Interview: Mute Martin aka Laurence R. Harvey Of 'The Human Centipede 2' Speaks To Starpulse
As if filling the shoes of gloriously insane Dieter 'Dr. Heiter' Laser wasn’t enough, how do you create a twelve-person human centipede without surgical skills? Leave it to a genius like Director Tom Six bring in a memorable actor like Laurence R. Harvey to portray the meek, portly and seriously deranged Martin Lomax in "The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)" hitting both DVD and Blu-ray Feb. 14 from IFC Midnight and MPI Media Group. In one inspired performance with no dialogue, Harvey brings a creepy new sense of twisted joy to the already infamous 100% Medically Accurate and Inaccurate franchise. So to keep the human congo line moving, we’re chatting one-on-one with Harvey (yes, he can speak!) who talks about his previous acting work, following up Laser’s iconic performance and audience reaction to his ominous character. Hammers, tape and staple guns at the ready – here’s...
You’re background, especially on IMDB, is rather shroud in secrecy – what other acting were you doing prior to "The Human Centipede 2?"
Laurence R. Harvey: (Laughs) Well, this is my first feature. We kind of played that down before the film came out, but a lot of the work I’ve done in the past has been in the performance art field or straight theatre field in the UK. But I’ve also done a fare bit of children’s TV and comedy work in the mid 90’s and have been doing short films since then.
Had you seen the first Human Centipede film?
LH: I’m an interested fan and had heard about the first film when it was on at Fright Fest. I’d read a couple reviews that were very divergent and so I become intrigued by it.
What exactly was Tom Six’s description of Martin and what did you yourself bring to the character?
LH: Tom had talked about the character of Martin being the opposite of Dr. Heiter. But I wanted to shy away from anything to do with any kind of mental disability, as I wanted to make it more about that he is the way he is because he was stunted emotionally and developmentally because his surrounds and the way he was brought up. So we spent quite a while talking about that. I think Martin is intelligent, he’s a problem solver, he chooses not speak because he doesn't see why he should have to speak to these (laughs) segments.
How difficult was it to play a character without a line of dialogue?
LH: Initially there was some dialogue – I got to speak in the casting! (Laughs) Tom just said let’s get rid of all the dialogue.
Since Dieter Laser’s insane and inspired portrayal of Dr. Heiter was such a staple of "The Human Centipede," were you at all intimidated following it up playing Martin?
LH: Oh, yeah. I didn't realize what a great job Dieter had done until I saw the first film, which was in the morning of the day of the casting. So I literally saw the film and then an hour and half later was in casting! (Laughs) It was an hour and half of thinking ‘these are big shoes to fill’. So I was quite intimidated, but speaking to Tom in the casting he explained he wanted somebody who was physically opposite of Dieter. Dieter was tall and thin – and I’m not! (Laughs) In the end I just wanted to be part of the film.
Was there ever anything that Tom Six asked you to do as the character that went too far for you and could not do?
LH: Uh...no! Quick answer!
The end of the film is left rather ambiguous to the viewer – what was your take on what happened?
LH: Initially I thought he got away with it – the crying was the child he’d left in the car - but I thought it was all gonna come undone. Other people thought he’d gotten away and the crying was just his id. Others said it goes back in time because the shot that they used was after he’s already started hitting people over the head and some even said maybe the crying baby is a reminder that the child is still in the car and that’s only going to encourage to make a new human centipede of children!
What has been the audience reaction to your character and the film?
LH: The film was very divisive – people either love it or hate it. In America we screened it at Fantastic Fest and the following day the reviews said everyone hated it, but all the audience reaction on the night was 'brilliant.' People came up and said ‘brilliant film.’ So I think some of the horror people don't like it because it’s not the traditional horror film and I think it’s got the qualities of Eraserhead or an art film. I went to Australia for the screenings there and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, both online and in the papers. In the UK it seems to be a whole different reaction - the more general and mainstream reviewers don't really like it.
What’s next for you?
LH: Well, the next immediate thing is I’m doing a student film in the UK – a comedy. So keep your eyes peeled!
The final coverage ‘link’ in the "Human Centipede 2" chain is coming tomorrow!