Another week is here, kicked off by another person falling victim to Harper's Island. This week's chump is Malcolm Ross, "The Hustler," played by Chris Gauthier. Chris is a genre fan with a slew of genre credits to his name: Smallville, Eureka, Supernatural, Reaper, and Watchmen. Here he talks to us about the genre and the perils of being chopped to pieces and incinerated.
How did you get this role?
I just auditioned for it. All the groomsmen were auditioning for the role of Booth – that was the only one they were reading. I got a call saying they wanted to see me again, for the role of Malcolm.
When you first signed on to Harper's Island, was it a week-to-week contract, or did you know how many episodes you were going to be in?
Yeah, I think it was a week-to-week kind of thing. I don't think they were firm on any of the characters that early on, especially that far down the cast list. I think I heard that some people got, like, a five-episode guarantee or a seven-episode guarantee.
Did that make you nervous?
No, I think it made me less nervous! There's this sense of doom when you are dealing with a set amount of episodes. At least this way, if the producers like you, you might get to stick around a little longer. It didn't necessarily work out in my case, but the theory was sound.
Were you surprised at how long you lasted? Did you think maybe you would be killed off sooner, or even go all the way?
I was absolutely surprised to make it as far as I did, especially in light of episode four, where I left Booth in the woods and opted to take my buddy, the money, home instead. You know, thinking the money would be more worthwhile to take home than Booth. It was probably a bad decision, and I didn't know how much longer after that I would last. I think it was great to go that much farther.
How were you told that you were going to be the next victim? Did "The Assassin" get you?
They told me towards the end of episode six, the previous episode. Some people were told face-to-face; others knew from the start. I got a call from Karim, one of the producers. I missed the first call.
"Missed" or "didn't take" that call?
I honestly did miss it! He called back immediately, and when I saw the Los Angeles area code, I had a feeling it was Karim. He said, "Are you sitting down?" and I knew. "Just give it to me straight, doc. I can handle it." We all knew it was imminent, so I don't think it came as a big shock to anyone.
Did Karim tell you how you were going to die, or was that left for you to read in the script?
I think he mentioned it. And I think if you are going to go in a show like this, a hacking and slashing death is the choice way to go. It was a gory good death. Originally, there were going to be [body parts] thrown in to the incinerator. We filmed it, so I am hoping they will release it on the DVD. I even had a head mold made, which was a really grueling process. Probably not cheap, either, so it is a shame they didn't get to use it. Apparently the network saw both versions, and decided the one with just my hand on the furnace, and the screaming, was enough.
Did you get to keep the mold of your head?
We burned it! They ended up giving me a skull to take home. That was very nice. I'm a big horror fan, so it was quite a treat – both getting the skull and doing the show! Not to mention getting as far along as I have. Considering what I did in episode four, getting to episode seven was quite a coup!
You said you are a genre fan, and I noticed that you have a long list of genre credits. Is that by design or by chance?
I think I was probably predisposed to the genre, being a character actor living in Vancouver. A lot of genre shows come my way. I think it's just serendipitous. I have been a horror fan for a long time. I don't know if that shaped me, or if I shaped myself into that. Either way, they shoot a lot of genre shows up here anyway, so you are bound to do a few eventually.
Do you have a favorite horror movie or TV show?
I love the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. It's classic. And I just rewatched a TV show called American Gothic, which I loved as a kid.
Who do you think the killer is?
I guessed at the beginning, and I am going to stick with my guess: Danny Brooks, one of the other groomsmen. I think there is a lot more to be fleshed out with his character.
Do you actually know what happens in upcoming episodes?
I have heard that some actors know who the killer is, but I really have no idea.
I've noticed that Chloe and her boyfriend seem to be missing from many episodes. Any theories towards that?
I have not seen any scripts after episode seven, so I have no idea what happens next. I even saw some of the cast when we were doing ADR after shooting had wrapped, and everyone is really good about keeping mum on this. With a show like this, the secrecy is of utmost importance. Especially for me, being a fan of the genre, I really don't want to know anything that happens. But I am totally with you, as far as their suspiciousness. I think they are quite suspicious.
Was it hard keeping the secrets of the series before each episode could air?
Yes, but after a while, you get used to "the game" of keeping a secret. It's not as hard as you might think. The hardest part is just keeping quiet on Facebook. You are excited, and you want people to watch, so you set your status to remind everyone to watch Harper's. I always get people who want to know what is going to happen. But it is more fun to string them along.
What do you having coming up?
I just did a guest spot on Sanctuary, so now I am just hitting the bricks.