Actor DOUG HUTCHISON has been a busy mofo since he broke out as Eugene Victor Tooms on THE X FILES and as the a-hole Prison Guard Percy Wetmore in THE GREEN MILE. Not only has he appeared in a string of films (BAIT, THE SALTON SEA and more recently PUNISHER WAR ZONE), he also started up his own production company called Dark Water Productions which is presently churning out the web series VAMPIRE KILLERS. Doug dropped by AITH recently for hookers and beers and here's what he had to say!
How did vampire killers come about? What prompted you to launch a genre web series?
From collecting "the tomb of Dracula" comics as a kid, reading Anne rRce's novels, and digging movies like "Nosferatu", "the addiction", and "the hunger", I've always had an affinity for the vampire genre. "vampire killers" was initially conceived as a TV series and then my good friend, Marco Mannone (co-writer and playing the role of Travis in "VK"), suggested turning it into a web-series. I thought it was an enticing idea and the perfect venue for something like "vampire killers". I wanted to shoot it dark, gritty, sexy, and with no holds barred. The internet is like the wild wild west. Anything goes. We're building a global audience. Virally. It's exciting. It's the new frontier. And best of all: i don't have to deal w/studio execs breathing down my neck. I can maintain creative control.
It’s said that you have created the series. What is the degree of your creative involvement? Do you have a say in terms of the screenplays, casting, what not?
I'm to "vampire killers" what Chris Carter was to "The X-Files" and jack bender is to "lost". I welcome the impeccable ideas from my creative partners (Mannone and writer/director, Tim Baldini), but ultimately -- when it comes to a definitive answer/solution/decision: the buck stops with me.
How many days does each episode take to shoot?
We shot all six episodes over the course of 2 weekends.
What format are you guys shooting on? Hd?
Doug as Tooms on The X Files
How is the show working out for you and your team thus far? Do you see it lasting?
I hope to garner enough "hits" to go out to potential sponsors in the new year. If this happens, we'll definitely be shooting more episodes in '09.
Will you ever appear on the show yourself as an actor?
Maybe. Right now I'm just totally digging being a creator/producer/writer.
Will we ever see name actors make appearances on the show?
I'm sure if "VK" becomes the juggernaut i intend it to be, we'll begin attracting names to the show.
What else can we expect from your prod company dark water productions in the near future?
I founded dark water as a hopeful door to the manifestation of creative dreams. My "VK" partner, Tim Baldini, and i are hoping to shoot a screenplay of mine, "Dreambirds", in '09. I'd also like to represent talent in various forms. I just did a photo shoot, for example, with an angelic 9-year old child named Chanel (who, by the way, will be playing a vampire in "vampire killers") and intend to rep her as a model/actress. I'd also like to rep writers, directors, comics, photographers, musicians, etc. The sky's the limit.
Punisher fans will also get to see you in punisher war zone as Loony Bin Jim. So what was it about the part that appealed to you when pitched your way?
I initially passed on "Punisher: War Zone" because i didn't think i was right for the role of Looney Bin Jim and then Lexi Alexander [director] got on the phone and wouldn't take "no" for an answer. After she described lbj as the spawn of "Hannibal Lector and Hitler", well, i couldn't resist!
As the sadistic Percy in The Green Mile.
I heard your prep was extensive for the role. Do you prepare all of your roles so vigorously before a shoot? Would you call yourself a method actor?
No. I'm not method. My preparation completely depends on the demands [or lack thereof] of any given role. Some parts --like Percy in "The Green Mile" and, yes to an extent, lbj in "pwz" -- take a bit more in-depth prep and research because they are characters significantly unlike me. I find myself attempting to bridge-the-gap, so to speak, through dialect, dress, physicality, and demeanor. I rarely, though, if ever, stay completely 100% immersed in a role. The only time i remember doing that was when I played Pete Willard in "a time to kill". I went full southern redneck. Hung out with racists in Jackson, Mississippi. Looked like absolute shit. Didn't bathe for weeks. In fact, Sandra bullock signed my script: "take a shower and then we'll talk!".
What would say was your favorite scene to act out in punisher war zone?
Probably the scene in the mental ward when lbj is revealed. There's so much to explore on a plethora of levels: the orderly fucking with me, the reunion with my brother, and then, of course, my cannibalism of said orderly. Fun stuff!
Were you a punisher fan (the comic) before taking the gig?
No. Hadn't even heard of "the punisher", really. Once I accepted the role, though, i immediately delved into the graphic novels and loved it.
How did Montréal, Canada (my home town by the way) agree with you?
I flippin' fell in freaking love with Montréal. It's an embracing, clean, culturally sound city with mouth-watering Restaurants, gorgeous architecture, and some of the most beautiful women in the world! Not to mention: the French language/accent turns my crank ...
Did you get to partake in the night life after hard days of shooting?
Not really. I'm not a "night-life-like person. After 12 -14 hours on the set, I'm more apt to return to my hotel suite, order room service, and snuggle down until my call the next day.
Doug does the Loony Bin Jim dance in Punisher War Zone.
What’s next for you as an actor? Any other roles lined up?
I just finished shooting an indie, "Give 'Em Hell, Malone" [ with Thomas Jane & Ving Rhames], in which I play a pyromaniac villain called "Matchstick". Also: I'm playing a recurring character [Horace Goodspeed] in this season of "lost".
Will we ever see a film written or directed by Doug Hutchison?
As previously mentioned, I'm hoping to get "Deambirds" off the ground next year,
Is there a “type” of role you’d love to play but didn’t get a shot at it yet?
I've always wanted to play a vampire, so who knows? Maybe there's something for me in "vampire killers", after all!
What was the first drink you guzzled down at the war zone wrap party?
My date's neck (o:
Thanks for dropping by the site Doug! Keep kicking ass!
Thanks for having me,. Continued success with AITH and a big "shout out" to all your peeps for representin' VAMPIRE KILLERS!