You may think that moving to Hollywood, taking acting classes and getting an agent are the only ways of entering the industry of show business. However, as True Blood and Blackwater Wilderness actor John Hickman shows, sometimes an opportunity such as a bid can turn into a full-fledged career. Now working alongside the likes of Pierce Brosnan and James Franco, Mr. Hickman talks about his unconventional beginning, the characters he enjoys playing and what’s next on the agenda.
I read that True Blood was your first show, can you tell me about how you got your start in acting?
It was. Alan Ball the True Blood show runner donated a feature walk on role to an auction for LA Children’s Hospital. I was a huge fan of the show so I bid on the part and got it. It was a tiny extra role but working on your fave show is a pretty awesome experience. I was invited to come back on an episode for season five. For season 6 they moved me into Alcide’s wolf pack, I got to work with real wolves, which was the most amazing experience ever!
You play a lot of different ‘villain-type’ characters, how do you tap into those kinds of personas?
It’s probably one of the more difficult things for me to do. It really takes a lot for me to bring these bad guys to life. One of my fellow actors wanted to talk to me when we were in between takes, I thought ‘oh boy what I am doing wrong?’ He said, “When I first met you I thought, there is no way this guy is going to pull this off, he is way too nice.” It’s cool when you get praise from peers.
Does playing those types of characters have a lasting effect on you?
I try to learn everything I can from bringing these bad boys to life. I just hope no one ever confuses these type characters with who I am.
You’ve had the opportunity to film movies in your hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. What was that experience like to film where you grew up? How were movies and film apart of you?
It was amazing. Up until BlackWater Wilderness I had only done True Blood. It was very nice making a film and getting to sleep in my own bed every night.
What did you do before True Blood and has that had an impact on the characters you’ve played or the roles you become involved in?
I have worked in the family business for most of my life. It has given me a different outlook on life and I have met some true characters, that have had some influences on characters on screen.
You recently were in projects with Pierce Brosnan and James Franco, what was it like to work with them?
Pierce Brosnon is one of the most charming people I have ever met. I don’t have any lines in I.T. but it was cool to work with 007 himself. From Oct. 2015 till Oct. 2016, I appeared in four Franco films. He has the most incredible work ethic I have seen. He has helped me more than he will ever know and I was always be grateful.
What do you nerd out about?
I am a huge Star Wars nerd! And I’m a big Disney fan as well.
Would you like to tell us about your upcoming projects?
I just wrapped a film on Oct 13 called Avengers of Justice. I play “Emperor Purple Guy” who is the leader of the dark side of the Farce. I’ll be filming a football movie in the spring called HIT. I play the head college football coach of TCU. I did another movie this past summer where I played a college football coach called Blood on Wheels. I really love college football. The University of Alabama is here in my city so playing a coach is pretty fun for me.