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Thread: SALEM's Brannon Braga Discusses Marilyn Manson

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    Level 99 space wizard Marsmind's Avatar
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    Default SALEM's Brannon Braga Discusses Marilyn Manson

    SALEM creator Brannon Braga has given an exclusive interview to Den Of Geek about Marilyn Manson's starring role as Thomas Dinley.
    Excerpts regarding Manson are below, please visit the link for full interview: SALEM Season 3 Interview


    This year, Braga bagged celebrity stylist Marilyn Manson to snip locks and whip up some meat pies.
    Braga is best known for the work he’s done in science fiction - such as on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Threshold and Terra Nova - and science fact – like his work on the Seth MacFarlane-produced revival of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. He wrote more Star Trek episodes than any other writer, more than over 100. But Braga’s real passion is horror.
    Braga spoke exclusively with Den of Geek about the frightening choice of a Church of Satan priest playing the town surgeon.


    Marilyn Manson is coming to SALEM as the town’s barber. Did you cast him for his satanic connection or his hair care knowledge?
    "We cast him for both actually: The character of the barber-surgeon, the man who cut your hair who was the also the man who cut you open. I met a man who knows him at a Christmas party, of all things. Standing under the tinsel he told me Marilyn wanted to be on the show. I said we have the perfect role for him. He is perfect for sure."


    Was the creative team tempted to ask Manson about black magic, because he is a priest in the church of Satan?
    "I didn't know that. If I had, I might have gone to him for some ideas for magical things to do on the show. I can't speak for the rest of the people on the crew. He was everywhere."


    Is Manson really just playing himself?
    "Yeah, he's doing a character but it's hard to distinguish the character from the real guy. There's a certain look he brought to the part, an inherent weirdness. But, also, he was really funny. We didn't expect that. So he was also able to provide some comic relief that the show has been lacking, which I think was an important change."


    You’ve called the character a cross between Vidal Sassoon, Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, and the teaser trailer makes it look like Dinley has a taste for human flesh. How good a cook is he? Does he share with the people of Salem?
    "You know it's interesting. There are meat pies involved. I don't think Marilyn made the pies. I doubt very much he cooks it all. But a lot of people, when the shooting was over for the day, would grab those pies and take them home and eat them. I never managed to steal one myself."


    Manson is renowned for his personal collection of archaic medical equipment. How well did he know his way around the OR?
    "The moment he stepped into Dinley’s space, he said I have most of this stuff at home. His lab is filled with charts of body parts and Grey's surgical instruments. He was right at home."


    Is Thomas Dinley as knowledgeable about the occult sciences as he is about anatomy?
    "Yes, Dinley has some secrets. There's a secret connection to the witches and the occult. He is also engaged in his own twisted form of psychopathic murder. I'll just leave it at that."


    Will he have any knowledge about resurrecting dead people?
    "Dinley plays an important role in making the devil's plan come to fruition. If anything, he’s going to prove somewhat adversarial, an unexpected adversary for the main characters."


    To the witches?
    "To the people who are now involved. In season 3, from frame one we are in the devil-occupied Salem. Things are different. Things are not going to be the way he promised. And let’s just say an underground resistance movement forms. The witches, the normals, everyone is trying to stop the devil. And Dinley, who has deep connections to the devil, will prove an adversary to those people."




    What did you think Manson would bring to theme song that no one else could?
    "Tyler Bates, our composer who happened to be working with Marilyn Manson on an album, said to me one day: 'Marilyn has a song about witches that would be perfect for the show.'
    He played it for me and it was perfect, exactly the right song. They recorded a different version for the show. It's the Witch Drum song. The song on the album is actually much, much longer. It’s quite a good song."


    You directed the music video for Cupid Carries A Gun-
    "No I didn't. I never once said I directed that video. I’ve seen that all over and it's completely not true. I don't know where that came from so I can correct it now."


    A wiki myth debunked. What kinds of occult studies do the writers do for magical accuracy on the show?
    "Well, initially and up to season 3, the magic was taken from the transcripts of the original Salem witch trials. There was so much there that was so disturbing. When we were researching the makeup and the look, we decided to go with what we know of the time. In the upcoming season, we are going to hell. It’s an actual place. Our vision of hell was based on the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. We were accurate to the time because it stays within their reality."


