‘The Witch’ star Black Phillip rises to Hollywood stardom
Black Phillip knows well the changing winds of Hollywood. Just over 12 months ago he was riding high and set to begin filming Highland Goat, having been cast as the much-maligned fashion critic with a taste for red shirts. Cue one Director with a vision that differed wildly from the studio’s own plans for the film, and with its budget slashed at the last minute (meaning that there was no budget for CGI, and an authentic looking train could not be found to shoot the film’s climax), the project was scrapped.
However, as Black Phillip has since learned. When one door closes, another opens.
Now, riding a wave of success following his starring role in the Robert Eggers psychological chiller The Witch, Phillips is poised to land the role of a lifetime as rumours intensify that Warner Bros. will soon officially announce him as the lead in Zack Snyder’s mooted Goats Gruff trilogy. The first, The Fellowship of the Bridge, is due for release in May 2017 (with many industry insiders suggesting that this may have impacted Disney’s decision to delay Star Wars: Episode VIII to compete with the more favourable Avatar sequel). Back-to-back filming of the trilogy will then see Episode II: The Troll Awakens in time for a summer 2018 release before the untitled third film climaxes the series with a Christmas 2019 release date.
Here we look back, in pictures, at Black Phillip’s rise to fame:
Black Phillip first came to the attention of studios when he sent in a series of head shots, originally looking for work as an extra on various projects. Producers felt he had a certain ‘look’, and began auditioning him for a variety of roles.
However, despite the enthusiasm of Producers, critics and fans alike were divided over Phillip’s raunchy movements in the now infamous dance scene early in The Witch. Many felt Phillip had gone too far, with many referencing the similar controversies surrounding the gyrations of Elvis Presley back 70 years ago.
However, the actor himself took a different slant:
‘Not at all, the kids (young co-stars Ellie Grainger and Lucas Dawson) were just having so much fun filming that scene, and they were egging me on. I really got swept away in the moment and it became all about their chanting. I was just giving it everything I had in that scene. I had spent hours watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly videos and I just went for it’.
Phillip goes on to explain that his relationship with the two young stars went beyond filming scenes together.
‘I recall one day on set, the kids stole Ralph Ineson’s Puritan hat, the one he wears in the movie, and dared me to eat it. It was hilarious. The wardrobe lady was running around all day looking for it and was fuming when I burped it up. Ralph Ineson laughed so hard he nearly split his sides. Luckily I got to do just that later in the film’.
Unlike many other goats, who prefer not to do extreme close-ups hence they mistake the camera for something edible, Black Phillip was willing to risk his reputation. The extreme close-up in The Witch led female audiences to proclaim Phillip ‘sexiest goat alive’. A title he still holds nearly three months later.
In the aftermath of Phillip’s success in The Witch, he has become popular among meme generators and with political activists, something the goat is proud of. With goats finally being taken more seriously by the film industry at large, he sees himself as a leader and trailblazer for future goats to follow.
‘I’ve been blessed to have found myself in a position to choose my own path as an actor, and I feel excited to have the opportunity to help future goats achieve their dreams’