Miles Doleac (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Vacation.” “Salem,”) Actor, director and writer. Is there anything this brilliant man cannot do? His first feature “The Historian” which he wrote, directed and starred in as well was a brilliant film. “The Historian” is a must-see and the cast is amazing (William Sadler, Colin Cunningham, John Cullum, Leticia Jimenez, Lindsay Anne Williams and Glynnis O’Connor) Doleac proved he could write and direct an incredible film like “The Historian.” Now with “The Hollow,” Doleac takes us into a “small town in Mississippi” where there is plenty of deep, dark secrets and a mystery just lurking. “The Hollow” stars: William Sadler, William Forsythe, James Callis, Jeff Fahey, David Warshofsky, Christiane Seidel, Jana Allen, Lindsay Anne Williams and Miles Doleac. Doleac provides viewers with a look inside what lurks in the Deep South.
You wrote, directed and play a part in THE HOLLOW. Where did the concept come from?
Miles: As far as the concept. I have always wanted to write a True Crime thriller set in the Deep South. I am from the state of Mississippi. I think Southern Noir and Southern Gothic is such a rich, creative playground. My home state of Mississippi has a long legacy of absolutely brilliant writers who I have been inspired by. People like William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams so I wanted to do something in a way that was an homage to their work and this genre that I think is so fascinating. A lot of my favorite films are in the genre. I loved the Coen’s “No Country for Old Men.” I was in the middle of the first season of “True Detective,” which just confirmed for me again how great the genre can be. That show was lightning in a bottle and I decided at that point to write my Mississippi Noir murder-thriller.
As far as why I decided to write, direct and star in it. I had done it with a feature once before, my first feature film, “The Historian.” I got into directing initially because I wanted to provide myself with more opportunities as an actor. Initially when I wrote my first feature I had not intended on directing it, it just worked out that way. The directors that I wanted had scheduling issues or we didn’t have enough money to pay their rate. I interviewed a bunch of people who I didn’t feel got the concept. Finally my wife Lindsay said to me one night you really ought to direct it yourself. That film which was a very personal film to me was set in higher education. A world that I know pretty well having a PH.D and I still teach till this day at a university. I said you know, why not! What’s the worst that could happen? That was one of the best decisions that I’ve made. I have directed theatre before but the process of directing film was a little terrifying for me but I did it with the help of some absolute wonderful people that I was able to surround myself with. There was any doubt in my mind with “The Hollow” that I would write, direct and be a member of the cast as well.
You have an amazing cast in the film including yourself. All amazing character actors. What was it like for you to direct the cast?
Miles: This is an absolute tremendous cast of screen veterans and actors that are just so talented. As you say they completely immersed themselves in their roles. I am a big fan of each and every one of them. I had been a huge fan of “Battlestar Galactica” and James Callis. He has a remarkable ability to play this character. You don’t know quite where you stand with him. Bill Sadler who has become a dear friend. He is a constant pro. He is just fantastic in everything I’ve seen him in. William Forsythe and Jeff Fahey I have not worked with in the past but I was so pleased to have them on this film.
They brought such an incredible dynamic to their performances. We needed somebody for the role of Big John who could convey menace, seething menace without raising his voice and Forsythe is certainly able to do that. He is such a magnetic, terrifying presence in that role. There is so much going on in Jeff Fahey’s eyes. Christiane Seidel who I had seen in “Boardwalk Empire.” She had played Michael Shannon’s characters wife. She is this tremendous force of nature. She was the anchor of the cast in a lot of ways. A lot of wonderful, local actors based down here in Mississippi and New Orleans. One of them including my wife Lindsay Anne Williams who plays Dinah, Candace Michele Barley, and Sherri Eakin. It was great to bring them onto this show. Each and every one of them brought it as well. It is truly humbling when you see amazing actors wielding your writing and dialog and making it their own. That’s what a great actor can do. We were working on a limited budget for an independent film. That’s always the trick, luring top quality actors. I have been very fortunate with both of these features. They were in it one hundred and ten percent.
What are you working on next and will there be any type of follow-up to “The Hollow?”
Miles: it’s funny you should mention that. I am actually going to a meeting right now to speak with some investors about an elevated horror script that I have. I am very excited about. It is also kind of in the Southern Gothic mold. I kind of want to stew in that for a bit. I hope to have that film up and running within the next year. I had to shoot “The Hollow” first which is a straight-forward true crime/murder-mystery with a lot of character too. To me everything is first and foremost about characters and how they interact with one another. With this next one, I will push the envelope a little further and get more into a genre picture/ psychological thriller. I am looking forward to focusing on that project as well. Beyond that I continue to work as an actor. I am about start work on a film that’s shooting down here in Mississippi called “It’s Time” which I play an athletic trainer so lots of things in the pipeline. I am looking forward to each and every one.
What would you like to say to the fans and the audiences that will be watching “The Hollow?”
Miles: First and foremost I would like to say Thank you! Thank you for watching the film and if you like the film thank you for spreading the word, thank you for sharing it with friends. The fact of the matter is especially in the independent film world that’s what it’s all about. It is about your film finding an audience and it’s about that audience getting excited about the film and sharing the film with others and creating a word of mouth buzz that as an independent film-maker, independent studio we simply cannot afford to create via the traditional studio route. I would say you know it is a film that I feel very passionately about.