Super Awesome Actor And Fanboy SAM HUNTINGTON Tells Us About His New Film “SECOND NATURE”!
Ever wonder what might happen if a man and a woman ran against one another in what might be the craziest election of all time? Well, before you feel like you might get sucked right back into a rerun of last year, don’t worry- there’s a new film out, “Second Nature,” that not only offers a hilarious escape from the topical situation, but it also serves up a fresh new take on gender-swap comedy- and not to mention yet another great performance by fan-favorite actor; Sam Huntington!
Now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Blu-ray and DVD, and currently showing at The Catalina Film Festival, the inventive comedy directed by Michael Cross doesn’t bother to simply switch the two main leads- one played by a delightfully funny Huntington, while the other is played by a poignant Collette Wolfe, but instead, the film’s narrative decides to swap out all of society as it offers audiences a glimpse into what the world would be like if the views of the entire population were reversed. Quite clever in its execution, “Second Nature” always manages to be funny rather than preachy, and focuses on quality storytelling rather than pandering- and that is accredited to not just the writing and directing, but also the fantastic performances- particularly by the two leads.
Already a seasoned pro that should be raking in the critical praises, Huntington has a long list of credits that have proven that he is a very fine talent that has matured gracefully with each role. Having started out two decades ago already having received mass applause for his work in the film “Jungle 2 Jungle,” the gifted performer showed early on that he possessed great ability that very few young actors have and he has been re-demonstrating that time and time again right up until his latest work with Tom Hanks in the Clint Eastwood film “Sully.” And more than anything else, the beloved star has shown that he isn’t just a one-trick-pony as he is capable of great laughs and subtle, sophisticated drama, slipping into varied roles with diverse agendas that prove he can conquer any character’s motives masterfully. From over the top farce in “Not Another Teen Movie,” to really gripping drama with “In Enemy Hands,” to action-adventure with “Superman Returns,” Huntington is constantly switching it up, and “Second Nature” is really no different.
What makes “Second Nature” truly a standout performance for the dedicated actor is that not only is the crass, misogynistic character quite different from most of his other more “wholesome” roles, but, his character in the film is also just so different from who he is in real life. A small town guy himself, that’s where the similarities end between Huntington and his on-screen persona “Bret Johnson” as the beloved actor is truly one of the nicest, most humble, and most down to earth people- let alone actors– anyone can ever encounter! And to top it all off, the super kind-hearted talent is also a major fanboy, so, any great actor that wants to sit down and talk nerdy with us and then go on to star in movies like “Superman Returns,” as well as to pay homage to fandom universes with “Fanboys,” gets a gold star in our book!
Having just come off such an incredible year, and having so much on the horizon, Huntington has an even brighter future ahead that consists of not just acting- but also writing, directing, and producing, and we can’t wait to see what he has planned! Wingman sat down with the humble artist and got to talk to him all about his funny new film, his cool co-star, what else he has planned in the future, and why he loves fandom universes so much. Read below to see what Sam had to say!
WINGMAN: Let’s talk a little bit about “Second Nature.” Tell fans what they can expect from the film.
SAM HUNTINGTON: So, “Second Nature” is basically a pretty original take on a gender-swap comedy. In this world, we have two main protagonists who are lifelong rivals; Bret and Amanda. Bret is a bit of a chauvinist, misogynistic pig, and he has a lot of growing up to do- which he’s never been forced to do since he really lives in a world that caters to him. That should all sound relatively familiar [laughs.] And then Amanda has always felt in many ways a bit insecure, and oppressed. They live in a rather isolated town, so this doesn’t necessarily speak for places that are way more progressive- this is supposed to be a work of fiction. But, Amanda basically discovers a magical portal to another dimension where her and Bret swap gender roles- but instead of swapping traditionally like you might see in other films, here, the entire world swaps. So, the characters are still themselves, but now Bret is living in a world where women act and are catered to like men, and men are objectified and degraded like women. So, both characters then basically have to grow, learn and find their way back to the real world, and while doing so they each have significant arcs as they gain more active and open acceptance of the other sex.
WINGMAN: So, what’s interesting here is that you grew up in the industry, and you must have had your fair share of objectification as well. Did you experience any of that which you might have pulled on for inspiration here?
HUNTINGTON: That is an interesting question! But, I think what I identify with most in this film is growing up in a really small town where there’s isolated views. Since you only interact with a handful of people, everyone tends to share the same views, and that leads others to adopt them as well. I think it’s unfortunate, and it does become very degrading toward women when that mentality takes place. Not that I grew up in a truly Podunk place, but the beliefs were certainly isolated. Now, don’t get me wrong- I love my town, and I love where I grew up, but many times in small towns this does happen. But, as far as being treated like a piece of meat in Hollywood? No! [Laughs] Of course, sometimes, you can go into an audition and feel like you gave it your best shot and then at the end of the day they are just going for a certain look and you lose out because you don’t look how you want them to- but that’s just the nature of the beast. Obviously, that can lead to hurt feelings. [Chuckles again] So, in that sense, sure! But- that goes for all genders and ethnicities in this industry! It’s sadly just the way it is.
