William Forsythe talks Awake, The Man in the High Castle, and more

Awake -- Acquired via ThinkJam
Awake -- Acquired via ThinkJam /

William Forsythe plays Roger Bower in the upcoming thriller Awake. He talks about the character and his love of the projects in this exclusive interview.

William Forsythe has taken on many different roles and delved deeply into every character he’s played. His upcoming movie is Awake, also starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Francesca Eastwood, and Malik Yoba, as a character who goes through a difficult journey.

During this exclusive interview with Hidden Remote, the veteran actor talked about why he chose this movie, who he originally wanted to play, and his other upcoming projects.

Hidden Remote: Let’s start with your character Roger Bower in Awake?

William Forsythe: This is a guy who wakes up to the reality that his son [played by James Austin Kerr] is disturbed. On the outside, this is a person who has lived his life in the right direction and been a normal family person. Now he’s covering up this dark secret.

HR: What was it that drew you into this character?

Forsythe: The minute I looked at this movie, I said it had something that would make it a classic thriller. It had something that some of the greater older films, which I’m a huge fan of, had. It had a great quality to it.

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In the beginning, I didn’t think I’d be going after this character. It wasn’t what I imagined, but it was very challenging in the fact that this good person is living through this experience and finds himself completely on the wrong side of life. He turns his back on what he knows to be common sense all for his son.

It’s a tangled piece, and what drew me in was that I thought it was an honest-to-goodness thriller that doesn’t give itself away until the end.

HR: The trailer doesn’t seem to give too much away. You get a rough idea of where it will start, but there’s no big reveal.

Forsythe: Yes, and there’s so much going on. In the world of a thriller, that’s everything. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Have you seen the movie, yet?

HR: Not yet, no.

Forsythe: Neither have I. I shot it a year ago but haven’t seen it on the screen yet. I do think it had a great cast and the film had this weird twist to it at all times, which I think serves a thriller well.

HR: What was the role that you initially auditioned for?

Forsythe: I was originally sent the script for the character that Malik [Yoba] ended up playing. When I heard Malik was going to play Frank Ward and I was going to play this part, I knew it would really work. I have a lot of respect for the other players.

Awake — Acquired via ThinkJam
Awake — Acquired via ThinkJam /

HR: Is there anything that you filmed that you can’t wait for the fans to see on the screen?

Forsythe: Oh gosh, I wish I could think that way! I’m an actor. I give 100% of everything that I am. If I’m there for a day or months, I figure out what’s really going on to create a character that gives everything. The second it’s over with, you’re onto the next battle.

When I look back on this, I think about the struggles that we were going through. For me, a lot of the scenes that are subtle are the ones that I’m drawn to. But for this character, the struggles that he goes through and where it finally leaves him is not a good place. I look forward to seeing the movie but not anything in particular that I did.

My question is will the film get what we want? The talent is there and some really good people involved.

HR: Yes, the talent is there. As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew putting everyone together would be a good think, as long as the writing, directing, and everything else comes together.

Forsythe: Absolutely. You take Johnathan and Francesca and combine them on the film, there really isn’t a dishonest moment. The directors were fun! They were Russian with a little bit of English. They’d have these discussions in Russian and one would try to explain. After about a week, you didn’t need the words. You could understand after getting to know them.

HR: You are a very busy man. I’ve noticed you’ve done a lot of different types of roles over the years. Is there something you particularly like?

Forsythe: The guys that I loved and modeled after were like Alec Guinness and Robert Duvall. Every single performance they do is another person, and that’s what I love. I love taking a character and letting it breathe and try to put signature touches on it. Some work better than others.

There was a time that I thought I would get calls and I’d have plenty of time to do extensive preparation. Now I feel like I get a call 20 minutes before

HR: Finally, are there any projects that you have coming up?

Forsythe: I’ve been keeping pretty busy doing independent films. I am going to be in The Man in the High Castle again as J. Edgar Hoover and it looks like I’ll be reviving my character of Harry Brown from Hawaii Five-0 to bring the character into Magnum P.I. and possibly both shows.

I’m always doing something.

HR: I’m so excited to see you in The Man in the High Castle. I love that show.

Forsythe: Oh, yeah, that is a special show. That alternate universe is terrifying.

HR: It is!

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What do you think of Awake? Are you excited to see William Forsyth back in The Man in the High Castle? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Awake is available on Digital and VOD on Aug. 16, 2019.