We are celebrating our 100th blog post! 🎉 And who is the subject of our milestone interview? The lovely Tom Williamson – actor from Joe Begos’ action horror movie ‘VFW’, and starring in the upcoming film ‘Run Hide Fight’!
We weren’t aware of director Joe Begos until a good friend put VFW on our radar – then one afternoon we settled down for a watch and enjoyed every minute. Joe has a particular style which we love – saturated in neon lights, with over the top violence giving it movie grindhouse feels. Tom Williamson’s character Shawn caught our eye and we got in touch to talk about working with Begos, the epic cast Tom found himself working with, and what is next for the actor…
VFW has been hitting Digital and BLU-RAY/DVD for the past month and gaining a surge of hype – tell us about your role in the movie?
I play Shawn in the movie. He’s the young soldier in this group of grizzled vets who stopped at the VFW to get a quick beer before returning home to his wife for the first time in two years, only to get tangled up in the mayhem which follows. I saw him as the ray of hope in the bunch. Throughout the film, let’s just say, a lot occurs, and in spite of how dire the situation may feel, Shawn is the one in the group who never gives up. He’s the boy scout everyone hates because he’s over prepared but loved when they find themselves in a jam.
What was it like acting alongside such legends as William Sadler, Fred Williamson, and Stephen Lang – was it daunting?
It was very intimidating until the table read which happened the first day, so the pressure was released almost immediately. I was surrounded by cinema legends and when my time came to speak they tossed me the ball and were eager to play with me. That’s really all you can ask for in a cast. The willingness to play. It also doesn’t hurt if they are highly talented and experienced as well.
Were you familiar with Joe’s work? What was it like working with him?
I wasn’t familiar with Joe’s work but the Casting Director, David Guglielmo, is a good friend of mine and the biggest movie buff I know. He suggested I read the script and honestly he’s the reason I got the job. He was my bridge to Joe Begos. I watched ‘Bliss’ the same night ‘VFW’ premiered down in Austin, and I didn’t know what to expect. I am not a fan of the horror genre and ironically have a strong distaste for gratuitous violence/gore, but to my surprise I actually really enjoyed ‘Bliss.’ That’s the only other one of Joe’s movies I have seen, and the fact that I enjoyed it in spite of the gallons of blood geysers, speaks volumes to his talent as a writer/director.
We’d love to know how the discussion goes at the casting stage saying: ‘Listen you are going to be pounding a lot of faces in during this – you down for that?’ Are you informed, before you commit to a movie, about the violence your character brings?
(Laughing) Oh yeah, it’s all right there in the script!! I was going through a lot at the time, so the opportunity to punch some mutant zombie punk faces in was like the trumpet opening the gates of heaven.
You have been busy with both movies and TV Shows, what can we expect next up from you?
You’ll see my face in ‘Run, Hide, Fight,’ which is Cinestate’s first release from their Rebeller wing of the company. It’s about a high school shooting. It’s incredibly intense and yet very thoughtfully done. I’m very excited for that one to be released. Should ruffle some feathers for sure.
What have you been listening to, reading, or watching recently during this lock down – any great recommendations?
(Laughing) I watched Tiger King and Ozark in a total of four days because otherwise I lose days of my life binging shows. Other than that I listen to a lot of Podcasts. My favorite two being ‘Ram Dass Here and Now’ and ‘The Aubrey Marcus Podcast.’ I have also been learning about blockchain technology and a proposed future of education.
Finally, what is your top tip of the day?
Always have a clean source of water nearby and keep your feet dry.
It was great to speak to with Tom and for those of you who are horror movie fans (or who don’t mind a bit of violence and gore) then go check out VFW now! We’ll keep you posted when we see his next movie out!
Also if you haven’t seen Joe Begos’ Bliss you can check that out on Shudder now which is currently offering a free trial!