Mark O'Connell: First of all, can you tell us how you got involved with The Human Centipede 2 [Full Sequence]?
Dan Burman: Ironically, this was probably the most conventional audition set up I’ve ever had! I received a call from my agent asking me if I was free the following day for an audition for a feature film and I duly accepted!
Emma Lock: My agent called me and said that id been offered the chance to audition for The Human Centipede 2. The first round of the audition was to watch the film. A lot of actresses left during the screening! I remember sitting next to Georgia and we were giggling like school girls the whole way through. For those of us who didn’t walk out, we were offered the final stage of the audition process which was to meet Tom and Illona. They were lovely in the audition and made sure I was at ease, before thrusting a hand held camera in my face and asking me to lay on the floor and act as though I was being raped. A few days later on my graduation day I was offered the role. It was a very good day!
Mark O'Connell: Had you already seen the first film or were you familiar with it?
Dan Burman: I’d found a few articles relating to the first film following the call from my agent so I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for! I was wrong! In order to ‘qualify’ for the audition in the afternoon you were required to watch the first film in the morning. I remember sitting next to Katherine Templar (who plays Rachel) not knowing whether to laugh, cry or run and hide! Fortunately we both saw it out!
Emma Lock: I had only seen the trailer of the first film and I thought it was a sick joke at first. It was quite a hot topic among my actor friends who were all questioning if they’d ever audition for a film like that. I think I was the only person who said yes and a few days after that conversation was when I was asked to audition for the second film.
I wasn’t without my doubts, but in life the best paths aren’t always the easiest ones. It certainly wasn’t an easy film to work on!
Mark O'Connell: Which centipede position did you play, and did your character have a back story?
Dan Burman: I play Number 7. The details of the script were shrouded in secrecy until about a week before shooting so the only thing I had to go on was being told that I was the ‘Sporty Spice’ of the group by production so I created my own story based on that. That being said when you’re tied up with a crow-bar wielding maniac walking around the back story kind of goes out the window!
Emma Lock: My character is ‘Kim’. She becomes the unfortunate rear end of the centipede. She did have a back story, but when it came to filming her past didn’t matter too much. Every ounce of my acting technique was focussed on the now rather than her past.
Mark O'Connell: How long did you spend filming your scenes and did you have any problems with going “ass to mouth” with other people?
Dan Burman: I’m not sure if I’m allowed to go into length of shoot so I may have to sidestep that one if you don’t mind! As for that ‘ass to mouth’ sections; we all had casts made of our backsides and each had a little mouth ‘bobble’ in the appropriate place for us to place our mouths over. Each time we came to do a take a very helpful person would clean the bobbles with a baby wipe and then apply a generous coating of anti-bacterial mouthwash with a paintbrush.
Emma Lock: My scenes took about 2 weeks to film and a lot of the takes were done in one take. It was filmed in the blink of an eye compared to the films I had worked on in the past. It was an experience to say the least. I personally didn’t have a problem with going ass to mouth with the cast members. I was attached to Georgia and she has a lovely rear end. She did joke around a little bit and tell me to guess what she had for dinner the night before which was just gross!
Mark O'Connell: The Human Centipede 2 is honestly one of the most disturbing films that I have ever seen! How much further do you think filmmakers can push the envelope?
Dan Burman: Well Tom Six himself has said he will make a Human Centipede 3 and that it will make this one look like a Disney film so we may get our answer in a few years!
Emma Lock: I think no matter what we find disturbing and gross, there will always be someone who can take it that little bit further. Tom has plans for a Final Sequence to wrap up The Human Centipede trilogy and he has promised to make ‘Full Sequence’ look like a Disney film in comparison. I have no doubt that he will. As life becomes increasingly comfortable for us as humans, films that revert us back to an animalistic state will always shock and offend.
Mark O'Connell: What was the atmosphere like on set?
Dan Burman: Really friendly and very warm and positive. I’ve always loved being on film sets watching everyone have normal conversations in outlandish costumes. Imagine being a fly on the wall on our set.
Emma Lock: It was surprisingly jovial! We all got on very well and had the best time joking around on set. When you spend your day on all fours and attached to another persons anus you have to be able to look on the bright side and have a bit of a giggle.
We all had roles outside of the centipede sequence that we naturally fell into. The cast was very much like a strange family unit. The crew were also the most incredible people and really made every day so fun and different.
Mark O'Connell: The character of Martin is basically every tabloid newspapers worst nightmare come to life. He is a guy obsessed with a movie who decides to recreate it himself. Is the film a comment on the fear-mongering towards violent films and videogames that occurs in the media?
Dan Burman: I would say it’s a cross between that and a reaction to whoever said the first film was like ‘My Little Pony’. I love the fact that not only did Tom manage to silence those people but also managed to completely re-invent the concept of the film. To go from clean and clinical to disgustingly grimy surprised a lot of people.
Emma Lock: There sure are elements of that in the film. It’s very scary to think that people do becomes overly obsessed with films and video games and unfortunately people do imitate what they see on screen. The fundamental difference between The Human Centipede films and some games and films based around serial killers is that The Human Centipede is a very black comedy. The people who watch it are either very disgusted or tickled pink, but I have yet to hear anyone to find the film inspiring. Its one thing to copycat a shooting from a film or game in a moment of temporary insanity, but less easy to copycat The Human Centipede which would require a great deal of patience!
Mark O'Connell: Was the decision to shoot the film in black and white primarily an artistic one, or a way to show more gore on camera?
