John Wickersham

True Rights Commentary Exclusive! (

John Wickersham plays the cowboy-dancing serial killer in True Rights. At the cast and crew screening, the audience broke into spontaneous applause after his scene.

The fun for me in any role is creating the character. My job is to do whatever it takes to make the audience believe I am the character in the film. If they don't believe the character, they won't believe the scene.

I did a lot of research and background work on the character (as I always do). I am primarily a method actor, which is somewhat passe in the Hollywood of today. I, however, am not a temperamental method actor.

The challenge of Johnny O'Connor was to bring a certain amount of reality and danger to the role while keeping the situation funny. Originally I studied the look and behavior of murders who are in the public eye. The one thing I noticed was how black their eyes were. Almost like death, as evil as a human being could ever be. This is what I began to work on. Then as we got closer, I saw how the scene had to play. If I was Charles Mansion, it would not have been enjoyable to watch. I had to adjust in order to make the scene work.

Johnny O'Connor had to remind the audience of criminals they've all seen in the media recently. I wanted the audience to fear him, but to simultaneously enjoy and laugh at the ridiculous aspect of his personality. The audience had to be in on the joke.

Actually, if I revealed all of my background character work, many of my closest friends and family members would be truly terrified of me. I wrote my character biography from a pretty sick perspective.

I did all of my prep was in the wee hours of the morning in the crappy parts of Hollywood. When it was time to shoot the scene, I simply showed up and did the work.

I don't know if you see all of the work and research in my performance, but perhaps you are not supposed to. Maybe it's better if you don't and you just enjoy the hell out of the character.

And yes, we are absolutely making fun of people like Johnny O'Connor because there are people out there who are very similar to this guy.

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