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Joseph Culp

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Joseph Culp

Joseph Culp portrayed Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four.

Significant roles

  • Dr. Rick Stockwood in A Doctor's Story (1984)
  • Det. Tom Davies in Full Eclipse (1993)
  • Mike in Dark Summer (2000)
  • Charlie Pontus in Hunger (2001)
  • Max Schlau in Cyxork 7 (2006)
  • Nick in The Seekers (2008)


  • "Dr. Doom is a very operatic character - a glorious tyrant king. For me, Doom was an operatic dip into my own latent sadomasochistic tendencies. Doom is a narcissist to the extreme. I believe he is completely scarred and mutilated. Being such a brilliant scientist, he could certainly reconstruct his face but he chose to keep his scars as a living testament to his vengeance on the world and specifically, Richards."
  • "Doom's inner sorrow and frustration - a kind of unbridled psychotic rage - propels him to do the things he does. I think deep down he loves Richards ... the person you love is the one you hate the most. Remember, Doom is all that we wish to be and all that we cannot face. From the depths of our fear he is the towering Freudian id. He's a raging ego and a wounded lover."
  • "It was raining the day of the audition and so I wore a full-length Australian Outback oilskin duster. It was very grand and served me as my "suit of armor." I played the young Victor scenes with more softness and vulnerability, as someone who really wanted a friendship with Reed and had a hidden passionate motive to capture Colossus (these elements were not written into the script, so I felt obligated to create them as emotional subtext). As the transformed Dr. Doom, I embraced the imperious, commanding style of the comic. I'm sure other actors were considered but I think I showed I was not going to hold back and willing to go all the way. I had an idea or two about the character, which was valuable for filmmakers under the gun, and probably for other unknown karmic reasons, Doom was mine."
  • "Doom is definitely an archetypal figure. By that I mean there is something about his persona and image that comes from the collective unconscious that has appeared many times throughout mythology and literature: The Tyrant, the Mad Genius, the Human/Machine that is the dubious legacy of the industrial revolution, and another incarnation of the Shadow side of Christianity - the Devil that hungers for ultimate power and domination. We can also say he is the uncontrolled "Id" or the part of human psyche that expresses instinctual desire, often repressed and anti-social, usually aggressive and sexual in nature. So this character is going to show up again and again as bloodthirsty Herod, the driven, strangely narcissistic Richard III, and the brilliant, tortured Phantom of the Opera."
  • "Let's face it, isn't Doom the original Darth Vader a.k.a. "Dark Father" - the gifted one, traumatized in youth, corrupted and mutilated by power and becoming obsessed with power and half-human? I thought about a lot of these connections for Doom, (I had worked on Shakespeare's Richard III, a disfigured royal whose inner sorrow and rage propel him to kill for the throne) but mostly tried to work intuitively and use my imagination to bring to life what I saw in the comic books."
  • "True to the spirit of Doom (and the narcissistic actor playing him) I just wish the story had been more about ME! (haha) Seriously folks... The script for this film had to cover a lot of ground quickly and there was no real backstory or clear motivation for Victor to do what he does. I tried to insert as many nuances or references as I could to paint a full portrait. How to show a crazed mad genius and tragic egoist who we enjoy watching without just clunking around in a plastic suit on a cheap Corman soundstage? One answer: Go all the way and hope for the best."
  • "It's well known to hardcore fans that Doom's mother was a gypsy, killed when Victor was a boy, so his obsession with power/magic/mystical arts was embedded with his longing for the lost mother, attaining power and avenging her death. He has royal blood, or believes he does, and is living in exile. I imagined that capturing Colossus was even a plan to use it's power to communicate with the dead mother and to claim his rightful place on the throne of Latveria. I made attempts to convey his complex character through little bits of behavior. So, kissing his mother's medallion in the lab scene, examining Dr. Hauptman using Chinese medicine technique, sexualizing hostage Alicia, the envy/hate with Reed, and the striking of grand poses and gestures, even a sense of his own auto-eroticism, were colors I hoped would complete a picture."
