Freddy-With an interview of the charming Craig Fairbrass for his latest film, VILLAIN.
VILLAIN follows Eddie Franks (Craig Fairbrass) as he gets out the clink. He’s all smiles when his brother Sean is waiting for him on the outside. The brothers still own the bar and they get to work fixing it up. Unfortunately, Sean can’t do anything right and the simple life Eddie so desperately wanted gets replaced with the life he knows all too well.
As a deep character study styled family drama, all wrapped up in a gangster film, VILLAINdoesn’t disappoint. I was really impressed with the understated way this one was filmed. A tale of a good guy trying to go clean, who gets pulled back into the dirty ditches, isn’t a new one but it feels fresh here.
VILLAIN is available in the states May 22nd on digital and VOD.
Craig Fairbrass: How you doin, Freddy?
Freddy Beans: I’m doing great Craig. How about you buddy?
CF: This connection is worse than the COVID-19.
FB: (Laughs) To quote…You – “Let’s do this!”
What got you into acting?
CF: That’s a good question man. Watching movies with my dad back in the day. John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson. All the geezers. The men.
FB: Brings back memories of mine. Me and my dad.
What was your favorite component of playing Eddie Franks in VILLAIN?
CF: The emotional side of things. Not being the typical Terminator. Characters are much more interesting when they have a weakness.
FB: Absolutely. I’m sure it’s fun playing the bad guy. You get a ton of those roles. Eddie has a ton of depth to him and I think you play him well.
To hit on the flip side, what was the hardest piece for you during this shoot?
CF: It’s every day. It’s hard making low budget filmmaking. You make on hundred independents a week in the U.S. The shooting schedule’s been getting shorter and shorter. It is long hours. One minute, you’re doing an emotional scene. The next minute you’re maybe doing a fight in a pub. It is very difficult to the luxury of time.
FB: Sure but in some manner that has to enhance your acting abilities, right? You’re kind of being forced to play a happy scene, then laugh, party or fight in the next.
CF: Yeah, you got to be double prepared, let’s put it that way. You got to stay on your toes and be ready for everything.
FB: That’s life, 100%!
Eddie has a strong moral code he lives by. Besides the nose biting, do you have a similar code? Did you agree or disagree with his moves in this movie?
CF: We spoke for a day about that scene. I said listen, if he doesn’t bite the geezer’s nose off, I’m not doing it. It was a turning point in the film for me. It was like he’d suppressed all of his feelings and all of this violence for years and years, wanting to become a better man. Get a business up and running. Problem is there’s two slags in front of him. He doesn’t really want to do what he does best but he has to. He just loses it. I felt that had to be so ferocious. He needed to be a hammer and go berserk and set that precedence.
FB: It shows right off that if you fuck around with Eddie too much, it might not be a good thing for you. (Laughs)
CF: (Laughs) Exactly. When I’d first read the script it reminded me of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. I love those films about men who’ve had enough out of life. They don’t want to do what they do best anymore. Someone inevitably pushes their buttons or kicks them into a corner.
I was a kid growing up watching these movies. I dreamt that one day, praise god, I’d get the chance to play a character like that. I think Eddie is the closest I’ve ever come to that. He’s such a lovely character to play. A nice but violent Geezer when he’s pushed too far.
FB: I really loved the film and your character Eddie.
CF: Don’t take this the wrong way but that’s a bit of a surprise. There’s a lot of bad movies that come out of America. I’m a movie addict and I watch these big American films and so many of them, they’re not good. It’s so refreshing to talk to someone like yourself, who’s an American, who still appreciates a good film regardless of the budget, actor, or size of the film. I watched 21 BRIDGES last night. I actually felt like that was the first GOOD, big American film I’d seen in a long time.
FB: I think for many years now, American film has gotten stuck on that big explosion. I think back to films like RESERVOIR DOGS and how they seemingly helped open up that appreciation for independent filmmaking, in a way that hadn’t been done before. I think there’s a ton of heart that comes from making independent films and that shows up in the story typically. I also feel that’s what is missing in your big budget Hollywood blockbusters.
CF: I love Americans and American films but lately it feels like the first question asked is, well how much did you spend on it? Well, fuck that. It means nothing. You could make a $100 film and it could be incredible. You can make a film for millions of dollars, that’s shit.
FB: I can’t make excuses but we love our Michael Bay! (Laughs)
CF: Damn. (Laughs) I love Michael Bay.
