Yesterday, I spoke with Stephen Manley about his role in the upcoming paranormal thriller ‘Ghosthunters’, written and directed by Pearry Reginald Teo. You may recognize Manely form one of his many roles. He has starred in many films and series, such as ‘Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels’, ‘Billy the Kid: New Evidence’, ‘Death in the Desert’, ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’, ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Love Boat’.
In ‘Ghosthunters’, when one of their own loses his wife and daughter at the hands of a serial killer, a team of ghost hunters is determined to help the spirit of the loved ones finally rest in peace. But as the team goes deeper into the house, the ghosts become more hostile, and the group discovers the true secrets of the house and its murderer.
Horror Fuel: “You recently starred in the paranormal thriller ‘Ghosthunters’. Can you tell us about the film?”
Manley: “Ghosthunters” is a gothic horror film written and directed by Pearry Teo (The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, Cloud Atlas). It is a straight dramatic thriller in the vain of British Hammer films of the 1960’s and 70’s. The film is very atmospheric, as we shot in a beautiful circa 1903 Tudor Style mansion located in the historic West Adams area of Los Angeles. The house set the stage for the story, which is about a small team of scientists returning to the site of several murders by a serial killer. The team attempts to capture the spirits of the victims for scientific purposes.”
Horror Fuel: “Please tell us a little about your character.”
Manley: “I play Dr. Henry Tanner, the inventor of a wonderful device called the Parabot Containment Chamber which is able to capture a disembodied spirit and generate ectoplasm from it. Dr. Tanner’s wife and daughter fell victim to the serial killer called the “Night Stalker,” who hides his identity behind a Steampunk-Infused Plague mask. Dr. Tanner, very wrought and distressed, breaks into the crime scene with the help of his two scientific colleagues in a desperate search to retrieve the spirits of his loved ones. Then, all hell breaks loose.”
Horror Fuel: “When and where can horror fans find Ghosthunters?
Manley: “Ghosthunters” came out July 5th and is available on demand at Amazon and Vimeo. It’s also available on DVD. They anticipate a possible release on Syfy or another channel. Your readers can see the trailer here:
Horror Fuel: “What did you enjoy most about filming ?”
Manley: “Being a part of a wonderful troupe of actors who took their roles very seriously. We were all able to work on our roles as if we were in a play which is unique to motion picture production. Francesca Santoro, Liz Fenning, David O’Donnell, Web Crystal, and Phyllis Spielman are all formidable and very talented actors and together we all worked hard to bring gravity to our parts.”
Horror Fuel: “You also recently played a role in a sci-fi film. Can you tell us about it?”
Manley: “Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter” is written and directed by Neil Johnson, who directed many science fiction films and has a tremendous cult following. The film stars Tracey Birdsall as the heroine, along with William Kircher (The Hobbit), Daz Crawford (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and myself as yet another scientist. But, not looking for ghosts, instead leading a small group of humans in a resistance movement against artificial intelligence takeover. The film was a lot of fun and Neil created some excellent worlds for the actors to imagine and work within. This is Neil’s biggest film yet, and he’s very proud of it. Tracey did a wonderful job as the leading lady. The film is up for several awards at the Action on Film Festival this year, and premieres September 2nd on opening night of the festival.”
Horror Fuel: “What is your next project?”
Manley: “I’ve recently been offered a role in “Snow Black” with Fred Williamson and it’s being produced by Tim Beals and Robert Parham at Meyham Films. I’m also currently shooting a series that is being pitched to Netflix created by Kris Krainock called “The Idiot,” in which I delightfully play the title role! Joel Wolcott is the epitome of the ultimate panglossian who sees the good in everything.”
Horror Fuel: “You have been acting for quite some time, What have been your favorite projects/characters?
Manley: “I’ve enjoyed all of them. I enjoyed running away from the bad guy in “Streets of San Francisco” visit a row boat via the Russian River with Kim Richards, crashing in “The Hindenburg,” playing a young sculptor with a speech impediment in “The Married Machine, kissing Nancy McKeon on “The Love Boat,” playing an acrobat on “Little House on the Prairie,” and of course Pon Farring with Robin Curtis in “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” But I have to say that recently playing Hells Angel George Christie, riding with Billy the Kid as Charlie Bowdre in the Lincoln County War, and sucking up ghosts as Dr. Henry Tanner have been new wonderful roles to play. I look forward to more.”
Horror Fuel: “How did you get into acting?”
Manley: “My grandfather Stephen Soldi, who started in silent films and worked as a bit player and stuntman for decades wanted to see me enter the film industry that he loved. He was my hero and I was closer to him than to my parents to whom I was adopted. My earliest memories before I joined the Screen Actors Guild were of grandpa teaching me to read using old film scripts and teaching me monster make-ups with his ancient make-up kit. When I began to audition and book roles it felt like a natural extension for me and my ultimate goal was always to make grandpa Soldi proud of me by doing good work. To this day, he still inspires me as I prepared for my in-person screen test for Pearry by spending hours rehearsing my scenes with grandpa Soldi in his mausoleum.”
Horror Fuel: “What would be your dream role?”
Manley: “An actor is always searching for work. One’s biggest fear is that the job you are currently doing will be your last one. I am striving to make grandpa Soldi and his friend, the great Lon Chaney Sr., proud and continue to bring more characters out of the greasepaint in my own vintage Gerstner Box.”