  • "The one quality that I thought was sometimes missing from the comic was Doom's sense of humor or irony. Something to temper his love of melodrama and flair for the bombastic. It was in the script to give him a mad laugh, and definitely encouraged by the director, so I tried to come from his rage and pain and let him go for it. A self-proclaimed king must laugh at his absurd adversaries to keep his persona intact. Though there may be a desperate crack of longing somewhere underneath."
  • "The constraints of low-budget, serviceable script, time and production value can only support an actor's choices so far. Would this version of Doom be as monumental as it should be? Not bloody likely. But I feel under the extraordinary circumstances of trying to do this kind of film, my Doom has some fine, even fun and interesting moments that honors the comic book version in many ways. And if it doesn't live up to everyone's expectations, fans should see it for what it was, i.e. a pretty good try and not take it too seriously."
  • "The ONE THING I wish would have been done differently was Doom's SOUND! The production sound for many of my lines was so horribly garbled inside the mask, that it's almost unintelligible at times. So much nuance was lost. And I was compensating to begin with because of the mask. The director, to his credit, wanted to keep as much of my actual performance as possible, so they only had me replace certain sections in post. But you can hear the vast difference in clarity. What was re-recorded sounds clean and what was live sounds muffled and is just bad sound. I absolutely hated this and it broke my heart. I wished we would have gone back and replaced every single line and created more of a real effect for Doom's "amplified" voice, which it certainly should've been. So if Avi Arad and Marvel and Fox ever get smart and decide to release this film as a special DVD bonus, my wish is that they'll let me re-record Doom's dialogue. I'd do it for free. But that's in another universe where people give a shit about stuff like that. (Maniacal evil laugh...hahahahaha...)."
  • "Sassone called me to tell me the film was shelved. I was pretty stunned because we had been doing press junkets at comic conventions and magazine spreads and it looked like we'd get a little release. And who knows, the film was a pretty heartfelt try and probably kids and less discerning fans would dig it. I always thought it would have made a great pilot for a TV series; better than Power Rangers by far. I think the rest of the cast were pretty disappointed, especially since they were the Four, and it might have given us all a little heat. But I have to say I wasn't that upset about it. It was what it was and it was a gamble at best."
  • "My life as an actor is a gamble everyday with movies, TV, theater, who knows what will "hit" and "define" me? You just keep going and challenge yourself and try to get better at the craft. I felt proud that I got to be the first Dr. Doom, and nobody can take that away, (I have two pages in the big Marvel coffee table book) and my 11-year-old son has grown up watching the tape, mimicking my lines and laughter, applying them to some serious toy-playing with a Doom figure, and knowing his old man was the O.G."
  • "The one moment during the shoot I remember best was suiting up in my dressing room and walking out to the soundstage to shoot a scene in the Jeweler's lair. Rebecca Staab was standing there in blue spandex and I grabbed her for everyone's benefit and gave her a big kiss at which everyone cheered. I then strode down a hallway - green cape flying - where crew members were lined up chanting "DOOM! DOOM! DOOM!" I was the Man! And everyone empowered me to be HIM! Here we were, a rag-tag team of artists, technicians and misfit comic fans, making a little movie with heart and having a good time. It was a cool moment."
  • "I haven't seen the new FF film only because I've been pretty busy. But I saw the trailer and it looks like great FX and a lot of fun. My son went to see it and liked it but insists that I am the real Doctor Doom. The new Doom is just kind of crazy. I'm sure I'll see it on DVD. If they do a sequel, they should put the old cast in as some kind of fun cameo, just for the fans out there who know about our film. One fan wrote me an email that said low-budget and primitive FX aside, he thought my Doom knew what he wanted (to kill Reed and drain them of their power) whereas the new one was unclear. Hey, it usually comes down to the script - which took Fox only 12 years to come up with!"
  • "As Doom would say...'Here's to the future, my friend!' "

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