Exclusive Interview with “At Granny’s House” Star & Director Les Mahoney

Les Mahoney, star and director of the new Hitchcockian-thriller AT GRANNY’S HOUSE, tells us about his journey into film.. and horror.

-PH: What inspired you to become an actor?

-Les: I was watching a friend of mine doing little theatre back in 2004, sitting in the audience, when I thought to myself—that looks like fun! I should try that. Three years later I started classes in LA, and I have never looked back.

-PH: And did you begin that career in your hometown?

-Les: Not at all. I spent 20 years in the Air Force, during which time I finished my advanced degrees, but never had any drama/theatre experience. After the USAF, I started a tour company in Mexico (Copper Canyon Adventures) which is still doing well. So acting and filmmaking is my third career. So far!

-PH: Have any family that took the same path?

-Les: None. Except for watching film and TV, my family had no connection to acting and filmmaking.

-PH: How is the film industry in your hometown?

-Les: I consider my hometown to be Los Altos, California, which is about 30 miles south of San Francisco—but a world away. 



-PH: What was your big break in Hollywood?



-Les: My “big breaks” were both mental: a) realizing that I belonged in Hollywood as an actor, and b) that I could write and direct my own movies and put them out to the world.

-PH: When did you make the transition to filmmaking?


-Les: Slowly, thru a few short films and a music video. In fact, it was this music video, based on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” that was the genesis of our first feature “Mike Case in: The Big Kiss Off” now currently on Amazon.com and the Vagabond Entertainment channel at VHX.com.


-PH: Tell us about your character in the movie At Granny’s House, which you also directed.

-Les: Ted Steiner is an IT consultant on a road trip with his wife Linda to start a new life after she is “downsized” from her job. He is not happy with his wife, and is itching for a new beginning—and this is exactly what happens when they decide to stay with Rebecca and Granny in the small town of Haley.

-PH: Looks like the movie was shot in some fun locales. Where abouts?

-Les: The movie was shot in the childhood home of my wife and producer Tammy Ridenour in the small town of Haxtun, Colorado. Not only was this her childhood home, but also the home her parents have lived in for 60+ years. It is an interesting place, lots of nooks and crannies, and I think the film does a good job making the house an important part of the story.

-PH: Did you have time to get to know your cast before the shoot began?

-Les: Yes, mostly thru skype video chats and rehearsals, but also the night before shooting began when a tornado touched down nearby and the power went out. We hunkered down in the basement for a few hours riding the storm out, and had some good bonding time in the process!

-PH: Does it go without saying that you love a good genre movie? 


-Les: Indeed it does! Genre films have always been my favorite—Hitchcock’s thrillers, classic horror and cutting edge sci-fi have inspired me for years.

-PH: Thus far, what has been the best part of working in the movie industry?

-Les:

 Without a doubt, the creative collaboration that takes places when making a movie. There is something very special about getting all kinds of talented people together for a moment in time to commit to telling a story, and then seeing how everyone’s creative energy flows together in service of the movie.

-PH: Career wise, where do you see yourself in the future?

-Les: As a filmmaker, making ever better and higher-funded movies for larger and larger audiences.

As an actor, playing a wide variety of interesting parts in larger and larger movies, culminating in my nomination for an Oscar in acting.

-PH: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?

-Les: Yes, thanks. Our upcoming dramedy “Asian Treasure” is in post-production and should premiere in the next few months.

And, we are currently filming “Adrift” a spy drama that is the continuation of our spy film “Available” which is available on Amazon.com and the Vagabond Entertainment channel at VHX.com

 -PH: Best horror movie ever made?

-Les: Tough one! But actually, for me, I guess not so tough, since “Night of the Living Dead” not only scared the crap out of me at an early age, it made me a horror fan for life!

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