Interview: MARSHAL HILTON Talks Primal Rage

Acclaimed character actor Marshal Hilton talks about his role as Bigfoot hunting B.D in Primal Rage, screening later this month as part of a Fathom one-night only film event.

Harry and the Henderson’s this is not. I can’t remember the last good Bigfoot movie…  can you?

I actually can’t either. It’s not a story that I have investigated that much to be honest with you. I’ve seen bits and pieces of a few but nothing in the vein of Primal Rage. This film presents the traditional Bigfoot essence in a way that really alters the urban legend into something that might be considered “Mythic” and prehistoric; it truly flips the narrative into something very dangerous and ancient. 


How long ago did you shoot this one?

The principle photography with the cast was shot over a two-year period, but Patrick and his production had been in Pre-Production for several years prior. They had made many trips to the location to scout the film and get materials for the art design and visually put the film together. Patrick has wanted to make this film for well over ten years. The fact that he is finally going to present the world his vision of the Bigfoot legend is a testament to his perseverance and dedication to his craft. I’m supremely proud of he and the production teams effort to complete this film. They did a wonderful job.

Was it a tough shoot? Were you residing in some cabin in the woods for the duration of the shoot?

Speaking for myself during my part of the shoot, it was really fun and enjoyable. We (the hunting party) actually did a lot of walking trough the forest. It was comfortable for the most part and well planned. I’ve been on shoots in the Mojave Desert when its 114 degrees, that’s tough. Other than a little mud and cold, this shoot was very comfortable.
lol…Sorry, no cabin in the woods J We stayed in Crescent City, about thirty minuets from the location. The hot showers and good meals can’t be overstated.

Was the community supportive of the movie?

I believe so. It’s my understanding the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission was very supportive in getting the production cleared to film. I did hear that there were some local folks that weren’t too thrilled with the spirit of the film we were shooting, but I never experienced anything negative. In those parts Bigfoot lore is a business. Everywhere you go there’s Bigfoot swag for sale. So I imagine that some would be protective of the legend for commercial reasons.     

What did you get up to when you weren’t filming?

Not a whole lot. Crescent City is a small fishing town. It’s quiet and sleepy. As for myself, I’m there to work. I try to stay focused on the story and script. I’ve been hired to bring my best to the work and I don’t take that lightly. I’ll have plenty of time to play when my job is finished.

How much of the movie was in the script and how much just happened ‘on the day’?

Everything in my part of the film was scripted. Personally I prefer it that way. It keeps the story moving in the right direction and the production doesn’t wander. You have to keep it lean and mean when working on a smaller budget. There just isn’t any time to wander or you’ll destroy your shooting schedule and use up your budget. Patrick the director was extremely prepared and knew exactly what he wanted to shoot and where he was going to shoot. As for “on the day” there will always be an element of flexibility when collaborating with an ensemble and shooting in a challenging environment such as the forest. Something that looked good on paper might not translate to the reality of the physical location. But everyone was very well prepared and we managed with very little issues

What makes a good movie villain?

Unpredictability. Finding that side of him that is charming and playful. Playing against “type”. If you can get the audience to find something likeable about the character, when he actually does something “bad” its that much more shocking. Villains don’t see themselves as “bad” people; they are just passionate in their quest to achieve something that is important to them. They have the ability to reshape moral and ethical boundaries to fit their narrative.  

As far as inspiration for my character BD, I really didn’t have a lot of details on him as far as scripted elements. I just try to look at the actions of what the character actually does, his scripted actions. In life, people are what they do, not what they say. B.D. is most definitely an enigma. We don’t know much about him, but we certainly get a sense about him. His pace, his style, his cigar, his jewellery, they all say something about him. I think what says even more about B.D. is how his crew reacts to him. Know one ever challenges him, so you never know for certain if he’s just a narcissist, or a guy that could possibly be dangerous. And that’s the key to B.D., the element of uncertainty. The only person that dares to get in his face is Ashley. And there’s a moment when he doesn’t take kindly too her attitude, and he puts his foot down. But in another moment he also offers her his coat as a sign of grace and empathy. And yet another moment when he feels kind of like he’s a pervert. He’s just hard to figure out and that’s his power. So that’s how I took him. Unpredictable…

What makes your character tick?

“B.D.” is the classic big fish in a little pond kind of guy. Pretty much everyone around him are “Yes Men”. BD is the leader of a group of cantankerous and somewhat hostile locals that Max and Ashley have the unpleasant pleasure of crossing paths with while they are making their way back to town. He’s a bit of a blowhard and definitely full of himself. Kind of like a Politician. He’s the mouthpiece of his crew. He wasn’t a “Bad Guy” per say, he just found pleasure playing mind games with people. Patrick and I figured that he was the kind of guy that probably owned the local Hardware Store, the car dealership, the liquor Store, and his band of merry men were most likely guys that worked for him. He’s definitely the Alpha dog in his town.

Finish the sentence, if you like….. you’ll love Primal Rage!

Arnold Schwarzenegger’sPredator”

It’s been a pleasure and thank you for reaching out. Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew, I just want to say thank you for supporting this film. It was a passion project for everyone involved. I hope you and your readers enjoy the film. And remember; be careful when walking in the woods. Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean its not there…

You can keep tabs on what’s going on by following any one of my social media profiles. We’re constantly putting up news and info.

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