Credo: Actor and horror-film director Eli Roth on phobias, nightmares - and romcom tears

 

I love to terrify people As things get worse in this world, and people feel a loss of control over things, they need an outlet, a place they are allowed to be really scared. Where better than horror movies?

My movies are popular with soldiers Take Hostel. That was really popular on military bases – soldiers who are used to seeing people with their faces blown off watching my movie with their hands clamped over their eyes and squealing like girls!

Keep your eye on the doughnut not the hole David Lynch taught me that. In other words, focus on what is in front of you, not the thing you can't see. For a director, the doughnut's the thing.

I prefer directing to acting Actors are, by their very nature, dramatic. Within 24 hours of arriving on set, there is all this drama, everyone politicking for attention. But a director gets to tune all that out. Or at least tries to.

The scariest people are usually the sweetest A guy came up to me outside a club once, 6ft 5in, 350lb, spikes through his nose. He said, "Hey, did you make Hostel?" I told him yes, and he said, "Aw, can I give you a hug? You understand me!" It's the ones that show up outside your house unannounced you've got to be worried about.

Physical fitness is paramount The average age of a director in the Directors Guild is 57. I'm 41, and I still want to be making movies into my nineties. But directors are unhealthy, they sit at the monitor all day, eating. I'm not criticising anyone, I'm not judging, but I find that I function best, at my most creative, when I have energy, when I can run up and down the hill with no problem.

People are so quick to judge They make assumptions of me simply because I make horror movies. Though the assumptions are probably right. I'm all about the horror. I've just opened the world's scariest haunted house. It's called the Goretorium, in Vegas. It's got a horror bar, with sexy zombie waitresses and everything. You can even get married there – an undead wedding. Cool, huh?

I cry easily Romcoms, mostly. Freaky Friday, that Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis film Friends With Benefits. Oh, I cried my eyes out at that one. The girl I was with couldn't believe it…

My phobias worsen as I get older I'm scared of flying, driving. I'm terrified of sharks. I'm a germaphobe. But I try to face my fears; I do. Well, most of them. I'm terrified of drugs – cocaine – so I'll never do that. I have these allergies, see, and I'm sure I'll be the guy who dies the first time he tries it.

I'm a workaholic and I can't switch off A couple of nights ago I had a zombie nightmare, and right in the middle of it all I find myself thinking it would make for a great movie. So what happens next in the nightmare is that I start looking for a pen so I can write it all down!

I have control issues For sure, no question. But, you know, I'm a writer, director, producer. I'm used to being in control. When I'm in a situation I have no control over, I go crazy.

My father is an analyst He thinks my career choice is healthy. As a kid, I was the neighbourhood baby-sitter – very responsible, always in charge. He's convinced my making horror movies is my way of misbehaving, but in a controlled way. He approves.

Eli Roth, 41, is an American actor, writer and director, helming horror films such as 'Hostel' and appearing in movies including 'Inglourious Basterds'. 'The Last Exorcism Part 2' (15), which Roth has produced, is released in cinemas on 7 June

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Chief Executive

£28, 700: Whiskey Whiskey Tango: Property Management Company is seeking a brig...

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?