I met Mr. Bould when Mr. Del Grande introduced him
to me last October in Halifax. Later I was watching him
directing ‘Viva Lexx Vegas’ during this incredibly hot October
were all dying in the heat, which was made worse by having
to keep the door closed and the vent fans shut off during
the shoot. The
hot lights all over the place didn’t help any and we were
all getting cranky. But a good laugh was had by all when
Mr. Bould began joking about the unpleasant conditions.
Between takes, while the lights and cameras were being moved
and adjusted, the studio door was propped opened letting
in the feeblest of breezes from the break area. Mr.Bould
managed to ease the tension a bit,by
yelling in mock anger at the lighting guys, “Hurry up! This
delay is letting all my heat out!” We
howled. He kicked us all out shortly after this,
so they could move to a hand camera, but hey, it was fun
while it lasted.
the above picture for a LARGER image
< theFrey> When did you find time to do the Elizabeth
Taylor Special? During Hiatus? Or after Lexx closed in November?
<Chris Bould> It was during one of the times
between seasons. While I rarely work in England anymore, and I am not terribly keen on documentaries,
the BBC had asked me to do it because of a documentary I
had done a few years earlier on the Nichols Brothers which
was nominated for quite a few awards around the world.
< theFrey> Anything interesting happen on that
<Chris Bould> It was an interesting experience.
While I was at Ms. Taylor’s house looking around for the
best spot to shoot the interview, I was amazed at the decor.
Hanging all over the place were Van Gogh’s and lots of beautiful
photographs from her colorful life:
on film sets and with various famous personalities.
Shortly after Ms. Taylor came down to talk to me, the bell
rang and it was Rod Stieger calling, who is one of my personal acting
idols. It was amazing, I of course asked him to be
interviewed for the documentary and spent a few hours filming
him. He basically
trashed the Method acting…he who almost invented it, after
his first movie, On The Waterfront. All in all, I think
the interview with Elizabeth Taylor went quite well, indeed
it lasted for over two hours, which is quite a long time
for her actually, bearing in mind that Barbara Walters only
managed 30 minutes.
Mr. Bould upon further questioning admitted that while greeting
Mr. Stieger he felt like he was in danger of turning into
a stuttering, idol worshiping idiot at any moment. However,
he did with much effort, just barely, manage to maintain
his dignity and professionalism. Mr. Bould has a ‘lovely’
accent it was quite a treat to hear him become enthused
all over again while describing the encounter.)
< theFrey> You also interviewed Shirley McClain,
she plays the ditzy role to a T, what is she like in real
<Chris Bould> I think Ms. McClain is terribly
bright, but perhaps like all actors, who spend long hours
only interacting with other show business people, she may
be a little different to most people. But
it happens you see, with the hours and scheduling demands
acting becomes a vocation, rather than a career.
< theFrey> Who were some of your favorite actors
to work with?
<Chris Bould> Well Brian Downey is absolutely
wonderful, he is generous to a fault with any actor he works
with. Also, Tia Carrere from Relic Hunter was a lovely surprise,
she is really smart. Just brilliant. I also enjoyed working
with one of my all time heroes, someone who was
to become a dear friend, Steven McHattie. James Wood
was in a commercial I directed and he was also great to
You are going to be seeing the words ‘lovely’ and ‘absolutely’
a lot. They seem to be very popular English terms, which
‘absolutely’ nut me out, for reasons having a lot to do
with theNeice who recently moved to the Uk.)
< theFrey> Who were some of your favorite writers
to work with?
<Chris Bould> Well I also write, so I don’t really
think about the different writers too often, but the script, along side casting is THE
most important aspect behind the success of any film..
< theFrey> How do you view your role towards
the making of a program? What do like to bring into the
<Chris Bould> I like to bring the human element
into a story. I
firmly believe that it's simply a case of Character Matters
Above All. If you will notice, most of the stories
I direct have more of a personal interaction, and rather
less reliance on special effects.
