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  • - So the first thing I would do,

  • I would take my taser,

  • (growling)

  • (electric buzz) (yelling)

  • and I would go for the scrotum.

  • - Okay, that'll put 'em down.

  • (chainsaw revving) (electronic music)

  • Hey, I'm James A. Janisse,

  • and some of you may know me as Dead Meat.

  • If you do, you probably already know

  • that I love to watch people die.

  • You know, like on screen.

  • I've always wanted to talk to the horror legends

  • who put those kills on screen,

  • and find out what scares them,

  • and also if they could survive

  • their favorite kill scenes.

  • This is Meat Up.

  • Today's guest, horror legend Tony Todd.

  • (piano music)

  • Hey everybody, welcome back to the show.

  • Today, we're here with legendary actor Tony Todd

  • in the heart of Hollywood, at this restaurant Jitlada,

  • which, you picked for us Tony.

  • - Yeah, I've been coming here for about the last six years.

  • - You're ordering for us today.

  • - Well, let me tell you just in case,

  • 'cause you may overwhelmed when you see

  • all the goodness that comes out.

  • - Okay.

  • - We've got a little Tom Kha soup,

  • which is your basic coconut soup with shrimp in it.

  • I forgot to tell them, though,

  • whether how hot you could handle.

  • - Oh.

  • - I didn't tell them dragon heat.

  • I didn't tell them, like, little baby squirrel heat.

  • - Okay.

  • - So it's going to be surprise.

  • - Hopefully it's somewhere in the middle there.

  • - Yeah I want you to take your first swallow

  • in between questions, okay?

  • - Yeah.

  • - Then we've got a little Crying Tiger,

  • which is a Filipino treat

  • that they do with meat and spices.

  • - Oo.

  • - And I think we have a little,

  • what else do we have?

  • A Coco Mango Salad.

  • - Great, and you also got us some Thai iced teas.

  • - We have Thai iced tea.

  • - It's delicious.

  • - Delicious, and, it brings out

  • the seven year old in everybody.

  • (jazz music)

  • - Tony, you've been working for decades

  • with all different kinds of...

  • - When you say decades, it's frightening.

  • You make it sound like it's six decades or five decades.

  • It's been three decades.

  • - Three decades.

  • But you have worked in a variety of different mediums.

  • You've done theater.

  • You've done television, movies, voice acting.

  • And, you're perhaps best known for Candyman,

  • which is a seminal horror film.

  • I saw that you didn't actively seek out the horror genre.

  • - No.

  • - That it kind of came to you.

  • Are you fine being associated with it?

  • As kind of your legacy?

  • - To a point.

  • I understand fandom.

  • There's no filter on it.

  • Does it bother me?

  • It depends on the situation.

  • My daughter, Arianna, handled it brilliantly.

  • When she was about 4, Candyman had been out a couple years,

  • and people kept coming up to us,

  • oh my god, oh my god.

  • And she finally dropped her little shopping bag and said,

  • "That's not Candyman. That's my dad!"

  • (laughter)

  • And it made absolute sense to me at the time.

  • It was said so honestly and so directly

  • that I understood what she meant.

  • To not give in to that all the time.

  • You have to be able to say no, this is my private life

  • and, not in front of my family.

  • (jazz music)

  • - I looked online to see if

  • you'd answered this question before,

  • and maybe you have, but I couldn't find it.

  • - OK. I like new ones.

  • - It seems like an obvious question.

  • - OK.

  • - You're best known for Candyman.

  • What's your favorite candy?

  • Have you been asked that before

  • and I just couldn't find it?

  • - Never.

  • - No?

  • - Never been asked that.

  • - That's shocking.

  • - And I do have a sweet tooth.

  • Commercially, ah, I don't want to, cause I'm not,

  • I'm not a commercial person,

  • because I don't want them to take it as an endorsement,

  • - That's right.

  • - But I do like it when my fingers get buttery.

  • - OK.

  • - If you know what I'm saying?

  • - Yeah.

  • - Butter.

  • - Yeah.

  • - There you go.

  • - Yeah.

  • (lively music)

  • - Now what was the spicy thing

  • that you said was gonna be my quest?

  • - Well, you want to try this.

  • You want to stick your finger in that.

  • - Okay.

  • - Like any good movie, or any good script we actors get,

  • you gotta put your finger in it first.

  • - Okay.

  • - Just like your grandmother taught you.

  • (laughter)

  • When she made you that wonderful cake,

  • you gotta taste the batter.

