Philip Williams [Interview]

 

Hello Folks, and happy Friday! It’s been a busy week here at Trainwreck’d Society, with our first ever Book Club segment, dropping our 2019 Oscar Contest, and getting presidential with our old friend Mr. Beat. So, it is nice to wrap up the week with a good old traditional interview, and wouldn’t you know it…we have another damn fine actor to share a few words from today! It’s Philip Williams, Everyone!

Philip is a seasoned veteran in the world of performance, both on screen and in the world of voice over work. He has appeared in a plethora of films and televisions series in very diverse genres. Everything from our beloved world of horror in the the 11th installment of the Friday the 13th series, Jason X, to the comedy classic Tommy Boy, or voice over work on children’s series like Babar and Clifford, and right around to appearances on hit television series such as Fargo, and most recently as a regular cast member in the Netflix Original Series Anne with an “E”. Of course, I knew him best for his hilarious appearance in one of my favorite films of all time, which would be Good Will Hunting, which we will discuss in detail below.

It was a true honor to have Philip grace our digital pages, and we are so excited to share with you all what he had to say. So without further babbling, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Philip Williams! Enjoy!

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When did you first discover your passion for the world of performance? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do? Or did you just happen to find yourself in this life one day?

Iv’e heard it said that this is a profession that you don’t look for, but rather one that finds you. I dabbled in it from a young age, mostly on the voice side of things. I also sang with the school choirs, and did the odd school play, but my main focus growing up was always sports, which in a way is performance of some nature. In the 70’s a director saw me dressed as Groucho Marx for Halloween in the washroom of a club, and asked if I wanted to read for a play about the Marx brothers. I said sure, what the heck, and ended up getting the role. So I suppose it found me. That was 40 years ago.

What was your very first paid gig as an actor? And do remember learning anything from that specific job that taught you something that you still incorporate into your work to this day?

My first paid gig was on the original De Grassi Street, which was non union back in those days. I think they produced about 8 shorts before they became the big show they are today. I probably made somewhere between 25 and 75 dollars. My first professional job was a radio ad for the drug Naprosen when it first appeared on the scene. I don’t remember anything specific that I learned and incorporate in my work today other than it takes a lot of people working together to bring a finished product to fruition.

While you have had so many memorable roles in the past, I have to admit that it was you brilliantly calling Stellan Skarsgaard an asshole in one of my favorite films of all time, Good Will Hunting. With that, how was your experience in working on this set? Was there anything memorable about working in this film that you can think of that really stands out?

I can recall that whole scene like yesterday.  We actually shot that scene in Toronto not far from where I shop..lol. The garage where the set was, doesn’t exist anymore. For some reason the dialogue wasn’t making a whole lot of sense so I approached Stellan (don’t know where I got the gall from) and said “if you say this, then I say this, then you  say this, it’ll connect everything” and he says sure. There was some ad lib stuff in there as well, from me introducing the background performer as a professor to the final line of me calling Stellan an asshole. I thought it was a hoot and why not use everyone there right? Gus Van Sant approved, and all was good.

 

You have proven yourself to be a very versatile human being when it comes to moving in and out of different genres. From comedy to horror and beyond you can do it all! But, I am interested to know if you happened to have a preference? What genre brings you the most joy to work in?

It’s funny. I love doing comedy. For me it’s natural and a lot easier, however, I find I don’t get a lot of comic related projects. Don’t get me wrong I love working in all genres and get a lot of satisfaction from all of them. One thing I do though is look to see if there is a comic element in the characters I play. Humour is the one thing that ran through my whole family, and there was always a way of finding the lightness in some of the darker places.

And while technically it could be a “genre”, the world of animation is really just a whole other ballgame. And you have had some great success in this game, even earning an Emmy Award nomination for your work. With that in mind, what do you enjoy about working in the world of voice over work? What is your process of bringing life to a character using only your voice?

I love doing voice work. I use to fool around with voices and impressions as far back as grade six (dang, I’m old) I was a child of the 60’s cartoons, and was mesmerized and entertained on Saturday mornings. Mel Blanc was a hero. To be able to be a part of this genre today is such a blessing. Usually you’re provided with  a character description and possibly a picture of what they look like.This gives me ideas where I’d like to go vocally. The dialogue will tell you what they do. Of course the voice director will have his own thoughts, so theres a whole process to a finished product. Much the same as creating a real life character at times with so many different styles.

 

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Hopefully the future holds many more work days. It’s like being a gypsy in a  sense. I get to travel all around to different camps and learn all kinds of new things from new people and new stories. I’ve just started voicing season 12 (crazy huh?) of a cartoon called Cyberchase. I’m also working on a Television show called Anne With an E which I believe is on Netflix, and have completed my first ever Motion Capture character for a video game. I”m afraid I can’t tell you anything about it though or they’d kill me.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’m pretty easy going, so I tend to smile and laugh a lot, but today is a special day. It’s poker night!! We play for, like 10 dollars. A group of actors that have been doing this for some 30 odd years. Always broadens the smile THINKING I’m going to make out like a bandit.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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