< theFrey> The pace of productions seems pretty
grueling. And since the actors are expected to show up sick,
unless I imagine it would be visible to the camera, what
does a director do when they are ill? I imagine letting
actors and crew wander around aimlessly while a director
is sick is frowned upon. How do you handle this?
<Chris Bould> *Laughs* Directors don’t get sick.
We just don’t. Part of it is while you are on a project,
you have that all that adrenalin happening and that helps
keep you going. It is like when you have exams in school
or something, you keep going and then fall completely apart
as soon as holiday starts.
< theFrey> How did you get into the entertainment
<Chris Bould> I started out pushing film cans to the editing
rooms. Then I became a film librarian, before I started Film Research. I worked on
a great nostalgia series called
Looks Familiar, a show featuring 3 celebrity guests
each week, answering questions on rare film footage/clips
from the vintage days of Hollywood
It was there I got to meet all kinds of people like Bette
Davis, Gloria Swanson, Robert Preston and Alice Faye. It
was perhaps to be, with hindsight, the foundations of what
I was to become.
Indeed, it was on this
show, that a dear departed friend of mine, urged me to apply
for one of six trainee director positions at Thames Television.
< theFrey> What did your family think about you
going in to the entertainment business?
<Chris Bould> Well my father who was in the business
as a sound man, was not very happy about it. He worked in
sound for both film and jazz recordings, and understood
how hard the business really was.
When I asked how his mother felt, Mr. Bould just laughed.
It seems, that like many of us, that Mr. Bould comes from
a blended family, with all that goes with that situation.
I asked him if his family of many step-whatevers was like
mine, putting the ‘Fun’ in dysfunctional. He laughed at
that and said that was it exactly, and that he would have
to remember that phrase for describing his family.)
< theFrey> What other kinds of work have you
done while trying to break into the field?
<Chris Bould> Nothing really, my first real job
was pushing tins of films around, and I have never since
worked outside of the industry.
< theFrey> Did you or do you ever take a break from directing
to work in a different field or area? If so doing what?
<Chris Bould> Not really, I once had my own production Company, called
Stand & Deliver, where I did produce as well. Producing
is less about the creative side, which is what I enjoy most:
working through scripts, casting, working with actors, editing
etc. Producing kept me in the office too long! Many people
have no idea what a producer does, and the job itself can
change from project to project. And I write a bit, so that
is different, but I have always stayed in the industry.
< theFrey> What is the most important trait for
a director to have?
<Chris Bould> Communications skills. Not just
with the actors, but with everybody. I like to know the
names of everyone who works with me. I had some excellent
crew working on the episodes of Lexx
that I did. They simply performed miracles week after week.
It was important that I was
able to let them know what I was looking for within the
frame work of the set design, or shots I wanted.
< theFrey> Is there anyone in particular you
would really like to work with?
<Chris Bould> Well I would love to work with
Billy Bob Thornton,
or Sean Penn. I think Sean is underrated by a lot of people,
but he is an absolutely brilliant actor.
< theFrey> You have been on lots of location
shots, where has been your favorite and why?
<Chris Bould> Well, Nova
Dublin are two of my favorite places to film. It is the people
who make the places my favorite, not necessarily the scenery
or anything. The thing I absolutely love about the Nova
Scotian’s is that they understand irony and sarcasm. Since
these are staples of British humor we understand each other
better than I would say, an American. Not that American’s
aren’t funny, but they don’t always appreciate or understand
British humor, with of course certain exceptions.
< theFrey> What has been your favorite show/movie
to direct that hasn’t been Lexx related? And why?
<Chris Bould> I really liked doing ‘Emily of
New Moon’, which was also another Salter Street Production.
It was a great show, and was nominated for a Gemini, so
that helped. But
in all honesty, I have the greatest job in the world, and
it's all about how you approach it. The truth is, there
is rarely a show I don't enjoy.
< theFrey> Do you have any hobbies? And if so
how do you peruse them when shooting?
<Chris Bould> Well, when I am not directing I
work on various writing projects. Including one I am hoping
to do in Hawaii , but I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it.
