Recently, TV Equals had the great pleasure to chat with consummate character actor Noel Fisher about his upcoming projects which include the History Channel mini series event “Hatfields & McCoys” starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in which he plays the character of Cotton Top Mounts, an illegitimate son of a Hatfield, the upcoming third season of Shameless where he plays the character of Mickey and Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 in which he plays a vampire named Vladimir.
Check out what he had to say below and don’t miss Noel in the upcoming History Channel mini series event “Hatfields & McCoys” which premieres Monday, May 28, at 9 p.m. on HISTORY (Preview at the bottom of page).
This is a big summer for you. You have three big projects. How does it feel?
Noel Fisher: Overwhelmed and really excited all at once. It’s one of those situations where I’m still trying to work out whether it’s real or not, but I think it is.
Let’s talk about the ‘Hatfields & McCoys.’ What’s the premise and who’s the character you play in it?
Noel Fisher: Hatfields & McCoys’ is based on a true story about this really massive feud between these two big families, the Hatfields and the McCoys who live in West Virginia and Kentucky. It started a really long time ago, right after the Civil War. Basically, these two returning veterans of the Civil War go back to their homes and are each kind of the heads of their families in really significant ways. A lot of little misunderstandings kind of pile up and become bigger misunderstandings until it starts to get violent. Then it almost basically becomes a second Civil War almost. I believe the army almost got brought in. It’s this crazy thing that last a really long time. Not in that much of a pitched kind of fever, but it still lasted, I think, a couple of hundred years.
What side are you on, the Hatfields or McCoys?
Noel Fisher: I’m a Hatfield. I play a Hatfield. I play a mentally challenged Hatfield named Cotton Top Mounts and he’s kind of the illegitimate son of Kevin Costner’s character, Devil Anse Hatfield. His brother is my dad.
You’ve got Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in the cast. What was it like working with all these great actors?
Noel Fisher: I mean, that’s one of the things that I’ve just been insanely lucky with in my career, the caliber of people that I’ve gotten to work with. This is just another example of that lucky streak. I’ve tried for a very long time to just try and learn as much as I possibly can from the people that I look up to and have grown up watching. Costner and Paxton, all these people, they’re so good at what they do. It’s like getting front row tickets. You get to sit and watch as closely as you can. So, I just try to sit back and learn something.
I’m assuming that you’re also learning quite a bit on the set of ‘Shameless.’ You’re back for a third season and working with William H. Macy.
Noel Fisher: Yes. My God, that’s definitely an example of that. There are some people that are just so good at what they do that it’s kind of unfair and he definitely falls into that.
Last we saw on ‘Shameless’ Mickey decided to go back to jail. What’s happening for him in the third season?
Noel Fisher: I wish I could tell you. I actually don’t know. I haven’t actually spoken with any of the writers yet. I’m sure that they have big plans in the works, but yeah, I’m excited to see. They’ve done such a good job with everything on that show. So, I’m sure that I’tll be absolutely shameless, whatever it is.
You’re also in the final installment of the ‘Twilight’ saga.
Noel Fisher: Yes, part 2, ‘Breaking Dawn.’
You’re a farmer on the History Channel show, then a thug on ‘Shameless’ and now a vampire.
Noel Fisher: Exactly. I’m going to try and see if I can figure out a way to combine all those parts into one character and see if someone will make that movie.
What was it like working on ‘Twilight’?
Noel Fisher: It was a lot of fun. It’s such a massive cast, and what was really cool about that experience was that the cast was really split because in this part of the book and the second movie, Stephenie Meyers’s world really expands and you get to meet a lot of new people. So, there were a bunch of new, kind of rookie people added to the franchise, including myself. Then there were all these people that have been there for years and years. So, it was a really nice mixture of all the veterans welcoming everyone in a really lovely way and all the newbies kind of getting to hangout and we’re all introduced to the world at the same time. It was just a really good feeling on set and I walked away with a lot of good friends.
Now that you’re going to be in ‘Twilight’ have you seen something different in terms of fan interaction?
Noel Fisher: Some people on ‘Twilight,’ along with some of my other friends, basically, finally convinced me to get into the social media thing because I’ve resisted it for a long time because I’m completely computer illiterate. I just wanted to spare myself public embarrassment, but I’ve actually really taken to the Twitter and the Facebook. I really enjoy it. In terms of the fans, ‘Twilight’ has definitely been.the fan base of that franchise is really something special, I think. They’re so genuinely supportive of the actors and really anybody involved with it. My Twitter feed is one big pile of love every morning. It’s a really nice feeling and I really appreciate it.
A fictional gun to your head. If you could only do film or television which one would it be?
Noel Fisher: That’s such a hard choice. Both of them give such good.you can walk away from both of them with such wonderful things. I watch a lot of TV. I think TV is kind of having almost it’s golden age right now with Showtime and HBO and AMC and all these networks that are putting such good.almost features. TV has basically become many, many hour long features. So, that’s wonderful.
Then at the same time, with features you get to play just these crazy cool parts. I’m a three thousand year old vampire in ‘Twilight.’ As a kid you got to pretend you were a vampire or whatever, and try to jump off of something high and hope that you didn’t hurt yourself, but in ‘Twilight’ you get strapped up in some crazy contraption and have someone else fly you around the room. It’s like being twelve years old with a really big budget and a huge team of people behind you.
I notice you didn’t go for one of them though.
Noel Fisher: Yeah. I would have to flip a coin.
If you could step back in time and talk to yourself before you started your career, what advice would you give yourself?
Noel Fisher: I think I would tell myself to not waste any time doing anything other than work and studying. I went through a period when I was younger when I just sorta took to acting thinking, ‘It’s just a natural thing. I can do it.’ That has a very severe ceiling as to where you can get to with that attitude. I’m really grateful that I got pulled out of that attitude very quickly. I didn’t spend very long in it. By the time that I was really in L.A. I had already overcome that and I feel really blessed in that regard. I think that’s what I would say, ‘Respect the work and get down to it.’
If you could guest star on any other TV show, which one would it be?
Noel Fisher: Good question. I think it might be ‘Modern Family’ right now. I’m kind of obsessed with that show. It’s a really good show. I’m going to go with ‘Modern Family.’
As Vladimir or Mickey?
Noel Fisher: [laughs] I think Vladimir would be a very strange character to have on ‘Modern Family.’
Preview of Hatfields & McCoys on History channel: