Sunday, 11 August 2013

Interview with William Fichtner


If you don’t recognise his name – which you probably will – then you’ll absolutely recognise his face. He’s starred in huge films like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Contact, Black Hawk Down and The Dark Knight and smaller projects along the way including a great one-scene turn in Crash. He’s even showed up in the Grand Theft Auto franchise as Ken Rosenberg! Now he’s coming up as the villain in The Lone Ranger but there’s even more of him to see this year alone. He’ll be popping up in Elysium, he’s in Phantom, The Homesman, St. Sebastian and leading his own TV series called Crossing Lines. It’s all about Bill lately but it’s not even remotely going to his head. Our chat had some difficulties at first as he spoke – hands free, calm down people – driving through the mountains where the signal was intermittent to say the least. His battery, low on charge, was also looming, thinking that this interview may be cut short or unusable because of the signal issues.

Instead of giving up on the interview he pulled over at a random gas station where he plugged his phone in and stood next to it just so he could chat to us. Don’t try that at home kids. In this encounter he had two people come up to him – one to ask if he was having car trouble, the other an autograph – and he was completely polite to both. Thanking the guy asking if he had car trouble who was offering assistance and promising the “sweet old lady” who owned the gas station that he would come inside, thanking her a lot for letting him use his phone charger in her business. He stood out in the open at the side of said building just to chat with us and on thanking him for his time and ‘unexpected circumstances’ he just said “it’s no problem, it’s great to get out of the car!” which really shows his personality.

A lot of people can get cynical about celebrities on press tours, believing that it’s all an act and that they all want to do a Bruce Willis really. People feel that they play themselves up to get a good image and are contractually obligated to promote the film in question. That may be true for some people but it certainly isn’t for William Fichtner who is the most genuinely polite and positive person to talk to. He loved the chat, was excited about it and – more importantly – was just so nice about everything. He is incredibly grateful for all of his achievements and remains humble even though he has such a successful, well loved career and remains an incredibly underrated actor. This year may change that though. We got to speak to him about biting into Butch Cavendish, his unusual path into acting and the many things he’s up to next.

My William Fichtner interview is up on Cinema Chords