|INTERVIEWS WITH PEOPLE WHO LOOK JUST LIKE US: DEAN CAMERON|
|By A.J. Daulerio||
My whole life people have told me that I look like Dean Cameron, the actor best known for his role as "Chainsaw," one of the horror-flick loving teens from the 1987 cult classic Summer School. While other people look like instantly recognizable famous people, I’ve been relegated to “that guy” status. So, to get to the bottom of this issue, I tracked down Mr. Cameron to find out how things look from his side of the universe.
AJD: Are there a lot of people that tell you they look like you?
DC: Well, yeah. A lot of people tell me that they look like me, then I feel... Well, that they don’t. There was a guy who I used to work with, a voice over guy, who insisted that he looked like me and people say that we look alike. I don’t know. I feel a little insulted by it. If I look like him, it makes me feel really bad about myself.
AJD: Hey! Don’t get me wrong, I do well with the ladies…
(A long, uncomfortable silence.)
AJD: Right. Anyway... when did you lose your hair?
DC: They told me that I was losing my hair when I was doing Summer School. The hair woman told me. So, I was like 25 or something. It didn’t really start to get crazy until later. I did this show called “They Came From Outer Space” and they were painting my scalp.
AJD: Wow. I hope I don’t go bald and have to have my scalp painted.
DC: Yeah. That was 1990. That was when the scalp painting began.
AJD: Well, I’ve easily gotten that I’ve looked you about 20 times -- sometimes it’s “You look like that guy from Miracle Beach, or Ski School, or Summer School.” But it’s usually, “Hey, you’re that guy from that Cinemax movie that was on last night at 2 a.m.” They never know your name, but they always say I look like you.
DC: Yeah. Somebody came up to me one time and said they loved me in ‘Ski Beach 2’. Which pretty much summed up my whole movie career without having named the correct movie.
AJD: Do you ever get residuals from your films? In the age of digital cable there are about 80 Cinemax channels. You probably have three films a day on now.
DC: Well, yeah. I get residuals. It’s a small amount. I mean it’s enough to keep me at the poverty level if that’s what I wanted to do. I mean you can survive on those residuals, but not like anyone should.
AJD: Do you think you have a healthy attitude about Hollywood or do you think you’re jaded by it?
DC: I think I used to be jaded, but now I’m amused by it. I still have my Web gig. It pays really, really well. It’s allowing me to not worry about acting. And because of that, the acting career has been really good in the last two years. I don’t care any more so I can go in and I have a lot of contempt for people casting me and they can sense that.
AJD: Where does the “contempt” come from?
DC: People think we mean a lot more than we really do. Like Hollywood is responsible for people killing each other and we have an impact on what people do or say or think. The truth of the matter is that the video game industry makes a lot more money and entertains far more people than television or movies. Television is just noise. It's like commercial radio.
AJD: Do you feel like Hollywood almost ruined your life at all? I mean you see all those “E! True Hollywood Stories” about young stars dealing with having and losing fame? Do you see yourself as part of that?
DC: I went through a really bad time. I went through about five years where I could not get a job. It was really a bad time. I think where I am now, is where I should be. I think that is the way it is for everyone... You kind of go through a bad time and then bounce back. Well, not everyone. People with cancer -- that’s not necessarily true for them.
AJD: Was that the low point in your acting career?
DC: (Slightly annoyed.) Yeah. When there’s no acting career that’s a low point.
AJD: Which role do you get recognized for the most?
DC: Summer School. And I did a small thing on Will & Grace last year and I get recognized for that because, well, that’s popular.
AJD: What was your most surreal Hollywood moment?
DC: My first sort of introduction to surreal weird experiences was many years ago when I was just starting out -- like 18 or 19 years old -- I was invited to this party at Tim Matheson’s house and it was up in the Hollywood Hills and I was very excited to go this thing. And I walked in, and somebody had tracked dog shit into the house, so there was this horrible smell in the house, and there were all these people in the house trying to ignore it and being really beautiful. That sort of summed up Hollywood for me.
AJD: Was there a point in your career where you got a swelled head?
DC: I thought that I would have a bigger career than I did. I don’t know if it was a swelled head, but the expectations exceeded the reality.
AJD: Was there ever a role that you turned down or auditioned for that would have put you to another level?
DC: Yeah, there were a couple of those. The most obvious one was “Chandler” in Friends. And I read for the part of the brother on Wings. There were a slew of them. The Judd Nelson part in The Breakfast Club. I mean Summer School served me really well and I got a lot of work from that, but I did think there would be more than there was.
AJD: When people make fun of you, what part do they make fun of?
DC: My eyebrows.
AJD: Nice. Do people ever yank on them?
DC: Not recently.
AJD: Nobody’s EVER yanked on them?
DC: Well, babies, I guess.
AJD: People yank on mine all the time.
DC: Sorry to hear that. But people are too scared of mine to do that. In high school I had long hair that hung over them. I didn’t realize how big they were until I started trying to be professionally good looking.
AJD: Did people ever call you “dick nose”?
DC: No. But, my last name is Eichelberry. So any combination of Dickelberry, Eicheldick. Were you ever called dick nose?
AJD: Well, yes. Dick-nosed Italian.
DC: Well, that should be your porn name.