I found Ruta Gedmintas, as much as one can gauge from a telephone interview conducted over a short period of time, not much at all like her onscreen persona, Dutch Velders. Both have the same charming accent, but that’s about it. Whereas Dutch is a brassy tough chick with jaded street smarts, Ruta struck me as refreshingly “down home,” a gentle soul (not to say a “wimp,” which is how she described herself when I asked her if she enjoyed Horror) who watched the previous night’s episode with her grandmother, and whose family, for the most part, refuses to watch because they can’t stand to see anything bad happen to her, even fictitiously.
With Sammel it is even more striking. While Eichorst is so deliciously evil—I informed Sammel of my love for the character, or should that be my “loving-to-hate” the character?—Richard Sammel couldn’t be, as far as I could tell, a sweeter man. When asked by an interviewer if he identified any with his character, he replied with a laugh: “I HOPE I am not similar to Eichorst.” When one interviewer informed him that she was terrified of him, he replied: “We should meet and drink a beer.” He claimed jokingly that his gray hair resulted from the few Horror films he had been unlucky enough to have seen in his life and is a Yoga practitioner who feels that watching violent or gory films “eats up” his positive energy. He was polite, soft-spoken and approachable, while he, like Gedmintas, seems to take his profession very seriously.
My final coverage of the interview to follow.