An Interview with William Marshall by Dean Sills
UKHS – Hi William, welcome to UK Horror Scene. How did you get into acting and which role has been your favourite so far?
WM – I took drama as one of my GCSEs back in school and it quickly became my favourite subject. After completing my GSCEs I chose to study a national diploma in performing arts and now have elevated to the final year of Bachelor’s Degree in theatrical studies. Acting had always been a passion from since I was young, I found a great deal of comfort in becoming other people/characters, plus I loved being eccentric as I was a very excitable child when I first took to the stage. It’s really quite interesting and humbling to see how far I’ve come in terms of my ambitions and drive with acting, from just doing youth theatre and drama clubs to eventually taking on supporting and leading roles in film and theatre, it really has been a remarkable journey thus far.
As for my favourite role so far in my career? Without a doubt I would say playing the role of Macbeth has been my biggest highlight thus far. I’ve always enjoyed portraying psychologically unstable characters, but the transitions and character arc of Macbeth was something else entirely to come to grips with. He is such an astonishing character to play, from being this proud and noble warrior with a sense of duty and right & wrong to a malevolent and tyrannical maniac…its very challenging.
WM -Yes I am really excited to have been cast in Slasher House 2 and of course it’s always an absolute joy to work with the Mycho team on their gory exploits. All I can really say about the Slasher House sequel is that it’s gonna be big!!! MJ Dixon has got a lot of special stuff planned for this film, I’ve read the script and it is a fantastically ambitious and gripping narrative and he’s assembling a phenomenal cast. The likes of Francesca Louise White who has took on the role of Red after Eleanor James’ retirement and I’m positive she’ll blow us all away once filming commences.
As for my role, I’m playing the classic American egomaniac, loves sports, thinks very fondly of himself and believes he’s top dog (as is the usual with high school jocks). Compared to the other characters I’ve portrayed in previous Mycho films, Jock is arrogant and self absorbed, so he’s not gonna be the most liked of characters. For me I’m usually typecast as “Mr Nice Guy” breed of character, which strangely enough when Mj Dixon and Anna McCarthy talked to me about being in Slasher House 2, I had originally been cast of the kind hearted character of the stereotypical teenage entourage you see in most slasher flicks. But the most interesting thing about my characters in the Mychoverse is the fashion in which they meet their demise and I’m sure MJ has got something special planned for Jock. So yes I’m really looking forward to this upcoming project and what Mr Dixon has in store for me hahaha!
UKHS – What do you enjoy the most about working with the director MJ Dixon and as an actor why do you love doing horror?
WM -Working with MJ as a director is always a fun and rewarding experience. He is ambitious and resourceful and it’s inspiring to watch him orchestrate his actors and equipment to produce the highest standard of performance for his films. MJ is just an absolute delight to work with.
To me as a genre, horror is a very broad subject and is open to a wild variety of interpretations that people can regard as horrifying and scary. I believe that you can explore an in depth of understanding of supernatural, paranormal and realistic elements of horror. As an actor I enjoy any type challenge and horror provides the task of either placing yourself/character into an extreme psychological state to enhance your performance as a victim or villain. Plus scaring the living crap out of people is great fun too!!!
WM – I joined the cast of Case Files earlier this year and I’ve loved the shoots so far. Damien Kage is a fantastic director and spares no expense in helping his actors develop scenes and their characters. Both through information he provides as the writer/director and his intentions for the character’s journeys he helps to create gripping and naturalistic drama for such an ambitious and exciting twist on the zombie genre.
My role as Agent Alex Scott has been both a great deal of fun and a challenge to showcase my naturalistic acting style in an action filled drama. Alex is a member of the Elite Group’s paranormal division and has found himself caught up in a situation his is not prepared for. He is a very moral character and is searching answers to what has happened to the city after receiving reports of multiple murders and other cases of the paranormal. He does his best to remain close to his partner Shannon Walker and loyally fulfils all tasks he is appointed with.
It’s been a fun filled experience in Case Files so far and my thanks go to Damien for making me part of the team.
UKHS – I had the pleasure of working with you on Tears in the Dust which was a real honour. How did this film compare to the other films you have done and is it nice to get away from doing Horror?
WM -Yes, it was brilliant to work on Tears in the Dust with you Dean, thank you. At first when I was cast in the film, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the script and the overall production. As you know I contacted yourself and Steve Call to learn more details on the film’s narrative and my character. Once I had the information and saw early marketing material my excitement for the project went through the roof.
Throughout the process of filming Tears, I was so impressed with the professionalism and organisation from Steve, yourself and the rest of the cast and crew. Everyone I’ve worked throughout the film have been so welcoming, friendly and they are an amazingly talented bunch. It has been nice to get away from horror and gain experience in naturalistic and thought provoking drama like Tears, that also communicates a growing social issue. What’s more, working with Steve Call has been a fun filled adventure as he is just simply amazing, both in providing detailed direction on set and allowing his actors to develop and experiment with their roles. I enjoyed myself so much whilst working on Tears in the Dust and I can easily say it has been one of the memorable experiences of my career thus far.
UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?
WM – Ingredient 1) A script filled with amazingly gory and blood filled plot points & death scenes.
Ingredient 2) An extremely creepy setting that helps provide the desired atmosphere that sends shivers down your audience’s spines
Ingredient 3) Most important of all!! You need a badass and horrific villain/monster that will terrify the viewers and leave them with nightmares……and maybe a surprise in their underwear hahaha!
UKHS – What career would you do if you couldn’t be an actor anymore?
WM – Oh the horror of that thought! *sobs in the corner* In all seriousness, if I was no longer an actor, I would love to undertake a profession in animal care or just working with animals in general. Maybe being a zoo keeper or animal rescue.
UKHS – Finally, I will be working with you on Up North which will be amazing and great to do some comedy. What are you looking forward to the most about this project and are you working on any other projects in the near future that you can tell UKHS about?
WM – Yes I’m looking forward to working on Up North, mainly as I’ve never tried my hand at a comedic role in film before. I wouldn’t say comedy has ever been a strong point of mine, so I’m looking forward to developing my acting capabilities within that genre of work. It will be great fun I’m sure, mainly since I’ll be working with the likes of yourself, Steve Call, Ross Marshall, Kuljit Singh, Jessie Joan, Steve Pollard and many familiar faces from Tears in the Dust. So how can I not be looking forward to it? As for other projects, there isn’t much to tell you as of yet aside that I’ve been confirmed for The Most Unusual Mr Wood sequel that we’ll be putting into production around early 2016. Case Files is still ongoing as well and I’m looking forward to the completion of Heart of Chaos (an action feature in which I had a supporting role), so there’s still enough upcoming projects alongside my Bachelor’s Degree work in theatre. So I look forward to what the future holds in store.
Thank you for having me for this interview Dean, it’s been a pleasure and I’ll see you back on set very soon!
UKHS – You’re welcome William, thanks for your time and keep up the great work!