Doug Bradley

Douglas William Bradley (born 7 September 1954) is an English actor. He is well known for playing the role of the Cenobite Pinhead in all eight Hellraiser films, as well as the character of Captain Elliot Spenser in two of the films Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992). He is one of only 2 actors to play the same horror character 8 consecutive times, the other being Robert Englund who’s also portrayed Freddy Krueger 8 consecutive times. Bradley has appeared in an advert for direct line insurance in the UK (as a gym teacher) appearing on everything from T.V, the backs of buses, in tube stations and internet adverts. He has performed narrations on several songs by Cradle of Filth, an English extreme metal band. The first was 2000s “Her Ghost in the Fog” (as well as “Death Magick For Adepts” and “Tortured Soul Asylum”), however he could not appear in the music video and was replaced by actor David McEwen who would play the character of Kemper in Cradle of Fear. Bradley also appeared on its sequel - “Swansong For A Raven” (as well as the album intro “Satyriasis”). In 2006, he lent his narrations to “Rise of the Pentagram” and “Tonight In Flames”. Continuing in this vein, Bradley has contributed guest vocals to Cradle of Filth’s 2008 album, Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder, on most songs excluding “Tragic Kingdom”. He seems to be playing the role of Gilles de Rais, the person on which the album’s concept is based. Bradley has appeared in a lot of horror shorts including Red Lines and On Edge. He is also a member of UK animation company Renga Media, makers of the independent British CGI ‘Dominator’ movies and shorts, dividing job roles between producer and voice actor. He also voiced the Loc-Nar in the short animated crossover Heavy Metal vs. Dominator, in which characters from the Dominator universe meet and fight with characters from the film Heavy Metal 2000. Bradley was born in Liverpool, England. He lives in London with his wife, Lynne, a son and a daughter, and a cat. He is a longtime close friend of horror/fantasy novelist Clive Barker, the two having met when they attended secondary school, and has worked with Barker in various capacities(from atheatre group to the Hellraiser films) since the early 1970s. He is also a die -hard Liverpool FC supporter.


 I hear vicious rumors about a Hellraiser remake. Why doesnt Hollywood get tired of ‘’revising’’ {and ruining} classic films?

                        DB: Yes, talk of a Hellraiser remake has been going on for two and a half years now, but no firm plans have reached my ears. I don’t know anything about it and in two and a half years no-one has spoken directly to me about it one way or the other concerning any possible involvement I may have in it.

        Why doesn’t Hollywood tire of remakes? I guess the obvious answer would be money. It’s almost a blank cheque, isn’t it? I agree with you that most of the results are very unsatisfactory (The Omen, Halloween) There have been one or two exceptions: John Carpenter’s The Thing is always the shining beacon, isn’t it? There is an element in this though - and it’s peculiar to horror films, I think – which is about the subject matter and the characters – specifically the ‘monsters’ – which operate on a kind of ‘mythological’ level and so-  like with myths - there is an urge to tell and re-tell and reshape the stories again and again. It’s the same thing that drives franchise sequels, isn’t it? There’s never that final full-stop, it’s always ‘What happened next...’ or ‘What would happen if?’

 How long have you and Clive known each other? He seems like a very interesting fellow, and multi-talented as well. When Stephen King stated ‘’I have seen the future of horror, and its name is Clive Barker,’’ he couldnt have been more right.

                        DB: We’ve known each other longer than either of us probably care to admit these days. Coming up forty years, for God’s sake. Multi-talented doesn’t come close. He always had a lot more to offer than just being ‘the future of horror’, as amazing as it must have been for Clive to have King say that about him. He’s probably the most extraordinary person I know and obviously very important in my life. We’ve always kept in touch. I’ll see him in a couple of weeks at Fangorias LA Weekend.

 Hellraiser has been referred to by some critics as ‘’a little gothic, a little S&M, and a little slasher.’’ I dont see any slasher in there, other than the fact it came out in the slasher era. {1987}. Do you see any slasher elements in there?

