“Straight On Till Morning” Star Scott Butler Talks New Role And More In Exclusive Interview! (@ScottButlerAct)
We recently had the chance to chat with Scott Butler who will be starring in a new film titled “Straight On Till Morning.” Check out our interview below!
1. How did you get your start in the entertainment industry?
Like a lot of people, I was a victim of the recession and was laid off from my job at the end of 2008. I found myself out of work for the first time in 20 years, with very few jobs around and in mid 2009, to keep myself busy, I decided to try an acting class in San Diego (where I was living at the time). I wanted to try it partly because I’d always been interested in acting but had never pursued it and partly because I thought to myself “if I suck at acting, at least I might get better with public speaking for work”. I remember the first day, I had called and booked myself to audit that class, I parked the car, went up the elevator and walked down the gloomy corridor to the class. I went to open the door and thought “why am I doing this? I have a career” and turned back, went back down the elevator, got into my car and then started to drive off. I then thought “no, I should check it out” and went back in, that was the turning point that changed my life for the next 9 years.
I started auditioning and booking student films, shorts and a local play. A year or so later I saw an ad in Craiglist for auditions for a teen romance comedy called “Smash”, I went and auditioned and then later just sort of forgot about it. A few days later I was on set doing some extra work and when I got back to my cellphone I had two voicemails, one said that I had won Best Actor at the Canada International Film Festival for a short film I’d worked on called “Abeo”. The second voicemail was from one of the producers on Smash letting me know they wanted to bring me in for a callback. When I called them back they said that all their timeslots were full but would see if there’s anything they could do. They called me back about 30 minutes later and said “the director loved you, don’t worry about the callback, you’ve got the role”. That movie became “16-Love” and did a limited theatrical run and was released by Warner Bros on VOD.
2. What is one thing you think most people would be surprised to know about the industry?
I honestly think that although this industry can be tough, it’s far from impossible to be able to have success. Yes it can be hard to be a working actor making a living, and appearing on hit TV shows, but there are so many outlets these days for content, that I think if you put your mind to it and you have talent, there is plenty of work out there. You have to think of yourself as someone providing a service, in a way. You are standing there, in that audition room, presenting them with an option. They are looking back at you deciding if what you are providing feels right to them. There are so many factors as to why you don’t book roles, and most of them are out of your control. Bryan Cranston wisely said “I learned long ago to focus on things you can control and don’t even pay attention to things you don’t”, that is such good advice. Just be the best actor you can be, provide them with an option, your version of what has been written down and if they feel it’s right, they’ll contact you, that’s it.
One other thing that I think a lot of actors starting out don’t realize, casting directors want you to be good, they want you to succeed. I think a lot of beginning actors are terrified of casting directors, they can feel intimidating, as standing in front of people feeling judged can be quite a difficult experience. But they have decided to call you in and every actor that comes in through that door, they want them to succeed, because then they have a wonderful palette of auditions to provide back to the producers, they want to show to the producers that their choices to audition were good choices. Keep that in mind when you audition, it can really help you feel a more positive vibe when auditioning, which is already daunting enough.
3. Are there any projects that you are currently working on and can share some information about?
In a few months I’ll be flying out to Missouri to play a lead role in “Straight On Till Morning”, to be directed by Craig Ouellette. It’s a romance/thriller starring Maria Olsen (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, American Horror Story), I just couldn’t put down the script, it is a wonderfully well written story and I really feel it will be something special. We’ve begun rehearsals already and are putting the final pieces in place before filming. I will also be narrating a movie by Gregory Hatanaka called “Darling Nikki”, starring James Duval (Donnie Darko) and Jamie Bernadette (NCIS: New Orleans).
I have a few horror movies coming up, a family movie, a comedy drama, a period drama called “Octoroon” and two action movies, one of which, “Blood Fury”, is themed around UFC/MMA fighting, where I will be playing the villain, can’t wait! And and also a “Samurai Cop” spinoff movie, that one sounds interesting from what I’ve learnt so far! I also just completed principal photography for a Netflix pitch by Beach Dancer Films, directed by Julian Grant and based on a book in the UK called “Serial Killer” by Garry Johnson. This was an incredibly challenging and gritty role, I just got the trailer to it and I believe the pitch is now being shown to investors to produce the full movie. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, as everyone involved was so talented and incredible to work with and this needs to be made.
4. What has been your favorite project to work on so far?
It is way too hard to think of just one, every role has been so different and has brought different things to my acting experience. But one that stood out for me, was playing the role of Jacob on “Holy Terror”, that was an amazing experience. The character was quite complex and throughout the movie had a few internal battles going on, it was a fantastic challenge to make all that work. I’ve also enjoyed playing more light-hearted roles like Judge Brown’s Assistant on “Wiener Dog Internationals”, starring Morgan Fairchild, Jason London and Bryan Batt, it was such a fun, whimsical story.
I really feel every role has a place in my heart, they all taught me something and I feel so grateful to have been involved with all these projects. One other that stood out was my role on “The Campus”, directed by Jason Horton, it was a challenging role in that I am wearing a mask with one eyehole and had to emote from my body without use of my face, also the character is supernatural, so my training in mime played into this.
5. Which project do you think has had the most influence on people?
I think that would be “16-Love”, I read many of the customer comments on Amazon, IMDB and more, and it was wonderful to see that a lot of people enjoyed it and it brought them together as a family when watching. One comment on IMDB said “A kind hearted movie that was perfect for my daughters and I. Brought us closer as we watched the film.” Although my role in that movie was small, it still touched me when I read that.
6. What are your favorite kind of acting projects?
Ones that have a challenge to them, I am more interested when I feel some fear in doing a role, then I know I have work to do. If I read the script and there’s almost nothing to the role, then I am far less interested. I also like to have a wide range of roles that I play, so if something comes along that I feel I’ve not done before, then that is also a bonus. The other thing is a talented but easy to get along with cast and crew, no egos and no attitude, that’s what I want. We all get to do something so interesting, telling stories, if people aren’t enjoying doing that for a living then maybe they’re in the wrong business.
7. What is the most challenging thing about acting for you?
I think the most challenging thing about acting is when you play a lead, you are in more than 3/4 of the movie and you have to make that character have an arc, something believable but also that the viewer feels it without it being “shown” to them forcedly. When I work on larger roles, that is the challenge for me, but one that I relish. If I can work in what the character is going through and how that affects him and how he differs when he comes out the other side from it, all in the space of around an hour and a half, that is the challenge and it makes acting so much fun, yes challenges should be fun!
8. Do you have any other things you would like to share with your fans?
The biggest things to think when getting into acting are, believe in yourself, hold inside of you a quiet confidence. When you walk into that audition room, they want to believe in you and believe that you can do the job. You don’t need to be showy and have an inflated ego, just let them feel that you know what you’re doing (even if you’re not sure), believe in the choice you made and everything will take care of itself.
A good friend of mine who works a lot once said to me “Just be the best actor you can be, that’s all”, good advice and something that has helped me immensely ever since. Overall, just have fun, enjoy the journey, don’t compare yourself to others, just enjoy your own journey, everyone has their own journey.
9. What are your social media accounts?
You can find me on Instagram and Twitter by searching for @scottbutleract, also you can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/scottbutleractor/. Also my work can be found at www.scottbutleractor.com and my IMDB is www.imdb.me/scottbutler. I super appreciate all the support I get on there, and welcome more people to get in touch. 🙂
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