Vegas Outsider: To kick things off, could you give a brief breakdown of the film’s plot and how your character fits into the mix as it appears you’re the sort of linchpin holding everything together.
Noah Hathaway: Well, Sushi Girl is a throwback to those 70’s grindhouse-style movies. It’s real gritty and grimy but also fairly slick and sexy at the same time. I play a character in it named Fish. He’s a real sympathetic guy; he’s also the new member of this band of diamond thieves. he ends up getting arrested though and does six, seven years for this group of guys. Upon his release they have one hell of night planned for him. They do poor Fishy really wrong and it gets real ugly (laughs).
VO: What was it about this particular project that made you decide to come on board? As I understand it, you had been out of the business for a fairly long time?
NH: Well the story is funny; I had been out of the business for a long time, about fifteen years. I was living in Amsterdam for the last couple of years and one of the producers sent me a message through Facebook. Basically, he said “hey, I know you’re not in the business anymore but we have this really awesome concept”. They put together Mark Hamill, Tony Todd, and Sonny Chiba in the cast already. On top of that, I had been toying with the idea of going back to work as an actor. I mean how do you not say ok to a cast like we have? Some of the most iconic characters in the history of genre film are in this between Danny Trejo, Mark, Tony Todd, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn and Jimmy Duval, I would have been crazy not to say yes.
So it just worked out perfectly for my comeback film; I couldn’t have asked for anything more. These are also some of the most awesome, giving people I’ve ever worked with. I hear all the time in movies “oh we’re like a family” and blah blah blah, usually you go “yeah whatever, you’re full of crap”. But we really have all become very, very close and hang out a couple of times a week still, even after we wrapped. This amazing collective camaraderie developed that really translates to the film too even though there’s some real ugliness going on in as well. It was just a really surreal, amazing experience.
VO: It’s interesting you bring that up as I was curious about what the on-set camaraderie was like with those guys. Because even though they’re all well-known and loved genre actors, all of them are all also solid character performers.
NH: Absolutely and I got to tell you, you would think with all the weight these characters have that it would be a bit of a cluster and it would be hard to come and do your job, but it was not. We showed up and everybody loves the project so everyone came in wanting to do their best and give as much to the other actors as much as they could. I mean this is filled with some of the best work Mark Hamill has ever done or Tony Todd. When you see the caliber of work that we’ve allowed each other to do, it’s really remarkable. The more giving you are as an actor the more you usually get it back so yeah, I couldn’t have asked for anything more (laughs).
VO: What were your thoughts then to the crowd reaction you guys received at the Comic Con panel that took place for the film? I know the official trailer premiered there along with a couple other clips as well. Were you surprised or shocked by its reception?
NH: People were really excited, and we teased them a bit too by only giving them a little taste of the footage. I think the consensus was “oh my god, we want more and we can’t wait to see this”. It’s kind of become The Little Movie That Could, because we didn’t have a huge budget. But we went in there and banged it out in 17-18 days, and it looks like a 20 million dollar movie. I think people will see that and just people knowing who’s in it, they want to see it anyways to know for sure whether it will work or not. Again though, from the snippet of the trailer we showed, it’s been really well received. People seem like they really want to go see this movie, I would want to go see it. It’s right up my alley, I like that Quentin Tarantino-esque type of grindhouse film and that’s the kind of feel it has without feeling like a complete knockoff. It stands alone in its own way. It’s a fun ride and I think people are going to enjoy it.
VO: Have you had a chance then to see the film’s final cut at this point then? If so, has it at least lived up to what you and the other guys had hoped it could be as a completed work?
NH: We haven’t seen the final, final cut yet; about a week ago, we saw a close to final cut and it was awesome. I couldn’t have been happier. It’s hard as an actor, I don’t even like to watch my own work because I’m so hypercritical. Everybody was so money though and on. Again because the whole cast wanted to show up and do their best for this one; that effort and passion really translates to the screen.
VO: Well, as you said, Sushi Girl can be considered your comeback film. Besides this one, do you have any other projects that you’re working on right now or are you planning to go back home and relax?
NH: I shot another movie called The Critic two weeks after Sushi Girl and am in the midst of writing and producing something myself. My manager and I are also talking to some other productions about future projects, so I’m going back to work (laughs). This definitely wasn’t a one-time thing, sometimes you just need to step away to take a break and come back when things are fresh so that’s kind of what it is now. I’m back to work and have a new vigor for what I do; I love it and am having an awesome time.