    You worked with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. How would he explain the goings-on in SALEM?
    "He would probably describe magic has an attempt to explain things that people didn't understand at the time. But then, you might also describe it as a means of controlling, certainly the witch trials, the different aspects of it magic. It's interesting to note that Isaac Newton, probably one of the most important scientists who ever lived, giving explanations of physics and gravity. Newton was an astrologer, a numerologist and a Bible freak. So, he was into magic. He just happened to be right about the gravity thing. Science and magic were once commingled."


    Like barbers and surgeons. What do you call Marilyn Manson on set?
    "Marilyn, that’s his name."


    Were there any supernatural occurrences on the SALEM lot?
    "To my knowledge nothing strange really has happened. In the first season there were a couple of injuries, but nothing truly bizarre happened until Marilyn Manson. He brought it with him. He brought a whole bunch of things with him."
    Last edited by S.D.; 11-04-2016 at 04:50 AM. Reason: Excerpts Added

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    I've given this its own topic, as it's a great interview and not purely analytical.

    It sounds as though there was a real creative respect between the series creators and Manson, and that they had an interesting time filming his role. The questions are good as well, Den Of Geek aren't just going for the usual "So you've got a freak on board eh?" shit.
    It's odd how defensive Braga got about Cupid Carries A Gun, especially as the only video for that song is a teaser using footage from the Third Day... shoot. I don't understand why he'd be so annoyed being associated with it?

    Anyway, some great information here, as ever it sounds as though Manson not only ingratiated himself fully with the role, but also the whole show. Although we've not seen the full thing yet, I'd maybe disagree with his assessment of Manson playing himself. I know Manson has a big, instantly recognisable personality, but unlike a brief walk-on part where he's just in a wig or whatever like Eastbound & Down, it seems like he's been given a manipulative, Renfield-esque character in his own right. If we (as fans) didn't know his mannerisms so well, it wouldn't necessarily be like "That's Marilyn Manson playing a guy on TV".
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    I never heard of anyone saying he directed the video, and there is no real video for Cupid, just a promo. Perhaps they were referring to the show's intro? Idk. I find it cool as hell that Manson walk on his set and says, "I pretty much have all of this at home", lol.
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    I've never heard of the Cupid music video thing and we're on top of things here lol

    This is a really neat interview. I bet Manson is giddy they think he's funny haha.

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    Maybe it's hearsay, or perhaps they're not even talking about the Cupid promo. It could just as easily have been rumour that Braga directed Mephistopheles or something, I've not honestly ever followed discussions about that sort of thing outside of Manson's own interviews.

    Incidentally, this is the promo:-

    "the Serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which
    the LORD god had made
    "

    m e m e n t o m o r i . p o s t m o r t e m


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    Yeah. And as we all know, that was just a loop of a scene from the Third Day of a Seven Day Binge video.

    I'm still holding out hope that there will be a new song on this season of Salem sometime. Doubtful, but I wanna hear the new shit so badly xD

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    There's a certain look he brought to the part, an inherent weirdness. But, also, he was really funny. We didn't expect that
    I know he was told to just be himself, but I suspect that would have more to do with relaxing, any any inherent weirdness is him playing it into the contrasts. Interesting to compare to Manson being interviewed on this topic, who seemed more fascinated by how normal he looked for the role and how important that was to the unsettling nature of it.

    Nothing like some German Catholic visions of Hell to be mixed in with the deeply Protestant Salem Witch trials. That should make for a heady mixture.
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    Writers of Salem Brandon Braga and Adam Simon will be taking questions again on Twitter during next week's episode which is also when Thomas Dinely makes his début. Brannon Braga ‏@BrannonBraga Nov 2 Use #SalemWGN to ask @adamsimonx and I questions during the East Coast premiere. We will be live tweeting answers throughout the show. The actors are also live tweeting during the show. Mercy liked my Tweet! Queen Mercy! lol Good stuff.

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    "In the upcoming season, we are going to hell. It’s an actual place. Our vision of hell was based on the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch."

    Very fucking nice.
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    They showed it in the first episode, was pretty cool.
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