FB: We all do but you know what I mean. There’ a repetition at play that feels like you aren’t really trying at some point. Thanks for the kind words though man.
In AVENGEMENT you play evil brother Lincoln Burgess to Scott Adkin’s Cain Burgess. Do you prefer being a villain in a movie or the hero?
CF: It all depends on the part. I’m touching over fifty movies now and I’m either the villain or the good guy. Honestly speaking, playing heroes and gangsters are very similar really. It’s all about reading the script and finding the character underneath. But yeah, I really love playing a villain. I’d kill to play a mob villain. I’ll get out and kill now for one. (Laughs)
FB: (Laughs) Whatever it takes!
Is it just me or should you have had a key role in GAME OF THRONES man? You are made to play a knight or king.
CF: Listen to me here Freddy. If I had a fucking dollar for every time someone said that to me.
I’m a massive fan of the show. I watched that 21 BRIDGES last night, directed by Brian Kirk. He also directed GAME OF THRONES. I was obsessed with that show. I had kept hearing how good it was and being told I should be on it. So I started watching it and I would cry to myself. I so want to be in this show.
FB: There were so many good parts!
CF: Such a great show but I say that about so many shows. When I first go to LA, I only wanted to be there because I wanted to star in24. You watch things and you gravitate towards them.
FB: How did you land the voice acting role in CALL OF DUTY?
CF: I used to spend a lot of my time in LA, before I realized, what the fuck am I doing? You know the sayings. It’s not easy out there. I was out here auditioning for work. Someone said you have a great voice you ever thought about doing voice-acting? I got a voice over agent and two days later I got an audition for what I thought was just another video game. I am lucky enough to have done five or six games. I’m not a gamer though. I went on Twitter and said I’d done about 4 or 5 games and my phone started blowing up. People saying they’d heard I’m doing the next Call of Duty. I was lucky enough to do Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare II-Which I believe is the most successful CALL OF DUTY game ever?!!? They changed it last year. Got a bunch of new guys to replace me. Which is what happens in life. Especially in my business.
FB: My son is a huge fan and wanted me to ask just that. How you felt about getting replaced and killed off as Ghost in COD:MWII.
CF: To me it was a game that saved my life. You know how it is. All of a sudden I had dollar coming in. Then it became a big game and spun off to other games. They were really good to me at one point. They brought me in and had me do four different characters. That’s what I bunched together when I went on Twitter. People thought I was announcing Modern Warfare IV. I had lawyers calling me. It was a lot of fun, great experience.
FB: Did you ever get your high school diploma?
CF: I had problems as an early boy on the education front and was asked to leave. Ya know what though? I can hold my hand on my heart that it all worked out. I’m sitting here with the sun going down and sure, we’re on lockdown, but I’m very, very, grateful for the way things have worked out. I’m not at the top but I’m not at the bottom. I’m in the middle ground where I’m working and making good films and I’m happy.
FB: You’re a success story at this point, my man.
What is your favorite horror film?
CF: Oh, that’s interesting. Put me right on the spot now. My favorite modern day horror film is JEEPERS CREEPERS. I love creature movies. I just loved the first one. I grew up obsessed with THE WOLF MAN, Dracula. I loved those old Hammer horror films as a kid. They can’t make enough of the creature horror films. I love them. JEEPERS CREEPERS was one hell of a movie.
FB: Yeah, it’s one I enjoy. I’ve been told I look like the guy who loses his eyes in the end in it, Justin Long. I’m not bragging, I’m just relating. (Laughs)
CF: (Laughs) Now I have a visualization of you and I’ve never laid my eyes on ya.
FB: Is there anything else coming up that you’d like our readers to know about?
CF: Yes. I’ve done a movie that’s won a lot of awards called MUSCLE. It’s black and white and directed by Gerard Johnson. He directed a film called HYENA. MUSCLE is a very prestigious film about toxic masculinity. A relationship between a personal trainer and the guy he trains. If you have a chance, don’t miss it! It comes out in June. Track it down. It’s an absolutely A1 movie!
FB: Cant’ wait to see it! Thanks for letting us know.
CF: Thank you Freddy!
FB: Thank you Craig. Good luck with everything!
VILLAIN is available on digital and VOD May 22nd!
Stay safe out there everyone!
Freddy Beans (AKA: Ken Lewis)