Ward Horton discusses his variety of roles in TV and film!
With a steady role on “Pure Genius” and the more recent release of the romantic comedy “Bakery in Brooklyn,” Actor Ward Horton had quite a bit to talk about. Providing perspective on these two projects as well as experiences as an actor, Ward carried the conversation with elements of insightful intrigue.
Discussing the film “Bakery in Brooklyn” in which Ward Horton is the main love interest, he provided details on how the role came about and how he would describe the film.
“I did this a couple years ago, almost 2 years. It was a film that came to me after I had done another film I had been working on, ‘Annabelle’. It had just premiered and I was out in L.A. and it was a great project that brought me back to New York. In particular Brooklyn which was a pretty cool experience to film in Brooklyn. And it’s got an international flair to it, it was written by a Chilean and a Spaniard and it was translated to English by a Scotsman and then directed by a Spaniard in Brooklyn. So it had a little bit of everything in it. For me it was pretty cool because it’s a romantic comedy and coming off what I had done in the horror genre right before that, this was definitely a big change (laughs).”
“So yeah, for me it was a great experience and a really fun, creative cast of people and we had a blast.”
I awkwardly spoke on Ward being a sharp looking guy which lead to another question. Given his good looks and various roles as a love interest, I was curious how his looks supplemented his options for work.
“I’m trying not to get pigeonholed into anything. I did horror and I did this and I did some TV where I got to play a little bit of a badass and then did another film earlier this year where I got to play a complete psycho and now I’m on a TV show where I’m playing a Mandarin speaking priest. So I try to bounce around from thing to thing and keep it alive and interesting.”
Ward clearly has had quite a bit of variety in his career. With so many diverse roles, he’s also had his share of work in both television and film. Having a regular role on “Pure Genius” versus working on a film like “Bakery in Brooklyn,” I wanted to know the differences between working on television and working on a film.
“On ‘Pure Genius’, it’s actually not a recurring role it’s a series regular role and it’s a long period of time. Rather than a film where you bounce into for, on the independent side you’re doing it for 3 to 4 weeks and on the bigger budget side you’re doing it for 2 to 3 months. But with a TV show, we shot our pilot last March, got picked up in May, started shooting in late July, and just wrapped December 17th, so it’s a year long process. So you get to know everybody on set. What I did on ‘Bakery in Brooklyn’, we got to know everyone really well but it’s also over a short period of time and this is extended. So everybody kind of become like family to you and you’re basically living together for that entire 6 months that you’re shooting. So it’s more intense and I’d say that for the television show, I didn’t have a script for the entire season when I started it. With a film you have that script.
“So I had no idea where we were going with it. I didn’t know what was going on with my character. We shot the pilot [and] I didn’t know that I was going to be a priest. I didn’t know that I was going to speak Mandarin. We didn’t know where we were going and there’s two schools of thought on that. Some actors love not knowing where you’re going. Because really what’s happening in the moment, in that scene, you don’t know the future so all that you can do is be in that moment. And if you know stuff going ahead, you might play that which it hasn’t happened yet. But other people, for their backstory, they love to have all of that information. They like to know that they can build everything from behind and bring it up to present. Everybody has a different kind of take on that. “
As an actor, I wondered what he preferred. Does he feel more attached to his role on “Pure Genius” or does he find his passion in film?
“I don’t know, I kind of go back and forth. On ‘Pure Genius’ I think I was a little bit skeptical at first. I wanted to know more information but it takes a little bit of the pressure off. You can really just be in the moment and listen and respond how you would respond with nothing else nagging at you. That was a freeing experience. So I don’t know which I prefer. I do love the backstory. I like to do my homework and be prepared, and you still have to do that obviously with something like this. Especially in a show like ‘Pure Genius’ where you’re in the medical world and something that I’m not very familiar with, you still have to do your homework. But as far as the character development, it’s definitely different.”
Circling back to ‘Bakery in Brooklyn’, creating the chemistry with a love interest is a daunting effort for some. Some actors go on mock dates to build chemistry while others may let the chemistry develop on set. I wanted to know what Ward Horton’s approach is to building chemistry.
“In this particular case with Aimee Teegarden, she’s a wonderful person and we got to know each other right from the start and we didn’t do any mock dates or anything like that but we just had honest conversations with each other and got to know each other on a personal level and then hopefully that translates to what you see on the screen. As actors you have to do that, you’re kind of forced to do that. But everybody does do it differently. “
After viewing “Bakery in Brooklyn” I noticed many elements that felt a bit nostalgic. These elements made the film stand out among other romantic comedies. I wanted to know how Ward would describe the film.
“It’s a throwback romantic comedy. In the way it’s shot, in the way it’s written. The cinematography in the film is beautiful. Brooklyn itself is a character all in its own. With the music and everything, it does have that throwback feel. I think that anybody that loves those romantic comedies of old are really going to respond to this.”
“It’s funny I was actually watching it the other night with my mother who was in town and she loved it. She loved that kind of old school feel that it had and especially the music. It’s got lots of different, interesting characters and different storylines going on for different people. And you have to stay on your toes because if you don’t, you’ll miss something here and there because there is a lot going on. It’s just a feel good film and there’s not enough of those out there right now.”
With steady work in the queue, I was curious about where we would see Ward next? What projects is he looking forward to?
“We just got off ‘Pure Genius’ so it’s been mostly spent doing that. I did a film earlier last year, it’s called ‘Midnighters’ which will be making the festival circuit here pretty soon. To me that was really exciting. It was on the independent side of things and for me creatively, it was so fulfilling. Just because I was playing a character so far from who I am and it made it just really fun to be at work every day. One of the things I did realize, and I’ve seen a cut of the film, that I learned from the experience is that when a character is really far away from who I am, it’s harder for me to watch. If I’m cast pretty much me as the character, it’s easier for me to watch. But when it’s so far from who I am, I had a tough time seeing through it, which I didn’t expect. So when watching it I feel like the performance is good from what I’ve talked with people about. They feel it’s a really good performance, but I had a really tough time watching it because I was nitpicking everything. In the moment, acting it, I had a blast, watching it…not as much fun.”