Zach Villa on Mental Health and Pottery in Horror Thriller Hypochondriac

Zach Villa on Mental Health and Pottery in Horror Thriller Hypochondriac

Zach Villa has a broad spectrum of roles as a rising star in Hollywood, including FX''s and, Fox''s, Showtime''s, and Netflix''s. In what is perhaps the most challenging role is the psychological LGBTQ horror thriller, playing Will, a Hispanic gay potter attempting to keep his life hidden. Villa spoke with writer-director Addison Heimann and Graye about his personal experiences.

What led you to ''Hypochondriac''? Zach Villa: I got it the old-fashioned way. Auditions come my way, and some of them are remarkable projects you just can''t wait to do. Some are more run-of-the-mill, and that''s how your life goes as an actor. When you get the chance to actually perform something out of the left field and spectacular, you relish the moment [laughs]. When I read [the script], I was like, "

BC: What''s the value of poking Addison''s brain? Villa: He''s an amazing and inclusive everyman of the struggle with mental health in America. Both in our experiences, aesthetically, artistically, and what we''d like to see in the frame. It''s always an interesting blend of comedy and drama in performance. It''s always a struggle with whether or not to teach, create, or develop. This was a love-at-first-sight situation, and it was fairly rare with

BC: Is there a particular feature of the film or sequence that was awkward? Villa: It''s a few scenes, about two-thirds of the way throughI don''t want to ruin the thing for the viewers that are an Easter egg. I will say that day was emotionally taxing but worth it. I will say that dropping it in between takes made the task so much more arduous, but each time, it''s getting deeper and darker.

One of the more challenging scenes in the film is the pottery sequence. I''m not a ceramicist, but I had to become one for this film. At one point, I did two back-to-back 20-minute clips that we didn''t cut away where I just sat there in a room full of 40 people watching me off-camera and made a pot [laughs]. That was really interesting and fun challenge. Shout out to Bitter Root [Pottery] in Hollywood; they

BC: What made yours and Devon''s chemistry so well? Villa: It''s a testament to Addison and the team, that good casting is always so important. For the most part, we''re these highfalutin transformational machines. For the most part, that''s true. If you''re looking for modern text, you often require someone to mimic or shadow their character already in their daily lives.

Devon had some features of his character in his own being, and I had some for Will. I am fairly outgoing and adventurous, and Devon in his own way. He''s so kind and adept. He walks into a room instead of pushing them out with his energy. That chemistry was already happening off-screen. What else can I say? Devon is an incredible actor. He''s just so generous and would always say "Yes." In an acting partner, you can''t ask for anything more than that.

The film, which stars Paget Brewster, Marlene Forte, Madeline Zima, Yumarie Morales, and Chris Doubek, is currently in theaters. It''s available on-demand and on-demand on August 4th.

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