Snakes And Wolves: A Q&A With David Hayter



Have you ever seen the X-MEN and Watchmen films? Have you played Metal Gear Solid before? Well then you may already know some of David Hayter’s work. We here at Cinema Deviant are pretty big fans of David Hayter so you can imagine my excitement when we were able to ask him a few questions including some about his directorial debut Wolves.



CD: What made you get into the entertainment business?

DH: My first acting part was in a kids’ production of PINOCCHIO in Costa Mesa, California when I was nine.  A very beautiful ten year old girl asked me for my autograph after the premiere, and I was hooked.


HayterFixCD: If you weren’t in entertainment what do you think you’d be doing?

DH: Suffering.  Actually, I used to work in hotels in different capacities, primarily as a concierge and a translator for French and Japanese guests, so I’d probably be working in the hospitality/tourism industry.


CD: How did you get your break in voice acting?

DH: I did a guest spot on MAJOR DAD when I was 23 or so.  i played the part with a heavy Russian accent, and Gordon Hunt (Helen’s father), a major Animation director, saw the episode and hired me to play a Russian part on CAPTAIN PLANET.  That was my first American VO job, though I had done some english voice tapes and video games during my time in Japan.


CD: You’re well known for being the voice for Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid game franchise. How does it feel to be part of a character that is so iconic?

DH: It’s pretty great.  I am always so blown away by the fan support.  And to play a part like that, changing and developing over the course of so many years, was a real gift.


CD: Snake has a very gravelly voice. Have you ever hurt your throat in a recording session?Solid_snake_mgs2

DH: No, it was exhausting at times, but I approached the voice like you would with a singing job.  I  discovered ways to achieve the gravelly-ness without damaging my vocal cords.
CD: Did you have any warm ups that you had to do to get ready for it?

DH: Yeah, I did a lot of humming, growling, and singing in the car on the way to the studio.  Other   drivers may have thought I was crazy, but I was pretty damn Snake-y by the time I got into the   booth.


CD: Nothing against Kiefer Sutherland but in my opinion (so many others as well) you are the definitive Solid Snake. How was it knowing that all the MGS fans out there had your back and really wanted you back in the franchise?

DH: I have been very touched by all the love and support that’s come my way. Metal Gear fans are a loyal bunch, and I’m grateful to all of them.


CD: I think I know the answer to this question already but if they asked you back for the series would you do it?

DH: Sure.

 CD: Guyver: Dark Hero is one of those films that came along and floored me as far as the action and  Sci-Fi elements. How was it like to be a part of something that became such a cult hit?

 DH: That was incredibly fun. I had always dreamed of starring in a movie, particularly a superhero  film, so that was a dream for me.  Of course, I also expected that I would then go on to star in many,  many other films, which didn’t happen the way I’d hoped.  So that was a little disappointing.  But along the way, the film has built up such a devoted fan base, and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.

 CD: Ever think about writing a sequel?

DH: Yeah, I’ve discussed it with (Director) Steve Wang a few times over the years.


CD: Speaking of writing, besides being an actor you’ve become quite an accomplished screenwriter. You’ve done X-Men, X2, Watchmen and many others, how did that come about?david-hayter

DH: Really, that was an amazing stroke of luck, opportunity and more luck. I got hired to answer the phones on the first X-MEN film, and ended up writing the screenplay.  It was the most absurd, greatest opportunity I’ve ever even heard of.

CD: Do you have a routine or preparations when getting ready to write?

DH: I read the paper, drink some coffee. Then I sit down and write out, free-form, what scenes I want to accomplish for the day, and then get it done.


CD: Any advice that you can give aspiring screenwriters?

DH: Write a lot and read more.  It can be very difficult to eke out the time you need to produce a good amount of decent work, particularly when you have a day job.  But if you can manage to focus your time on writing for at least a couple of hours a day, at least four times a week, you can get a lot done.


Wolves-672x372CD: Your directorial debut Wolves was just released. In it Lucas Till is a kid on the run after the murder of his parents and as he wanders looking for purpose it leads him to a town that starts to give him the answers to the questions he has about himself. How did you come up with the premise?

DH: It came together over time, really.  But I mostly took some of the elements of my own life — Alienation, teen rage, my intense hatred of high school football players, etc… And tried to apply those elements to this particular creature and story.  It’s all a metaphor for learning to control your power.


CD: I really like the look of the werewolves in the film. Did you already have the design of them in mind or was it a trial and error kind of situation?

DH: Thanks, I appreciate that.  I had very specific ideas of what I wanted, and what I didn’t want.  And when our amazing creature designers, Dave and Lou Elsey came in, they brought their own artistic vision to my ideas, and each wolf came together over time.
wolves2CD: Jason Momoa looks like a big, intimidating dude. Is he just as imposing in person as he is on screen?

DH: He is indeed.  You don’t want to be too near his elbows or his mouth when he eats.  Actually, Jason is a truly amazing guy, so great to work with and a huge talent.  But he is extremely imposing.


CD: Lucas Till was fantastic and showed that he could really lead a film. Was he your first choice to play Cayden?

DH: Well, we had been working on putting the film together for about six years by the time it finally got financed, so I had seen a good number of guys, including Lucas, about two years earlier. He was too young for the role then, but by the time we got it rolling, he was 21, and he fit the role perfectly.


CD: The film definitely has potential to be a franchise. Are there any rumblings of a sequel?

DH: I’m open to it. I know the Korean distributors would like a sequel, so that’s a start.


CD: Do you have a preference: actor or director?

DH: Acting is more pure, basic fun — But directing is an incredibly satisfying experience.  As legendary director Bryan Singer once said to me, “Even rock stars want my job.”


CD: Are there any other upcoming projects that we can look forward to from you?

DH: I am attached to direct a dark thriller next, and I have a few things I am writing and producing. Announcements to come.


Wolves will be available on DVD 1/20/15 – Pre-Order it HERE

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David Hayter on Snake’s Voice: “I Approached the Voice Like You Would With A Singing Job” 10-01-2015, 10:59

[…] to Cinema Deviant, Hayter explained that the role of Solid Snake would be “exhausting at times,” but he also said […]


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