Big Chimp

Howell Parry

Roles:Theatre Audience, City Folk
Crew:Production Manager, Props, Makeup


1.Where are you from?
A small town called Ebbw Vale in the valleys of South Wales.

2.How did you get involved in Big Chimp?
Following a strange conversation I had with someone on Wednesday 18 January 2006, I came up with the concept of a King Kong spoof, and the name "Big Chimp" - so I contacted Henry Burrows. He was up for it, and it just snowballed from there.

3.What filmmaking experience did you have before making Big Chimp?
I appeared in various school / university / amateur theatrical productions, most memorably as Wishee Washee in an "Aladdin" pantomime, and in lots of Foiled Productions films, e.g. Foiled, Sheep Man, The Jedi Who Loved Me, Sunday Night Zombies, Chirophobia, Doctor Hall, A Voyage Into Ultimate Canadian Terror, and the eagerly-anticipated Monday Morning Zombies. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that my appearance in Adam Lopez's Johnny Lobsterhead (a homage to David Lynch's Eraserhead) will see the light of day sometime...

4.What was the most difficult thing about playing Theatre Audience Member?
Waiting for Mahinda Kularatne to arrive at the theatre with the pizzas for lunch so we could start filming! As for the role itself - I've been to the theatre many times, so I was a natural.

5.What's your favourite film featuring an ape / monkey / gorilla / chimpanzee / orangutan, and why?
If I can include TV shows, then without doubt the cult 1970s Japanese TV show Monkey. If we're talking just films then it has to be the original Planet of the Apes.

6.Tell us a fascinating fact about yourself.
My grandmother's cousin Aneurin Bevan was a famous Labour MP who founded the UK's National Health Service.

7.What have you been up to since filming Big Chimp in 2006?
A few months after shooting Big Chimp, I left the country to go and live in Japan, where I've been ever since. I started off working as an English teacher in Osaka, and have recently got back into the software industry in Kyoto. Aside from working, I've been studying and using Japanese as much as possible, climbing mountains, eating lots of delicious food - especially okonomiyaki, visiting as much of the country and its islands as possible, and doing a LOT of karaoke!

8.Any plans for the future?
No longterm plans, if that's what you mean. But in the immediate future - I'm going out to the famous Birdman Rally event at the end of the month, where contestants have their own flying machines and compete to see how successfully they can fly. Only in Japan!

9.What's your favourite memory from the Big Chimp shoot?
So many! To name just a few - the Big Chimp vs. Dinosaur fight scene (hilarious!), doll wrangling with Antony Danaos (he took it really seriously!), running around in Castlefield screaming my head off, and the incredibly surreal finale, which I'm not allowed to mention in detail. Most of all though, it was really good to get everyone together - I think the cast and crew worked together really well and had a good time, as I'm sure you can see in the final film.

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