New Perspectives: A Conversation with Ward Horton
Who’s your favorite movie villain? What makes an antagonist threatening enough to fear, but vulnerable enough to find relatable? Too often these questions are ignored in favor of stereotypical performances. In the the new film Midnighters, however, Ward Horton develops a multi-layered anti-hero. Questions surround the identity of his character, “Smith,” forcing Horton to perform a spectrum of personality traits from suave to demonic. His ability to transform gives brings to fruition several plot points in the journey of Midnighters’ protagonist, Lindsey, played with sincere vulnerability by the phenomenal Alex Essoe.
I had the opportunity to talk with Ward about his early days in New Jersey and North Carolina, his non-judgemental approach to playing “Smith,” and the timeless advice he would offer young actors. On the strength of his emotional intelligence and chemistry with Alex Essoe, the film earns 4.5 out of 5 hairpieces. Lovers of the horror and mystery genres will be drawn to Midnighters, while not finding it derivative. I hope my conversation with Ward gets you excited for the move, as it did for me.
Midnighters premiers at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 19th with wide release to follow. It is written by Alston Ramsay and directed by Julius Ramsay. It stars Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes, Talents of Halloween), Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs, Spider-Man 3) along with strong performances by Dylan McTee (MTV’s “Sweet Vicious”) and, of course, Ward Horton (Annabelle, The Wolf of Wall Street).