David Hayter is here today to chat about his latest acting role in Devil’s Mile. You may recognise that title as I interviewed his costar Casey Hudecki recently – you can find that here! As well as chatting about his new film we also discuss the differences between acting in films and video games and he teases the possibility of a Black Widow movie. Read on for our interview!
Hello and thank you for taking the time out to do this interview with me today.
I hope you are well?
Very well, thank you for asking.
Could you just talk us through your role in Devil’s Mile and what drew you to it?
I play Toby McTiegue, a mafia enforcer who frequently does the very dirty work for his villainous boss, Mr. Arkadi. I was drawn to role for a few reasons. First, I have never played a “bad guy” before – I don’t say “villain” by the way, because Toby is not so much a villain, as he is a seriously frightening, messed-up dude. I knew it would be fun to play someone with no filter, or any real regard for human life. And it was.
I really did enjoy hitting all those people with my tire iron. I always like it when a character has a specific weapon, true to their personality, and I had never really seen that done with a tire iron. It was kind of perfect for Toby because, as much as he wants to be recognized as something more elegant than just a killer, as much as he’d like to become recognized as “upper management” in the mob, in his heart, he knows that he will always be just a blunt instrument, used for killing.
Would it be fair to say that we can expect quite a lot of violence from this movie then?
Well, it ain’t a Sunday walk in the park.
(Unless your park is in a very bad neighborhood.)
It would be interesting to hear how you would prepare for a day’s shoot…
On a low-budget film, you’re typically working at least fourteen hours a day – So primarily I would prepare by drinking coffee. Toby didn’t take a huge amount of preparation anyway, as I would basically ditch any moral compunctions I have about life in general, and dive right in with a maniacal, inner fire.
I really loved X-Men: Days of Future Past. It felt like a very cool step forward from what we’d done with the first two movies…
– David Hayter
Would you say that there is a very close relationship between acting in films and acting in video games? Or are they very different?
They’re similar in many ways, but in video-games, you really have to make your choices, your actions and movements clear strictly through your voice. In film, the camera picks up major subtleties that you don’t get in a game, facial movements, glances, etc. So, I’d say that in VG, you do have to express things a little more explicitly, a little bigger, than you do on film.
Do you prefer one experience to the other?
I love every job I do in the entertainment industry. They’re all fun for different reasons. I love voice-over because it is very laid back, not a lot of egos, etc. But I love film because I love to see the sets, the props, the actors and going over all the tricks that make good film-making work. It’s all a great time.
In an interview at the San Diego Comic Con you said about how you treat writing and directing as a job which you love, but that acting is just a pure joy on the side. Given that they seem to be clearly separate areas of work for you do you find that the practices of writing, directing and acting inform each other? Or are they distinctly separate?
They all inform each other. I think it is important for Directors to take acting classes, to get a sense of what their actors need, and the more that actors know about the writing/directing/filming process, the easier it is to understand why someone is asking you to do things in a specific way.
Talking about writing, have you seen X-Men: Days of Future Past and if so, having written X-Men and X-Men 2 what do you think about the way the characters that you worked on are being developed?
I really loved X-Men: Days of Future Past. It felt like a very cool step forward from what we’d done with the first two movies. I thought the characters were beautifully developed.
Of course. It’s hard, given that I got to work on some of the top titles in existence. So, I’m pretty picky about comic adaptations. But I love the genre, and that’s the kind of material I’m happiest writing.
And what about your Black Widow script? Is there any chance that with the large demand for her to have a standalone film your project might be given another chance?
Who knows? (Hint: Marvel knows.) I’ll go ask Marvel about it. Stand by.
Uh huh, out of curiosity can you tell us anything about the plot which you developed?
Well, it was an origin story, taken partly from the comic books, and partly from my own brain. It was a pretty fun script.
Thank you. My last question is in regards to the future of your career; is there something that you would really like to explore at some point in the future which you currently have been unable to do, whether that is within acting, directing, writing or indeed any other medium?
So far, I’ve been incredibly lucky. I’ve been able to do so many amazing, fun jobs in this industry. From this point, I’d like to direct more films, create a TV show, and act whenever someone thinks I’d be interesting for some cool project.
Excellent, thank you again for making time for this chat of ours!
My pleasure. Thank you.
I hope you all enjoyed the interview!
For now I’ll leave you with the trailer for Devil’s Mile here: http://youtu.be/2r5iru-rJ0Q
And the IMDb page here!: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2018136/