The new year is on the horizon. That’s when many people make their new year’s resolutions, make that traditional promise to fulfill goals, follow their dreams… A significant number of those resolutions fall by the wayside for a number of reasons. Then there are those few people who persevere in their quest and become inspirations to many of us.
Enter Chuck Lamb.
During my 30 Days of Horror challenge, I came across what I felt to be a cult classic gem entitled Thankskilling. Fantastic film, and I highly recommend it. One of the standout stars is Chuck Lamb who played the sheriff. He is known as the “Dead Body Guy.” Why?
One day, a regular joe in Ohio decided he wanted to pursue his dream of being a dead guy. With dogged determination and a splendidly unorthodox approach, he now sports not only film credits, but on his resume are numerous appearances on a variety of shows like TMZ, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and CBS Early Morning to name a few. After a quite happenstance encounter, Chuck was gracious enough to grant us an interview. What followed was a fascinating peek into his quest, his hysterical experiences, and what we can expect in the near future from Chuck “Dead Body Guy” Lamb.
Chuck Lamb: I had been in a movie that never got released with Johnny from ThanksKilling (Lance Predmore, who is a friend of mine). One night he gave me a call and said I would be perfect for a part in a new, low-budget movie being shot close to home. The producers called me the next day and the rest was history. We shot my scenes over two evenings. If you notice, I’m not in any scenes with any of the other actors except the Turkey and my wife. I met most of them at the premiere and to this day I haven’t met the two girls.
GT: How has the reaction been since the movie has exploded and has already become a bit of a cult classic? Have you been recognized yet?
Chuck Lamb: Oh, I was actually recognized way before Thankskilling . Before filming Thankskilling, I had already done 4 other movies and 4 or 5 television shows. In fact, while we were filming Thankskilling, TMZ wanted to do an article on me so I made sure they included Thankskilling in the piece. That’s why on the posters it says “Featuring Chuck “Dead Body Guy” Lamb...” The very first time I was actually recognized was the morning after I was on TODAY the first time. We were in the elevator at our hotel in New York City and a lady asked me if I was the guy from TV that morning. I said yes. Of course, we then both played dead for a photo.
GT: Is it true that Troma tried to purchase Thankskilling? What’s up with that?
Chuck Lamb: From what I was told, yes, Troma had talked to Jordan and Kevin (the producers) and made them a offer. It was something way out in left field, like Troma keeps 80 – 85% of the movie’s revenue. The guys said “no thanks” and kept shopping it around. I applaud them for that. We are a lot alike. We both had a dream and a vision and refused to let anything stop us on our goals.
GT: That’s extremely admirable. It obviously paid off. What kind of horror movies does the Dead Body Guy enjoy?
Chuck Lamb: I like a good suspense horror that will keep me guessing more than a straight slasher flick. Movies like Shutter Island, Se7en, The Sixth Sense are some of my favorites. But then again, I also love watching films like Rest Stop and Cabin Fever, etc. etc. …
GT: So you say you want to become the most world famous alive “dead guy”… playing dead bodies. How did this dream come about? What prompted this quest?
Chuck Lamb: Well, it’s funny how life is. I was sitting one night watching Law and Order with my wife and I looked over at her and said, “You know what, I want to be in a TV Show or movie.” She brushed it off, patted me on my bald head, and said, “OK honey, let me know how you are going to do that here in Ohio.”
That night I had a dream that I was Homer Simpson laying dead and Lenny from L&O was hovering saying something wise-crack. I woke up, jumped up on the bed, put my hands on my hips, and told my wife I’m going to be “DEAD BODY GUY“.
Over the next couple of days, we took pictures of me laying around the house in funny dead poses and I built a web site. I sent it out to a couple of friends at work and they sent it out and so on and so on and within 6 weeks I was on the front page of the New York Times. Since its inception my web site has had over 50 MILLION hits from 155 different countries. The showing of support from people all over the world was just absolutely wonderful. People I had never met were wishing me luck on my dream to be in a movie. Then when I finally got a role in a movie it just kept going and now I’ve been in over a dozen. It just goes to show… you can do anything you want when you put your mind and heart into it. A reporter at the Fangoria convention I was asked to attend asked me what I planned to do next. I thought for a moment and said, “I might write a book.” She looked at me puzzled and said, “Are you an author?” I laughed and told her back, “Hell no, but I’m not an actor either and look what I’ve accomplished.”
