Chris Sarandon is an actor who has appeared in a number of classic films, including The Princess Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas, in which he provided the voice for Jack Skellington. Despite being in his 70s, Sarandon has remained professionally active and recently launched a podcast called Cooking By Heart. When asked if he is more recognized for his role as Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride or as the voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sarandon says it depends on the venue and which movie is being featured there. He enjoys making appearances at ComicCon, where he is often recognized for his role in one of the two films.
In addition to his roles in The Princess Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sarandon has also had a successful career in theater and has appeared in a number of Broadway musicals. One of the roles he is most proud of is his dual portrayal of Sidney Carton and Charles Darnay in a CBS adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.
Sarandon’s podcast, Cooking By Heart, is focused on food and cooking, and he enjoys discussing the history and cultural significance of different dishes with his guests. He is grateful for the opportunity to share his love of food with others and hopes to continue the podcast for as long as possible.
Q: Do more people recognize you from The Princess Bride or Jack Skellington?
A: It depends on the venue and which movie is being featured there. At ComicCons, where I make personal appearances, recognition usually goes to the character that appears with me. Of course, I am not recognized on the street as Jack Skellington, since he is a stop-motion animation figure, but Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride is definitely recognizable, often followed by someone quoting a line from the film written by William Goldman.
Q: You’ve still been professionally active into your 70s. Do you see yourself as ever retiring?
A: As an actor, there are limitations on the number of roles available as one gets older. One of the reasons I started my podcast, Cooking By Heart, is to remain active mentally and emotionally and exercise my skills as a producer/director. It has forced me out of “semi-retirement,” and at 80 years old, it feels like I am starting a new career. I am still open to acting roles, but I am now in the “geezer bracket!” I am not as driven to act as I used to be because I have had the career I wanted and I have a wonderful life with my wife, children, and grandchildren, whom I hate to be away from for more than a few days.
Q: What was the kids’ or grandkids’ reaction to going to an amusement park and hearing your voice as Jack Skellington?
A: When my kids were young, they had a realistic view of being in movies. After being on a few sets with me, they realized how boring it can be for a kid with all the waiting around. Although I am not seen in The Nightmare Before Christmas, there is a difference between being onscreen and doing an animation voice. Both my kids and grandkids love watching the movie and know that “Papou” (Greek for Grandpa) is the voice of Jack. I look forward to taking them to a Disney park, where they know I am the speaking voice of Jack at the Haunted Mansion, etc. We will see then what their reaction is!
Q: While Princess Bride might be world-famous, what are you singularly most proud of? What was truly your best work that might not have been noteworthy?
A: I am most proud of having had a long career because that was my original goal. I did not become an actor to become famous but to continue working in the field I love. I originally worked almost exclusively in regional theater companies, doing roles in contemporary and classical plays. I was then cast in a couple of Broadway musicals, and my movie career started with a small part in Dog Day Afternoon, a great movie from the 1970s. That led to more work in movies and on TV special event features. One role I am particularly proud of is in a CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, where I played the dual roles of Sidney Carton and Charles Darnay with a group of British actors, many of whom were my acting heroes.
Q: You just launched your podcast. How are you enjoying this new medium? Could this be an ongoing new adventure?
A: I am absolutely enjoying it! Cooking By Heart began as a suggestion from my brother-in-law to do something during the pandemic when most production had shut down. He said, “You’re Greek, you worked in your dad’s restaurant, and you cook for us. Do it about food.” After listening to a number of food podcasts, I realized I wanted to do something different, and the subject became clear: so much of my early life and its effect on my adulthood revolved around food, as I had worked in my family’s restaurant. I decided to talk to my guests about their vivid childhood memories of food and its cultural significance. I have had a great time discussing these topics with my guests and sharing my own memories of food and cooking. I hope to continue the podcast for as long as possible and to keep sharing my love of food with others.
Maria Spanadoris an experienced online writer with a passion for general entertainment stories. As a Greek mom, Maria brings her unique perspective to her writing, infusing her work with warmth and humor. She has been writing online for over 20 years, starting her career at thecelebritycafe.com. Since then, Maria has honed her skills as a writer, developing a talent for crafting engaging and informative content that keeps her readers coming back for more. Whether she's covering the latest celebrity gossip or writing about her own experiences as a mom, Maria's writing is always relatable and engaging.