Monday, May 6, 2013

Leaving THE BROOD: An Interview with Cindy Hinds

Interview by Darrell Marsh

Picture this: you're watching a film with a pretty decent story, a good cast, and great FX, and all of a sudden a child actor pops up and proceeds to spend the rest of the film staring into the camera like a deer in the headlights. In David Cronenberg's classic science fiction horror film The Brood from 1979, this terror-struck little girl was young Canadian actress Cindy Hinds.

In The Brood, Hinds plays Candice, a child torn between her mother, who is undergoing controversial "psychoplasmics" treatment, and her father (Art Hindle) who disagrees with the methods practiced at the radical Soma Institute. Hinds's portrayal of Candice is the epitome of the quiet, withdrawn, confused child. In the film's climatic final act, you could almost believe Cronenberg failed to tell her that she was in no real danger. Her terror is as real as it gets. Let's face it, when it comes to child actors, they either have it or they don't. Cindy Hinds had it! The genuine emotions she put on screen were likely responsible for Cronenberg casting her once again in his 1983 take on Stephen King's The Dead Zone. With a later role in the ultra creepy made-for-TV movie Evil Stalks This House, you could say Hinds was well on her way to becoming a bona fide junior scream queen. We will never know for sure, however, because for personal reasons, Cindy Hinds quit acting in 1984.

Hinds resurfaced in a rare appearance as a guest at SHOCK STOCK 2013 along with her co-star Art Hindle. At the show, Horror in the Hammer had the chance to talk with the former child actor about her career and follow up with an interview via Facebook about her life today.


HITH: How was it you got into acting at such a young age?

CH: I got into the business when I was four. My mom, brother and I were shopping at The Bay during "Bay Days." They had "Bay Man" dressed like Batman who stopped my mother and told her he thought my brother and I would be great for TV and modelling. We were both fair with big blue eyes. On a lark, my mother took his card and called the Trainco Talent agency where we almost immediately started getting work. My brother did a few things, didn't enjoy it as much as me, and quit quickly. I stayed working until I was 13, and for many reasons (mostly wanting to have a "normal" life), got out of the business as well. I ended up living on my own at 17, so getting back into acting didn't seem possible. I started working full time then put myself through College where I took a 3 year course in Hospitality Admin. I never looked back at acting until recently when I was contacted by Chris Alexander [editor-in-chief of Fangoria]. 

HITH: You came to Shock Stock as part of The Brood alumni. Do you remember how you got the part? 

CH: It's all a bit vague but I do remember my mom speaking with me about it before the audition. She knew of David's work and I know she had concerns, especially after reading the script. I was a pretty tough kid and I believe that came across in my audition.I definitely had an angelic look. I also looked quite young for my age. That had to help, having an older child that understood a bit more playing a younger character that had to endure so much in the film. 

HITH: You mention your mother being familiar with his work. David Cronenberg is known for creating some very intense, horrific films. How was he when it came to dealing with the kids on the set?

CH: He was awesome! So kind and thoughtful. He spoiled me and made sure I always had whatever I wanted. He took great care to make sure I was always okay throughout the entire shoot. He was always letting me "help" him with things on set. I have very fond memories of working with David.

HITH: When was your first time watching the film and what was your initial reaction? 

CH: David set up a screening for my family and I as soon as the film was finished. Being young, I didn't totally understand everything about the film. It was the first really "scary" film I was able to watch, so I thought that was cool for sure! 

HITH: Today, The Brood is looked at as a classic in the body horror genre, but when originally released the critics weren't so kind. Roger Ebert went as far as asking "Are there really people who want to see reprehensible trash like this?" What do you believe caused such a shift in popularity? 

CH: I honestly have no clue and often wonder the same thing. I remember watching an awards show where Samantha Eggar was up for best actress. I was mortified when the audience laughed at the movie clip. I didn't understand why. My mom tried to explain to me that it was a "different" type of movie and not all people will like it. It blows my mind that 35 years later, it is still such a draw. How cool is that?

HITH: Looking at your career, most of your roles were in horror films. Do you have an opinion why, and are you a fan of the genre today?

CH: I think I got horror roles because directors and producers could tell that I could handle it. It helped me get the roles. Between TV and Film, I did a number of roles in just a few years. Growing up, I loved horror movies. I grew up with Freddy and Jason. Nowadays, I'm a science fiction or action girl. I don't like being startled and don't like drama. I've gotten boring over the years. [laughs]

HITH: Your roles seem to have recurring traits of being withdrawn, quiet, and vulnerable. Was this a reflection of how you were off screen as a child?

CH: Well not that quiet! [laughs]. All kidding aside, I really was a good kid. Did well in school and didn't cause trouble for my parents. At times when things were maybe a bit tougher, I think being quiet was how I survived. 

HITH: Last but definitely not least. This is a Shock Stock piece. What was your favourite Shock Stock 2013 moment? 

CH: It was all incredible but truly wonderful to meet so many fans that appreciate the work I did so long ago. It was great talking about all the "old times" and absolutely wonderful spending those days with Art [Hindle]. He is an incredible man! It's also very inspiring to see all these young people, like yourself, out there trying to keep that movie history and culture alive. I do hope I get to do more things like Shock Stock in the future! 

These days Cindy is a Realtor  Along with her husband, she represents the top Re/Max real estate team in the Barrie area. From speaking with her, I thinks it's safe to say her top priority is her children, who she obviously adores more than anything. We'd like to thank Cindy for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to not only talk with us, but for making it out to London, Ontario for Shock Stock 2013.


  1. I aways new Cindy was multi talented!

  2. Actually watching "The Brood" for the FIRST time,right now !!! 4/20/14 AWESOME !!!