Your new movie Ugly
Sweater Party - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you
tell us about your character in it?
This flick is about two buddies, Cliff and Jody, who are invited to an
"ugly sweater party" by some hottie twins, but Cliff ends up getting
possessed by a killer evil Christmas sweater. I play Jody, who is
trying to help his friend overcome the evil of the sweater.
What did you draw upoon to bring your character to life, and how
much Hunter Johnson can we actually find in Jody?
Iíd like to say that thereís no Jody in me at all, but I wonít
lie, thereís a bit of him in me for sure. Iím definitely not as
crude or oblivious as Jody is but I can relate to the guy on a certain
level. I occasionally had to go to a pretty juvenile headspace which
was fun, but hopefully some of the true human moments of Jody come through
as well, especially in regards to his buddy friendship with Cliff.
talk about Ugly
Sweater Party's brand of comedy, and to what extent does it correspond
with your own sense of humour?
Iím a huge fan of crazy,
hard R rated raunchy comedies. Some of my favorite comedy films are BASEketball,
Scary Movie and Harold and Kumar, so when Ugly
Sweater Party started to come together I was so stoked it had some of those
flavors in it. Iím also a fan of really dark humor, which I feel Ugly
Sweater Party really delivers on. Thereís so many moments in
this film where you really canít help but laugh, even in the middle of
some pretty brutal situations.
How did you become
involved with the project, and how did you end up on the production side
of things as well?
I first got a call from my good friend Charles Chudabala [Charles
Chudabala interview - click here] and he told me
that he had pitched me as an actor for a director that he knew, Aaron
Mento [Aaron Mento
interview - click here]. I asked him about the project and when I heard the title
alone I knew I had to be a part of it. Charles set up a meeting and
we all hit it off really well. We began preproduction as Aaron wrote
the script. It was a very organic process and it sort of grew from
What were the challenges of making Ugly
Sweater Party from a producer's side of view?
Logistically this film was challenging just because we lived at ďCamp
MandixĒ for the duration of principle photography. We were
fortunate to have an amazing cast and crew who were willing to sleep in
cabins and use a fireplace for heat for a couple of weeks. I think
at one point during the shooting we had close to 30 people on set,
shooting in a remote location, so that always brings up some fun
challenges to coordinate.
What can you tell us about your director Aaron Mento [Aaron
Mento interview - click here], and
what was your collaboration with him like?
Aaron is such a
madman, working with him is incredible. My favorite memory from
preproduction was from a meeting Aaron and I had at a Starbucks on Sunset
Blvd. We were a few weeks from shooting and discussing specific
logistics on how we were going to pull off some of the kill sequences.
A barista politely asked us to stop the conversation or leave. I
think thatís when I realized that we were about to make a pretty gnarly
A few words
about the shoot and on-set atmosphere?
I just remember everyone stepping up and doing getting things done that
needed to be done. Making 25+ ugly sweaters isnít easy, on top of
everything else. Our cast & crew were always on point and every
person helped this film in a major way. It was a great shooting
Hunter with Charles Chudabala and Felissa Rose
projects you'd like to share?
Lilith, a film I acted in,
drops digitally on Christmas. My revenge horror film called Serena
Waits will be dropping in 2019. Irrational Fear, my
collaboration with Slasher Studios, will be dropping digitally in 2019.
For Jennifer, the next installment of the
to Jennifer franchise,
will also be out in 2019. I also contribute to
Queen of Screams, check her out on YouTube.
What got you into acting
in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
I have been acting and my entire life. I
began taking formal acting classes in middle school and studied acting at
Columbia College Chicago. Itís definitely something I love to do
and hope to get more opportunities to do in the future, especially in
In recent years, you've also branched out into
writing, directing and producing - so what prompted that move?
breaking into the industry as an actor is really tough to do, so after a
few years of call backs but only a couple roles, I decided to start to
create content on the regular to stay productive and to give myself some
sort of illusion of control. Now I just love to make movies and help
other people tell their stories and hope to continue to do so, whether
thatís in front of or behind the camera.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Ugly
A lot of the horror films Iíve been a part of have been very
dark and serious by nature, so doing a balls to the wall comedy like Ugly
Sweater Party was really refreshing. Iíve always gravitated
towards the horror genre because itís the most fun place to be, so most
of my previous work is horror related or very dark comedy.
How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of
your techniques to bring your characters to life?
goal when Iím acting is to deliver what the director wants. I tend
to put my trust in the director and if theyíre happy, Iím typically
happy. I try to find the subtext and character intentions in the
script and roll from there. If a director gives me some freedom - which Aaron gave us lots on this film which was super
fun - I love to play
and improv on set and discover new things about the character.
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Actors: Marlon Brando, Brad Dourif, Glenn Howerton.
Actresses: Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Sigourney Weaver.
Top five: Sleepaway Camp 2, Black
Christmas, Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, Henry: Portrait of a Serial
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I donít want to put any films on blast, but I
will say that though Iím generally a big Darren Aronofsky fan, one movie
I just couldnít understand was The Fountain. Iíve seen it
a few times and still have no idea what the fuck is going on or why
everyone is eating tree bark.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Twitter / Instagram: @LAHorrorcom
Thanks for the interview!
Thank YOU!!!!! :)