Actor Richard Hochman has Marty McFly, the muscles from Brussels and Jim Carrey to thank for the roads he’s taken in his career. The Californian born-and-bred actor, currently starring in the anticipated horror release “Bus Party to Hell” says his love of simply going to the movies, and seeing such actors as Michael J.Fox and Jean-Claude Van Damme do their thing, fueled his interest in hitting the big screen himself.

After perfecting the craft in a church charity group and community theater, Hochman crossed over into films and TV series – appearing in the likes of “Boston Public,” “Grounded for Life,” “7th Heaven”, “Dinner for Schmucks” and more recently, “Tide Waters.” “Bus Party to Hell,” from director Rolfe Kanefsky, hits theaters and home entertainment mediums in April.

Richard Hochman recently discussed his career, this Movie, and more via an exclusive interview.

Movies, Hollywood, and film

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to become an actor and did your family members share your interest?

Richard Hochman (RH): When I was a kid, I was obsessed with movies. My Mom and I would see everything. She’s probably embarrassed to say how many rated R movies she took me to. I wanted to be the characters in the movies, and I wanted to be the actors playing the movies. Looking back, movies really shaped a lot of my personality. I wanted to be courageous against bullies after seeing “Back To The Future,” I started studying martial arts after watching Jean Claude Van Damme movies, started making weird characters after seeing “Ace Ventura.” The movie theatre experience is one that I cherished then and still love now.

I’m born and raised in Los Angeles, so it wasn’t much of a stretch. I started performing in a church charity group and doing community theater as a kid before I started any professional work. I am the only actor in the relatively large family believe it or not.

MM: Given all your time in Hollywood, what was your initial big break and how did “Bus Party to Hell” come about?

RH: I think I’ve yet to have it. Hopefully, this movie will be the big break that will land me more opportunities as an actor. Rolfe Kanefsky, the writer, and director collaborated with the Mahal brothers and came up with this crazy horror movie idea that has a throwback horror Film feel. Rolfe wrote a great script, and the movie turned out awesome.

I play Alan Armstrong, an entitled, arrogant, quick-witted rich guy who’s always had everything growing up and gets his kicks thrill seeking and womanizing. I had self-taped my audition, and they liked what I did and hired me off of that audition.

Filmmaking, advice, and entertainment

MM: It looks like the movie was shot in some fun, exotic locales…so where was it actually filmed and did you get to know your co-stars well?

RH: We shot in a national park about fifty miles outside Las Vegas, and it was a beautiful quiet area but was the perfect backdrop to make these characters look helpless and deserted. We had a table read, and rehearsal before shooting and I got to know my co-stars before day one of the shoots, so we were very comfortable with each other right away.

MM: What do you most like about being in the entertainment industry and what are your goals over the next ten years?

RH: Honestly, the camaraderie and process of filmmaking. There’s something so fulfilling about being a team and all working together to create art. Years from now I know I’ll be working hard, exploring new characters and challenges, and have gotten better and more creative which each project I take on – regardless of the medium. I produced and starred in a festival driven drama, which is very dear to my heart, “Brother.” It’s a short film about a hitman who lost his wife and child in childbirth, who is coping while striving to protect the life of his reckless twin brother, who I also play.

We are in post-production and should be hitting the festival circuit starting in May.

MM: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to enter the industry, especially as an actor?

RH: Only pursue it because you’re passionate about it and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to succeed. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s hard making a living as an actor, most actors don’t. There are truly limitless opportunities to act if you love it. From creating your own content, YouTube, or a local stage play. If you want to act, ACT. Stay active, do it your way, and be seen.