Exclusive: David Hyde Pierce Talks The Perfect Host
In writer/director Nick Tomnay’s feature film debut The Perfect Host, actor David Hyde Pierce portrays Warwick Wilson, a consummate perfectionist who’s preparing for a lavish dinner party that ends up being crashed by a wounded bank robber (Clayne Crawford) on the run.
However, we soon realize that there is a lot more to Warwick than just a mild-mannered dinner host, and a devilishly demented game of cat and mouse begins between these two strangers that wields some surprising twists and turns for audiences along the way.
Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to speak with Pierce about his shocking new role, what attracted him to the indie project and his experiences in bringing the twisted sociopath Warwick to life.
For most of his career on the big and small screens, Pierce has been known as the lovably awkward Niles Crane on the hit NBC comedy “Frasier.” And even though his character in The Perfect Host (review here) may be perceived initially by viewers as very Niles-esque, Pierce discussed how Warwick was actually a complete 180 from the sitcom character he played for a remarkable 11 years.
“My manager brought me Nick’s script and his short film The Host, and I really loved both of them,” said Pierce. “The script was just so incredibly smart and funny and disturbing that I knew this was going to be an amazing experience for me to play this kind of a character. But before I signed on, I contemplated what I could bring to the table with this role because I didn’t want to do it if I didn’t think I could bring something unique because someone like Warwick has so many intricacies to him.”
“Nick wrote an amazing script that was multi-layered, which is a feast for any actor to be able to work with. It could have been so easy to make every character in this movie one-dimensional, but Nick found a way to give everyone a lot of depth and it never comes off cliché either,” added Pierce.
The acclaimed actor discussed how he approached fleshing out the character of Warwick so that his performance never came off as too cartoonish to audiences. “It definitely was a challenge to play a guy like Warwick, but that challenge is what attracted me to the project in the first place. Sometimes as an actor you run into situations when you’re playing extreme characters like this and it’s written in a way where the director may want to try and ‘fix’ the character or even make them more sympathetic than they really are. I certainly didn’t want to do that in The Perfect Host because there’s nothing redeeming about who Warwick is.”
Pierce added, “I think when you watch the movie you get the sense that there’s something desperate about Warwick’s nature but he has found ways to express it much differently than we would all express it. I mean, most of us would never just kidnap someone for the fun of it but he would. That’s in Warwick’s nature so you need that humanity to balance out the extreme side of his behavior.”