Paxton Singleton is a young actor originally hailing from Arkansas. He is relatively new to the acting scene but has made a big impact in Netflix’s new horror series, The Haunting of Hill House. With other projects on the way, Paxton’s determination is going to take him places. TNWU was fortunate to catch up with Paxton and chat with him about Hill House and other upcoming projects.
How did you get started in acting?
It started with a local play at our community theater. I had a small part and really enjoyed it, but it was my mom that noticed I had raw talent. From that point, we decided to put a profile on Backstage.com, and we found a coach in New York that I could Facetime [with] once a week. His name is Ethan Paulini, and he is not afraid to give homework! I started getting parts in short films and student projects right away. A couple of years later, we decided to contact managers in Los Angeles to see if anything would come of it. My mom started researching different ones through IMDb. I signed with Annet McCroskey at Artistic Endeavors. Obviously, my mom’s searching started with the A’s.
How did your role in The Haunting of Hill House come about?
After signing with an agent (Meredith Fine at Coast to Coast), The Haunting of Hill House was one of my first auditions. Doesn’t that seem crazy?! You could definitely say I got lucky, but there was also a ton of work that went into it. I had prepared for the opportunity for two years. My mom always quotes Usher and says, “Luck favors the prepared.” It kind of drives me crazy, but it’s true.
Have you read Shirley Jackson’s book that the series is based on? If not, did you use it as a source material after you got the part?
I haven’t, but my mom has. She filled me in on the similarities of the book and the script. The storyline is pretty different, but the concept of a house wanting to consume people is the same. Such a cool idea!
Did any of the scenes you shot scare you or give you the creeps?
Not really. Everyone was just so nice and supportive. The set was amazing and definitely creepy, but we got to Atlanta before it was completed. We actually got to watch a lot of it being built, and that kind of took away some of the scariness. You wouldn’t believe how many people were in there working. It was incredible!
This was your first real role. What did you learn or take away from the experience that you’ll continue to use as you pursue a career in this industry?
The big lessons were ones that I knew beforehand, but they were confirmed once I got there. Always be prepared, or you’ll be wasting someone’s time. Always be nice and respectful to everyone. And, always care about the project as a whole… not just your part in it.
Now that the show is out, have you gotten the chance to watch the whole series? What do you think of the way grown up Steven turned out?
I have watched the show, and it was even better than I expected. I’m sad for Steven. He was such a good kid. He was so close to his parents and such a good big brother. It’s really sad that his life (and family) fell apart. I guess that’s just what Hill House does to you.
Do you believe in ghosts and would you ever want to be a ghost hunter yourself?
I don’t believe in ghosts, but I definitely believe in getting creeped out! I’m a complete scaredy cat, so you won’t find me trying to find ghosts. They would have to come to me.
What was it like working with such a star-studded cast on this show?
I was able to learn from some of the best and nicest people in the business. Honestly, once you get past the intimidation of it, they are just nice, regular people who are really good at their job. They are really good at something that I want to be really good at. I got to watch and learn from some of the best cast and crew!
Let’s talk about some of your other projects! Tell us about your episode of The Rookie. What was it like working with Nathan Fillion?
A week before we got started, I went in for my fitting. Oh, shoot. I forget her name, but the lady in costumes said that I would really enjoy working with him. She had worked with him long ago on a show called Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. She said he was just as nice now as he was back then when he was just getting started. She was right! He was incredibly nice and very polite. He even helped everyone off the van when we went on location. His acting was completely effortless; so real and natural.
What can you tell us about your next movie, Alice Fades Away?
Sure. It’s an independent film that will be making the film festival circuit in 2019. Ryan Bliss is the writer and director. I really believe in this project and Ryan. It’s a period-piece, psychological horror/thriller. Like Hill House, it’s told in flashbacks. The cast includes Ashley Shelton, William Sadler (The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption), and Blanche Baker (Sixteen Candles and Holocaust).
We’re called Talk Nerdy With Us — what are some of your nerdy hobbies?
I don’t know if this is nerdy or not, but I like to beatbox. Also, I play the ukulele. It doesn’t seem as nerdy when girls play ukulele, but I don’t know about guys. Jack Johnson is pretty cool.
Be sure to check out Paxton as young Steve in The Haunting of Hill House, currently available on Netflix! You can also follow Paxton on Instagram.
Featured Photo: Collin Stark