                        DB: Definitely. Julia wielding that hammer? I’ve always said you could take the Cenobites out of Hellraiser and you have a simplistic but serviceable slasher plot concerning a woman trawling bars picking up guys, bringing them home on a promise and beating their brains out to feed their blood to her dead lover who is gradually coming back to life. That level of the film is one way it fitted very neatly into the horror zeigeist of its period. But then Clive drops Pinhead & Co into the mix and everything is transformed, and it becomes the story we know: much more challenging, complex and satisfying. That mythological element comes into play again. And it mixes the Gothic into the slasher film all grounded in a family saga.

 Forgive me, but I have to do this: You came to a College campus a few years ago in Vincennes, Indiana, my hometown, and I got to speak to you, and you seemed so…well…normal. I think it is wonderful that you are willing to speak to your fans in person. Have you ever had any strange or frightening experiences with a fan?

                        DB: Well, I like people and I like talking, so it’s not a difficult thing really. One or two hairy moments with fans, but we’ll pass over those: they really are exceptions. For the most part, the fans are courteous, kind and considerate. And interested and interesting. There was the guy late one October night at a Haunted House in PA who asked me to sign his penis. I declined, suggesting I might not be able to fit my signature on it. He just shrugged, said ‘Oh, OK’ and walked away.

 I have just finished reading your book Behind The Mask Of TheHorror Actor, and I must say I found it a fascinating read! Have you ever considered writing fiction? I think you would make a wonderful short fiction writer.

                        DB: Glad to hear you enjoyed the book. Writing fiction? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think my brain is wired that way. I think you need to have that obsessive burn and drive to be a successful writer and I don’t think I have it.

 Heres one I am sure youve heard before, but here goes: What would you say is your favorite horror film? And yes, I know that may cover a lot of ground.

                        DB: Many times. And really the answer stays the same. Out of a long short list: The Bride Of Frankenstein.
 Just out of curiosity, what was Clive {Barkers} main objective with the play Day Of The Dog? I have heard mixed reactions about that one. Then again, I have read a collection of his plays, which included Frankenstein In Love and History Of The Devil, and found them both quite entertaining.

                        DB: Oh, God, that’s a huge question and unanswerable in the space available here. Clive never has one objective, I don’t think. He used to talk himself about aiming to throw lots of coloured balls in the air: if the audience caught one he’s be happy. Also Day Of The Dog is a mime piece, not a play. It grew out of an earlier mime called A ClownsSodom which was a short comedy based on the Commedia dell’Arte tradition: Harlequin, Columbine, Pulcinella and the rest. With Day, it had become longer and much darker and in turn grew into the play Dog which mixes elements of lycanthropy into the original story and the commedia elements have been dropped.

A complicated tapestry, you see! Dog was pretty much the first play The Dog Company performed. Frankenstein and The Devil came along a few years later. The latter was always my favourite of Clive’s plays.

 Whats on the horizon for Doug? Any plans to resurrect Pinhead a 10th or 11th time?

                        DB: You’re ahead of yourself! I’ve played him 8 times, unless I made another film in my sleep that nobody told me about. The announcement of the proposed remake means, I think, that the Hellraiser series as it stands is done. No-one’s said that in so many words, but it stands to reason. And it’s more than six years now since Hellworld was shot. So my career in pins and latex may well be over, and I’m cool with that prospect.

        Right now? Well, the Clive connection continues: I had a small cameo in The Book Of Blood, which I’m assuming will be getting released sometime soon. At the beginning of this year I took a lead role in an indie British horror film called Umbrage. And I’m linked with three or four other films which my work with Renegade, the production company I’m part of, continues. The Spine Chillers series is progressing. The Outsider we did last year and it picked up an award at a small Lovecraft Festival in the States, which was very gratifying. We’re nearing completion on The Tell-Tale Heart which will be the second of the audio-visual series. Alongside these, we’ve launched a series of Spine Chillers audiobooks: recordings of classic stories. The first two volumes of these are now available at and Hard copy CDs will follow soon. And we’ve recorded enough material now to be looking at Volume 7 and beyond, so busy times right now. News of all this is on my website and news of everything Renegade’s up to, including upcoming work in comics is at

Well, Doug, it was a real thrill to have you with us, and you take care.

        My  pleasure.



 Behind the Mask of the Horror Actor

Hellraiser / Parts 1 - ?


Red Lines

On The Edge