Toby Froud Interview, April 27th, 2008

Hi Toby! Mia Nutuck here. Thanks for taking some time with me, I was speaking with your mother and I actually wanted to get a minute to ask you a couple of questions if you don't mind.

No, certainly. Certainly.

I'm not asking anything about you being the baby in Labyrinth, I promise.

Okay! (laughing)

One of the things I wanted to ask you -- you grew up with faeries and goblins and you also have parents and grandparents who are artists. Do you think you were destined to be artistic...have you ever considered going completely insane and becoming an accountant or something or was that just what you were going to do?

The accountant was only a threat in the household! Whenever it was thrown around. It was always to do with art. I've spent my life growing up around it and I've, ever since I can remember, been sculpting and drawing. Making costumes. Making all sorts of things. Performing. It was always on the creative artistic side. And I'm not that good with numbers, so I think accounting would be the worst idea. But it still was a threat in the house!

Well, yeah, you know, I've always thought when you're one of the artistic, happy people and your teenager wants to be rebellious, they can't just give themselves a mohawk and piercings because that's not going to shock you at all. So how do they threaten it?

I think my father could always outdo me when it came to sort of rebelling, which was always very funny. Whenever I tried to rebel, they'd always go 'yes, but have you tried this? Or why don't you do this instead?' It's like, iIt doesn't work now, does it, really? It's not rebelling anymore.

I dyed my hair blue! 'Cool! It'd look great with a red streak there.'

Exactly. You should have gone further, do more, that sort of thing.

Ah, that's awesome. I can so see that too.

It never works in an artistic family, so.

No, no it doesn't. I'm going to be an accountant or something like that. That's got to be the only threat left. You're stuck with the art!

It always is art, yes.

I've seen you at Faerieworlds every year playing just amazing characters. Last year, you were the satyr on stilts and that was amazing, so... do you know what you're going to be for this year?

I don't! I don't actually. I haven't had time to think about it, unfortunately. I hope to be something. We'll see what happens.

I hope so too. Most of us are planning our next year's Faerieworlds costumes the day after Faerieworlds, so...

So, what are you-- I read a little bit on the website and Robert mentioned something about you working with your dad on videos and your mom was just telling me about puppeteering and puppets -- what do you have going on yourself?

What do I have going on myself? Well, I just finished working on the TV show for Nickelodeon: a kid's show. I trained as a -- the word for the course was 'Technical Arts and Special Effects.' So, it's a long word for saying 'sculpting in film and television.' Or prop-making. So I've been doing a lot of prop-making and set-dressing for this new kid's show that's coming out on Nickelodeon. Which is great. It's been a lot of fun. And that's taken up a good six months so far. I've been -- but that's sort of in the professional world. I've just been creating my own art, really. I've been sculpting. And I've been creating my own videos.

Are we going to get some Toby Froud books next?

Toby Froud books would hopefully, at some point, would be great! When I come up with the idea, the actual thing to write about, the thing to put into pages, I think. But for now it's actually short films and music videos and projection pieces.

I think that'll be marvelous.

So yeah, I think as my mum has been saying, I've been working with my father, with his images, to create them and turn them into moving images and moving pieces for the audiences. That'll be at Faerieworlds actually.

Excellent! So at some point there may be a Dark Crystal/Labyrinth-type movie that's you!

I would hope so, yeah. I'd love to! Yeah, see, the dream would be to do that, so... I can only hope. (laughing)

You're the next generation and I think everyone's looking forward to seeing that.

Me too!

I did have a question that just came up a couple of days ago when we discovered the manga that's been licensed by the Hensons, by the Henson company showing Toby from Labyrinth as an adult... have you seen that?

Yeah, people keep running up to me with it, asking 'did you have anything to do with this?' And it's just, no, I had no idea it was going on. It's me older! It's very funny.

It's supposed to be and it's really funny because the first thing we thought when we saw it was, 'but we've seen Toby! That's not what he looks like! That's not Toby!'

Yes, I know. (laughing) Yes. It's the manga-version!

Yes, it's the weirder version of it. Even though it wasn't done by Japanese manga artists. So, very odd.

Yeah, even more odd, so.

Yeah, it's very strange. No, I'd wondered if you'd seen that because it's bizarre.

Yeah, people keep coming up to me with that book-- it's very funny to see. Very strange. But I'm glad there's a continuation somewhere, which is good.

Oh, you know, just the other night, in line for a concert, my husband and I were talking about Frouds in general and somebody said, 'Oh! There's going to be a Dark Crystal sequel! And there should be a Labyrinth sequel! And I want to see what happens when the baby grows up!' And I went, 'Well, I kinda.. met... the baby grown up.' And I wasn't going to bring that up1 (laughing)

Yeah, you know what happens. He lived in Devon for a while and that was.... he moved to London, that was the adventure.

Or lives in a house full of faeries and goblins, much like you would think. So, does it -- with the friends you grew up with and things, were they ever completely boggled by coming over to your house and seeing the way you guys live and --

I think, I mean, people were always a bit cautious when they first came in the house. But my friends grew up around me and my parents anyway, so they grew up with the house the same way I did which is great, which is good. But, you know, if a plumber or someone comes in, they always feel -- take a second look!

I didn't have any huge questions for you at the moment, I just wanted to check in and let our readers see what you're up to and see if I could get some words from you because I really think you're the inheritor of all of this and I personally am very pleased that you're continuing with it because it's such an amazing world...thanks for talking with me.

Thank you.

[Mia Nutick]