Posted: September 4, 2016
The new IT is about a year away and a lot of people have been comparing it to the original miniseries from 1990. Well, I got in touch with Brandon Crane who plays young Ben in the 1990's version and we talked about the new movie, his experience with IT and what he’s up to now.
Lilja: Hi, and thanks for agreeing to this interview.
I guess seeing photos from the remake opens up a great deal of memories from when you filmed the miniseries back in 1989/1990?
Brandon Crane: Yes, in fact recently, Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben) recently reposted a shot of the sewers sound stage from above. I instantly remembered shooting ours with a steady cam op and a frightening Tim Curry, which was a master class. Awesome memories.
Lilja: How did you get the part of Ben? Did you audition or were you asked to play the part?
Brandon Crane: I auditioned just like everyone else. It was a pretty intense process. I had an individual audition and callback, but one Saturday they asked a lot of us to come in and read together, do some “match-ups”. There weren’t any other kids reading Ben. I asked the camera operator if any other Bens were coming and he said “It’s just you.” I knew they were still casting in Vancouver, so I wasn’t expecting anything - but when the call came I was incredibly excited!
Lilja: How old were you when you played Ben?
Brandon Crane: I was 14.
Lilja: How long did it take to shoot your parts in IT?
Brandon Crane: We were there between 6 and 8 weeks, I made 2 trips, one trip ended up being just for costume fittings and a haircut that director Tommy Lee Wallace had when he was a kid. I finished my last week of school and was back on a plane to Vancouver.
Lilja: What reactions did you get from friends, family and classmates?
Brandon Crane: My friends and family were VERY supportive - classmates thought it was pretty cool when they saw me the day after it aired.
Lilja: How was it to star in such a scary movie when you’re that young? Was it all so obviously make believe that you never got scared or how did that work?
Brandon Crane: Honestly, I was more afraid of messing up my lines. The only time I had any unsettling feeling was when we were working with Tim personally. Again, a master class.
Lilja: What is your fondest memory from the filming of IT?
Brandon Crane: It was great working with so many established actors of the day - all of whom made themselves readily available, and took time to engage with us. We also became a pretty tight bunch. 26 years later, a lot of us are still in contact to this day.
Lilja: What are your thoughts on the movie and your part in it today?
Brandon Crane: Overall, I was really happy with the mini-series, even though we had some limitations because it was for television. I’m proud of the work we did and the fact that it remains a horror fan favorite after all of these years really says something! I’m also excited to see the new movie. Apart from the sheer amount of content they’ll have to cram into 4 hours again, they won’t have some of the other limitations that we had. These kids that they cast have impressive creds, I’ll be cheering them on!
Lilja: You are not active as an actor today, why is that?
Brandon Crane: It played out. I hung in there and did some more television but was drawn to theater and singing. After seeing some large scale productions in Los Angeles when I was in high school, I was moved by performances AND the technical wizardry. While I was pursuing acting work in theater I also pursued work as a stagehand. Eventually, I’d work with stage lighting, hanging and designing shows and working as a technical director. I haven’t decided (it’s never too late) whether or not I’d try my hand at acting again - it definitely calls to me.
Lilja: Can you tell us a bit about what you do today?
Brandon Crane: My wife and I started a digital design agency called Solid Fuel Creative in 2010. I’m spending most of my time developing websites and playing dad to my 2 little girls.
Lilja: Again, thanks for taking the time. It was fun to talk to you.