< theFrey> Have you ever been handed a script
and wondered what on earth am I suppose to do with this?
<Chris Bould> Well yes, I suppose every director
has that happen to them.
He did mention later that ‘White Trash’ was the first ep
he did for Lexx, and that if it had not been his first ep,
he would have pressed for changes.)
< theFrey> What should we keep our eyes open
for in the near future that you have directed?
<Chris Bould> Well I have done a few episodes
for ‘Relic Hunter’, the star Tia Carrere was so happy with
the results that she has asked him to come back if/when
there is a season 4.
< theFrey> Do you still live in England?
<Chris Bould> Yes, I like to spend time with
my family in England between shooting assignments. While
my schedule is totally brutal when I am working, in between
assignments I enjoy spending uninterrupted stretches with
my family and friends. Catching up with my bills and fixing
up my house. I’m lucky, because I get to spend enough time
at home to get good and really bored, which makes me excited
about my next project. I am really keen to work again in
Canada, or perhaps the United States.
< theFrey> How did you end up in
<Chris Bould>I cast Stephen McHattie in the movie I shot
in Ireland, My Friend Joe. We had such a blast together
that he recommended me to the producers of ‘Emily of New
Moon’ which went really well and was nominated for a Gemini
Award. I really liked the show, and would have continued,
but the director had to be Canadian, so they asked me if
I would like to work on Lexx. (Ed.
Note; This may be related to changes in the way Canadian
grant money was awarded for domestic television production.)
< theFrey> How hard is it to direct a program
that has a lot of CGI in it?
<Chris Bould> Well, I must confess, working with green screen
is not my favorite thing. As I said, I like to focus on
the characters not so much the special effects. They say
that comedy is the hardest thing to do. Well, not only has
LEXX lots of comedy moments, but it's science fiction and
a relentless schedule. It's perhaps the hardest of any type
of show to direct!
< theFrey> What are the special challenges CGI
presents? And how do you get the cast and crew past them?
<Chris Bould> CGI gives you less to work with
for the actors, if you’ll notice the sets on the episodes
I direct are a little more substantial than in other episodes.
I like to have a bit more on my sets for the actors to work
< theFrey> While we were in Halifax, there were
occasions when the steady pace of filming seemed to get
bogged down and there would many pauses for discussions
about how scenes should be staged or changed. Did this happen
<Chris Bould> One of the problems with the Viva
Lexx Vegas ep, was that we were literally given the episode
hours before it was to start filming. Which made it very
difficult on every one, including the crew. I am always astonished that
able to pull off such miracles, they are absolutely just
bloody amazing. Bruno, the scenic artist did such fabulous
work, even when time was so short. Many times he and his department had
to use hair dryers on the paint because there wasn’t time
to let it dry on its own. Just great work. Sometimes
that lack of prep
time is a bad thing because it got to be expected
of us all, particularly me. It is kind
of a ‘well you made it work last week’ kind of mentality.
Which of course is very difficult to maintain.
< theFrey> When it did happen how did it affect
your schedule? And what steps (if any) did you or could
you take to speed up this process?
<Chris Bould> It did happen, but usually only
scripts that were delivered at the last minute, otherwise,
everyone has a chance to look stuff over and suggest changes
in a more orderly fashion. And while of course all of the
cast want the finished show to be as good as it can be,
some people are more interested in every aspect of the production.
There really isn’t any way to totally avoid it, but I did
try to keep things rolling as much as possible. I have been
told that when I am directing I can be very intense,
but not, I was assured in a bad way. *Laughs*
this question was in reference to a portion of the Moderators Report from October, at the very bottom of this page.
