Toronto After Dark 2011 had plenty of films to be excited about, but one in particular soared past reasonable expectations in my opinion. Father’s Day, which looked good for a laugh for two, took the audience and reviewers by storm (my review here). Now I didn’t know quite what to think of Father’s Day after I saw it, but it has matured in my mind like a fine wine and I can’t wait to watch it again. There are so many soon to be classic scenes in it, but one highlight in particular was the fearsome Fuchman played by Mackenzie Robert Royal Murdock.
It brings me great pleasure to have such a special interview being posted at Entertainment Maven today. He played one of the most evil characters I have ever seen on the screen, but he’s really quite a nice fellow. For your reading enjoyment, it’s time to get up close and personal with Mackenzie…err, I mean MORE up close and personal…or up close and personal again.
Oh just watch Father’s Day and you’ll know what I’m trying to say.
Father’s Day has enjoyed enormous critical success so far, what has it been like to be part of a film this well received? Has it been a wild ride so far?
Just making the movie to begin with was a blast all by itself, but being able to read all these great reviews, or to be able to sit in a theatre full of people going absolutely bonkers for it is pretty much the greatest feeling in the world.
So far it’s been the wildest ride of my life! Before the movie came out it was only in my wildest dreams that I could imagine being surrounded by complete strangers actually asking me for autographs!
What was it like to play one of the most villainous characters to appear on the big-screen in 2011?
So much fun! Especially because Fuchman isn’t some “misunderstood soul” or some bullshit like that. He’s a guy who kills people because, fuck it, he’s evil. And I love that. I love that he’s a throwback bad guy, and not some angst-ridden emo bitch with daddy issues.
I mean seriously, whatever happened to the great movie villains who are evil for the sake of being evil? Whatever happened to guys like General Zod and Ernst Stravo Blofeld? I miss those guys.
Father’s day is full of nudity and violence, particularly in Fuchman’s attack/rape scenes, assuming that you are nothing like Fuchman in real-life (we hope), were these scenes difficult for you as an actor?
Back when we first did the rape scenes for the fake trailer it was absolutely terrifying. I spent maybe five minutes psyching myself up in the bathroom, with Adam constantly double checking with me if I was certain that I really wanted to do this. That first time, everyone was treating the shoot with kid gloves.
By the end of the feature though, I found I could drop my pants on command, no hesitation.
Was one particular scene more challenging than the rest?
Not really. They all presented their own challenges. For example, for the car chase I had to learn how to drive a standard ten minutes before my first shot!
Another good one is the dam, because I’ve always had this serious fear of heights, so being in a position where I can easily fall to death was pretty tough to deal with. Thankfully, just like the nakedness issue, I managed to more or less overcome my fear, thanks in large part to the other guys cheering me on.
What was it like working with the Astron-6 guys?
An absolute blast. These guys have a perfect balance of professionalism, humour, and kindness. They expect your best, but not the impossible, and they always know how to get it out of you.
Plus, we all share a love for the same brand of films and filmmaking, so it was pretty cool being surrounded by the only five guys in the city who could not only understand all of my pop culture references, but could even one-up me!
Given the content of their films, I would expect that working with them on set would be anything but normal. Do they act as you would expect filmmakers to act on set, or is there a degree of zaniness on set that separates them from everyone else?
Actually, they’re very professional. They joke around, sure, but the movie always comes first. And yes, there was some zaniness to be had, but that’s how their minds work: always coming up with new ideas. It really is astounding how much of the film is just random stuff they thought of while on set.
What are some of the movies that have been most important to you in making a decision to pursue a career in the film biz?
Believe it or not, but if I had to really think about it, I’d probably say it’s Dolph Lundgren’s Punisher. I honestly don’t know why, but that movie had a tremendous emotional impact on me. I guess it makes more sense if you consider that I originally dreamed of being a comic book artist when I was a kid, but still, how any people openly admit that Dolph Lundgren inspired them to take up acting?
What’s on the horizon for Mackenzie Robert Royal Murdock?
At the moment I’ve just finished training for a customer service job which will put money in my pocket until I can get some paying acting gigs. Winnipeg’s film community is having a bit of a dry-spell at the moment, so right now the plan is to move out in a couple months and seek greener pastures.
Will we be seeing you back in Toronto any time soon, perhaps for Toronto After Dark 2012?
Nothing planned just yet, but I’d love to come back! The première at Toronto After Dark still ranks in my mind as one of the single greatest nights in my life!