WINGMAN: And you worked with Collette Wolfe on this film, and your director was Michael Cross. How was it working with the two of them?
HUNTINGTON: Collette is someone whose work I was really familiar with before the film- she’s a really talented actress, so, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her and work with her. And, it’s always just such a blessing when you show up and the person just exceeds your expectations on what kind of actual human being they are! Collette and I became extremely close, we were thick as thieves- true partners in crime. She’s a wonderful confidant and collaborator, and just a truly great individual. And she’s fantastic in the film. She’s subtle, funny, and I learned a lot from her. And Michael is one of the most genuine, earnest, sweetest people I’ve ever encountered. He has endless enthusiasm and positivity, and he brought that with him every day to work. He was such a great cheerleader and kept everyone positive, and he really delivered. I think it was his dream to make this film, and sometimes the pressure of that can weigh people down with anxiety and stress, but he never brought any of that with him.
WINGMAN: How funny is this film? Can we expect big laughs?
HUNTINGTON: I hope so! Humor is subjective, right? So, it really depends on what you find funny! [Laughs] I find it funny! I like it, and I think the jokes really land. It all depends on the humor people like, but I think fans will enjoy it.
WINGMAN: And you’ve had a very impressive career, and you’ve played one of the most iconic Wingmen of all time- Jimmy Olsen in “Superman Returns.” How was that?
HUNTINGTON: That was really such a high point of my entire professional life. Just getting to the table on that one was a huge achievement- it was amazing just to get to be there. I’ve been a Superman fan my entire life, so that really was an incredible experience that I will treasure forever.
WINGMAN: And you were also in a movie called “Fanboys”– and we here know all about being Fanboys! Are you a Fanboy yourself?
HUNTINGTON: I totally am! And, what’s cool is that I now have two kids- my son is now eight- and he is now into everything fantasy; “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Zelda,” and just everything I was into, so it’s been really nice to have a new outlet to explore those old favorites with. As you get older, you lose touch with them as the pressures of adulthood begin to weigh you down, but it’s been a joy rediscovering my “nerd-ery” with my son. I love being able to inspire my children with all the wonderful fandom that’s out there- that’s really great.
WINGMAN: And you’ve had such an impressive career starting with when you were very young as you starred in films like “Jungle 2 Jungle,” and “Detroit Rock City,” and now you’re starring in major films like “Sully,” which was incredible! What else would you love to do, and who else would you love to work with?
HUNTINGTON: That’s a great question! First off, there’s so much great television happening right now, and I would really want to land on a show that challenges me, and entertains me, and is creatively fulfilling. That’s my primary focus right now. There’s some really amazing material on cable right now, and I’d love to start doing some of that in this chapter of my life- and we’re close. I’m feeling good about that! As for who I’d like to work with, it’s funny- I just finished a film, and going into it I didn’t know much of the director’s work, and the actress that I’m playing off of is amazing, but I wasn’t too familiar with her either. In truth, I didn’t know many of the players. But, what’s amazing to me is that you can still discover people who inspire you that you’ve never heard of. To me, it’s less about finding big names and more about the quality of their work. For instance; Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks! Before I made “Sully,” if you would have asked me if I would have liked to work with those guys, I mean, of course- Tom Hanks has been my hero my entire life! [Cracks up] And Clint Eastwood was seriously one of the best people I’ve ever met. He instantly made me feel comfortable and taught me so much about how to be a professional, as well a good person. But, as great as they are, I want to discover people. I want to be inspired by people, meet new people, collaborate with innovative new artists, and while there are so many great people out there who inspire me, I know there are so many great people out there that have yet to be discovered.
WINGMAN: Now you’ve produced before, and you’ve even dabbled in writing. Do you have aspirations to get behind the camera?
HUNTINGTON: Yes! Absolutely! That’s kind of what’s next. I’ve had a really busy year- it’s actually been an awesome year. I just moved out to LA last summer, and it’s been non-stop working, and that’s been spectacular, but, I’m just now starting to free up, so, I have three different projects that I’ve begun working on- two movies and a television series that I’m trying to get up off the ground. And hopefully when they do, it won’t just be as a producer, but also as a writer, and maybe even directing and acting as well- the works. I want to do it all. I’ve had the desire to do it for a really long time, so I hope it happens sooner rather than later.
A movie or television show written, directed, produced by, and starring one of the greatest fanboy actors out there? Yes, please, Hollywood- definitely make this Sam Huntington project happen sooner rather than later!
Second Nature is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Blu-ray and DVD as of September 19th, and set to premiere at The Catalina Film Festival September 27th – October 1st, and The Ellensburg Film Festival October 6th – 8th.