The Movie Waffler Interview - THE MADNESS WITHIN Director/Star Hunter G. Williams | The Movie Waffler

Interview - THE MADNESS WITHIN Director/Star Hunter G. Williams

Williams discusses his new Hollywood set drama.

Hunter G.Williams has been involved in every genre of film since he kicked off his career in the late ‘90s – with such credits as Never Been Kissed, The Crying Dead, Tomorrow’s End and Cornered to his name – but his latest film feels less like a movie and more like a peek into the window of Hollywood’s underbelly. Williams tells us about The Madness Within.

Hunter, I’m guessing since the film is set in the underbelly of Tinseltown, you’re based there?

That’s correct. One of the few born and raised out here. With my mother being a hairstylist, and my father a stuntman, I was lucky enough to grow up seeing the process. But to be honest, when I was a kid, I was all about the junk food in craft service since we never got any at home.

Have you always been based in Los Angeles?

For the most part, yes, but have lived all over California at different points of my life. Spent a lot of time on the Central Coast, in Orange County, San Diego and the Bay area. Never could find a part of the state I didn’t love.

Was the goal always to be an actor and filmmaker?

Actually, no. From the time I was a kid I wanted to join the Marines. But by the time I was actually old enough to join, I wasn’t eligible due to a mislead youth. And for a while there it looked like I’d have a career in soccer, but by that time I knew I wanted to be able to work with my friends and grow together. Not exactly something that was possible with soccer considering none of them played.

You were an actor, first – is that right?

That’s correct.

Was it a given that you’d also direct films one day?

I wouldn’t say it was a given. I had never really considered doing it seriously. But, there was a period there where I was only getting roles in films that weren’t going to help me in any way. As an actor you want to do films/roles that’ll help you grow as an actor, get as much distribution as possible to get your name out there, or at the very least, give you something good for your reel. Although I really enjoyed the experiences, they just weren’t helping me the way I had hoped for, so I decided to take control of my career, and start making our own films.

Tell us about the inspiration for this script – besides the L.A Times newspaper headlines.

L.A. Times newspaper headlines? No (laughs), definitely didn’t pull anything there. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone as a filmmaker and actor. Nothing I’d done previously has really tackled subjects like addiction, excess or showing the darkside of a place/industry lot of people romanticise in their minds.

Did you need to do any research into this world – or was it something you were familiar with?

Surprisingly, no. Growing up in L.A., I’ve seen a lot of stuff most people only see in the movies. The good and bad.

What kind of films did you sit down and watch in prep for the movie?

I try not to watch other films for inspiration on my own. I would never want it to come across like I’m trying to copy someone else’s style, or am basing a scene/plotline/etc off someone else’s work.

Whereabouts in L.A did you shoot?

Everywhere! Downtown, Tarzana, Encino, Reseda, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills, and probably a few more I can’t think of at the moment.

Tell us about your distribution plans – did you do a festival run first before hunting for a home?

Luckily, we didn’t have to do any festivals. We started getting contacted by distribution companies and sales agents before we wrapped principal photography. After having meetings and calls with several, Darrin over at Midnight Releasing convinced me they’d be the best fit for the film. Being able to trust your distributor is absolutely key, and he’s someone who went out of his way to prove they’re not only trustworthy, but will do everything in their power to make it a success.

What’s next for you?

We have quite a bit going on at the moment. We’re wrapping up post of our suspenseful thriller, 60 Minutes to Kill, have three features we’re in production on, and another 13 ready to go in our library. Really looking to link up with one of the streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. Because as of now, we have enough really good projects to shoot back to back for the next four years. One of them, a feature tentatively entitled 'Breathtaker', which is a female lead action thriller, with supernatural elements I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to be bringing on a strong female director to helm it after the New Year, because that’s definitely key in Breathtaker fulfilling its potential, and plan on going out to Kate Beckinsale for our lead. She’s shown time and time again she not only can handle action films like that, but quite literally kicks ass at it. It has a real Sin City vibe to it, and we plan on doing it in a similar style. Try to imagine 300 meets Sin City as far as the visuals go.

The Madness Within is on VOD December 6th.