A few things not in the Moderators report - The shooting
for this ep had been going on all day. It was now late in
the afternoon. Mr. Bould called the construction supervisor
to ask him if the changes that Mr. McManus suggested
would be safe to do. The construction supervisor was a saint
of a man who had been having his own bad hair day. It seems
that the two days they had to build the ‘Apocalexx Now’
set had been changed to two days in a studio that was being
used. Not that having to stop working when Mr. Donovan was
ready call action wasn’t fun for him and his people. Anyhow,
as Mr. Bould was asking him if the cage would hold the weight
of a person on top of it, you could just see the poor man
loosing his mind. After looking at Mr. Bould and Mr. McManus
like they were both crazy, he got a bit tense answering
the various questions fired at him. No, it will not hold
the weight of person on top. Yes, it was welded, but not
in enough places to have someone jumping around on top of
it. No, I wasn’t told it had to be strong enough to bear
the weight of someone on top. Ect, ect.. Watching Mr. Bould
steer Mr. McManus in to a compromise that he could live
with and that the construction supervisor would approve
was a treat. Without any indication that the delay was totally
screwing up his schedule, he brokered some slight adjustments
to the cage, I think they reinforced the corners with clamps
or something. And worked out modifications to Mr. McManus’
actions that would result in him having only part of his
body on the top edge of the cage. All parties being now
somewhat satisfied, the shooting resumed.)
< theFrey> Was this common with all of the actors
you worked with on Lexx?
Mr. Bould then asked me a question. He wanted to know if
we (Sadgeezer.com) intended to interview all of the
cast and major crew? I eventually replied ‘Of Course’ while
wiping tears of laugher from my eyes. The inflection used
asking the question just nutted me out. I explained that
we intended to make every effort to contact all of the major
players to get their take on the Lexx wrap up. He then commended
us on our perseverance.)
< theFrey> Did similar things often happen when
you were working on other productions?
<Chris Bould> It happens to an extent on lots
of productions, but let me tell you I would rather have
someone who is perhaps labeled difficult to work with than
someone who is just going through the motions. In fact bring
them on, those people, ‘the difficult ones’ are more passionate
about their jobs and really care about how the shots come
< theFrey> You have worked on White Trash, Wake
the Dead, Twilight, The Web, The Net, Fire and Water, May,
Boomtown, The Key, Girl town, Texx Lexx, Fluff Daddy, and
Viva Lexx Vegas. Which episode was, in your opinion, the
most difficult to direct? Why?
<Chris Bould> One episode which game me a lot
of trouble was Fluff Daddy. As soon as I looked at the script
I realized that it was being extremely ambitious in the
amount of material that it was trying to cover. I kept saying
this is too damn long, we’ll never fit it all in. All I
got back was, ‘oh it will work.’
As many of us know from the Lexx Fan club reports, many
scenes were filmed which were never used. (Although one
snipplett did make it to the episode 'Moss' where Pres.
Priest is watching TV waiting Prince to show back up) for
And while this does happen from time to time on all productions,
it made it very difficult to for the director’s view of
the episode to emerge in a manner which makes them happy.)
< theFrey> Which of the Lexx episodes that you
have directed has been your favorite? And Why?
<Chris Bould> Well I liked the fact that that
sometimes stuff that you think will cause a problem ends
up making you produce a better product. You mentioned that
‘Wake the Dead’ was one of your favorite episodes. Well,
while filming we had to particularly sensitive to the German
restrictions on this particular episode that there be no
graphic violence, decapitation, or gore. We had big meetings
about it, and worried about how it might negatively affect
the episode. But in the end, I think it made us think harder
about what we were doing and we ended up with a better episode.
< theFrey> It is rumored that you were the one
who suggested 790 should fall in love with Kai. Is this
<Chris Bould> Yes, it was my idea to make 790
gay. It was a new season and I was totally bored with him
being in love with Xev.
< theFrey> What were some of the bigger challenges
that Lexx provided you that you might not have dealt with
on other projects?
<Chris Bould> The biggest challenge was perhaps
its biggest strength, Lexx was very spontaneous and energetic
in its approach. And working with green screen is of itself
a big challenge. I also had a problem learning how to work
with High Definition Video as opposed to film, but so did
everyone. I prefer film because HDV because does not have
the same look as regular film. You have a seemingly richer
feel to film, but I can understand where it makes things
easier for the post production people, what with the various
overlays and effects that they have to do. But it was hard
on me, especially at first that things were not coming out
the way I thought they should look. We all (cast and crew)
of course had to get use to the fact that it took in everything
that was going on, both voice and picture whether you had
called cut or not.
