Kevin Howarth Interview

Kevin Howarth is a British stage and screen actor who has appeared in films as varied as Razor Blade Smile, Summer Scars, Burlesque Fairytales and The Last Horror Movie.

He has also provided voicework for a huge variety of videogames, including Spartan: Total Warrior and The Witcher.

Starring in Frightfest 2012’s opening film The Seasoning House, he has also recently worked opposite Wesley Snipes in the bonkers looking horror-western Gallowalkers.

Kevin took some time out of his busy schedule to chat to Gorepress’s Boston Haverhill about acting, horror and his experience working on The Seasoning House.

Check out the full interview below:

GOREPRESS: How did you get into acting? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

KEVIN HOWARTH: My father was a bit of a film buff and when I was young I remember watching many wonderful movies with him, real classics – his enthusiasm for a great story, be it on film or in a book, certainly rubbed off on me. I do remember telling him once that I would like to be an actor, but I was very young at the time and wondering and dreaming about many things. I have certainly taken a circuitous and unorthodox route through life to eventually become an actor. Suffice to say, I believe acting and the opportunity that arose to get a classical drama school education really finally found me and sort of forced my hand – in some ways there was almost a weird inevitability about it.

GP: How did you get involved in The Seasoning House? What appealed to you about the script?

KH: Paul sent me the script and, very flatteringly, told me that he wanted me to play Viktor. I read it and liked what was coming off the page. As well as the actual dialogue I particularly liked the space the narrative afforded for silences, which is quite rare as movies now are usually all so busy and fast. Also, the fact that the story had a somewhat redemptive arc was a big plus – it felt good to become involved in a project that at least held the promise, if made well, to allow an audience the opportunity to care about the characters.

GP: This was Paul Hyett’s directorial debut – how was he to work with?

KH: Great. I think Paul’s transition from being one of this country’s top special effects make-up artists into becoming a director will certainly be a smooth one. He’s calm and his attention to detail and preparation is excellent, which comes from having 20 years experience in the SFX make-up world. He’s also been on enough film sets and worked with enough directors to have learnt and understood the reasons how and why a film comes together well and how and why it doesn’t. On top of that, he is also a long-standing friend within and outside of the business – we’re both focused and serious about what we do but we also have a great laugh together and that’s important.

GP: The subject matter was pretty intense and claustrophobic – was it a tough shoot?

KH: Yes, the subject matter is intense and claustrophobic but for me that doesn’t equate into a tough shoot. If it was tough at all it was mainly because of the fact that it was a very tight schedule for what we needed to get done, so there were some very long days – particularly for the crew, who all did a brilliant job. We were also mostly on location throughout the months of January and February 2012, so it was pretty cold at times. But hey…it’s filming, making a movie – a tough shoot is having some fanatic trying to blow you away in the backwaters of Afghanistan or Syria!

GP: You’re also in another horror this year – Gallowwalkers – are you a big fan of the Horror genre?

KH: I haven’t seen the final version of ‘Gallowwalkers’ yet so…hmmm…I can’t comment on how much of a horror (supernatural western?) it is. I do like a good horror movie, but I feel there are quite a number of films marketed in that genre that I personally wouldn’t class as horror movies. I prefer psychological horror and stories that are eerie, the kind of films where it’s what you don’t see rather than what you do – the implication of horror is far more terrifying.

GP: What is Gallowwalkers about? And what role do you play?

KH: Well I don’t want to let too much out but, from the original shooting script anyway, I would say that ‘Gallowwalkers’ is; a two-way revenge western, shot as a homage to the old spaghetti westerns, with the added twist that the bad guys become the undead when they are killed by Wesley Snipes’ character because he has been cursed by the Devil – get your head around that one! I play the role of ‘Kansa’, the main adversary of Wesley Snipes’ character ‘Aman’.

GP: What was it like working so closely with Wesley Snipes?

KH: It was fine. To be honest we saw very little of each other on-set because in the story of the film, apart from one particular flashback scene, our characters are on two separate but parallel journeys until we finally meet in the films climax. However, we got on well on the few occasions that we were together – just two pro actors from opposite sides of “the pond” doing our stuff with hopefully a healthy respect for each other. I remember having a good laugh with him one evening at this tented bar on the beach that was frequented by cast and crew alike – I guess he liked my sense of humour!

GP: You’ve done a lot of voiceover work for video games / film – what do you prefer? Acting on screen or voice acting off of it?

KH: Well it’s all work whichever way you look at it and if you want to keep a roof over your head you have to spread whatever talents you have across various disciplines. It’s all good work and I wouldn’t negate any side of it, but acting on screen would definitely be my preference – it’s what I came into the profession to do.

GP: What are you doing next? More horror we hope…

KH: I’m reading some scripts at the moment and there are a couple of projects in the ether. Will it be horror?….well, watch this space!

GP: And finally, what is your favourite Horror movie?

KH: Oh damn…that’s hard to pin just one down! Hmmm…probably ‘The Shining’, but if I’m allowed and Gorepress will kindly indulge me you can add these to what would be a much longer list – and they are in no particular order:

‘The Haunting’ –  the Robert Wise original

‘The Exorcist’

‘The Devil’s Backbone’

‘The Orphanage’

‘When A Stranger Calls’

Better stop there!

GP: Thanks for chatting with Gorepress, Kevin – much appreciated.

KH: My pleasure.

The Seasoning House is released on DVD & Blu Ray on Monday 12th August 2013

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