Most recently seen as psychopathic pimp Viktor in The Seasoning House, Kevin Howarth has become Britain’s go-to guy for nuanced villainy. But, as he explains to Anton Bitel, it’s the lighter roles he craves…
This is an excerpt from an article published in movieScope 35: July/August 2013
What draws you to the dark side?
Every role—even if it was a romcom or a comedy—you find that character, and if that character has these depths of darkness then that’s what you have to go and find. Funnily enough, the first thing I look for is their lighter sides; the sides of the character that account for what made that happen. Even if it’s not in the script, I have to have some idea why this person became that way, because every one of these guys has got a mother and a sister and they’re somebody’s son. I think we all have a dark and a light side, it’s just that the characters I’ve played are very extreme—and I would imagine their light sides would probably be equally extreme…
Did you have to do special preparations for the role of paedophile pimp/murderer Viktor in Seasoning House?
I always dig very deep; a lot of homework, a lot of reading. I also watched a documentary on the Serbian Tigers and a couple of interviews with that guy Arkan. He had this babyish face, quite a soft voice as well, and looked normal really, and yet he was this monster. I remember thinking, gosh, you wouldn’t think in a million years that this guy was the brutal beast that he was—and he was phenomenally brutal. That was shocking. I got a little bit annoyed with an interview when I was doing TheLast Horror Movie, when some critic said he seemed too normal, and he didn’t have any scar. In fact, that’s how they are, they look normal; they could be someone living next door to you and you wouldn’t have a clue. They could be anybody.
You’ve made a name for yourself playing a certain kind of character, but what is your dream role?
I don’t have a problem with playing dark characters, edgy characters; it seems to be something that I’ve been doing a lot. I would love to do a comedy, because I love making people laugh and having fun, and I think that would be a great chance to show off another side of myself that people don’t often get to see. But emotions are what’s important in front of the camera. I would love to do the range, everything. I’d love to be in a romantic comedy; I’d love to do something romantic and emotional as well, just so I could show a few more facets of me as an actor.
The Seasoning House is available on DVD and Blu-ray from August 12