Call Answered: Harrison Holzer: "The After Party" and "My Friend Dahmer"
I love interviewing the next generation of actors. It's always so exciting to see who will be entertaining us for years to come. When Harrison Holzer was brought to my attention, I jumped at this opportunity primarily because Harrison chose to defer his admission to Harvard to take his first shot at a lead in a movie, which in turn, changed the course of his career. With several films, such as Sextape, and TV shows under his belt, Harrison is going to Harvard next fall. But before he walks through those steel gates, Harrison has two films coming out.
The first one was just released this past Friday (11/3) called My Friend Dahmer, a chilling tale of what the American serial killer was like in high school through the eyes of his friends. In this film, Harrison plays "Mike Kukral," a friend and classmate of "Jeffrey Dahmer." The film also stars Anne Heche, Ross Lynch, and Dallas Roberts. For more on My Friend Dahmer visit http://www.myfrienddahmerthemovie.com and follow the film on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
His second movie, currently filming in NYC, is called The After Party, produced by Russell Simmons/Def Pictures and Netflix. The After Party follows two best friends ("Mike" and "Owen") on their last night together trying to achieve a record deal before one heads to college and the other leaves for military service. In one wild night, a lot will go down before the sun comes up and these two lifelong friends either have succeeded on their quest or must go their separate ways. Harrison plays "Jeff," the best friend and manager of aspiring rapper "Owen." Harrison stars alongside Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and Blair Underwood.
1. Who or what inspired you to become an actor? I would have to say working on my first film with the indomitable Sam Rockwell truly inspired me. I played his son on Better Living Through Chemistry. His work ethic, creativity and kindness was an artistically enlightening experience.
2. You have two films coming up, but before we get to them, I have to ask you about a choice you made. You were accepted to Harvard and all set to go, but you decided to defer Harvard for a year to take your first shot at a lead in a movie. What made you want to take this movie instead? Having worked nearly a decade towards my dream, I knew when the opportunity presented itself I had to take my shot. Working with the exuberant Russell Simmons, Def Jam and Netflix was a tribe I was honored to be invited into. The director, Ian Edelman, is amazingly collaborative. And the incredible cast has become my family. The message of the story is friendship, loyalty and persistence to purpose. This resonates deeply within me. I think this experience was a great lesson in not to allow your dreams to be an inconvenience. If you let go of how you think your life is supposed to look and to expand to what is possible, you can have it all. I got the lead in a great movie AND next year will go Harvard!
3. Your first film, My Friend Dahmer, is a chilling tale of what the American serial killer was like in high school through the eyes of his friends, coming out November 3. What made you want to be part of this project? The script was beautifully written and I immediately connected with the director Marc Meyers. And to work with such a stellar cast of young actors. It is a multi-layered haunting film that is relevant today. It tackles bullying, mental illness, alcoholism and the importance of honest communication within the family. Ross Lynch is mesmerizing in this film.
4. In My Friend Dahmer, you play "Mike Kukral," a friend and classmate of "Jeffery." What did you relate to about "Mike"? What was it like to meet the real Mike? What did you learn about your character from this meeting that you didn't know prior? He was very generous in sharing his high school memories he had with Dahmer. He gave me a better understanding of their "Dahmer Fan Club" and the negative impact of it.
5. The next movie you are working on is The After Party, which is currently filming in NYC about two best friends (Mike and Owen) on their last night together trying to achieve a record deal before one heads to college and the other leaves for military service. In one wild night, a lot will go down before the sun comes up and these two lifelong friends either have succeeded on their quest or must go their separate ways. In this film you play the best friend and manager of aspiring rapper "Owen." What excites you about making this movie? I love great comedy. From cast to crew, everyone had a blast working on this project and that will show. It excites me to bring a story to the audience that will make them laugh, inspire them and hopefully see a piece of themselves.
6. If you had one night left with your best friend, how would you spend it? This is something I can realistically answer because I actually just spent the last night before my best friends and I went off to college. We have known each other since we were five-years-old. First we would hit a classic NYC deli and buy vanilla Cokes with vanilla sprinkled donuts to take back to one of our places. Chow them down while playing Halo or FFA on the Xbox. Next, we would hit downtown and go to our classic Mexican spot Rosa Mexicano and feast of guacamole. We would finish off the night by simply walking home. Since we grew up in the city, the simple things have become cherished amongst us. Something so simple as walking four miles uptown through Central Park. Admiring landmarks like Washington Square Park, the Boat Pond and the Great Lawn are all places where I have had great memories. This was the best way to spend our last night. It made us all nostalgic and proud of the bonds we have made.
7. Since you love NYC so much, what are your top five favorite touristy things to do and top five favorite native NYer things to do? I am so proud to be from this magnificent city.
Here are my top five Visitors:
1. Visit Central Park! See the Great Lawn and Sheep’s Meadow
2. Go to Times Square
3. The beautiful Washington Square Park
4. The Burroughs are a must. Flushing in Queens. Arthur Ave in the Bronx. Great food!
5. You didn’t go to New York if you didn’t get a picture of the Statue of Liberty
I’m a big foodie so my favorite spots mostly have to do with food.
1. Walking around Greenwich Village has the most incredible atmosphere. It’s vibrant and charming. Stop into any restaurant for an amazing meal
2. Canal Street: Nam Wah Tea Parlor and 456 Shanghai. Best soup dumplings in NYC
3. Go to a Rangers game
4. Head to Sutton Place to bask in the serene and calming atmosphere. New Yorkers in need of a walk to clear your head, this is the place to go
5. Going for a run in Central Park. Or taking the subway everywhere
8. I also read that you are a NY Knicks fan! If you had the chance to play one on one with any member of the Knicks, who would you choose? Are you kidding me?! Definitely Porzingis!! Love that guy. I mean he would destroy me but man would that be fun. I’d honestly spend more of that one on one trying to become his friend than actually playing ball. He’s so cool. Kinda fanning out here but no shame!
9. What is one characteristic about yourself that your friends make fun of you for? My friends and family call me Wikipedia because I often claim to know all the facts with 100% certainty and conviction but am faulty 90% of the time. Hence, I’ve become known as "Wiki."
10. Where can we find you on social media?
Facebook: Harrison Holzer
More on Harrison:
As a native New Yorker, Harrison Holzer made his film debut playing the incomparable Sam Rockwell's son in Better Living Through Chemistry. He has two great loves: his Knicks and comedy. He was an improvisational tour de force receiving stellar reviews in the Sony movie Sex Tape. He expertly sharpened swords with the masterful Jason Segel. Harrison has very fond memories of that set. The top being when Ms. Diaz, fed him off her fork some of her delicious kale salad. He also was a series regular in the ABC pilot Nerd Herd. He spends much time in LA, but a bit of his heart is always in his beloved NYC.