Exclusive Interview: Actor Greg Cohan Talks New Horror-Comedy THE VELOCIPASTOR

Crowdfunding expert turned dinosaur-preacher Greg Cohan talks about playing the title role in The VelociPastor that will be available on DVD and Digital on August 13th. After a devastating family tragedy, a priest (Cohan) travels to China to find deeper spirituality, but instead is endowed with an ancient ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first, he is horrified by his newfound superpower, but a local prostitute convinces him to use his newfound gift to fight evil – and ninjas.

Alien Bee – What drew you to “The Velocipastor”, Greg?

Greg Cohan – Well, the name didn’t hurt. While pursuing acting in New York, I was working with Seed&Spark, the film-centric crowdfunding and SVOD platform, when our head of crowdfunding had announced that a movie called The VelociPastor had just submitted for funding. The room erupted with laughter, and we all huddled around to see if it was real. And it was. It turned out I had worked with one of the producers and asked if they were casting. They sent me the audition sides – which I absolutely loved – and I sent in a tape. I had a lot of fun taping that audition. Next thing I knew I was meeting Brendan Steere in Bryant Park to talk the arch of our vigilante Dino-Priest.

Alien Bee – Tell us about the premise of this one?

Greg Cohan – After losing his parents, a priest travels to China to find the meaning of life, but instead inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a local prostitute convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.

Alien Bee – Tell us about your first impression when that script first landed on your desk!

Greg Cohan – I really just thought it was good. Like REALLY good. I had seen the original short film/trailer of the film that Brendan had made in film school at SVA. When I saw that, I knew I wanted in. It was hilarious, but because it was dead serious. I knew I could bring a lot to the feature version of it. I remember reading the script, and it was tight. Before even meeting Brendan, I read the script and I thought, “this isn’t just a guy milking a joke… he knows what he’s doing.” I was all in.

Alien Bee – Is it all in the title? Does the title dictate what to expect?

Greg Cohan – I love the title. It was the thing that drew me to the project. And it’s certainly what draws most people to it. But the title vs. what to expect can be best described through by the projectionist at Texas Frightmare Weekend. We screened at the famed horror convention in Dallas this past May. Our projectionist approached us after the screening and Q&A and admitted that he begged the festival runners not to be placed on our film. He was sure it would suck. And low and behold, he was more than surprised and “f-ing loved the movie.” We love seeing reactions like that. It’s been a real joy to share it with people who are both excited to see it and expecting to hate it. Because at the end of the day, it’s good and it’s fun.

Alien Bee – Are you a fan of horror?

Greg Cohan – I wasn’t always. The movies I was drawn to weren’t really horror. JAWS was the first movie that really terrified me as a kid. Oh and Alien. Those and Jurassic Park. I remember sitting in the movie theater when my sister whispered in my ear as the lights went down, “I hear the dinosaurs come out of the walls.” I wanted to bolt for the exits. The Shining is one of my tops though. That movie still fucks me up.

I didn’t really like the feeling of being scared in movies. So when they were kind of outrageous or ridiculous horror movies, I was way more into it. Killer Clowns From Outer Space was one that I would ALWAYS watch, no matter how far along it was, but that’s more sci-fi/parody. It wasn’t until I met Brendan that I was reintroduced to the horror genre. I consider myself a student of the genre, going back and watching some classic horror films, and being way less scared and way more appreciative of how they’re made.

Alien Bee – This isn’t exactly straight-up horror though is it? It’s also very funny. Do you think that’s part of the reason the film has been a success?

Greg Cohan – This movie is very funny. It’s written and directed by someone who doesn’t just love horror movies. Brendan loves all movies. And the ones he truly truly loves, he pays homage to them. But Brendan also loves to laugh. His first feature, Animosity, is straight up bad-ass. It’s dark, it’s suspenseful, and it’s damn good. I think he just wanted to make something that was the opposite of that… something that he could thoroughly enjoy watching over and over again. And we all do. Everytime we see it, we laugh at the same places the audiences do. Brendan’s goal was to find the joy, find the fun, and I think that’s why we all had so much damn fun making it, and certainly why it’s been such a success.

Alien Bee – Last question, how was Comic-Con?

Greg Cohan – Comic-Con was surreal. When they first reached out to us to get a copy of the film to screen at SDCC, we thought for sure it was fake; that they were people just claiming to be from Comic-Con, just to get a copy of the movie. But sure enough, they wanted it there. And to be there was an honor. It was so fun. Neither Brendan or I had been before, so we got to walk around the floor and connect with some really cool people, including people who had seen the movie at other festivals! It was awesome! We were a small part of Comic-Con, obviously, but to be invited by one of the biggest conventions in the world to share The VelociPastor with some incredible fans was a real treat and a highlight of this films journey, for sure.

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