[Interview] Quinn Lord Talks Playing Halloween Icon Sam in ‘Trick ‘r Treat’
The adorable and deadly Sam from writer/director Michael Dougherty’s 2007 anthology film Trick ‘r Treat was recently called the most iconic horror icon of the 21st Century, and we could not agree more, as he has quickly become ubiquitous with Halloween, and so following the beloved film’s recent long-overdue theatrical release for its 15th anniversary, we spoke to Quinn Lord about playing the character at age seven, his memories from the set, and what it has been like watching the film’s popularity grow and Sam become an icon.
Recalling his earliest memory of auditioning for the film, Lord reveals that Sam was at one point going to speak some dialogue, telling HDN, “I remember, Sam had lines. There were two scenes. I forget what the first scene was, but the second scene was him walking up toward Mr. Kreeg at the end of the movie, and he’s going to raise the lollipop to deliver the final blow. He was supposed to say the sort of jingle, like, ‘Trick or treat, give me something good to eat’. But of course me, I was like, ‘Oh, he must be a demon, right?’ So I’m doing it like, (growls demonically) ‘Trick or treat‘.
“I did get to use that voice later on when I was on Smallville, which was really nice. But yeah. for the most part, it was like, ‘Nah, maybe it’s creepier if he doesn’t say anything at all’. But, at the very end of that, I did the little mime petting a cat, and I was like, I think Sam would do this, and just picked it up and walked away. And apparently that stuck with Mike, because it’s in his bag.”
The movie overflows with Halloween atmosphere, and Quinn said that he remembers it very much feeling like Halloween every day on the set, even when they were filming through the Christmas holiday season. “That was Halloween for me, 24/7,” he said. “The only catch was I only had one costume, but I loved every minute of it so much. Filming through the winter, I’d come to set with a little Santa hat with the attached fake beard, and I’d call myself Sam-ta Claus and hand out gifts to the crew and stuff. I was in the orange jumpsuit with the hat and the beard.”
Lord says that he first realized that Sam was becoming something bigger than he ever imagined when he was invited to be a celebrity guest at his first horror convention. “It kind of took me by surprise,” he said. “I actually was told, ‘Hey, you can go to a convention for this’. I was like, ‘A convention? What?.. Okay, sure, I’ll go there.’ And that was my first convention, 2010 or 2011 I think, Cincinnati, Ohio, Horror Hound. It was really early on, but that happened, and there was a whole bunch of people saying hi, and I was like, ‘Wow, I love this.’ I just want to celebrate the movie with these people, so I kept going to more and more.
“By October 2013, it was Mike Dougherty’s birthday, and there was a screening at the Egyptian Theatre in California. Seth Green hosted a panel with other cast members, and Mike and myself. It was such a fucking good experience. Of course that’s when Trick ‘r Treat 2 was originally greenlit. I say originally greenlit because something happened, there was a lot of down time, and now it’s in early active development again, so the wait is over. The waiting for the wait is over.”
He goes on to talk about his favorite scene to shoot – a deleted scene in which Sam throws an egg at Charlie the pumpkin smasher, and then flips him the bird before running away – and other stories from the set.
We also of course talked about celebrating Halloween in real life, as well as Lord’s hopes for the in-development sequel, his advice to the next actor who may play Sam in Trick ‘r Treat 2, and more.
You can watch our full exclusive video interview with Quinn Lord below.
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