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The IW Springboard: For 'Child of God' Star Scott Haze, Acting Is Like a Sport

By Eric Kohn and Nigel M. Smith | Indiewire August 1, 2014 at 2:12PM

Every Friday, Indiewire's Springboard column profiles an up-and-comer in the indie world who made a mark that deserves your attention. Today we talk to actor Scott Haze, who stars in James Franco's latest feature, "Child of God" (out today).
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Scott Haze in "Child of God."
Scott Haze in "Child of God."

Actor Scott Haze is nothing if not committed: To prepare for Franco's latest film release, the Cormac McCarthy adaptation "Child of God," Haze moved into a cabin in the middle of the woods in Tennessee. The intense preparation paid off. In Franco's hard-to-watch character study, Haze is mesmerizing as Lester Ballard, a man who decides to live a life outside of the social order after his father passes away and his family land is auctioned off. The project marks one out of four films the actor's embarked upon with Franco, the others being "As I Lay Dying" and the yet to be released films "Bukowski" and "The Sound and the Fury." Haze, a alumnus of the Stellar Adler Conservatory and founder of The Sherry Theater in the North Hollywood Arts District in California, is currently filming the documentary "Ghost & Goblins," about champion wrestler Lee Kemp.

READ MORE: Watch: James Franco Reloads Rifles in Cormac McCarthy Adaptation 'Child of God'

Child Of God

When I meet somebody I'm really with them. I never try to take any moment for granted.

When I got the role, I said, "Oh wow, I'm going to do that?" It wasn't hard for me to buy into it because I'm such a Cormac McCarthy fan. But I read this and said, "How am I going to do this?" I knew I had to do something different. This is a monstrous and ghastly character.

I didn't think I would be living alone in cave or in a cabin for as long as I did. I went out there and did a lot of script work. I did everything Lester did and more...aside from the necrophilia.

The cave wasn't that bad to live in.

"I did everything Lester did and more...aside from the necrophilia." -- Scott Haze on "Child of God"

There was a certain peace that came over me. When I did "Child of God," I shut the world out and I did just that.

People say I'm a method actor, but I just did a movie with Jeff Nichols and I didn't do any of this work for that role. It was a very different experience. An actor prepares for roles differently.

I get passionate about certain subjects and then I'll write a whole play around it.

The Sherry Theater, which I named after my mom, is a place I can go. I do want to give back to the community. There are so many people out there who want to be seen and heard, and get connected.

I was a crazy guy in Hollywood back in the day, and then when I switched into theater I got into work mode. Then I got obsessed with athletes. I really look at how Kobe Bryant prepares for a season. So that's my thing. I approach this business like an athlete.

A lot of people want the crown but they're not willing to bleed for it.

The only thing that matters is the impact you can leave on the person you're talking to.

My goal is to say that 15 years from now, anybody who met me is inspired to not just be good, but great. I have faith that anybody can do anything.

This article is related to: Scott Haze, James Franco, Child of God, Indiewire Springboard, Interviews