Oliver Parker as Pinhead. Who knows...could have happened!
This past week I listened to the commentary of the SE of Nightbreed and found out something that I have suspected for some time.
As we all know I'm a bit of a Nightbreed fan, mostly with this new director's cut having just been released. In fact just two weeks ago I had my awesome tattoo artist and friend Shane Murphy tattoo the most memorable of the monsters from Median on the back of my left leg, Peloquin. Today at Rock N Shock I met the actress who played Shuna Sassi, and showed my newest tattoo off and asked about her awesome co-star and "lover" from Clive Barker's classic film.
Peloquin played by Oliver Parker (now a famous director) started off as an actor in the UK in the 1980's to early 90's before his directing career took off. Oliver was a school friend of Clive's, and founder of a theater company they worked in. Back in 1986 when Hellraiser was being made, Clive revealed on the Nightbreed commentary that back when they began to film it he gave the choice between Oliver and Doug Bradley on who would play Pinhead, and who would play the moving man. Many people know that at the time Doug had just began as an actor and thought it was important to have his real face shown on screen and was sorta pushing for the moving man role. Well, Clive asked Oliver and him to decide on who would play who and the two went off and talked for a bit. At the time the twenty-five year old Parker wasn't exactly interested in having to do the whole makeup thing, so horror history was made when he told Doug he rather play one of the moving men instead of the lead demon.
Of course Oliver came back playing yet another moving man in Hellbound, and then decided after all in 89 when they began to film Nightbreed to do the makeup thing and completely stole the show as Peloquin.
It does make you wonder though, what would the Hellraiser series be like had Oliver decided to play Pinhead.
I talked about this all ready and I explained that if there was ANY actor out there who maybe could fill Doug's shoes, it might have only been Oliver. We'll all seen what happens when other actors play Pinhead, and trust me...it's ugly.
I believe Oliver would have played this role completely different, maybe with a little more of a sly charm with some darkness like he brought in Nightbreed. God knows what his voice would have sounded like but I'm almost 100% sure he would have brought it for this role just like he did in Nightbreed and steal the show. One thing I'm almost sure about is that Oliver would have maybe shown up for only maybe two more sequels. Hellbound and MAYBE Hell On Earth. It's tricky to say if he would have returned for anymore, mostly after Clive began to distance himself from the films but who knows. All I do know is Oliver began acting to get his foot in the door to better understanding directing which he really started going head first into in 1995 or so. Who knows, maybe this would have been a good thing. I mean let's be honest here. most of the sequels after part III are complete and utter shit.
Do I think Oliver missed out? Eh, hard to tell. Doug made Pinhead who he is today and Oliver in my eyes rocked the role in Nightbreed and seriously did an amazing job underneath all that makeup. Also had things been different we wouldn't have seen how adorable he looked as those moving men in Hellraiser 1&2.
Look at those eyebrows!
Can't wait to hear Oliver's stories in the up coming doc on the making of Hellraiser 1&2. I really do hope he starts doing more shows. It's like pulling teeth getting people to talk about him when he made Nightbreed. Come on people! I gotta find a way to show him this awesome tattoo!