< theFrey> In regard to the net and the web,
a lot of viewers didn’t think the differences were great
enough between the two to merit an entire second episode.
Did you have any say in the format the two episodes took?
<Chris Bould> Those two were done at a difficult
time in the production of Lexx. Then, a great friend of mine, Norman Denver,
was producing the show. It was at the very end of
the season, and time and money were running out. They
were the "bottle-neck" shows. Where usually I had
eight days for an episode, I only had nine days for both
of these. It was Norman who "asked me if I minded doing
this ludicrous schedule". Of course, I said yes.
< theFrey> If you had the chance to change anything
about these two episodes, what would you have done differently
to make the differences in the two episodes more dramatic?
<Chris Bould> Oh, I don’t know. *chuckle* Asked
for more money? A guest star? Anything would have helped.
None of those were possible due to the time and budget constraints.
Even a little more time to explain the differences in the
story a little better might have helped.
< theFrey> People are curious if you agree with
us that Patricia Zentilli is extremely talented?
<Chris Bould> I think that Pat is absolutely
wonderful. I first worked with her on ‘Wake the Dead’ whilst I was casting, and though that
she was extremely talented and hard working. I appreciated
the energy that she brought to her performance and the way
that she was always on time for makeup and wardrobe and
thoroughly prepared for each day’s shoot, rested and knowing
her lines ect….
Mr. Bould also
noted that Pat Z was a natural comedienne, and we both agreed
that she was very attractive.)
< theFrey> Who have been a few of your favorite
actors (regular or guest) to work with on Lexx?
<Chris Bould> Brian Downey, Patricia Zentilli,
Nigel Bennet and Rolf Kanies, were just wonderful. In fact
they are all just absolutely wonderful to work with.
< theFrey> Recently we have heard possible
confirmation about the Lexx Spin-off, do you think you will
be working on it?
<Chris Bould> Well of course it is all up in
the air isn’t it? I have come to believe in nothing until
I see that morning’s call sheet. But I would love to work
again with Brian and Pat and Rolf and who ever else might
be involved. But I would like to see something with a bit
more leeway time wise and it would of course depend on who
else was working on it. Also it would depend on what else
I am involved with at the time. But I do love working in
Canada, I have agents in Toronto and Vancouver, and I am very keen on returning there to work.
Sound" (2000) TV Series
Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth
Was a Sixth Grade Alien" (1999) TV Series
... aka "My Best Friend Is an Alien" (1999) (
Canada : English
Alptraum im Airport (1998) (TV)
"Emily of New Moon" (1998) TV Series
Mayday - Flug in den Tod (1997)
Midnight Flight (1997)
"Lexx" TV Series (episodes "White
Trash", "Wake the Dead", "Twilight", "Web, The", "Net, The",
“Fire and Water”, “May”, “Boomtown”, “The Key”, “Girl
town”, “Texx Lexx”, “Fluff Daddy”, “Viva Lexx Vegas”)
... aka "Lexx: The Dark Zone Stories" (1997) (Canada: English
... aka "Lexx: The Series" (1997)
... aka "Tales from a Parallel Universe" (2000) (USA: first
My Friend Joe (1996)
... aka Mein Freund Joe (1996) ( Germany
Crazy for a Kiss (1995) (TV)
Bill Hicks: Revelations (1994) (TV)
Bill Hicks: Relentless (1992) (V)
Sean Hughes Live (1991) (V)
... aka Sean Hughes Live and Seriously Funny (1991) (V)
( UK :
video box title)
Line Is It Anyway?" (1988) TV Series (1989-1992)
"Alas Smith & Jones" (1984) TV
... aka "Smith & Jones" (1989) (
UK : new title)
& Me (2001) (executive producer)
"Alas Smith & Jones" (1984) TV
... aka "Smith & Jones" (1989) (
UK : new title)
Additional Picture Credits
The Lexx Fan Club and Leif Erikssond