Matthew Lillard, renowned for his roles in ‘Scream‘ and ‘Scooby-Doo’, has recently experienced a remarkable career resurgence, anchored by his performance in the huge hit, “Five Nights at Freddy’s“. In a detailed interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lillard shared his thoughts on the film’s astonishing success and its impact on his career. “This is a really lovely little comeback moment for me,” Lillard tells The Hollywood Reporter, before reconsidering that sentiment. “I sort of want to quote LL [Cool J], ‘Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.’”
“Five Nights at Freddy’s”, based on a popular video game, defied expectations by grossing $80 million domestically on its opening weekend and surpassing $220 million globally. Lillard, portraying the menacing William Afton, discussed the film’s strategic approach to appeal to its fervent fan base and the challenges of bringing a beloved video game character to life. “It’s exciting to be a part of this thing that has become an international sensation,” Lillard remarked, emphasizing the rarity of such opportunities in an actor’s career.
[Warning: The article continued below contains spoilers!]
Lillard in Five Nights at Freddy’s
Lillard admitted to underestimating the project initially, recalling how his children’s excitement upon hearing about his role changed his perspective. “The fact that the two of them agreed on something was crazy,” he said, acknowledging their instinct about the film’s potential magnitude. This familial insight, coupled with fan reactions at conventions, hinted at the movie’s impending success.
The actor also highlighted the challenges of portraying an iconic villain, expressing the pressure he felt to honor the fans’ expectations. “The hardest part [was] the amount of pressure I put on myself to not suck,” Lillard confessed, underscoring his commitment to delivering a performance that resonated with the game’s loyal following.
Matthew Lillard Signed a 3-Picture Deal for Five Nights at Freddy’s
Discussing the film’s PG-13 rating, Lillard praised the decision as “very, very smart,” aligning with the game’s essence and broadening its appeal. This strategy, he noted, was a testament to the filmmakers’ understanding of their audience and their commitment to maintaining the integrity of the original material.
Beyond the film’s commercial success, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” holds personal significance for Lillard. He described the experience as both humbling and exciting, a reminder of the unpredictability and rewards of a career in acting. “I’m 53, and I’ve had a couple of franchises in my career that have been successful. I [had thought] maybe that part of my career is dead and over,” he reflected. This newfound success challenged that notion, bringing a fresh wave of enthusiasm and recognition.
As he looked back on the journey, Lillard expressed deep gratitude for the film’s role in reviving his career and the joy it brought to his family, especially his children. The phenomenal success of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” transcends mere box office figures for Matthew Lillard; it reaffirms his lasting charisma and leaves us eagerly anticipating his future projects.