GT: That’s just incredible! How many movies/TV episodes have you been in and in how many have you played dead?
Chuck Lamb: Hmmm… that’s a hard one. I think I have been in 12 movies here and in Australia (they just used my photos to make me crime victims). I believe it’s been 5 or 6 TV shows, if you’re not counting news or variety talk shows. Then it would jump to over 20. I was also the guest host of STARZ! Comedy channel one day which was just way TOO COOL!
GT: That really is amazing. So what would be your “dream” dead body role? What’s the holy grail for you?
Chuck Lamb: WOW, how I can answer this one, mention Catherine Zeta Jones and not get killed by my beautiful wife (psst, you get the idea right?).
GT: *laughing* Duly noted. I hear you get email requests for “dead poses”. What is the strangest e-mail you’ve received so far?
ELVIS!! Oh my goodness I use to get all kinds of requests for Elvis. I won’t do them. I’m too big of a fan. I also have been asked about suicides and drug related and I don’t do them either (Although, I DID do a Viagra-related one). All of my poses have to tell a little story and make you laugh. I mean, we all are going to end up that way, right? It’s just a part of life. *laughs* THE LAST PART!
GT: All too true, all too true. How different is it between playing live and dead? Do you have a preference between the two?
Chuck Lamb: I love being able to actually ACT once in a while. Being alive is fun because you get to interact with other players in the movie. The scene with Turkey and me sitting at the table having coffee that many people say is one of their favorites in Thankskilling was totally improv. The producer Jordan Downey was the voice of Turkey and we just sat at his table and started talking and saying funny things. The hardest part was trying to keep a straight face. You should see some of the outtakes. Classic, classic stuff.
GT: I hope those are on the DVD. I understand you’re also a world record holder?
Chuck Lamb: Yes, thanks for noticing. I am listed on a world record web site as having “the strangest hobby the the entire world.” Hey, I know it’s not the best record to hold but how cool is it to be able to be at a party and say, “Hey, I’m a world record holder!” To me, that’s cool because it shows I was thinking out of the box and doing whatever needed to achieve my dream.
GT: It does and it really is an inspirational message. What is this “Talent Overload” you have listed on your website?
Chuck Lamb: Talent Overload is a project that we just started not very long ago. It’s a search engine made just for people with talent that wants to try to show themselves off to the world. There are so many people I have met since I was ‘discovered’ that have amazing talents. But no one has ever seen them or heard of them. They never got lucky like me and got a “BIG BREAK”. I am hoping Talent Overload can help with that. It’s a place where you can show your skills and talents absolutely free in hopes of someone looking for you. You can post videos, songs, pictures, and a complete bio with keywords. You just never know if someone is looking for something in particular and up pops your bio on there. Please check out www.TalentOverload.com to find out more.
Chuck Lamb: STIFFS was wonderful to work on. Everyone there treated me like royalty. I had my own trailer and make-up person (I had a hair lady also, but she just added makeup to my shiny head *laughs*). STIFFS will always be very special to me since it’s my first REAL acting gig. I was on MSNBC’s ‘Live and Direct with Rita Cosby’ when they surprised me with the role. I flew to Boston where I met all of the cast and crew. I also had a crew from CNN with me doing a story so it was pretty awesome. I have 7 GLORIOUS SECONDS in STIFFS. I even have the body bag I was laying in signed by the entire cast and crew. It’s not my biggest role, but I’ll always have special memories of that movie.
GT: What did the Dead Body Guy have planned for Christmas this year?
Chuck Lamb: GRANDKIDS!!!! I have 10 of them. It’s all about them. Plus I send out FREE 8×10′s and things to any of my fans and friends that ask. This year was HUGE. I sent out over 200 photos to people asking for them. I hand-signed and hand addressed every single envelope also. I thanked every one of them for supporting me in my dream. I think sending a picture when they ask is the very LEAST I can do.
GT: That really just demonstrates what a truly amazing guy you are. Where can people find out more about your Dead Body Guy quest?
Chuck Lamb: You can find out everything about me and my dream at http://www.DeadBodyGuy.com or you can find me on IMDB or please feel free to join me on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks to every one of your readers and I hope you ALL have a great new year. Please remember NEVER QUIT LIVING YOUR DREAM!