SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
William Champion: Of course! My name is William Champion, professionally, but I mostly go by Will. Born and raised in London, but I’ve been in the States for almost 16 years now! I’m a classically trained stage actor who somehow made the shift into film and mostly voiceover, these days! If you need a morally dubious antagonist, I’m 100% your guy.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
William Champion: Both my parents are actually professional actors and have been my whole life, so it’d be easy to say I got in young, but that’s not quite true! Through sophomore year of high school I desperately wanted to be an archaeologist! But it was after I did a McDonough play called Cripple of Inishmaan that I figured I’d rather play an archaeologist instead.
SKSM: How did you become involved in I know what you need Dollar Baby film?
William Champion: I auditioned for it on a whim after seeing the casting call posted on my Ithaca College alumni Facebook page! As a huge Stephen King fan myself I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, but I wasn’t necessarily expecting to hear anything. And yet, here we are just about 2 years later!
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
William Champion: I think, essentially, IKWYN is a variation on a timeless classic. At it’s core, disguised in King-ian prose, it’s a story of “be careful what you wish for,” right? And something we can all connect with. We all have wants and desires that drive us, but to be confronted, not just with the desires themselves, but with a person who knows those desires innately and intimately? I think it’s hard not to find that both compelling and disturbing.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
William Champion: I absolutely had to audition for the part! I knew no one on the team beforehand, so I was just as much a regular contender as anyone else! All in all, there were 4 auditions: the initial audition, a self-tape callback of Edward’s sides, a session directed by Julia, and a chemistry read with the final Elizabeths!
SKSM: You worked with Julia Marchese on this film, how was that?
William Champion: I cannot stress enough how much joy and passion Julia brought to the set. One has to hope a director is passionate about the material they’re working on, and Julia not only checks that box, but she’s a genuine fan of Stephen King as well. And that is *not* always a guarantee, so it made for a much easier shoot than it could have been! Especially given that I’m a big King fan myself, it meant that when it came to it, we could sort of speak a second language on set, as she could almost direct me in King references at times.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
William Champion: For me what made this project special, more than anything else, is that we really didn’t have to recreate anything. We got to both film *and* live in the actual setting of the original story, the campus of UMaine in Bangor. What’s more is that the cast bulk of the campus hasn’t really changed since Stephen King himself actually lived there, so it really felt like we got to time travel a bit.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
William Champion: Of course! Since it was a small group of people, I’m in contact with a nice chunk of us! Everyone’s quite busy and admittedly I’m not the best texter, but since we’ve wrapped I’ve talked with a lot of the crew, particularly Erin and Sam, our makeup team, our PA’s Brooklyn and Jamie, and of course my fellow castmates Colin (who I actually went to school with!), Giovanna, and Caroline!
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
William Champion: I’ve made a big transition into voiceover work lately, and I’m represented for it by the fabulous animation team over at Buchwald! I’ve done some dubbing for the Netflix drama “Barbarians,” and there’s a BIG project coming down the line, but I can’t say anything more about that yet…
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
William Champion: 100%. My parents started me reading IT at the ripe age of 11, and I’ve been unreasonably corrupted by King ever since.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
William Champion: This is a weird fact, but I’m vehicularly challenged. I couldn’t ride a bike til I was essentially 15 years old, and still to this day, I cannot drive a car. Go figure!
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
William Champion: Thank you for asking them! For any King fans reading this who watch the movie, Julia did us a HUGE solid and put a ton of little Easter eggs from all over the King Universe in this film that aren’t necessarily in the original story. See if you can spot them all! Some are more subtle than others.
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
William Champion: Thank you so much for having me, hope to do more of these with you in the future, and I hope you all enjoy I Know What You Need!