Marshal Hilton is an actor who has been working in film, television, and theater since the age of thirteen. After uncredited roles in the films such as “So, I Married an Axe Murderer” and “Fearless”--both from the early 1990s--the Californian-born Marshal transitioned to billed and pivotal roles. He appeared in “Sorceress II: The Temptress,” “Beetleborgs Metallix: The Movie,” and its spin-off Television Series called “Sinister Heaven.”

In 2014, Marshal starred in “The Bunnyman Massacre, ” and he is now enjoying the release of his latest project called “Bunnyman Vengeance” which was released in October of 2017.

In the film, Marshal reprises his role as Sheriff Clint Baxter in the seemingly final installment of the “Bunnyman” movie series.

In an exclusive interview, Marshal discussed the role, his career, the entertainment industry, and more.

Movies, characters, and horror

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to become an actor, how did you get your ‘big break,’ and how did you get involved with “Bunnyman Vengeance”?

Marshal Hilton (MH): I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to become an actor I just crave an artistic muse in my life, and I have an overactive imagination. Acting is one art form that offers me an outlet of expression. I tried it, liked it, felt like I was good at it, had a professor tell me I was good at it, and I kept getting hired to do it.

That’s really about it. I wish I had something more eloquent to share, but I’d just be kidding you.

Honestly, every job is “The Big Break.” I’ve had some successes, and I’ve had more failures. That’s the game, and if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. The competition for work in Hollywood is so over the top difficult that you have to consider every job like its “The Big Break.” Otherwise, that means you’re giving one project more energy and time than the previous job, or the next job.

And you just can’t do that because, for all you know, every opportunity you get could be your last job ever.

As for “Bunnyman Vengeance" movie, it started as an audition. I did a scene with an actress for director Carl Lindbergh years ago for Bunnyman Vengeance. We did the scene, and then Carl said thank you to the actress, and she left the room.

Carl asked me to stay, reached into a bag underneath the table, and pulled out a Sheriff’s shirt and said: “Try this on.” It fit, and he said: “You have the part.” And that’s how it went down. I still wonder from time to time what would have happened if I didn’t fit the wardrobe? If I had eaten that Grande Sour Cream and Chicken Burrito with extra Guacamole I might have never been killed by a giant, chainsaw wielding, the psycho guy is a Bunny suit!

MM: Can you tell us about your character, Sheriff Clint Baxter?

MH: I tend to gravitate too, and get cast, playing characters that convey a sense of pain, vengeance, betrayal, and anger floating underneath the surface. Those qualities seem to be emotional traits that are easier for me to find within myself.

They can either be rural country types or high-end wealthy manipulative educated types. I’ve also always been attracted to the stoic nature of old western and rural characters, and if I can put that kind of spin on a character then I know it’s going to be fun for me.

MM: You’ve done several horror Movies, so do you love this genre?

MH: I am not a horror genre fan in the true sense of the word. Getting the crap scared out of myself is not my idea of a good time. I’m a puss like that, so I don’t watch them. It’s a completely different beast when you’re working on one. Then there is the issue of whether or not I want to deliver the level of evil required. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a sense of conscious, I guess.

I try to live in a character when I do the work. The deep dark thoughts and twisted imagination can grind you down. I feel like I’ve explored as much of that as I want to look at. Some actors are able to separate themselves from work. To me, “Evil” characters require allowing evil thoughts to inhabit your head. Now, there’s a difference between “Suspense” and “Horror.” Depending on the character, I have a difficult time carrying around the level of darkness required in a true blood and guts Horror film. I prefer stories where there is the suspense, the fear of getting hacked, rather than seeing the actual hacking. That imagery haunts my sleep, and I do enjoy my sleep.

Entertainment, films, and some advice

MM: Thus far, what have been the best highlights of working in the movie industry?

MH: Getting the phone call from your agent that says I’ve got a part. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. It NEVER gets old! Being given the opportunity to play like a child and get paid. The meeting of fascinating people from all parts of the globe in pursuit of creativity; traveling to parts of the world that you would have most likely never traveled; the feeling of communal focus that can be achieved within your temporary “Production Family.” When everyone is supportive and on the same page, making stories come to life is breathtaking.

MM: Career-wise, where do envision yourself being in a decade and what are you working on and/or anticipating right now that you would like to mention?

MH: Television is where what’s left of the economics of Hollywood resides. Feature films, unless you snag a good role on a big studio offering, or somehow catch a flyer on an Indie that catches fire, are really taking a financial hit. There’s nothing in the middle anymore. Audiences are now consuming content remotely; away from theaters, and in many cases, traditional television. It takes a lot of money to market and pushes consumers to pay theater ticket prices when consumers can sit on the couch and pop their own popcorn.

Episodic Television (Cable, Streaming, VOD, etc.,) is the place to be at the moment. Advertisers will always be willing to spend money if there are enough eyeballs on the content.

I’m working on several projects in various stages of post-production, but these are the nearest to completion. I have a film coming out soon that I’m very excited about called “Primal Rage” that we shot in the forests of Northern California and Oregon. It was one of the more enjoyable shoots I’ve been on in many years.

I also just finished shooting an entertaining dramedy episodic pilot titled “FLICKS” that will be pitched to FX, Netflix, Amazon, and all the usual suspects. It’s a quirky character-driven story about a struggling screenwriter who has been bumping around town for ten years and just cannot seem to break through Hollywood. I play his agent, Elan, a rough and tumble, foul-mouthed, talent agent.

In December of last year I co-starred in a sci-fi/adventure/drama feature with Gary Daniels, titled ‘ASTRO” and I played “Alexander Biggs, ” a mysterious billionaire space entrepreneur who recruits an old friend and colleague to help him discover the mysteries of an extraterrestrial life form he’s discovered in another solar system. I assume it should be out sometime in 2018. I also will have a Supernatural Thriller Film hitting the Festival circuit in early 2018 titled ‘Echoes of Fear”. It’s a Supernatural Horror Thriller by husband and wife team Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley. I can’t give you too much here, other than to say I play the role of a nosy yet nice guy named “David.”

MM: Do you have any advice to offer to people who are trying to make it as an actor?

MH: Be patient. A career in the arts is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long and spiritually challenging haul. Know that you will fail many times. You will get screwed along the way, many times, often by people you’d never expect, and at times, from those closest to you. If you’re pursuing acting strictly for fame and fortune go home now grasshopper, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Save your heart and dignity, because you will lose both. If you need love from complete strangers to feed your self-esteem, you’ll be better off saving the life of a shelter dog. That’s a level of unconditional love Hollywood will never offer.

On the flip-side of that, you will meet some amazing people. Baby steps lead to more of the same.

Every job you get, regardless of pay or status, is a success in the context of just how many folks would have died to get the job you just landed; respect the opportunity, it’s a blessing. In the early career stages, you will often not recognize your successes’ in the context of the “Big Prize”; but they all count, they all add to your depth as a professional.