"When I was a boy growing up I remember my father took my brother and I to see HUSH... HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE," says Paxton. "It gave me nightmares for months. My father had a sense of the macabre and he loved dark stories like Edgar Allan Poe and those types of films. And from a pretty early age I was exposed to that stuff, so now it's all coming out."
What first appealed to Paxton in the film's script format - besides the horror, suspense and mystery - was FRAILTY's "neoclassical roots" and an open-ended interpretation left for the director's imagination.
"It gave me a sense as a filmmaker [of] a license to do something stylized," says Paxton.
"I am not the first person to use this device but I thought early on the way to do this movie would be to do what a lot of the masters of this genre had done early on in the '50s, '60s and '70s," explains Paxton. "Not that I was trying to compare myself in any way to these great masters but I was saying, 'How would they do it?'"
Keeping that horror-esque feel throughout the film was rather easy according to Paxton, and he even says the overall experience of directing himself in the film was a lot less nerve-wracking than some might think.
"I felt this role was in my tenor," says Paxton. "It wasn't a big stretch for me. It was a risky part to play but I am a dad, I've got two children and I've always had a close relationship with my father and brother so I always relate to stories about brothers. I think my best work has been playing a sibling. I can relate to that part very easily."
Paxton notes A SIMPLE PLAN and WEIRD SCIENCE
"I also made FRAILTY to make an opportunity for myself," he says. "I felt like the last great character lead I had was with A SIMPLE PLAN and I like those regional dramas. I am a regional actor in many ways."
Granting and guaranteeing him a good role by shepherding the film was something Paxton probably won't do with his next project.
"Weirdly enough the next thing I want to direct is a completely different film," says Paxton. "It's a British romantic comedy that I wouldn't be in."
Be sure to check back soon for part two of our Bill Paxton profile.