Dan Burman: I wasn’t aware that the film was going to filmed in that way. Was a very pleasant surprise when it came to the Cast and Crew viewing. I love the look of it.
Emma Lock: It was an artistic decision that Tom took. He noticed while playing in Post Production that the film looked more haunting in black and white and decided to apply the effect to the whole film. There is one tiny bit of colour in the film, but I will leave that to the audience to go and find…
Mark O'Connell: Do you have any anecdotes from filming The Human Centipede 2 that you’d like to share?
Dan Burman: When I had my bum cast done I also had my knees done (for the knee tendon snapping scene) and was told that I may have to shave my legs for the film so they wouldn’t have to place individual hairs into the prosthetic. This was the last I heard about it until I was about to walk on set for a scene and told ‘your legs are hairy, we have to shave them now!’ Suddenly I was carted into the makeup tent and attacked by several people armed with razors and clippers!
Emma Lock: The beautiful thing about working as a performer is that you take away memories that stay with you for life and one of the reasons the film will hold a special place in my heart is because I met my partner on the set. Michael was working as the centipede handler and as we are both animal people we really hit it off. I think Tom was really touched and amused that romance blossomed from his queasy creation!
The Human Centipede 2 [Full Sequence]
To celebrate the release of The Human Centipede 2 [Full Sequence] Blu-ray and DVD on 21st November, we spoke with Dan Burman and Emma Lock - two of the actors in the movie and part of the infamous human centipede!
Mark O'Connell: What was director Tom Six like to work with?
Dan Burman: He calls himself a Sheep in Wolf’s clothing and that’s a pretty spot on assessment. He is so beyond the blood, guts and gore aspect and so immersed in the story and the look of the film that he is so matter of fact with his direction. He would say things like ‘and then you will throw up in this direction’ ‘and we want to see blood coming out of here’ etc and it would be like he was reading the news. It was great to see him watching playback and how excited he was getting at the footage.
Emma Lock: Tom is without a doubt, the nicest director I have ever worked with. He is so down to earth and placid by nature that it’s impossible not to like him. He really takes great care that everyone is happy and well looked after and truly believes in his work. His is going to go very far as a film maker, and not just for pushing the boundaries of film propriety.
Mark O'Connell: What was your initial reaction to learning that The Human Centipede 2 had been banned in the UK by the BBFC?
Dan Burman: I initially thought it was a little harsh for them to give away so much of the film. But in retrospect I think it created a cult following for the film that stretched beyond the realms of the die-hard horror fans.
Emma Lock: I was gutted for everyone who had worked on the film and put in so much effort into the film. Then I realised that it was great publicity and that it would work wonders for the film. I was confident that the BBFC would change their minds eventually. Not because they would warm to the film, but because they cant expect people to be patronised and told what they can and can’t watch. The audience would have found a way regardless of the decision.
Mark O'Connell: Did you see the uncut version, and what do you think of the changes?
Dan Burman: I’ve seen both versions and I think certain aspects of the cuts are so engrained into the plotline that it makes certain parts of the film disjointed. However, alongside the ban I think the cuts have only increased the longevity of the interest in the film. The ban made more people want to see it. Now the fact that it’s cut will make people want to see the uncut version etc.
Emma Lock: I really think the film suffers from the cuts. The film was made to shock and disgust and with the cuts that have been made, we are left with very little of what we set out to achieve. I’m glad Britain will get that chance to see it in some capacity, but I hope an uncut version will be released in the future. That’s what people really want to see.
Mark O'Connell: How did your friends and family react to learning that you are in the film? Have you watched it with them?
Dan Burman: I was pleasantly surprised if I’m honest. Everyone who has spoken to me about the film has been either full of praise and happy for me or have been fans of the film, seen me pop on screen to their surprise and send me an excitable message.
Emma Lock: To be honest, my mum has NO idea that The Human Centipede is a horror film. She believes to this day that it’s a romantic comedy!! The rest of my family think its very funny, but are not surprised that I chose to be a part of this film. They know im drawn to the absurd and fully support that. A select few of my family have braved the cinemas, but I know the majority won’t see it. Purely because it would be awkward for them to see me naked!
Mark O'Connell: If a future storyline allowed it (and without giving away any spoilers), would you be interested in returning for The Human Centipede 3?
Dan Burman: Oh yes, if for nothing else but blind curiosity on how he’s going to make Part 2 look like a Disney Film!
Emma Lock: Tom is the pied piper. I’d follow him anywhere. So yes, if he asked me I would certainly come back for seconds!
Mark O'Connell: What projects are you working on next?
Dan Burman: As well being an Actor I am also a Fight Performer and I’m currently doing fight work on a Hollywood Feature Film. I also have some exciting projects in the pipeline for 2012.
Emma Lock: I’ve been talking with a few indie film directors in Europe about Sci-Fi and Horror films and I’ve also been talking with a film crew who would like to follow myself and Michael on some of our animal adventures abroad. I’d love to work in action films as that’s what I have trained for, but right now I’m just happy to be a working actress. It’s an exciting time and you can be sure to see me in a few things in the upcoming months. Watch this space!
Mark O'Connell: Finally, for those that haven’t seen The Human Centipede 2 yet, what can they expect?
Dan Burman: A film that they will love, then hate, then love, then hate, then love, then hate again with a twist at the end.
Emma Lock: For those who have yet to see The Human Centipede 2 – expect to be utterly repulsed and offended! And please don’t eat anything beforehand!
Mark O'Connell: Many thanks for your time!
Be sure to also check out our exclusive audio interview with Laurence R. Harvey - star of The Human Centipede 2!