Michael Winslow On His New Film “TODD,” Future Plans, Jamming With Eddie Van Halen & More – The Hype Magazine
Published on May 4th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz
Aaron Jackson and Michael Winslow star in director Aaron Warren‘s terrifying recent film TODD, which hit DVD and digital outlets on March 16, 2021. As released via BayView Entertainment and Shoreline Entertainment, TODD is the story of a man who has always felt like the “odd man out.” The young eccentric evolves into a morbid introvert, withdrawing from society in a downward spiral to insanity. He not only sets his sites on an aspiring young actress, but on his psychiatrist and the doctor’s family too. In turn, it is safe to assume that TODD takes its viewers on a nail-biting, anticipation-oriented journey into the mind of a budding madman.
The aforementioned Michael Winslow first made waves internationally when he was cast in Police Academy. Winslow has experienced success for almost 40 years in a variety of media, later becoming an in-demand voiceover artist and animated voice actor. Known to be able to recreate any sound known to man, Winslow has also had stand-up specials — including one for the Starz Network with Jimmy Walker — and hosted a podcast. Simply put, he never stopped working or challenging himself.
When did you film TODD? Were you on-set for the whole production?
Michael Winslow: Actually, I was not there, except for my portions. I would have loved to have been there, because I am a fan of all behind the scenes production techniques ever since I read the Star Wars Art Of Special Effects, a giant, heavy picture-laden book, that showed what the heck you could do with a camera, and a psychological thriller in mind. I knew that these filmmakers had a vision of something in mind.
We see you bartending in TODD. Was that a career you did before your career took off in the early 1980s?
Michael Winslow: Not specifically. I used to work at a restaurant where all of the waitstaff and bartenders had to audition as performers. It’s a lot different than what you see in the western saloon scenes in the movies. We can’t all be Tom in Cocktail, but we can dream…
Movies are only part of your overall career, of course, but have you filmed anything more recently than Todd?
Michael Winslow: There are some things in the works right now. Stay tuned to my social media sites for announcements.
I consider you an excellent beatboxer, of course. The way that Rahzel has had a record deal, with music built around him, was it ever your ambition to do something similar with music being at the forefront of your career?
Michael Winslow: Yes, I have had some blueprints in the works for some time now, except it wasn’t the right time… until now.
Last year when news of Eddie Van Halen’s passing came to light, the video of you and him performing together at a NAMM show resurfaced. Was that as much fun for you as it looks like it was?
Michael Winslow: It was, and it was awesomeness! We made so much noise that the rock vendors were complaining that we were making too much noise. (laughs)
Hard rock fans like myself are probably also familiar with your renditions of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin songs. Are you personally a big rock listener? Or is it that guitars are more easy to impersonate?
Michael Winslow: I listen to everything everything. I guess it’s the resonance and the harmonics for me. Remember, I am an old Foley stage microphone nut — look it up for those of you who don’t know what that is, and don’t forget: bad Sound can elevate or ruin your video or live show. Either way you’re gonna need to get some gear, and some tricks.
One of my favorite TV shows of the early 2000s was the show Ed. There was a great episode in which you played a version of yourself where you wanted to be taken “more seriously” and were no longer interested in doing sound effects. Was that ever a reality for you?
Michael Winslow: Interesting premise, but not in this particular part of the galaxy. It was great to meet Christopher Lloyd, though.
As someone who has been working steadily for close to 40 years, is there anything you haven’t done in your career that you’d still like to do?
Michael Winslow: Oh, things are just now getting interesting. New areas, new noises, new reach…
Is there anything more people should know about Michael Winslow?
Michael Winslow: I have a few more things yet to… reveal… soon.
Finally, Michael, any last words for the kids?
Michael Winslow: Practice your noises. But not in school, because, science teachers do not particularly like talking squirrels in the desk drawer, asking relevant questions related to the day’s subject matter.