  • Is it too hot?

  • - I think it's right at about my threshold.

  • - I'm gonna to do this.

  • - I feel like I'm going to cough.

  • - I'm gonna do this.

  • I'm going to go for it.

  • Now, this is a time to ask me your hottest question.

  • - Candyman, it's recently been discussed,

  • that it might be getting a bit of a remake.

  • - That's a very strong rumor, yes.

  • - With Jordan Peele attached.

  • If you were asked to reprise the role, would you?

  • - It all depends on the script.

  • I mean, at this point, I care so much about the character

  • that I want it to be done right.

  • If they don't use me, I want them to use the best actor

  • that appreciates the cultural significance of the role.

  • - Mhm.

  • - Or could bring something else to it that perhaps I missed,

  • or the script missed in the original.

  • - One of your first roles,

  • and I think I your first lead role maybe,

  • was as Ben in the Night of the Living Dead remake.

  • - It was my first lead role, which was important.

  • - It was, yeah.

  • - And seeing Duane Jones, who originated

  • the role of Ben, was an inspiration.

  • I grew up in an era where Sidney Poitier was in every film.

  • He was our sole African-American representative.

  • And, it was fine, but it felt a little goody-goody to me.

  • It wasn't necessarily real.

  • It was just refreshing, the way

  • George Romero created this character

  • in the background of a zombie apocalypse,

  • end of the world situation,

  • where your hero was this African-American man.

  • And I asked George, rest in peace.

  • - Yeah.

  • - I said, what made you cast Duane in the first place?

  • He said, I didn't think of the role

  • as black, white, Spanish, anything.

  • Duane was just the best actor

  • that came in the room at the right time.

  • But, because he was African-American,

  • I think it put a whole 'nother stamp

  • on the whole zombie apocalypse possibility.

  • - Yeah.

  • - You know, what happens if at the end

  • of the world there's only five people,

  • and three of them don't look like you?

  • And then we have to drop all of our pretenses

  • and learn how to get along together

  • for the good of the world.

  • And those kind of stories have always appealed to me.

  • (jazz music)

  • - Alright, now we've come to

  • the time in the show where

  • we're gonna play a game.

  • - Oh my god.

  • - It's called What Would You Do.

  • - What would I do?

  • - And I'm gonna put you in the scene

  • of one of your favorite horror movies.

  • - Yeah.

  • - And I picked Rosemary's Baby.

  • - Yeah.

  • - By Roman Polanski.

  • 1968.

  • I'm interested to see how you would react

  • in one of these situations.

  • But first, before I put you in this situation.

  • - Okay.

  • - We got a bucket over here,

  • it's been sitting here the whole...

  • - I've noticed that bucket.

  • I didn't know if they hadn't

  • finished the stain job or what.

  • - Yeah, that's right, they're just finishing up.

  • (laughs)

  • No, this is actually my chum bucket.

  • - Oh, okay.

  • - Which is a disgusting name,

  • but that's what we're going with.

  • - Chum bucket.

  • - Yeah.

  • And in here are a bunch of objects.

  • - Should I see before?

  • - No.

  • You're actually gonna draw blind.

  • - Oh OK.

  • - They can be your tools.

  • - OK.

  • - In your reaction of how you would act in the situation.

  • - Okay. - Okay?

  • - Alright.

  • - So let's see what you get.

  • - A full bottle of champagne.

  • - Great.

  • - A taser with 2% battery left.

  • - Oh, so probably like one tase.

  • - A flare gun.

  • - A flare gun, Okay.

  • - Okay.

  • - So you got a little bit of variety here.

  • - Yeah.

  • - But we're gonna ask you

  • what you would do in the situation.

  • - Yeah?

  • - Of that last scene.

  • You've just had a child delivered

  • - Yeah.

  • - It was taken away from you.

  • They said that it died,

  • but you hear that baby.

  • - Yeah.

  • - Coming from the other apartment,

  • so you push through the closet.

  • - Right, right.

  • - And, here you are approaching.

  • What do you do?

  • - Okay.

  • So the first thing I would do,

  • I would grab a hanger from the closet.

  • - Okay.

  • - Okay.

  • And I would go for their eyes.

  • - Oh, okay.

  • (screaming)

  • - And then I would take my taser,

  • because I want to go for

  • (electric sizzle)

  • the first male character that comes at me, the burly guy.

  • (growling)

  • I would take the taser and I would go for the scrotum.