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Home | Interviews | Interview: Paget Brewster (Hypochondriac)

Interview: Paget Brewster (Hypochondriac)

XYZ Films will release the horror LGBTQ+ film HYPOCHONDRIAC in theaters on July 29, 2022 and on Demand and Digital August 4, 2022. The film made its debut at this year’s SXSW.

The feature directorial and screenwriting debut of Addison Heimann, the film stars

Zach Villa (DestroyerGood Mourning), Devon Graye (I See You), Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”), Marlene Forte (Knives Out), Madeline Zima (“Californiacation”), Yumarie Morales (Killer Therapy), and Chris Doubek (Bacurau).

In HYPOCHONDRIAC, Will, a young Hispanic gay potter, is one gregarious guy. His boss is terrible, but he’s got a great boyfriend and a great job. Unfortunately, behind that veneer is a dark past of violence and mental illness that he is desperate to keep hidden. When his bipolar mother comes out of the woodwork after ten years of silence, he begins exhibiting unexplainable symptoms and spirals into an obsession, determined to solve this mystery of his own.

Hi Paget, it’s so great to talk to you. Hypochondriac is such a beautifully dark and amazing movie. I loved your character in Hypochondriac. Why did you decide to take on the role of Dr. Sampson in Hypochondriac?

Paget- Thanks. The producer Bay Dariz produced a film I shot many years ago, called Welcome to Happiness. He emailed me in the middle of the pandemic and said, I want you to play a doctor in this movie so, please read the script. I was like, ohhhh I don’t know if I want to leave the house or go on-camera. I wasn’t feeling it but I thought, I really like Bay, and Bay’s a great producer so, I thought, I’ll just read it and then tell Bay I can’t do it. So, then I started reading the script it, and maybe around page seven or eight, I was like, oh no, this is really good. So, I went back to Bay’s email and I saw that Zach Villa was playing Will. I love Zach. I think Zach is so talented. I’ve seen him in a bunch of things. He’s just a unique actor so then I kept reading it, and I thought it was so good. I thought, oh, I’m going to get COVID, and I’m going to go and be around eighty people. I called Bay, and said, this is great, tell me about the director? Addison Heimann is a first-time director, that’s scary too. He put me on zoom with Addison who wrote the script and directed the movie. Addison was great. Addison had written the script based on his experience having a mental breakdown. The script is based on a true story. I think you can feel that, I know I did after reading it. It’s a beautiful, terrifying, thought-provoking movie. I’m honored to be a part of it. I’m glad they asked.

It is thought-provoking. The story is beautiful.  It takes you on this ride. Zach Villa is amazing. Zach’s role seems so exhausting, and emotional. Will is on this ride that’s wild.  What was it like for you working with everyone and working with Zach?

Paget- Playing smaller parts or being a guest on others people shows, as opposed to being a series regular. If I’m just popping in, I tend to sort of hang back. I don’t ask questions or talk a lot. I give space to the people who are doing all the major lifting, which in this case is Zach. That’s a hard character to play. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of emotional anxiety. I tried to be quiet around him, and give him his space. I didn’t know if part of his process was to be left alone and listen to music? That helps some actors but he was healthy, happy, and generous. He was so welcoming, a lovely person, and such a real professional.  It made me respect and admire him even more, which I didn’t think was possible. I love that you clearly have seen the movie, and you know that it’s a journey. The several levels of horror that are present in this story. I think you worded that well.

Thank you, this has been a Top Five film for me so far.

Paget- Oh, I’m so glad. (Her GASP made me smile, and tear up.)

Thank you. Mental health is such a diverse and terrifying subject. Mental health isn’t always portrayed in a healthy manner in films or real life. I found it so touching because people are trying to help, and mental health has its terrifying moments. This movie has terrifying moments, it was portrayed wonderfully.

Paget- I think so too. I love the ending and the message of that. At the end of this journey, another journey begins. It’s how to live with this part of who you are. I think it’s beautiful and I’m so glad you like it.

I thank you so much Paget, I can’t wait to see what you do next. You are amazing. Thank you.

Paget- Janel, thank you. That means a lot.https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0108295/


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