Actor Reed Horstmann joins us on Close-Up Culture to talk about his role in Disney’s “The Villains of Valley View.” The series follows a family of raucous supervillains who recently ran afoul of the League of Villains and now must somehow beat a path to normalcy in a small Texas town.
Hi Reed, welcome to Close-Up Culture. What excited you about this opportunity to star in The Villains Of Valley View?
I think the most attractive part of this opportunity was a story of humanizing these villain characters. So often we see villains defined as these one-dimensional characters whose sole purpose is to serve as antagonists to the ‘hero’. In this, that is far from the case. The ‘being a family comedy’ aside, there are plenty of moral questions and deconstructing of identity throughout.
What was it like playing Jake/Chaos?
Jake was a character I was immediately taken by because it’s so rare to get a character with so much going on in his backstory before the series even starts. To play an individual whose sole purpose is to stand apart from the rest of his family is so interesting to me. His arc all of season one is trying to come to terms with his difference from his family, as well as test the boundaries of trying to find his own path. What actor wouldn’t have fun with that?
What will be your biggest takeaway from working on the show?
I think my biggest takeaway is truly how much acting on a Disney show is its own technique in of itself. Most of my acting education was based on reality and drama, versus this being a totally different beast. Learning that every line serves as either a setup or a punchline in this sort of symphony of humor is hard for anyone to figure out. It took a lot of trial and error to find that invisible rhythm that makes a scene work. I have massive respect for my predecessors for having paved the way for me to learn.
Where did you discover your love of acting and performing?
My love was discovered at a very early age. I did a lot of summer theatre camps during the summer with some of my family friends, and I took to it all too well. Every year from age seven on I kept wanting to do more and more; by the time I was twelve and thirteen, I had already started doing full-stage productions. My friends that I started the classes with transitioned to film and television, and I wanted to see if I could do it. Since then I’ve been making it happen here in LA!
Who are some of your favourite actors to watch?
In all honesty, most of my favorite actors are from films before my time. I grew up with a lot of old-school films and music, so actors like Harrison Ford and Robert Redford stand out immediately. However, as an actor, I’m constantly studying new films every day and finding new performances I love. With that, I don’t think that list will ever really be complete.
What type of roles and projects would you love to work on in the future?
It’s always hard for me to answer this question because you never really know the project you love until you see it. But if I really had to narrow it down, I’ve always wanted to do a western and I’ve always wanted to do Star Wars.
What do you like to get up to away from acting?
When I’m not on set, I usually spend most of my time with my band. I’m lucky enough to say I play music with my best friend. We started playing shows up and down LA in all the famous clubs with the songs he’s written back in March. Since then, our band has started coming together and pooling our inspirations to write and record our own music as a collective. Nothing is quite like the release of all tension and stress like playing some rock n roll, especially in front of people.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
My hopes and dreams are just to keep doing what I’m doing! I’m extremely grateful to be consistently working, playing in a band, and making connections to further my career for years to come! It’s my hope to get to a place where I can make films with my friends that can be seen worldwide, telling the stories we want to tell. I’d love to be able to work on my dream projects, but as of right now, I’m trying to live in the present moment and be grateful to be where I’m at!
Photographer: ROWAN DALY
Groomer: KIMBERLY BRAGALONE
Wardrobe stylist: BEN HOLTROP