Comedian, actor, and writer Danny Sutcliffe will star in his first feature-length film, alongside Danny Parsons. “Mr Doom” is a dark comedy film, written and directed by Leif Johnson. Danny Sutcliffe plays Jack, a small town hero “struggling to keep up a bygone lifestyle“. His previous role includes “Pavement” (2020), a short by dir. Jason Wingard.
NY Elite: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
Danny Sutcliffe: I’ve been a stand-up comic for just over 10 years – I always loved making my mates laugh and a few people said I should give stand up a go – when I was 16 I wanted to be a fireman, but I found out you had to be really fit and healthy for that – then I found out about drugs, so I just did them instead, soon forgot about being a fireman – college or uni wasn’t for me so I ended up jobbing round on building sites for a few years.
That really helped me develop ideas in terms of comedy writing as there were so many funny characters working on site. It helped toughen me up – you get the piss taken out of you quite a lot when you work on a building site and you have a perm haircut, I saw a 12 week stand-up comedy course advertised in the paper that was run by comics on the circuit – I’d always enjoyed writing and loved stand up, so I signed up for it. They really helped me develop an understanding of putting a set together and were really kind in terms of guidance and feedback – at the end of the course, one of my favourite comics (Seymour Mace) told me I should keep going – I’ve been writing and performing stand up ever since. It’s Seymour’s fault.
NY Elite: What are you currently working on?
Danny Sutcliffe: I have been lucky enough to write jokes for a tv show in the UK, but for every 50 you send over, only 1 could end up being used – so I’m working with my friend and fellow comic David Stanier on turning some of those rejected jokes into sketches to put online.
NY Elite: What made you take this role in “Mr. Doom”?
Danny Sutcliffe: Leif Johnson has compromising photos of me from a new year’s party in 2015 that, if made public, could ruin mine and a majority of the cast of Coronation Street’s careers / lives. Leif said he created the lead character Jack with me in mind and asked me if I would like to play him – there are not many opportunities that come around like that, so I couldn’t say no – I know I’m very lucky to be in this position. Also, Jack is an alcoholic, so there are a lot of scenes where he has to have a drink in his hand or is doing drugs, so that suited me just fine – Leif told me it’s called ‘meth head acting’.
NY Elite: What journey does your character go on in the course of the monologues?
Danny Sutcliffe: A drink and drug fuelled one. He visits quite a lot of snooker halls as well.
NY Elite: Tell us a little bit more about this film “Mr. Doom”, what is it about, who else are you working with? What is it like working with the film director, Leif Johnson?
Danny Sutcliffe: It’s about a washed-up snooker player who has become a bit of a hermit, he has his own little filthy bubble and he’s happy in it – until local up and coming gangster Charlie, played by the very talented Danny Parsons, turns up to pop it in a spectacular fashion.
The whole team that Leif has put together are some of the most talented people I have ever had the privilege of working with – Craig Murdoch behind the camera is a genius, Scott Kershaw produces the loveliest photographs of us all on set – acting wise, Ruth Cockburn, Che Burnley, Melanie Gayle, Francesca Narene – it’s a mix of actors and stand-up comics all working together to create something brilliant.
It’s great working with Leif, and I’m not saying that just because he has compromising photographs of me – he was already a good friend so it’s lovely to be able to work with him on a professional level – I’ve learned a lot already.
NY Elite: As a stand-up comic, what is your writing style?
Danny Sutcliffe: It’s a mixture of one liners and stories, never political and always daft.
NY Elite: What’s your most accomplished moment?
Danny Sutcliffe: I’ve been lucky enough to meet the love of my life on the stand up circuit, Allyson June Smith – she’s a far better comic than me. Also being asked to be the lead in a film that Leif Johnson has written for me is pretty cool.
NY Elite: What inspires your comedy? What do you like to joke about?
Danny Sutcliffe: It used to be stuff that made me angry, mostly commercials on tv, but now I try to make it more about things that interest me and I can learn about them as well as trying to find comedy in them. I quite like taking the piss out of myself a lot as well.
NY Elite: What should an audience expect when they see you perform? What’s your act like?
Danny: For one they should expect to see me in a fantastic sparkly cowgirl shirt that I got from Canada. It’s important to have a gig shirt to make an immediate impression, before you’ve even said a word. Sometimes, I will run onstage at full speed while the MC is still introducing me, rip the mic from their hand and just scream in French. Other times I may have been hiding in the venue all day, just to pounce out from under the stage or drop down from the ceiling as my name is announced. I like to get everyone up clapping and dancing whilst I walk the room shaking hands. I’ll do this for about 45 minutes. It’s nice and friendly, but it also enables me to scour the room for any potential assassins.
I’ll try and do around 3 laps of the venue to make sure everyone has got their money’s worth (and I have confirmed there are no assassins) – then, on the final lap I’ll do some karate kicks and chops down the aisle to the stage – then I’m up to do my award winning 5-minute routine about my local carwash.
NY Elite: What types of events have you done?
Danny Sutcliffe: Christian rock festivals in the middle of a field, rough pub gigs where the stage was some wooden pallets and the tv was still on showing the football, biker rallies for the NABD – One of the most notable events was a late-night function at Alton Towers – but when I got there it turned out I’d read the email wrong and ended up being part of some kind of violent protest – and none of the rides were open, so I just smashed a few of the gift shop windows and went home.
NY Elite: How would you describe your humor or style?
Danny Sutcliffe: Quite loud, daft, mostly nonsensical.
NY Elite: What’s your goal for this year?
Danny Sutcliffe: To finally defeat my nemesis. Then get another nemesis.
NY Elite: What is your advice for aspiring actors/comedians?
Danny Sutcliffe: Write what you think is funny and do it often – also don’t you dare make your gig shirt a sparkly cowgirl shirt. That’s MINE!