Holt McCallany, working with some of the best writers and directors, has been a key player in the industry for over 30 years now. He stars as agent Bill Tench in the well-acclaimed Netflix series, Mindhunter.
We had the opportunity to talk to Holt about his early career, his boxing enthusiasm, and updates on Mindhunter season 3.
Before we go any further, you’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of Fight Club, a cult-classic film that is still heavily talked about to this day. How’d you first land the role as the mechanic & did you ever see the film gaining this much notoriety?
I got the offer to play The Mechanic in Fight Club after appearing in David Fincher’s first film Alien 3 and I was very excited to be invited back to work with David again. We knew Fight Club would be an interesting film, but I’m not sure any of us realized it would eventually be considered a seminal film and a contemporary masterpiece.
Boxing is a metaphor for life. You fight to gain self-respect and self-confidence. You have to face adversity, and overcome obstacles. The ring is a chamber of truth, a place where you can’t lie to yourself.
Everyone is going absolutely nuts over Mindhunter right now, some calling it one of Netflix’s most binged series. What was it like first stepping into the shoes of someone like Agent Tench?
I remember an email I received from my director in which he shared with me his thoughts about the character, it was very detailed, I thought about it a lot. I realized that I had the opportunity to make Bill Tench a very complex character so I tried to identify things within myself that corresponded with the character I intended to create.
Which of the many infamous serial killer's you had on the show was your favorite to question and why?
We’ve been very fortunate on Mindhunter to have wonderful actors playing the serial killers. It’s hard to pick a favorite because they were all so good. Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, Oliver Cooper as David Bewrkowitz, and Happy Anderson as Jerry Brudos were all excellent as were several others, but if you put a gun to my head I’d choose Cameron Britton as Ed Kemper, because he was the first, and in a certain way the most forthcoming.
Speaking so much of Mindhunter, are there any updates on season 3 you could provide us with?
I’m sorry I haven’t been notified yet of any start date for season 3. I know David is directing a film with Gary Oldman and he’s currently focusing on that.
Are there any particular filmmakers or films that have inspired you throughout your career thus far?
I’ve had the honor of working with a lot of well-known filmmakers in Hollywood including Clint Eastwood, David O. Russel, William Friedkin, Brian De Palma, Lawrence Kasdan, Walter Hill, and Michael Mann, among others, but the one from whom I’ve learned the most and has inspired me the most is David Fincher.
If you had to give some advice to those who want to pursue a career in acting, what would it be?
Believe in yourself. Talent will win in the end.
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