Interview: Paxton Singleton Talks THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSENovember 1, 2018
Recently we had the chance to talk with Paxton Singleton who discussed his part in the hit Netflix horror television series The Haunting of Hill House.
Have you always been interested in being an actor?
Paxton: I was never always interested in acting, I always loved movies, but I never really thought about being an actor until I was eleven years old. Then I did a local play and I really enjoyed it and from there I went to short films until I got to be in The Haunting of Hill House.
So what is the best thing about acting, and is there anything you don’t like about it?
Paxton: The best thing about acting is, I really like to travel, I also like to meet new people. It’s also fun to become new characters, play different people, meet new actors that you’ve watched during your childhood. I would definitely say there is nothing at this point I don’t like about acting, it’s a lot of fun.
What was your reaction when you found out you got the role as the younger Steven on The Haunting of Hill House?
Paxton: (Laughs) I started jumping around and crying. I was actually at a local McDonalds eating breakfast when I got the call, so after the call, I was crying and Facetiming my dad and saying “I got the part, I got the part!” and he’s saying “what part, what part?”, so we were all confused because it was my first huge role.
Can you tell me a bit about the audition process for the character of Steven?
Paxton: Well, it was like an eleven-page audition, there were a lot of scenes I was auditioning for. I remember reading everything and me and my mom looking at each other and saying we really need to watch this show, we were both hooked on it. We were hoping we would book it just because it was such a great script and we wanted to know what ended up happening. From there, I got a call-back and ended up getting the part, I was so excited.
The Haunting of Hill House can be pretty dark and creepy. Do you enjoy those kinds of movies/TV shows and did this one actually scare you?
Paxton: I’m definitely not the scary type, it’s actually a real fear of mine. Before I worked on The Haunting of Hill House the only scary movie I’d seen was Hush, which was with Kate Siegel and Mike Flanagan, who are both on this set on this production and are now husband and wife, so that’s pretty cool but no, I’m definitely not the spooky type.
So what was your first day on set like?
Paxton: I remember arriving on set and the first thing that happened was I got a haircut, then they dyed my hair and I think the same day I got contacts and had to learn how to put them in. Dying my hair was fine, but it took me a bit to learn how to put the contacts in but eventually, I could do it, usually on the second try. I remember seeing Mckenna for the first time, I remember watching her on Fuller House and Gifted and it was really cool getting to know her and we became really good friends.
What was it like working with Mike Flanagan as well as your co-stars on the show?
Paxton: The actors were amazing to work with on set and like I said, I really enjoyed getting to know Mckenna. Most of my scenes were with Henry Thomas who was a pleasure to work with, I remember watching him on E.T. and Gangs of New York, those are two of my favorite movies. Mike Flanagan was just astonishing, he’s a brilliant person. Honestly, if you think about it, he wrote all of this based on the knowledge he got from the book and turned it into something completely different and I think he did a great job.
Ok, so can you tell me a bit about your role as the younger Steven?
Paxton: Steven is a really nice, kind, loving kid and I feel I can relate to him as being a bigger brother. I really want to protect my younger brother, even though sometimes we get on each other’s nerves we still love each other. I also feel we both connect on how we’re both maturing and we want to show our parents that we’re becoming young adults and it makes you feel like you want your parents to treat you more like an adult, and I can relate to that one hundred percent.
What did you enjoy the most about being on The Haunting of Hill House and was there anything you found difficult or hard?
Paxton: Well episode six was pretty hard but that’s what I like, I like challenges in acting. I think it was really fun filming episode six because you couldn’t have any errors, you had to do everything right. If you messed up a line by a hair then you’re ok but if you really mess up a line you have to restart, if you are in the wrong place you have to restart. The whole episode was a huge challenge but it was also so much fun.
After working on The Haunting of Hill House, would you like to do more work in television?
Paxton: I would one hundred percent love to do more TV shows. I definitely love working on movies as well because you don’t have to film as long, but that’s not really a problem, I love filming in general. TV shows, I’ve actually had a small part on The Rookie, on ABC with Nathan Fillion, and that was fun to film. I’d like to do a movie that is about a kid growing up, like Big, that would be cool.
What kind of advice would you have for kids who want to get into acting?
Paxton: If you feel like there is a character that you are embarrassed to play, you need to play it. Always have confidence in yourself, even if you think you could get embarrassed with a role, you can always do something with it. Also, try and do something that is a challenge and different from what you usually do, otherwise you’re just in one genre of acting and it might be really hard to get out of it.
So what other projects do you have coming up next?
Paxton: Well like I said, I did the small role on The Rookie. I have a movie coming out in 2019 called Alice Fades Away, directed by Ryan Bliss, and it’s a thriller but I think I will be able to watch it. (Laughs)
I want to thank Paxton for taking the time to talk with us