Paul Walter Hauser might have been known a few years ago for his smaller comedic parts in films like I, Tonya, Late Night, or the Oscar-winning Cruella. But he’s recently displayed a tremendous skill for dramatic material, taking on the title role in Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell and imbuing a misunderstood figure with a great deal of humanity. For his latest foray into serious territory, Hauser takes on the role of serial killer Larry Hall in the Apple TV+ limited series Black Bird.
Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Hauser about what drew him to the role and playing opposite costar Taron Egerton. He shared his affinity for the prison genre:
“I’m a big prison guy. I love the book of Orange is the New Black. I love Frank Darabont’s prison movies. I think that movie A Prophet is amazing. For me, that was a huge draw. I didn’t even look at it like I’m doing a serial killer, I looked at it as, oh, you get to do a prison story.”
He also dug into how he was able to relate to his character:
“I just looked at him like a real person. If you look at him like a serial killer, you end up playing it big and stupid. I relate to his loneliness, feeling outcast. We’ve all had feelings of wanting to lash out. I just played on those things rather than tried to build upon these things he had as far as his appetite. I don’t have an appetite for hurting people or illegal sexuality. That’s not part of my DNA. I do know what it’s like to be convicted and have deep convictions, to be obsessed, to be angry. So you draw on those things. It’s not that hard, because you have embodied some of those emotions, even when the content is foreign.”
Listen to the full conversation below!
The series finale of Black Bird debuts Friday, August 5th on Apple TV+.