William Kircher Spotlights Being Real As An Actor
William Kircher Dives on The Axiom, Acting Career
Back in October 2017, DecayMag reviewed the Supernatural Horror film, The Axiom which is now available on Amazon Prime Video. We followed up our coverage on Nicholas Wood’s feature film debut with a roundtable interview featured on DecayMag Sessions Episode 24.
We continue the spotlight on The Axiom cast with an exclusive interview with the villain of the film, Actor William Kircher.
Now based in Los Angeles, California, William Kircher has the provenance of being one of the most experienced actors coming out of New Zealand. William’s career launched on his graduation from Drama School at the age of eighteen
William Kircher IMDb Profile Page
According to IMDb William Kircher has forty-seven acting credits. His roles include Bifur in The Hobbit Trilogy, Dr. Johnson / The Scourge in Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter and a voice-over role as Kellen / Elf in The Elder Scrolls Legends: The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood.
The topics of this interview include William Kircher’s role on The Axion, his views on Acting and the paranormal.
DecayMag On the initial read of The Axiom Script what part of the story element stood out to you?
William Kircher I totally loved the concept of portals hidden in a National Park that were gateways into a different dimension… and that behind those gateways lurked Monsters! I also loved the fact that the story unfolded in bright daylight. When I read a script I always look for ‘points of difference’ in the story. This script had a lot of original ideas and still stayed true to the Horror genre… also the characters were all strong, well-written and the dialogue was sharp. I straight away saw that the script had major potential.
DecayMag How did the role of Leon translate to you and why? To elaborate, was his actions that of an antagonist or protagonist.
William Kircher It is always fun playing a villain… but my favourite bad guys have depth, they are not one-dimensional. A good villain can have a sense of humour, a sense of misguided compassion… They are arch manipulators… like they are your friend and they doing you a favor… but then knife you in the back! Leon gave me an opportunity to play these beats and more. It was a key role in the story and knew I could bring a lot to the part… I could ‘play’ in the best sense of the word, in short here was a role I could get my teeth into (so to speak!). He pretends to be a good guy but actually is incredibly dark and evil.
“A good villain can have a sense of humour, a sense of misguided compassion… They are arch manipulators… like they are your friend and they doing you a favor… but then knife you in the back! Leon gave me an opportunity to play these beats and more.”
DecayMag In The Axiom the role of Leon is mysterious till the very end. If you had a choice to redefine the role what would it be? Why?
William Kircher Difficult question. I don’t know if I could “redefine the role” because I think the role of Leon plays out really well as it is! At In the opening of the film Leon orders his wife Jessica into The Axiom at gunpoint because she has been unfaithful… he then spends his life regretting this action. I guess it would be interesting to look a bit more into the ‘why’ of Leon becoming such and dark evil person… so saying sometimes it is best to just leave things “mysterious” in a story. Not all questions need to be answered… in fact leaving them unanswered gives the audience something to think about and talk about!
DecayMag What were some highlights, challenges on working on the set of The Axiom?
William Kircher There were a LOT of Highlights! The brilliant and beautiful shooting location of Idyllwild. Working with a great Director and an awesome professional crew. A brilliant cast. I loved working up close with Hattie Smith. She is very talented and real as an actress… and that makes it easier for me to ‘be’ Leon. Ultimately I really appreciated Nicholas Woods.
It takes a great director to inspire a team and Nicholas leads with confidence, passion and vision… He is a brilliant Director and all this makes my job easier. The biggest challenge is the massive internal energy it can take to fulfil some scenes. Acting for the screen takes truth. The camera sees truth… so it has to be REAL! The end scene where McKenzie walks Leon into the forest at gunpoint and he is pretending to be petrified was bloody hard work! It took incredible energy and at the end of the day I was elated and exhausted in equal shares.
“The biggest challenge is the massive internal energy it can take to fulfil some scenes. Acting for the screen takes truth. The camera sees truth… so it has to be REAL!”
DecayMag From your role as Bifur in The Hobbit Franchise to Leon in The Axiom and Dr. Johnson / The Scourge in Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter What is your technique of creating distinct personalities to each character?
William Kircher I approach every role from a fresh angle. Like in real life… every individual is unique. It is vital as an actor to not fall into habits and to not rely on techniques and tricks. Every role is different and every character will have different rhythms and weight and history etc etc. Every role is new learning experience. You never stop learning when you are an actor and it is vital to bring this to each part you play. I build a backstory from clues in the script that help to build a profile of the role. For example what do other characters say about your character… where does he come from… where is he headed… what is the history…. all these become building blocks in bringing a true person to life on film.
“Every role is new learning experience. You never stop learning when you are an actor and it is vital to bring this to each part you play.”
DecayMag From your acting experience what are the important processes between co-stars to properly express the protagonists/antagonists chemistry?
William Kircher Listening… reacting… truth… mutual respect.
DecayMag What are some areas developing actors should pay attention to in developing their craft, career?
William Kircher Don’t play the role BE the role. Acting lies in really LISTENING to the other characters in the scene. The camera sees truth.. so when you are really focused and listening to the other character and not thinking about yourself the camera sees this. It sees the truth in your reactions… and that is when shit gets real!
DecayMag With YouTube, Facebook Live and Social Media available how important are this platform to as a resource to develop an acting career?
William Kircher I do love that with the open playbook of social media anyone in the world can make a movie and tell a story and the end result can be made available to anyone in the world. I do believe however, that some actors concentrate on developing profiles on social media to the detriment of creating real content. I like to believe that real Casting Directors are searching for real talent. Not just talent that have built a ‘following’. Concentrate on finding fantastic ‘meaty’ acting roles in great projects… not just being funny or quirky on camera for the sake of getting attention.
“I like to believe that real Casting Directors are searching for real talent. Not just talent that have built a ‘following’.”
DecayMag Portraying roles in Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction which genre and/or topics do you find as a personal interest towards?
William Kircher All of the above! I don’t go for genre… I go for great scripts.
DecayMag Hailing from New Zealand, are there any folklore, apparitions you’d like to see translated to film?
William Kircher The Maori have a mythical water monster known as the ‘Taniwha’. It lives in deep dark pools, or dangerous rivers, or dank water caves or the sea… need I say more?
DecayMag The Axiom touches on the subject of mysterious disappearances. Although fiction, there are real world cases with unexplainable phenomena. What are your thoughts on the subject?
William Kircher Glad you asked this. Nicholas Woods and myself got together early on and did some developments to the screenplay. I started doing some research because I knew we had something special with the story and I wanted to try and find clues that might strengthen the backstory. I was amazed to find that there existed a true phenomena of unexplained disappearances in National Parks. It was bloody exciting because Nicholas was telling this story and I think he was tapping into the cosmos. I emailed him immediately with bunch of links about these disappearances and said “what you have created is REAL!” Then we incorporated this into the script.
“I was amazed to find that there existed a true phenomena of unexplained disappearances in National Parks.”