Exclusive: Film veteran Tom Sizemore stars in the new psychological thriller Impuratus

Tom Sizemore as Detective Clayton Douglas, in the film, Impuratus. Pic credit: Thundersmoke picturel
Tom Sizemore in the film, Impuratus. Pic credit: Thundersmoke Media

Tom Sizemore, best known for Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Heat, Natural Born Killers, and Born on the Fourth of July, continues to make his mark in Hollywood and is doing so in Impuratus, a stunning new horror film.

For more than 30 years, the well-known character actor has made an indelible impression on the film world and now has a starring role in Impuratus, an indie possession film that is sure to keep you guessing.

The movie is about a police detective, Clayton Douglas (Sizemore), who is summoned to a remote state mental hospital to witness a mysterious Civil War veteran’s outrageous death-bed confession that forces the officer to accept the supernatural.

Filmed at the actual Pennhurst Asylum outside of Philadelphia, in the dank, dark basement, Detective Douglas sees and hears things that will forever change his life and the lives of his loved ones.

Sizemore says there were many reasons he agreed to come to Philadelphia to make Impuratus. “I enjoyed the script. It was a terrific leading part,” he explained. “This movie had a lot of qualities I like when I’m trying to find something to do. It was a period piece which was interesting, and I really liked the people that were involved.”

The movie co-stars Robert Miano, Lew Temple, Airen DeLaMater, and Jody Quigley. It was produced by Guy Quigley of Thundersmoke Media.

The film premieres on Sunday, December 18, at the Philip K Dick Film Festival in Queens, New York, and will formally debut in March 2023. In early screenings, Impuratus has won several dozen film festival awards, including three for Sizemore and director Michael Yurinko.

One of the major challenges involving the making of Impuratus was the bitter cold temperatures, both inside and outside the asylum.

Quigley, who plays the pivotal role of Daniel Glassman, says he enjoyed getting to know Sizemore during the making of the film.

“Tom is a super nice, down-to-earth guy. He doesn’t have that Hollywood attitude. He came to set prepared and was happy to throw in his two cents on how to make a scene better,” says Quigley. “He brought his acting chops to the table, and he delivered. It was a great experience working with him.”

Michael Yurinko, the film’s screenwriter-director, loves Sizemore in Heat and says that his role as Scagnetti in Natural Born Killers was truly memorable. He also enjoyed Sizemore’s role, early in his career, in Point Break with Keanu Reeves. Of course, he was awe-inspiring in Saving Private Ryan.

“I would say that Tom is one of our finer actors working right now. He really is a very unassuming, very giving person,” Yurinko adds. “Tom has very little ego; he’s just an all-around nice guy.”

Yurinko said the first few days of filming, he thought maybe Sizemore needed to “pump up his energy a bit,” but when he watched the footage, he saw pure cinematic magic.

“Tom had that character nailed. He knew exactly what to do. And it was just quite easy editing that performance together. He’s a smart guy who oozes talent, and he just played that role perfectly,” says Yurinko. “As soon as he came in with the wardrobe, the hat, and everything, it’s like, he’s going to come around the corner, and it will be perfect.”

Read on to find out how Tom Sizemore kept warm during the chilly winter film shoot and some of his favorite previous roles that have contributed to his prolific career. 

Monsters and Critics: How did you spend your off-time when you were in Philadelphia making the movie?

Tom Sizemore: Getting warm and staying warm. 

M&C: Have you seen the final cut, or near the final cut, of Impuratus? What was your reaction?

Tom Sizemore: I saw a very early cut at Charles’ Office and I was blown away. The quality was astounding, the acting, everyone was outstanding, and the photography was superb. Can’t wait to see the final version with the music all in. 

M&C: What were the surprises you encountered during the making of the movie?

Tom Sizemore: The cold, it was so bitter cold. How creepy Pennhurst is. How stunning the set was. How did the Art Department do that? And the high caliber of the Camera Department.

M&C: How quickly did you figure out your detective character, his motivations, and what made him tick?

Tom Sizemore: As I was reading it, I saw that it was coming together for me. He goes to check on this mental hospital, it’s been operating, but it is located off the beaten path. He’d gotten a call from there a couple of weeks before and meant to go by and check everything out per their request. But it wasn’t pressing business, so he postpones the visit, but later remembers the call, and he goes. When he’s there, he sees it has fallen into some disrepair. He meets the head doctor, who shows him one of the patients who had been making some notes, and the detective’s name is being written over and over again. Of course, it spurs him into action. He wants to know why this person is doing this. So, it was clear to me in the story what was pushing the story forward.

M&C: How did you stay warm in the bitter December cold?

