I’ve been lucky enough to interview Ted especially for my movie blog BZFilm, and below is the interview, where Ted explains his acting method, his shape in “Deadly Prey”, talks “Deadliest Prey” and also explains why he never stayed in the modeling business…
Ted, first of all, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I’d like to start from the beginning. According to you biography, you became involved with theater as a child actor. How do you think, for an actor, which is easier, on stage in the theater, or perform on-screen in a feature film?
It’s much easier for me personally to work in front of the camera. You don’t get second takes on stage. It’s also a lot of fun connecting the scenes from day to day. Films are always shot out of sequence so making them work as one continuous journey from start to finish is always fun and challenging.
You were a male model for the “Playgirl” magazine. At that time, did you try mixing acting and modeling? Why didn’t you stay in the modeling business?
I never really wanted to model. That was just something that fell into my lap. And I did it because I was dancing for Chippendales at the time, and it helped to promote us and make money along the way. I might add, that it was way too much fun.
Your fans still say that your most vivid and memorable character is Mike Danton from the infamous cult action movie “Deadly Prey”… do you agree with that? What memories do you have about that movie?
I’ve never really understood why out of all those pictures that’s the one that caught on until just a few months ago. I was invited to go to a screening of “Deadly Prey” in Hollywood and had a blast. The films none stop crazy ass action from beginning to end was so insane that it works in an 80s way. The crowd went crazy and had so much fun that it made me feel very proud to have done this movie. But the real kicker for me was taking my 8 year old son. He thinks his dad is a kick ass movie star! That was a great time in my life.. it’s so much fun reliving that experience. It brings back a lot of good memories, you know.
What about that great physical shape you were in “Deadly Prey”? Any special workout that you undertook?
I got into bodybuilding when I was 15. I won the “Teenage Mr. Maryland” contest along with 10 other titles by the time I was 19. The reason I moved to California was to go to “gold’s gym” and become a pro bodybuilder. The truth is by the time we made “Deadly Prey”, I was much smaller than I had been. I believe my brother and I went to see the movie “First Blood” and said “Hey let’s do that”. At the time my workout consisted of Jack Daniel’s, beer and chili dogs!
Among all those actors/actresses you shared time on screen, who influenced you the most? Was there anyone whom you learned from? Anyone you admire after appearing together in one production?
David Carradine and I become good friends. He played my father in a film called “Future Zone” and in a way become like a father figure to me when we got back to Los Angeles. I know what you’re thinking but believe me when I say Dave was a great guy who just got a bit crazy now and then. I learned a hell of a lot from him on the set. He was a master at steeling moments and making scenes his own. Unfortunately his demons and other negative things got the best of him..
It’s been reported, that the sequel to “Deadly Prey”, will be shot sometime next year, and you will reprise your part as Mike Danton. At this point, do you think Danton should remain the same as he was remembered from part one (only 20-25 years later), or the character will be somewhat different? How do you envision the sequel at this time?
My brother (director David A. Prior) and I have decided to do a sequel based on fan mails, screenings, and all that stuff. I’ve talked to lot of fans of the movie, and after having all kinds of ideas thrown at us, Dave and I have decided to stick to the basic formula as the original. Fast pace and hard hitting. We have Dave Campbell and Fritz Mathews on the roster and ready to go. Naturally we’re all older so by nature our Character’s would be as well.. Since I beat Fritz up with his own arm and then scalp him we thought we’d bring him back as his “bad ass” twin brother…… bigger and meaner!!
According to the information on the net, you also teach it at “Next Level Acting Studios”. As a teacher, what’s Ted Prior’s approach to acting? We all know that there are some parts not everyone can play, understanding of a particular character is very important…
Yes , I taught acting in Hollywood for a number of years. There’s many ways to approach developing a character. For me it starts with the role. Who am I , What do I want , why do I want , and how do I get it. There’s all kinds of silly answers to these questions but at the end of the day you get out there and do it. “Mean what you say, be truthful and believe in you circumstance”.