Interview With Curtis Armstrong!

Recently I interviewed actor Curtis Armstrong from “Revenge of the Nerds” fame—quite fitting for a web site called “Nerd” Society, so let’s begin…

We at would like to thank you for taking the time to interview with us. It is a real honor and our readers will appreciate it too!

NERDSOCIETY.COM: First, could you tell our readers a little about yourself? What was it like for you growing up?

CURTIS ARMSTRONG: I was born in Detroit Michigan, in 1953. In 1964, my family was transferred overseas and I spent the next few years in Geneva, Switzerland. Returning in 1967, I attended Middle School and High School in Berkley Michigan before spending one year at Western Michigan University and two years at Oakland University’s Academy of Dramatic Arts, in Rochester MI. Co-founded a transient theatre company in Ann Arbor for a couple of years, before moving to New York for 11 years and finally to Los Angeles where I have been ever since, mainly loafing and sponging off friends.

NS: When did you first want to get into acting—do you truly enjoy it?

CA: In Middle School in Detroit, I rapidly discovered that people like me needed to do something really well that everyone else couldn’t do, to keep from having lunch money stolen and being stuffed into lockers. Acting was my only talent, if you can call it a talent, and since acquiring the ability, I’m happy to say I haven’t been beaten up once! (Though I was once mugged in Pittsburgh, but that was really only because I was maced before I had a chance to do my piece from “Long Days Journey Into Night.”) I really do truly enjoy it, though stage work remains my truest love and I don’t get much of a chance to do that anymore.

CA ROTN Interview With Curtis Armstrong!

NS: In your early acting career, such as “Risky Business,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” Etc…what are/were some memories you have from filming? Do you have any good or fun memories with the cast?

CA: Doing films initially was exciting and an entirely different experience for me. Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, Better Off Dead, and even less heralded films like Clan of the Cave Bear and Bad Medicine, were experiences packed with learning, adventure and hilarity, but it would take a book to recount them properly. I’ve been fortunate to mainly get on very well with cast and crew members. Obviously, there have been exceptions, but it would take a book to recount them properly, too.

NS: Do you feel that “Nerd” is a derogatory term? I prefer the word “Subculture.”

CA: Do I consider “nerd” a derogatory term? Where have you been living the last thirty years? Of course not. I don’t know if anyone considers it a derogatory term anymore.

NS: Sadly, you’d be surprised…

NS: You are well remembered as ‘Dudley Dawson’ from the multiple “Revenge of the Nerds” films; did or does that character still bring a smile to your face? Is ‘Booger’ possibly a character that you want to be remembered for?

CA: I do consider Booger to be an important role. He is utterly unlike me in every respect, so I consider it a pretty fair piece of acting! Plus, it’s clearly a character who has given a lot of pleasure to people, so that pleases me, as well. I don’t think it is a question of whether I want to be remembered for it. I have no choice.

NS: You have appeared on many television shows, from sitcoms, adult drama, to children’s/teen comedies. In working with many different types of actors in these genres, which group did/do you enjoy working with the most?

CA: It’s really hard to answer this question. Actors tend to be actors no matter what genre you’re working in. Broad comedies or dramas, films, or television, actors tend to be able to pretty well adjust to style, so there really isn’t that much of a difference to me. If you are working with a difficult or just a bad actor, that can present a challenge, but as I say, that doesn’t happen that often.

CA Snot Interview With Curtis Armstrong!

NS: You have voiced many characters in animated shows and even video games. Many of our readers (including me) are big fans of animation and voiceover; can you tell us if voiceover work is more enjoyable than live action and acting or is it something that you find to be more challenging?

CA: Voice-over work is really just a technique, but if someone were to ask me to teach it, I’d be at a loss. The main difference is how different shows are run. If you record with a lot of the cast at the same time, that’s probably the most fun, just because you are working off each other. Dan Vs and Robot and Monster were both shows that tended to record with the cast all together, which I love. American Dad records the actors individually. That’s not as much fun, but it allows them a kind of control over performance, which works better for them.

CA KON Interview With Curtis Armstrong!

NS: Currently the big buzz is about season two of “King of the Nerds.” What was it like going from theatrical acting and voiceover to a Reality Show? Is it enjoyable to be working with Robert Carradine again? What does the future hold for this Reality Show?

CA: Well, we are coming up to the conclusion of season 2 of King of the Nerds, a project which is honestly very close to my heart. We have not been picked up yet for season 3, though I am hopeful we will. Can’t really say how much I love this show. Just the time spent with these nerds has been an education and a delight and I’m happy to say many of them I consider friends. Performing in this type of show is really different than anything else I do. It’s not really acting, it’s performing, there is a lot of improv involved, but the scripted parts—particularly the presentation of the challenges—must be word perfect. I certainly never dreamed I would find myself in a “Reality show” and honestly probably wouldn’t have considered it if it hadn’t been a project Robert and I came up with and executive produce. Having input makes a difference. Just hosting would not have been very appealing to me.

NS: What are some new projects that are coming up that you are working on—anything you are allowed to talk about?

CA: Aside from King of the Nerds, I’m doing recurring appearances on Supernatural, as the evil Metatron; on New Girl, as Zooey Deschanel’s idiot principal; and on American Dad, of course. All these shows have been picked up for new seasons, though I never know how often I will be appearing on them. Later this year, I’ll be in theaters in the new Disney film, “Planes: Fire and Rescue”, a new animated feature. So, busy, thank goodness.

NS: Multiple sources state that you are a VERY HUGE FAN and EXPERT of the work of Harry Nilsson. Would you tell us how you first started to get into his music, why you became so engrossed in learning everything about him and how the music makes you feel when listening to it?

CA: The Nilsson thing just came about back in the sixties and early seventies when I heard his music on the radio and just loved it. He was brilliant in so many styles, and had a sense of humor, which is important to me I guess. I had to learn as much as I could about him. After he died, somehow his record company found out of my interest and asked if I would be interested in co-producing a series of re-issues of his albums—writing liner notes and choosing bonus tracks, I did that, with great joy, for several years. Hard to say what there is that is so special, really. He speaks to me. The Beatles and Louis Armstrong have a similar effect. They change my goof.

NS: Do you have any hobbies, or interests you’d like to talk about? Do you collect anything?

CA: I am an avid book collector: mainly 19th Century American and British Literature. Some 18th Century and 20th as well. Doyle, Dickens, Irving, Wodehouse and Boswell are all passions of mine. Books have always been my obsession and I can pretty thoroughly lose myself in them.

CA BOD Interview With Curtis Armstrong!

NS: Is there anything else that you would like to add; do you have a message that you would like to tell our readers, be it about acting, music, or life in general?

CA: Honestly, no message! I am just deeply grateful that after all these years people still care enough to be interested in this sort of thing! I love it when people say they have gotten pleasure out of my work. Very gratifying.

I would once again like to thank Curtis Armstrong for allowing us at to interview him for YOU; our reader’s, enjoyment.

Take good care and we wish you well in your future endeavors.

pixel Interview With Curtis Armstrong!

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