Friday, December 16, 2011

Huff (2012): The New Villain On The Street, Charlie O’Connell


Charlie O'Connell as Huff

Before I start to tell you about what I have discovered about Charlie O’Connell let’s rattle off some of what Charlie has done in his career thus far. First film that pops into my head is he’s the “Stoner BashingTime” guy in Dude Where’s My Car, his line in that film gets me every time. Then there is The New Guy where he gets to play along side brother, Jerry O’Connell.  Later To Kill a Mockumentary came about where he played Judas. Oh and there was The Gentleman’s League which I really took a liking to but that only lasted two episodes. All these roles are comedy roles. Nothing stuck out to me that was super serious or suspenseful like we are all about to see in Huff. Oh wait how could I forget season 7 of The Bachelor. I’m trying to burn that whole series out of my memory. I have never watched an episode but I’m familiar with it and I just don’t watch dating shows ever. Plus you never want to see a good looking guy like Charlie being ripped to shreds by women on television. The heart is a sensitive matter so I rather not watch the carnage. When I read that he was going to be the lead in Huff I had mixed emotions. One was excitement because I haven’t seen him in anything worthy in a long time. Second emotion was confusion because after reading the script there was no way that a guy that has a laundry list of playing college party roles is ever going to pull this off. From beer pong to slasher films? It just doesn’t seem likely. But as I went on location to find out about Charlie my tune suddenly changed. 

Charlie and Clint Howard
Before stepping on set this is what I know without any research about Charlie. He is the brother to Jerry O’Connell. I’ve seen him play small roles that show him as a partier, and... oh yeah, he is extremely good looking. I came on set mid-scene and I heard this deep bellowing voice that seemed to echo off the canyon where they were shooting. As I rear the side of the house I see Charlie yelling his lines in a voice I’ve never heard before. I think I may have stopped mid-step because I was shocked this deep menacing roar was coming from someone that I’ve never seen do before. One scene he confronts the character of Karl (Clint Howard) and he has this joker grin on his face as he slyly interrogates him into telling where his daughter is. As the suspense heightens I notice myself cringing and biting my scarf that I’m wearing because I fear for anyone in Huff’s way. My heart tingles with fear. I say to myself, “Oh he’s good.” Director Paul Morrell shouts “Cut” and as he discusses movements with the other actor in the scene, Elly Stefanko, Charlie walks over and with the smile that could make a thousand women melt says, “Hi”. I blush and wave my hand and say Hi back. I must have looked like an idiot because I couldn’t stop staring at him. Here’s this guy that has beautiful broad shoulders and is incredibly tall and handsome and all I can think about in my head is the awful things that he is going to do to his step-daughters. Charlie stuck around for a few moments and I said to him, “I hate your character.” He frowned, naturally and I continued. “I read the script and I can’t believe you, Charlie O’Connell, are playing such a cold hearted person. You’re going to need to do a Prince Charming film after this to win me back.” Charlie smiles and says, “Ok, I’ll work on that.” I spurted out a few more compliments and then it was his time to go back on set. 

Charlie with Director Paul Morrell
The thing that interested me about Charlie is that he transformed before all of our eyes into the character of Huff. And believe me when I tell you once you see this film you will then know why I think its so crazy that a nice guy like Charlie can be such a dark character. This is a testament to his acting. He really shines in this film and I think this will snowball more serious roles for him.  Funny fact is I was kinda shocked that this stud was so shy. I always figure a good looking guy usually has all the moves and knows all the lines but Charlie was a normal bloke. No lines, no BS, just a simple man. The buzz on set is that he is warm and friendly and is taking this character seriously and has mastered the art of being the villain in a horror film.

We never got to talk in depth for the scenes they shot were pretty dark and depressing so I could never catch him at the perfect time. Before I left for the day though I told Charlie that I would be coming back on their last day of filming and maybe I could talk to him in more detail then. He shot back, “Of course” and after a little talking about how he loves dogs, I took my googly eyes home and started to ponder. Who is Charlie O’Connell? I don’t think anyone knows what a beautiful person this guy is inside and out. One thing is for sure is that I’m going to peel back the layers and deliver to you the details on who I think is a diamond in the rough.


Charlie and I

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