To start things off, can you introduce yourself to the readers?
Sure thing, I’m Harley Wallen and I was born and grew up in Sweden. I left Malmö for USA in 1994 to pursue my acting after dipping my toes on Solstollarna. I started getting the urge to make my own films about 5 years ago and now I have 7 feature films in the market.
Some fun facts include that I was a high level martial artist and competed around Europe in two completely different arts (Judo & Tae Kwon Do) and later got into MMA and although I’m retired I still do live fight commentary and host Warrior Wednesdays for WXC on Ufc Fightpass.
What is the best thing about working in horror?
That’s an interesting question because I have been nervous about taking the step into horror because although I love horror I am picky and a lot of my friends are as well. I finally worked up the courage when I made Agramon’s Gate, I wanted to make a film that had all the components of the horror films I loved (Great story/script, acting and a building suspense and mystery as well as jump scares and some gore). And that film has done extremely well so far both in the festival circuit and in distribution!
Can you say anything about your movie you have been in?
It was a lot of fun shooting this film, I could really feel how excited my cast and crew were as soon as we started but the character development of Zeb and Vesna was an incredibly unique route but I really liked the choices we made. I think I feel inspired to make both a sequel and a prequel at this point and even thought of an origin story for the demon itself. Ultimately the audience will dictate these things though.
What inspired you to be a actor?
I’ve always been theatrical and acted out movie scenes but Solstollarna was my true inspiration. I just enjoyed it all and wanted more, I seemed out some acting training and thought my skill sets as a martial artist, break dancer and singer/rapper. After moving to the states I took classes and seminars and now I’m absolutely in love with it and continue to study!
How did you prepare for the role?
I had originally wanted Billy Wirth from “The Lostboys” and after hearing he was unavailable to make our dates I had to reshuffle the deck and felt I was a good fit for the role. I prepared with Aphrodite Nikolovski as we created a full backstory of our characters and their origin. I really loved the portion as we pretty much laid out an entire prequel, I felt our characters really came to life!￼
Can you tell us about the greatest moment in your film career?
I hope I haven’t experienced that yet but so far I think a few that stick out to me.. Tom Sizemore pulling me aside after his first day of shooting “Abstruse” telling me I belong in Hollywood and that I have “leading man” qualities. It was a surreal compliment. Also John Savage pulling me aside saying how incredibly efficient and skilled me and my team was while filming “Betrayed”. My latest favorite was on a horror talkshow getting likened to Wes Craven and Alfred Hitchcock was a humbling moment that’s still hard to take in.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
“Ash and Bone” is in post production and we’re hopeful to have it ready for theaters in October for Halloween season. Instead of a demonic take this one is more an urban legend in the style. Bret Miller write this film and according to my editor it’ll be our best yet! We are also in development for a Viking origin Vampire tale called “Beneath Us All” that if we get the investors onboard we’d like to shoot this year! I have a pretty incredible cast lined up for that one!
What was the project you learned the most from?
Oh man, great question.. I think Moving Parts felt like my theses film after partnering up with actor/director Jerry Hayes following my online classes, it was eye opening.. but I should say that one of the most amazing things about Film is that there is so much to learn that the right attitude in my opinion is to remain a student at heart.
What is the last horror film you saw? What did you think of it?
Last horror film was actually “A Quiet Place” I was late to this for some reason. I think it’s one of the better horror films in a long time and I can’t wait to see the sequel!
What is your favorite horror movie and why?
Oh man I’m terrible at these things, my top 5 films has 19 films haha.. I love “Event Horizon” I think it’s very unique and there is something truly special about it. I might give you a completely different answer tomorrow and say “Hostel” or “House of Wax” but today that’s the one that pops into my mind.
If you could work with any actors or actresses who would they be and why?
I’ve been super blessed so far and my answer might be boring but I want to work with the ones excited about the script and my vision for the project! I love watching excellent acting such as Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington, Tom Hardy and Edward Norton... the list goes on and on..
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
I’m on social media and I’m pretty active especially on Instagram and Facebook. Obviously my films are available much across the globe, if you can’t find them check Amazon/Vudu, they should have them all.
What is your personal definition of horror?
I think Horror is when someone finds the space inside of us from our childhood and makes us feel small and helpless again.
Favorite country or place?
I love my old Malmö, but my mood dictates that.. right now though the Caribbean sounds amazing maybe Atlantis or St Lucia.
Anything else you want to mention?
I definitely want to say thank you I have been a little bummed out that as a Swedish filmmaker none of my films have yet been picked up by SVTV especially with Swedish cult legend Yan Birch in many of my films, hopefully Agramon’s Gate breaks through and gets Swedish distribution!