I caught up with the incomparable Jonathan Kite (yes, Oleg in CBS's 2 Broke Girls) for a chat on acting, film, horror, comedy (and the human condition that bridges them), the craft of character and much more as it relates to his latest, the Christmas-themed horror anthology All the Creatures Were Stirring, available now on DVD, On Demand, and Digital Video.

All the Creatures Were Stirring delivers as a Holiday-themed horror anthology oddly because the vignettes it presents – from a Saw-like take on the proverbial office Christmas party, to a Christmas demon, to an updated take on the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (the vignette where Kite's character Chet comes into play) – are very much a black comedy too, from their campiness to scenes like the process of Chet getting his comeuppance and hopefully changing for the better.

This all adds up to an interesting flick from David Ian and Rebekah McKendry. The ensemble cast – also including Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians), Matt Mercer (the director of Kevin Sluder's incredible noir short Play Violet For Me and the horror feature Dementia Part II), and Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil) among others – does a fantastic job here too.

Don't must of us, at some level, laugh at the insanity of the holiday season? Whether it's putting up with relatives or coworkers we don't like, watching people trample each other on Black Friday, or the Clark Griswolds of the world who take Christmas lights and holiday decorations to absolutely insane levels that can be seen quite clearly from space? At some level, the absurdity of all this can be both horrific and blackly comedic. So what the hell, let's laugh while we can.

Jonathan Kite.

Enjoy the interview below and check out All the Creatures Were Stirring to help you appreciate this unsung spirit of the season.

Hi, Jonathan. How are you?

Good. How are you?

Oh, just great. Great to talk to you. I'm actually from Illinois as well. I know…

Oh, nice.

Yeah. I know Champaign pretty well. To start things off, I was curious. What initially attracted you to acting as your art form?

I like to tell stories and I really like, I like to ... That's why, I think, for me that's what I'm best at. Like, I've tried stand-up and I write and I've done improve and I've done dance. But, I think, for me movies in general, it sort of brings everything together. I think theater does the same thing. They're like cousins or brothers. And I think that for me, I really enjoy the chronicling of human existence and, sort of, what we are as a society and how we can comment on it. I've always really enjoyed that aspect of civilization. And so, I think my, sort of, way of being a part of it is through acting.

Absolutely. And sort of getting into the same thing there, what initially attracted you to All the Creatures Were Stirring as a project?

One of my best friends is Morgan Peter Brown whose one of the two executive producers of it. We went to college. He went to the University of Illinois with me. We love horror and we always talk about horror films and doing horror movies. And, he had done a couple before that were very successful. So, we talked about the anthology idea where we ... I just think that's a super cool concept. It works really well, I think, for horror. And, there aren't enough of them.

Agreed. It seems more have been done in TV.

And so, we had sort of talked about doing a horror anthology for a long time. 'Cause I really love, like Tales from the Crypt, and The Twilight Zone, and, you know, Tales from the Dark Side, all those ... I just think those are cool and then we share a love for that.

And so, he one day literally called me up and was like, "I'm gonna do this movie. Do you want to do it?" And, I said "Yeah".

I didn't even read the script. I had no idea what the hell I was getting in to. I was just like, "Yeah man, of course. I'd love to work ..."

Jocelin Donahueas Alissa in the horror film“ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING” an RLJE Films release.Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

A – I wanted to work with him because we're such good buddies but also it's something that we have a passion about, horror in general. And, to make something of this specific type of film that we had talked about for years, was like a ...

It felt like a "Oh, okay. Well that's cool. That finally came together."

Nice. You know, and talking about that as a horror, I found, I think, the most interesting part of it to be the sort of darkly comedic aspects of the different films within the anthology which got me to wondering: what's it like acting in a comedy versus a horror? What are the challenges like with both of those?

I mean, I think that horror can be funny. There's a lot of comedy in horror. I mean, look at Freddy in Nightmare on Elm Street, that guy he's telling jokes the whole time. You sort of ... You like that aspect of it because it breaks up the tension. You're sort of building it ... It's like those scare moments. You know, like the big jump out moments that people sort of like laugh and sigh of relief because they wanna release the tension that's built up in them.

In general, I think that comedy always serves horror. I think that they're extreme emotions being ... Getting yourself to laugh is a natural reaction and being scared and jumping is a natural reaction. And, they're both, they're both shared experiences. Which is why, I think, comedies and horrors do so well in large groups because you scare one, you're probably gonna scare everyone in the theater. Or you get one person to laugh, a lot of people are probably gonna laugh.

Very true.

