Who’s Watching Oliver was one of the highlights of last year’s Dead of Night Film Festival and we got a chance to chat to Russell Banks about the transformative role ahead of its US release next month.
Tell us how you got involved with Who’s Watching Oliver?
I first knew that I wanted to do a serial killer movie so I went to Richie Moore the director and then we contacted Raimund Huber. from that point on we sculpted the script. Raimund Huber had the idea to mix a character similar to George McFly and Forrest Gump. Originally I had saw the character more like a Henrey portrait of serial killer style character.
What attracted you to the role?
I think it was more the idea of getting into the skin of a character that has so many sides to him. from angry and viscous to vulnerable and victimised. From the time of shooting GhostHouse to Who’s Watching Oliver, there had been a six-month gap where I went back to the drawing board as such and studied constantly as well as a death in the family. So I really wanted this type of role at that point in my life.
This isn’t your average psychological tale is it?
No not at all in this story the killer who is causing so much hate and destruction is also a victim and is falling in love and trying to escape the life he is in. In this movie, there are multiple ways to look at it and it certainly makes you question can you feel for someone who is doing horrendous acts.
What was the atmosphere like on set?
It sucked it really wasn’t a pleasant set at all for everyone, not just me. But for me, I was trying to get my head to a really dark space and then with the subject matter time and money restraints. It was tough. It certainly wasn’t like any set of been on before.
Also, I was staying in the basement of the house where we were shooting so I had no of time it was Oliver 24/7 after the shoot is when i realised that it had affected me and took its tole.
But yeah to answer the question it wasn’t a nice set to be on. That said the shots in the daytime with Sara Malakal was a lot happier and a needed break away from the dark stuff.
Tell us about working with Margaret Roche?
Margaret Roche was amazing to work with. She is the sweetest woman in real life and this was her first movie. She transformed herself to one the vilest humans imaginable my hat goes of to her.
What has the reaction been to the film so far?
The reaction has been unbelievable the horror and film community have gotten behind us and been wonderful. The reviewers have been kind to us yeah its been an amazing ride. We won a lot of awards at festivals and the ride has carried on from there.
We have a wide release in 2 weeks and I still have to pinch myself. There are so many people I need to thank for taking the time to write about and support our little horror flick because without them we wouldn’t be where we are now.
Fingers crossed the ride continues after we release.
There’s plenty of gore in the film, was this fun to film with?
There was plenty of blood and No it wasn’t fun hahaha we had a tiny crew so after Myself and Raimund Huber and occasionally Richie would have to scrub the floor and clean it up.
Last thing you want after a 12 to 14-hour shoot when you’re drained and tired.. Also, I started to get panic attacks again so the coffee in the blood wasn’t great for calming myself down.
Watch the trailer for Who’s Watching Oliver below –