Tom Sizemore: I did what everybody else did. I wore hand warmers and always kept a nice toasty coat on me when I wasn’t shooting. And I stayed near those little furnaces, those portable furnaces that they have when it’s super cold out. I stayed close to those. Ironically, the building was colder inside than it was outside of the building. It hadn’t been heated in a number of years, so yes, it was bitter cold. We all did okay.

M&C: In addition to being cold, was it creepy? 

Tom Sizemore: It was a scary place. It was dirty. The administrators got up and left in the middle of the night, like 50 years ago. I understand that’s what they did, so it was really a scary place as well. The cold helped it seem even more foreboding.

M&C: Jody said at night it’s even worse. That it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it’s really dark, and he got lost getting there a couple of times.

Tom Sizemore as Detective Clayton Douglas, in the film, Impuratus. Pic credit: Thundersmoke Media
Tom Sizemore in the film, Impuratus. Pic credit: Thundersmoke Media

Tom Sizemore: We were often there at night. Yes, it was crazy and scary at night. It was off the beaten path. And it was a really awful place when it was operating, and we heard they were very mean to the children who lived there. Legend has it that if you went in there, you didn’t usually come out, or if you did, you came out in a box.

M&C: Talk about your experience working with Jody Quigley.

Tom Sizemore: Jody was quiet; a quiet rock. He was one of the rocks of the production because he had a six-hour makeup session a couple of times. And he’d have to get the makeup applied without his shirt on because of the way they did the prosthetics. It was difficult because of those prosthetics; we’d get really cold, and he had a hard time talking sometimes. He relentlessly persevered. I would call him quietly relentless. I enjoyed working with him a lot.

M&C: Did you know Robert Miano before this movie?

Tom Sizemore: Yes, I’ve known Robert for a while. We’ve always wanted to do something together, and we had a blast. My favorite aspect of the movie is the parts that I filmed with Robert.

M&C: Can you talk a little bit about working with Airen DeLaMater, who played Sister Rose in the new movie?

Tom Sizemore: Well, she was just wonderful; I loved her. Airen was so serious and just really terrific. She knew all about the period, and she looked great. She was just terrific; she really was.

M&C: Is there something in particular or more than one thing that stood out about Michael’s script and the fact that he wrote and directed it?

Tom Sizemore: It was just terrific. Especially for a horror movie. It was just really smart and elegant.

M&C: You’ve had a long career, more than 30 years. What do you attribute to your longevity?

Tom Sizemore: My passion for the work. I’ve always loved movies. That’s why I started doing this, and after all these years, I still adore movies. The business has changed a whole bunch. A friend of mine just turned me onto Ozark, and I can’t stop thinking about it. So, it’s about just having a real passion for stories and my nascent curiosity. I’m lucky I like it so much.

Robert Miano as Dr. Heysinger, Airen DeLaMater as Sister Rose, and Tom Sizemore as Detective Clayton Douglas from the film, Impuratus. Pic credit: Thundersmoke Media
Robert Miano, Airen DeLaMater, and Tom Sizemore, from the film, Impuratus. Pic credit: Thundersmoke Media

M&C: What advice do you have for current and future generations who want to walk in your shoes?

Tom Sizemore: Go to law school. I don’t want the competition [he joked]. No, you have got to be sure that you want to do this. I don’t know how you can be sure of that; it’s not easy. But if you love it, you’ve got to figure out how to do it and go out and do it.

M&C: Are there one or two movies of yours that jump out at you as being just the most memorable or the most exciting?

Tom Sizemore: Natural Born Killers was the first leading part in a major production. It was such a unique production, and the actors were so terrific. Oliver Stone was at the top of his game, and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan for obvious reasons.

M&C: What others come to mind?

Tom Sizemore: Heat, Black Hawk Down, Dreamcatcher, A Broken Life, and The Last Lullaby; I truly love those movies. I was lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with so many terrific directors.

M&C: What kinds of movies/roles do you look forward to doing in the future?

Tom Sizemore: Charles Lago, my manager, who was also the producer of Impuratus, always tells me I have a second act coming and that I need to start doing more dramatic roles and stay away from the bad guy, military, and cop roles. So, I say to him, you’re right; get me those roles. 

M&C: What are a few recent movies you enjoyed watching or streaming, and why?

Tom Sizemore: I just watched Bullet Train on Netflix and really enjoyed it. Brad Pitt is such a good actor, and this was no exception. I have been so busy filming I haven’t had a chance to watch much. I’m home now for a few weeks, so I plan to catch up soon.

M&C: Why do you recommend that my readers watch Impuratus?

Tom Sizemore: They should go for a good scare and cuddle up with a friend or loved one. It’s really well shot and extremely nice looking. Everyone likes to be scared. And this film will scare you ALOT!

Impuratus from Thundersmoke Media is slated for a March 2023 debut.

Next, The Night House review: An affecting haunted house film about mental wellness.

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