And so, hearing that, it's sort of like, we're all ... It's part of the human condition and we're a part of it. And so, we're like related knowing that we are in the safe environment in the theater but yet these horrific things are happenings that we can all relate to in our own personal way. And, we're all sort of like watching it unfold and being surprised, simultaneously.

Like Scream ... Scream is one of my favorite movies of all time. There's so much comedy in that and yet it's about a murder, two murders. You know what I mean?

I do.

So, it's like ... But I think that they're sort of in the same ballpark.

Jonathan Kite as Chet in the horror film“ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING” an RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

Oh, absolutely. I never thought about it like that, both of them having those very social aspects about them. Let's see ... What was your process like for getting into that headspace with Chet? I mean, essentially the modernized Scrooge character, you know?

Yeah. In my experience, what I try to always do is to return to being alone. You know there's a crew around you and that's the biggest thing. Even in "A Christmas Carol", is that he is going through this alone. That he has nobody. And so, that's what's sort of terrifying because he's this lonely man who doesn't really have anybody.

And then when he needs them the most, they're not there because there is nobody. For me, I just try being a room full of two people and the other, sort of, just warm bodies. I really just tried to return to the place of just being alone. And like really having no one to help me and things just keep getting worse. Which I think is a very terrifying situation to be in, especially if you are in your home, which you think you should know better than anybody else.

Certainly. It was a great retelling of Scrooge with a modern twist. Any memorable or funny moments that stick out from the process of filming?

Oh. I mean, I think like ... Probably me looking at the Santa. That was like a funny thing and it got a big laugh in the theater. I think because it's me being like, "You son of a bitch!"


And it's like me taking out all my aggression on an inanimate object which people do all the time. And I think that that's always a funny thing. You know, you like see somebody's car break down and they get like they kick the tires 'cause they're just so frustrated. But it's like, you know, it's not ... The tire doesn't give a shit. And so, I think that was pretty ... I liked that. I thought that was all right. I mean, that made me laugh. And when I saw it, that's just a great shot in the movie of the racks broken. So, of me being in the background and the Santa being in the foreground, I thought that we had some fun with that.

That was a great moment. I mean, I thought the whole thing was rather clever myself. But yeah, that part ... Let's see ... Now, switching gears a bit to a question that I ask most everyone ... What performances and films have really stuck with you and molded you as an actor over the years?

You know, performances, but also careers. Because I think that when you look at somebody like Michael Keaton or ... I think of comedians like, who really are able to diversify what they do ... Like Beetlejuice is a performance that I fell in love with as a child and I still am in awe of it today. Certainly, like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, which is a ... It's a really, like they sort of take everything on their shoulders and it's such a bold ... I mean those movies could have been colossal flops, but they weren't ...

[At this point the call dropped, we reconnected a few minutes later]

(L-R) Constance Wu as Gabby and Morgan Peter Brown as Steve in the horror film “ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING” an RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

Sorry about that, I'm not sure what happened but…

That's alright.

Let's see, I think we were talking about Ace Ventura

Oh, yeah, I was just saying I think committed performances where it's such a specific vision. There's a newness to it. Ace Ventura. Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. They're just saying we really believe them and it's such a grounded, really committed, odd choice. Maybe not even the obvious choice but there's such a boldness and a specificity to it and I think that that really ... I connected with those performances when I was a kid.

Those are some great ones. Another question I like to ask most everyone. What makes a great film?

I think it's a lot of things. I think what makes a great film is a story that, even if we've heard it before, we haven't heard it in quite this way. But I think it's, sort of, it's a combination of things. I think it's got to connect to people. I mean, because when I see this great film, you may not think it's a great film so if I really connect to a Beetlejuice or whatever, I think that I like it because A – that film is entertaining, it's funny, it's original, there's a lot of originality. It's a very inventive sort of storytelling and it's not ... but, at the same time, you can look at a traditional film and it can be just as good, it's just for very different reasons. I think, for me, I never compare films or say one is necessarily better than the other. I can say I favorite films and I like them for different reasons.

Absolutely, and it is a very subjective question there. Also, a pretty big question.

Yeah, of course, of course.

But, yeah, we're actually at the last one, Jonathan. Which was just what's next for you?

Well, I just did a movie called The Bellmen which was in Arizona and I just, literally, right before you and I spoke, I did a movie called James the Second that I, literally, just wrapped today. I, literally, just wrapped it.


Just now, before. I did those so I've got two movies coming out next year and then we'll see what happens, you know. I got some fun stuff that we're trying to shoot right now and we'll see if those others get made, we'll see.

Jonathan Kite as Oleg in 2 BROKE GIRLS, CBS.

Jonathan Kite Oleg character reel from 2 BROKE GIRLS, CBS.