Press > Escape From New York > Exclusive Interviews > Frank Doubleday (Romero)

How did you end up being an actor?

I started acting in college. I did not now I wanted to be an actor until I saw a production of Waiting for Godot. Once I saw that production I knew I had to do this.

How did you get cast as Romero in Escape From New York?

I had worked for John Carpenter (Director/Co-Writer/Co-Composer) in Assault on Precinct 13 so he knew me. He looked for me for Escape From New York and gave me the role.

How did you prepare for the role and what kind of discussions did you have with John Carpenter (Director/Co-Writer/Co-Composer) about it? Also, how much of Romero's bizarre behavior was improvised?

I totally created the role myself. John gave me total creative freedom. The voice and the look were my ideas. I like that kind of work. I did a lot of character work and worked on Romero through voice, costume and movement. All my behavior was improvised. Once a character is created and is in one's skin the behavior just comes naturally. All the behavior, the hissing etcetera was not planned. That kind of thing is the actor playing and again if the character has been internalized it all just happens. That was a rich, really fun character to create. 

How do you think Romero ended up in New York's Maximum Security Prison and why do you think The Duke (Isaac Hayes) chose him to be his right-hand man?

Not sure why he ended up in the prison but was probably chosen to be right-hand man because of his propensity for evil and his comfort with danger. Romero was referred to in Newsweek as Carpenter's most menacing villain to date.

How was the experience working with the cast and crew and what went on behind the scenes?

Cast and crew were great. No ego problems. 

What's your favorite memory or memories of working on the movie?

I don't really have a favorite memory.

What do you think of the movie personally?

I think the movie is excellent for the style of movie it is. Also, John Carpenter is a great and underrated director.

What are you currently doing and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I continued to work in the theater and in television. I directed a lot of theatre and taught for several years. My interests are literature, science, history and physics. I read a great deal and love the internet for listening to lectures. I also like listening to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) recorded radio plays.

Thank you for your time, Frank.