When Nick Haywood isn’t portraying the criminally insane Professor Orchid in the upcoming StoryHive project Wolf Hands, he’s working his human hands to the bone producing the project.
He was kind enough to spare exactly 10 minutes to answer some questions about the film, how he relates to his part, and the difficulties of parts with horrible facial hair.
Caotica: Look down and please – in your own words – describe your hands.
Nick Haywood: Looking down, I see a pair of skinny mitts too small for a man who works in manual labor. Calloused and surprisingly wrinkled for their youthful age, these hands suggest a hard worker willing to do whatever it takes to get votes for a Storyhive film project. My hands do a lot of talking, but they also walk the walk.
C: How much walking and talking would you say your hands do on average?
NH: A bit too much of both. There have been too many public occasions when I have struck a passerby through emphatic gestures.
C: You play Professor Orchid, a mad scientist obsessed with the hero. What do you love about this character, and what do you hate?
NH: Professor Orchid is a passionate man with great conviction and enthusiasm for what he does, and those are favourable traits for any human being. Unfortunately, what he is passionate about is harvesting body parts to create an army of hybrid “Franken-crime monsters, which is something I do not identify with at all. However, I do admire his zeal as I have a hard time just getting out of bed most days.
Orchid is the kind of guy who gets up at 5:30 every morning to get things done because there are only 24 hours in every day and he needs to utilize them all.
C: What sort of person is going to love your character?
NH: If you love to hate a great villain, Professor Orchid is your man. Psychotic, malicious and obviously cuckoo for cocoa puffs, Orchid is a broadly drawn baddie perfectly matched for the heightened tone of Wolf Hands.
He is the Moriarty to Sherlock Holmes. The Joker to Batman. The Blofeld to Bond. Need I say more? Do I have your attention?
C: What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
NH: The biggest challenge has to be growing out the mustache to bring Orchid’s comic book likeness to life. For me, facial hair comes easy. The borderline abusive remarks on the virility of my mustache, do not. Orchid may not have feelings, but I do. This is how committed I am to entertaining you.
Please be gentle.
C: Have you been getting a lot of guff about your moustache on set?
NH: None on set. If Braden teased me about my moustache, I’d suggest writing a character without a Clark Gable.
I have gotten a lot of flack from people at work who don’t realize it’s for a film, not a fashion choice. The opposite sex are not fans.
C: What do you do when you’re not acting?
NH: I’ve recently been hit with the Improv comedy bug, which is steadily absorbing all my free time. I also am in the midst of writing my second feature film screenplay after Baby Face, the film I was competing with for last year’s Cinecoup film competition.
C: When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal/filming, what do you spend that time doing?
NH: If I ever have downtime on set – which is a rarity as I’m usually behind the camera, not in front of it – I utilize it by socializing with the cast and crew.
Time flies so fast on set you rarely get to know anyone unless you make a conscious effort to do so.
C: What about this film do you think is going to blow people away?
NH: Audiences are going be enthralled by the detailed practical effects we are using to showcase the larger than life world that is Wolf Hands. Braden Brickner’s astute sense of tone and composition will make Wolf Hands a film worth seeing, and a film you will be shocked to know only costs mere peanuts compared to projects of a similar disposition.
Having worked with Braden before on”The Shooting of Dan McGrew”, a western adaptation of the revered Robert W. Service poem, I know first hand that Braden has the unique ability to translate his skill-set to any genre he so chooses to tackle. He puts every fibre of his being on screen and audiences will respond to that if given the opportunity with Storyhive.
C: When you say projects of a similar disposition…
NH: When I say projects of a similar disposition, I think of kinetics. The vibrant action films that require a lot of practical effects, and elbow grease. We aim to do a lot with a little.
C: How would you advise filmmakers to do that, particularly in effects and art heavy genre film?
NH: If you want to tackle a high-concept genre as a filmmaker, it’s important to be realistic with your expectations and not bite of more than you can chew. In my experience, when you lean into your limitations, your creative output skyrockets.
Every novice filmmaker thinks of themselves to be Stanley Kubrick, but he wasn’t even “Stanley Kubrick” when he started out.
C: Speaking of Kubrick, who are your inspirations? Do they share a similar “lot with a little” outlook?
From a filmmaking perspective, I came to the realization that a career in film was possible when I watched the early films of Robert Rodriguez. When I read his book; “Rebel Without A Crew” I realized how much I could pull off with just a bit of tenacity and grit.
As I got older, I became enamoured by Alfred Hitchcock. His complete, unapologetic manipulation of his audience taught me the biggest lesson in filmmaking. As a filmmaker, you facilitate a product which allows the audience to be manipulated to respond in very deliberate ways. Find what scares you in order to scare the audience, etc.
As a storyteller, Kurt Vonnegut has influenced me the strongest, in terms of speaking from the heart and turning tragedy and disappointment into comedy and catharsis.
C: Without giving anything away, what’s your favourite line of dialogue?
NH: I’m a little biased, as I get all the best lines, but my personal favourite has to come from Orchid’s first meeting with Vaughn Miller. When Orchid’s army of monsters ambush Vaughn, Orchid revels in the moment, telling Vaughn that his:
“…Franken-crime monsters have been HOWLING to meet you!”
Orchid has a taste for the theatrical and that’s a thrill to play.
C: Besides Wolf Hands, what Storyhive projects excite you?
NH: On the BC front, I am keen to see Collider, Kamloops Innovation and The Third Bandit
From homebase (Calgary, AB), I’m partial to Marauder, Red Pill, Psyborgs and of course, Wolf Hands.
These projects are too diverse to paraphrase here, so I strongly urge you to give them the time of day.
A bit of trivia: Braden and I appear in “blink and you miss” cameos in the trailer for Psyborgs. I get laser blasted in the face.
You can vote every day for Wolf Hands HERE on their Storyhive page. We urge you to do so.
In the meantime, you can find more Wolf Hands film info at:
And don’t forget the original comic!