] for the stunt and Max spent the rest of the day laughing his ass off! It was pretty risky for any actor here as we didn't have any set safety standards that anybody had to follow.


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