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An Interview with Scott Butler, Star of Choke

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2020

Scott Butler on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Choke - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


This movie is a difficult one to explain to be honest, on the surface it is a story about a young girl's meeting and subsequent relationship with a serial killer and a detective, her experiences with the two men lead her down a dark path. My character Robert is a detective who has many unhappy and dark parts to his private and sometimes public life, he has obsessions and is guilt-ridden from his past relationship.


What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Scott Butler can we find in Robert?


This was a fascinating movie to work on, as the script played out like a surrealist dream or nightmare, moments in time shifting, what is real, what is not, when is this happening, are all of these characters really there? I decided to throw away a lot of my acting process and not prepare the moments before, so that each scene was difficult to pinpoint on a timeline of what happens to him. I don't think there's much of me in Robert, but like everyone I've gone through things that make you look back and wonder about how you dealt with them and if they were healthy in your life.


How did you become involved with the project in the first place, and to what extent could you identify with its serialkiller theme?


I've known Gregory Hatanaka, the writer/producer/director of Choke, for many years and worked on several of his movies, he's a close friend and I love his filmmaking style both on the set and also what he creates. I am fascinated with serial killer themes, have done a lot of research and read a lot about past serial killers, the theme doesn't strike a chord with who I am personally, but I am always interested in the full spectrum of human behavior, in how far we can go in one direction.


What can you tell us about Choke's director Gregory Hatanaka, and what was your collaboration like?


It's always a joy to work with Greg, he is so collaborative, lets actors try things, and the feeling on set is one of friendship, creativity and passion for film, all of which make the experience so incredible to work in. Greg has had an incredible career in film, in so many aspects of the industry and worked with some true greats, I am very honored to be able to work with him and call him a friend.


Choke wasn't the first time you've worked with Gegory Hatanaka - so what can you tell us about your other collaborations?


I've worked on a few films of his, Holy Terror, Death Game, Heartbeat, Darling Nikki. I first met him years ago on one of his film sets, had just moved to LA so was lending a hand, years later a mutual friend asked me if I'd be interested in doing a quick pickup scene for one of his films, and of course I jumped at the chance. Holy Terror was the first project where he cast me as a lead character, I loved working on that movie, really was a lot of fun creating my layered/conflicted character Father Jacob.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was just a lot of fun, we worked hard but it never felt like a grind, it was always shocking when we checked our phones to see the time it was, we'd been filming and working until late sometimes. Very bitter-sweet to film my last day on Choke, as you had so much fun but also so happy to have worked on it. There was a lot of joking, playing with scenes, making new friends on set, recommending actors and actresses for open roles, it was such a blast the whole thing.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I played two roles on one movie (that was a first) called Attack of the Unknown from Michael and Sonny Mahal, a fantastic sci-fi movie starring Tara Reid, Richard Grieco and Robert LaSardo, coming out in August. One of the characters is human but the other is a creature with heavy prosthetics, that's how I was able to get away playing two on this one! I love creature performance roles, have studied mime and body performance with Lorin Eric Salm (who studied with the world famous mime artist Marcel Marceau). I also played a smaller role in Greg's new movie Heartbeat, which I believe is coming out soon. I have a few other movies that are starting pre-production soon, so will update on that as they start to get off the ground.


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My main website can be found at, my IMDb is at, and my Facebook/Twitter and Instagram is at @scottbutleract


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


A beautifully made and critically acclaimed TV show I had the honor of being a part of, Lodge 49 from AMC, produced by (and also featuring) Paul Giamatti and my episode directed by the superbly talented Alethea Jones, is out on Amazon Prime and Hulu. If you want to watch something with real heart and originality, there really is nothing better than Lodge 49. Please give this lovely show some love, it currently has season 1 and 2 out, and are hoping that a season 3 will happen someday!


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you so much for having me on here!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD